Looks like I've sparked a bit of a debate over here with my earlier post about greater ad inventory making it easier to make money online. In my post, I implied that making money blogging (or with any content online) requires more content. And that the more content producers you can amass working with/for you, the more sales you can make. Then: the more salespeople you can hire, the more writers you can hire, etc, etc. I called it a "simple formula".
It is basically the way media has worked since the beginning. Just because you can do it yourself (with blogging and adsense) doesn't change why this is the way media works (or will continue to work).
I think there are way too many people out there that are writing on blogs and trying to generate cash from it, that don't understand how advertising sales and sponsorship works.
There are a few people at Pro Blogger including Darren Rowse that make the statement/point that: they are making decent money both a) writing and b) selling their own ads (err placing google ads) on their own blogs. In other words, being one man teams.
I certainly wasn't implying in my earlier post that this was not possible. But, it certainly is not scalable. And although, you could make a living being a blogger, you certainly aren't building a business if you are a lone operator.
The key to building a business is building "processes" that are valuable, not "products" that are valuable. And if you are blogging and selling ads and you don't have anyone helping you with anything, you have no processes. All you have is a product: your writing and your ability to sell. Jason Calacanis is building a business. Darren Rowse is making a living.
I met up with 3 very creative guys last night that are also local bloggers: Duncan Arsenault, Buck Paxton and Andrew Teman. All these guys have day jobs, so their blogging and their numerous other projects, are what they do because they are passionate about them. They enjoy their jobs, but if they had the opportunity to be paid for doing what they are passionate about, they might take it.
We met to talk about how we could work together on stuff to take what we are doing to the next level. We talked about the weblog businesses like weblogsinc, gawker and corante. We talked about marqui. We obviously talked a lot about events. And a whole lot of original ideas that we have. But, we didn't come to any definite ways of working together.
However, we did all agree that on an ad-hoc basis, that we'd work together on projects. And I left pretty excited that we would identify some [more] ways sooner, rather than later - to make that happen. In fact, we already have stuff that we've worked on together and are continuing to work on together. But, I am sure that it'll take off even more.
And if we don't, it'll be much harder for any of us to get where we want to go. If you are trying to find your content niche and expect that you can write/sell ads or sit back and watch ad-sense revenue roll in, I think you should reconsider your strategy.
Having a few beers with a few local people and talking about ways that you could help each other out, is a much more sure-fired way of getting everyone going where they want to go.
If it isn't because of strategic division of labor (sales vs production), you'll benefit just from other people taking notice that you've teamed up to do something bigger than any single one of you could do alone.