How big is the blogger army?
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
There’s been a lot of what the Hungarians call “hooo-ha” over Mark Penn’s recent WSJ article about the burgeoning army of salaried bloggers in the US.
The lede sets the tone: “In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters.”
But the data just doesn’t line up with Penn’s assertion. First, we’re told that “20 million Americans” blog. Later, we’re told that “bloggers who do it for a living successfully are 2% of bloggers overall.” That would be 40k bloggers. But somehow this number inflates to 452,000 people who “use blogging as their primary source of income.” Then we hear that “Most bloggers for hire … do it for about 35 months, and make a few hundred dollars.”
The final statement is correct. The rest is what we Americans call hooey.