Blogging shares a similarity with golf.
A zillion people enjoy the activity, but only a chosen few make money at it.
This point recently got hammered home when I stumbled across an ad on Craigslist recruiting bloggers for Intuit’s small-biz property.
Intuit pays 100 bucks per post.
I already knew it’s the rare blogger who can quit his or her day job.
But only 100 bucks for crafting a 300-word post?
Now, Intuit might argue an efficient blogger can crank out a post in a couple of hours. Secure enough gigs like this and theoretically you’re generating $100K in annual income based on a 40-hour work week over a calendar year (20 posts per week = $2K per week X 50 weeks, and you can still enjoy two weeks of vacation time).
If people were machines, I suppose this would be true.
This got me thinking.
Maybe the economic downturn pinched Intuit on the financial slide.
But a quick look at revenue shows FY2010 was a banner bounce-back year.
OK, maybe Inuit is still digging itself out of a cash-flow hole.
I think it’s fair to say that’s not the case.
So what can we conclude from this riveting dot-connecting analysis?
The commoditization of blogging makes newspapers look like a growth business.
Apparently, this is what the market will bear.
To Intuit’s credit, they got Tom Foremski’s memo that every company needs to be the media.
Hence, the company’s quest to build out a site around the small-biz industry. (That tag line “We’re talking about small business success” could use some work.)
While each post gets 100 bucks whether it’s average or a great, Intuit does acknowledge the importance of storytelling techniques:
We want posts to be fun and easy to read, not stuffy and dry. You must have a good ear for language, but you should also be cognizant of online publishing realities and can use key search engine keywords in your posts and headlines without sounding robotic.
Sounds like a cross between Demand Media and Stieg Larsson.
Wonder if Oprah will apply for the gig.
Update (Dec. 16, 2010)
Gregg Morris shared with me that the pay for blog writting can fall far below the $100 per post from Intuit.
As exhibit A, check out another listing on Craigslist called Writing Articles (any).
Here’s the punchline:
Pay is $5 for 500 words, and 3.50 for 300-350 words.
I suspect even Dickens made more than a buck per 100 words.
Update (Dec. 18, 2010)
Christopher Null from Intuit was good enough to answer my question about response to the ad.
In short, Intuit received over 100 resumes within a few days prompting the company to take down the ad.
Again, another proof point that demand exceeded supply for Intuit’s proposition.