Clive Thompson's 2006 piece for New York Magazine, "Blogs to Riches," takes a look at what separates those few moneymakers in the blogosphere from the mountain of blogs struggling to get by or not making any money at all. Part of the answer is blood, sweat and tears. The key lies in posting as often as you can and beating the competition. Something else is necessary too though.
Elizabeth Spiers, a former gossip blogger, now thinks the future of the medium lies somewhere between the individualism of writers found in the blogging community and a more traditional journalistic approach. She says:
Blogging is increasingly becoming a survival of the fittest—and that all boils down to who has the best content. The blogs that are going to stand out are the ones who break news and have credibility.
Six years later, Spiers appears to have hit on something.
Respected sites linking to each other add credibility to posts and create an environment where journalists link to the best information from other journalists.
Blogging is no doubt a modern day example of the "marketplace of ideas" theory. Everyone has a voice. However, eventually the best work rises to the top. Readers develop a trust in certain sources.
Put simply, people always want the best. If they had no hometown affiliation, I'm sure a basketball fan would much rather see the 30-8 Bulls than the 12-26 Pistons.
Journalism, and its cousin the blog, are no exception to the rule. Credibility leads to trust and readership. Readership leads to advertising dollars.
That's the path from blogs to riches.