As most of the blogosphere already knows - Kottke's gone pro, and as a fan of his blog I'm looking forward to seeing the results of his increased focus (although early results aren't too encouraging...I think Waxy's already got the Katamari Damacy niche covered ;)
What I'm wondering is:
1. What were his time commitments to blogging?
(both before and after going pro)
2. How much can he expect to make?
3. Is it worth the $30 bones?
#1 - no evidence on this one, but I would guess that during his non-pro days, he was spending about 20-30 hours/week maintaining the blog, if not more. And now that he's pro I think it'll be around 50-60 hours, but this is gonna be a hard number to calculate, because for him, when does the work stop? I mean, if you're a professional blogger, what do you do when you want to take a break from work - crack open a few excel spreadsheets?
#2 - How much can a professional blogger expect to be paid? Well, if you have about 25,000 daily visitors then it looks like you can expect around $20K from micropatrons. This assumes that 2% of your visitors become micropatrons (~$15K), and that a small group of those micropatrons - say 25 people - give A LOT more than $30 (~$5K total, or $200/person - there's gotta be some dot.com money left, right??).
So as an uber-generous estimate to all those wanna-be pro bloggers out there...you can expect a yearly salary anywhere between $0.75 - $1/regular visitor...Or as Hugh "my permalinks are fucked" MacLeod says,
Rule of thumb with taking-the-plunge-wonderful-insane projects: Figure out the ABSOLUTE MINUMUM amount of money you will need to earn in order to make the project viable. Now divide that number by twelve. That's usally how much you end up making.
A bigger question here is about the conversion (or micropatron) rate. I know 1-2% is about what you'd expect for a mass-mailer, but this is different right?? I would think that a higher percentage of visitors would donate - but maybe not (see list of bottom righthand side), because...
As for #3, I don't think you can rationalize spending the $30 bucks (I could buy 3 yearly magazine subscriptions for that much). But that's cool, most purchases aren't rational anyway.
to-do's for part II:
-try and get a better estimate of how many hours are spent maintaining Kottke.org.
-look into what would have happened if he wanted $20 bucks (or $50 bucks) from micropatrons.
-come up with a list of suggestions for helping Kottke's bankroll.
-any correlation between commentors to micropatrons (or any way to better predict what percent of your audience will become a micropatron)?
-get 25,000 daily visitors ;)