Brian and Lisa Sugar, shown with daughter Katie, began celebrity gossip blog Pop Sugar in 2005 as a hobby. As they watched traffic rise and ran the numbers, they decided to organize as a business. As the Chronicle’s Sam Zuckerman reported today, the couple’s one blog has become 11 aimed at college-educated young women, covering everything from fashion to health. They now have a staff of 56, including about 40 in editorial, and about 5 million people visit Sugar blogs every month, a number that is growing more than 10 percent a month.
Zuckerman looked at several local blogs that are making money.
- “From the blogosphere’s anarchistic roots, a professional cadre is emerging that is creating an industry whose top-performing businesses now earn serious money. The industry is expanding at warp speed. Blog-based media could just be poised to elbow aside traditional print and broadcast outlets to become one of the dominant sources of news, information and opinion, many observers believe.”
Blogs and bloggers mentioned included:
- • TechCrunch founded by Michael Arrington. It has a staff of eight and brings in $240,000 a month in advertising.
• Gawker Media, headed by Nick Denton, who throws cold water on the idea that blogs have become big business. Gawker’s properties include Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag.
• Om Malik’s technology news blog GigaOm.
• Matt Marshall’s VentureBeat.
• BlogHer is in Redwood City and has 13 employees.
• Daily Kos, the liberal political site founded by Markos Moulitsas of Berkeley.
• Boing Boing, with an office in Sausalito, a sort of techno-futurist meditation that describes itself as a “directory of wonderful things.”
(Photo credit: Laura Morton, special to the Chronicle)