Can I make a living blogging?

Since Mark Penn wrote in WSJ that “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,” there has been a lot of commentary on the web related to whether someone can actually make a decent living in America by merely blogging. Here are some of my comments:

    Unless you really do something outrageous or crazy or are a celebrity or have something very unique to share, blogging is a difficult niche to break into. Lorena and I started publishing on the web in 1999. First movers have a huge advantage and newcomers are struggling simply because they started so late.
    There are very poor statistics out there on blogging and both Technorati and all the other sources that Penn cited are so wrong (though, they give you a flavor). To give you an idea about the traffic needed by us and the revenue potential (including ups and downs since 1999), for every $50,000 in revenue we need at least one million monthly visitors. After trying many advertising models, we work almost exclusively now with Google Adsense.
    For obvious reasons, I am not going to disclose how to succeed like us at blogging, but unless you are very talented at something, I wouldn’t suggest that you even try your hand at making a living from blogging. It is a very competitive market and only getting tougher as more and more content goes online.