Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: On the Web, Amateurs Rivaling Professionals by Mark Penn

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published October 29, 2009

This is the age of the amafessional, when amateurs are rivaling professionals in opportunity, talent and the ability to produce quality work. It’s happening in virtually every field. In areas ranging from communications to medicine to simply making things with your hands, amafessionals are gaining in numbers and the ability to market their services.

Struggling amateurs used to want to become stars, and of course some still do, but this new phenomenon is different. Millions are participating just for the fun and challenge of it–-almost like running in a marathon. “Amafessionals” include both the amateur/professional hybrid and pajama professionals, who often work at home rather than the studio or the office.

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Mark Penn posts follow-up to his Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: America’s Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column

Mark Penn Responds:

People have raised questions about the calculations on the numbers of bloggers for hire. First, I was surprised at how few studies there are on this and I believe there definitely should be more. So perhaps in the future I will do some original research, but for this piece we took the best we could find and referenced every number so people would know where they came from.

There is no question that the blogosphere, fast-growing as it is, has yet to nail down one way to measure itself or gauge its activity. But the most comprehensive sources we could find, conducted by reputable professionals, say there are over 22 million bloggers out there; and that 2% of bloggers are making their living blogging. Do the math, and you get roughly 450,000. It’s a fast-growing group and we ignore their needs, and influence, at our peril.

As far as the $75,000, the Technorati report says that of those bloggers who had 100,000 or more unique visitors, the average income is $75,000. True, it’s not the median, but it is the average. We can quibble about how easy it is to make this kind of money — but the point is, the huge potential is there.

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Mark Penn Participates in China’s Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference

Mark Penn participates in China's Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2009

Mark Penn spoke about the resilience of the internet economy to weather the financial crisis, including the rise of blogging and technology, and the dislocation and challenges facing journalists and the print industry. Watch the video on China’s QQ.com

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: America’s Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published April 21, 2009

In America today, 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, firefighters or even bartenders.

Paid bloggers fit just about every definition of a microtrend: Their ranks have grown dramatically over the years, blogging is an important social and cultural movement that people care passionately about, and the number of people doing it for at least some income is approaching 1% of American adults.

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