BusinessWeek ranked the top-earning blogs back in 2007, including I Can Has Cheezburger?, Talking Points Memo, Perez Hilton and Mashable in the list. Though the blogosphere was in its beginning at this point, these blogs maintained their top spots and are still well-known blogs today or launched into successful blog networks–and they all started with a passionate blogger with a unique idea.
For example, I Can Haz Cheezburger touted about half a million visits per day in 2007, and the blog network site, cheezburger.com, that it switched over to in 2012, boasts the same visit numbers seven years later. Featuring silly cat photos and captions, I Can Haz Cheezburger arguably launched the era of the meme. It expanded into this niche with dozens of mini-sites like Failbook, Memebase, So Much Pun!, Rage Comics and The Daily What, for form a network that received over 20.8 million visits in the last month. Though it has been replaced by BuzzFeed as the internet time-wasting black hole, Cheezburger is still successful and profitable today. Crazy to think it all started with a few friends and cat captions.
Perez Hilton still runs his celebrity-sleuth-based blog, which has now expanded into mini-sites as well: CocoPerez, Perezitos, FitPerez, Teddy Hilton and PerezTV, focused on fashion, celebrity kids, fitness, animals, and videos, respectively. Now a decade old, Hilton’s blog averages 12 million unique visitors per month.
Not all successful niche blogs are built on “fluff” content; Talking Points Memo demonstrated the use and popularity potential for serious news blogs, and maintained its audience until now, when it gets more than a quarter million visitors daily. Mashable has become a go-to spot for those staying updated on the digital and tech scene, and has over 40 million unique visits.
Today, more and more blogs are emerging and talking the stage as main online news sources, rather than just supplemental sources of entertainment. Well-known The Huffington Post (with 79 million unique visitors each month) and popular women’s lifestyle site Refinery29 (with 11 million unique visitors each month), are essentially online versions of current print media sources.
So, to all the people that tell me print media is dying and raise an eyebrow at my choice to pursue journalism, there’s still journalism going on, it’s just taking a different form: blogs.