New Business Model for Writers and Editors

Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan, early spring 2006. A bottle of J Russian River Pinot Noir. A discussion with a good friend who’s a magazine publisher about declining page advertising and how to offset it by increasing online page advertising.

A couple of hours later we had the answer. Instead of having his team of writers and editors just pen articles for the publication, why not have them write a blog as well?

Not a bad idea. Let the writers and editors begin to cultivate an online following on their own individual blogs. Have the publication brand the blogs, then give the talent a cut of the proceeds as an incentive to build their own online communities.

Well to our surprise, the first evidence of how good an idea that might be has arrived: Josh Quittner, editor of Time Inc.’s Business 2.0, is asking all 15 of his writers and editors to create their own blogs, which Time Inc. will try to monetize. And, yes, the talent will get paid based on the amount of traffic their individual blogs generate.

Where is the Buzz? If it works, it could be a model for all magazines. “I can definitely see a day when all journalists are given nothing more than a place to work, a platform and a percentage of traffic,” Josh said. “And if it doesn’t work, we learned a lot about new media.”

2 comments to New Business Model for Writers and Editors

  • John Gillett

    Excellent strategy for all…the employer/publication gets more value out its writers, and the writers have an opportunity to capture their own audience and get paid for their efforts.

  • RNB Research

    I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting. Great … Keep it up!

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