Intriguing piece in Newsday about the competition among bloggers to break into print, broadcast and other traditional ("old") media (Newsday). "Every so-called professional blogger I know wants to work for print," says Melissa Lafsky, 27, a lawyer who leveraged her blog (Opinionistas .com) into a book deal.
Other successes are noted. One young woman, who wrote about her sex life in DC online for only 13 days and got embroiled in a scandal, supposedly landed a six-figure advance to write a novel, and an option to turn her life into the next "Sex and the City." Other bloggers have been tapped by TV, commissioned to write songs or signed by agents and publishers.
The lure of the traditional media is obvious: prestige and credibilty. Writing for a national magazine, publishing a book (with a respectable publisher) or getting a regular gig on one of the big TV networks is still a giant credibility builder--even today.
But the blogger success stories are few and far between, despite the fact that there's 31 million blogs (Technorati), and it's doubling every 5 1/2 months. The article points out that only 9 percent of Internet users read blogs frequently. But I think there are other reasons, namely that it's simply hard to break into traditional media. Period.
A blogger may have some interesting ideas and even be able to write, but magazines like Fast Company and Vanity Fair likely get hundreds of submissions a week from people with ideas--and many of them are professional writers. Writing a blog may improve your odds because it gives the editor (TV producer) a good taste of your work, but only if it's extremely good or unique--or bizarre (like the girl in DC example). It's not a bad idea to use a blog to begin laying out a book or article--it's easier than the traditional method--but it takes a lot more to break through (marketing, packaging, great ideas, persistence, and so on).