The web is an interesting place, and the blogosphere more interesting still. It’s become clear that there’s space for millions of voices to write on millions of topics. But only a few weblogs rise to the top.

How, then, can a person be sure that a weblog will obtain popularity? The short answer is: “We can’t.” But I think that just as domain-name speculators have been able to make their trade profitable, it’s becoming possible to make money from blog speculation.

I kid you not.

When Nintendo announced that its next-generation gaming system would be dubbed Wii, it took me a few hours to realize the obvious: Wii Blog was the perfect name for a Wii-themed news site. By the time I’d figured this out, the domains were gone. One is home to a lame-ish blog (and others are dead or mere placeholders), but it didn’t have to be that way. With a little style and panache and a lot of content, the Wii Blog could have been a hub for Wii enthusiasts, and a huge money-making proposition.

Blog opportunities aren’t limited to the realm of consumer electronics. I was reading an article today about Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Obama is a rising star in the Democratic party. (Perhaps the rising star, the One Great Hope.) He has cross-party appeal, bridging all sorts of gaps. He’s black. He’s religious. He’s an excellent orator. He knocks ’em dead wherever he goes. He’s widely expected to be a viable Presidential candidate inside a decade. “Why not an Obama blog?” I thought, and before the thought had even finished forming, I was on my way to the computer to set one up. But, alas, the idea has occurred to others already.

What other sorts of blog topics could generate traffic and cash? It doesn’t take much of an imagination sometimes to make a prediction. How about a blog about the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign? Start it now, add quality content, and in two years you have a search-engine-friendly popular blog with huge traffic. And huge revenue.

Think making money from blogs is impossible? It’s not. If I can make several hundred dollars a month (or more) from my loose collection of blogs, how much could a person who pursued this seriously make? A savvy techie could make a fortune in passive income.

In the future, I believe we’ll see more blog speculation as people create sites devoted to the Next Big Thing.

As some of you have already noticed, I’ve begun working on a remodel at the root of this site. Yes, it’s true: I’m going to switch this blog from Moveable Type to WordPress. I’m also going to move its location again. With any sort of luck, this will be the last major overhaul for a long time.

3 Replies to “Blog Speculation for Fun and Profit”

  1. Rich R says:

    So what are the main reasons you are switching to Word Press?

  2. J.D. says:

    Because it doesn’t mangle my HR tags? No, seriously, here’s a bit I e-mailed to a friend yesterday after he asked the same question. I’m actually planning a weblog entry around this once I make the move official:

    * WordPress is more extensible
    WordPress plugins are easy to install, and easy to switch on or off. There are hundreds of them. Rumor has it they are easy to write.

    * WordPress is more flexible
    It’s easy to change a WordPress layout via templates. I mean blindingly simple.

    * WordPress is easier to use
    The Moveable Type interface is clumsy and non-intuitive. I can never find what I want. And it takes forever to access the database. WordPress, on the other hand, puts the things I need at my fingertips. Everything is intuitive.

    * WordPress is more powerful
    WordPress lets me do things that MoveableType won’t. It’s all PHP. It’s easy to customize.

    * WordPress has better spam controls.
    Comment spam on foldedspace is out of control. Even with the built-in spam filters, I’m having to hand-process dozens of messages a day. This is insane. WordPress *rarely* allows a spam message into the weblog, and its list of “approved commenters” actually works.

    * I use WordPress for all of my other weblogs
    Everytime I have to go back to MoveableType at foldedspace, it’s an exercise in frustration. I hate it. It’s a burden.

    The real question is: why *not* change engines? Why haven’t I done this sooner?

    It should be noted that everytime I say “WordPress is more…” that I mean in my experience. And ultimately, that’s all that matters to me.

  3. tim says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more about the reasons to move to WP. Changing templates is not only easy, it’s basically a one-click operation.

    Oh, and on average, I get around 160 spam comments a day. At most, maybe one will get through the filter every two weeks. Otherwise, I never see them.

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