2011: The Rise of a New Breed of Blogger

This article, by Jean Aw, originally appeared on the American Express Open Forum Idea Hub blog on 12/27/10. While the piece examines the four major types of bloggers now entering the online fray, and does not specifically address writers, authors or publishing, it’s informative in the sense of knowing who you’re up against out there on the ‘net when trying to drive traffic to your own blog.

Let’s face it: blogging is big business. I predict that in 2011, there will be a rise of Lifestyle Bloggers. This new breed of business-savvy blogger not only writes, but also handles business development and prioritizes having a fulfilling life NOW. Cash flow positive with a happy, small and flexible team, this type of blogger has a balanced, sustainable new business model.

As creating content gets easier, we are faced with more noise online than ever before and more data than people are willing or able to parse. Curation was the inevitable trend of 2010 — everyone from huge corporations to small businesses to college kids uses platforms like Tumblr and Twitter to distribute content and create influence. In 2011, we’ll need people to curate the curators to find a more refined signal.

This is where the Lifestyle Blogger comes in. Are you a Lifestyle Blogger? Do you want to be? If not, does your business know how to best work with and benefit from this rising group?

I had a conversation with a growing Lifestyle Blogger who just made the transition from having a day job to blogging full-time and trying to become a sustainable company. He’s brought on two writers, and he’s starting to negotiate contracts for advertising and special projects with a major ad agency. He asked me for help.

Here’s a little snippet from our conversation:


Yes, I was horrified at the idea of being compared to a cartoon pocket monster… even a more evolved one. But more importantly, I wondered what it was that he saw that we had in common? And, if he was looking to grow, why did he turn to me instead of the founder of a major blog with teams of writers, venture capital and ad sales teams? As we talked further, it became clear: our goals as site owners, as writers, as bloggers united us… and were very different than those of most other types of blogs. The word blog doesn’t even begin to encompass the spectrum of what’s out there. 

As we see it, here are the main types of blog based businesses today and how we’ve seen some of them evolve:


Read the rest of the article on the American Express Open Forum Idea Hub blog.