Who has the biggest “circulation” now? Who really reaches the most readers?
One lone writer, Tim Ferris, has more monthly readers than GQ magazine with its huge staff and overhead.
One lone travel blogger, Gary Arndt, has more monthly readers than AFAR, Wend, and Outpost magazines combined.
BootsnAll and TransitionsAbroad both get more monthly visitors than Budget Travel online—with a fraction of the staff.
Ever heard of HoboTraveler.com? More people visit Andy’s one-man site each month than that of RoughGuides.com.
My Cheapest Destinations Blog has more visitors than the slick sites of MensJournal.com or Islands.com, despite all the marketing muscle of those two pubs as compared to my part-time staff of one (me).
I like all these print magazines at least a little bit and I think Afar and Wend are truly great, so don’t take this as a slam on their content. The point is, they’re being upstaged by low-overhead operations that don’t have a huge staff or even an office. (BootsnAll used to have a physical office, but eventually figured out they didn’t need it.) Half the time the site with the larger readership is a one-man (or woman) operation with a virtual assistant or two.
Staff editors who went to journalism school are not real thrilled about this change in the power structure. Neither are freelancers who rode the print gravy train for years when the getting was good.
The question for you, aspiring writer, is where are your eyes focused? In the rear view mirror, or on the road in front of you? Unless you’re already a successful print writer continuing to pull in fat commissions from magazines that are still pulling in plenty of big ads, the only reason to look back is to watch for cops. Otherwise, race ahead.
Nobody will pull you over and give you a ticket on this highway anyway. You don’t need permission from anyone anymore. What you do need is vision, a clear position in the market, and the ability to build an audience of readers and followers.
Step it Up
Want to really learn how to do that with your blog instead of relying on trial and error? The best bet is Problogger Darren Rowse’s e-book, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Click here for success.