Money in them thar blogs?

While a lot of bloggers are motivated more by passion than profit, Gawker Media -- the publisher of such sites as Gawker, Defamer, Wonkette, Idolator, and Deadspin -- offers one model for trying to cash in. And according to one report, GM's annual revenue is in the neighborhood of $52 million (h/t Romenesko):

A site called ShylockBlogging took the advertising rate card and traffic numbers of Gawker Media (available to all via SiteMeter on each Gawker Media site) and came up with a total revenue number of $52 million. Wow. The blogger wrote:

“Totals for Gawker Media from the 14 blogs they own, based on 7 days of traffic: Visits: 25,238,206, Page Views: 33,966,044, Revenues/week: ~$1 million per week, Revenues/year: ~$52 million per year”

Even accounting for ad discounts, special deals and a couple of weak months here and there, that still puts the blog empire created by Nick Denton (pictured right) comfortably in the tens of millions per year range. 

Back in 2005, former Gawker Media managing editor Lockhart Steele told an NYU journalism class, “We pay a set rate of $2,500 a month.” Assuming the pay has gone up a bit in the last year or so (say, to a base of $3,000, for instance), spread out over 14 blogs with an average of two full-time bloggers per site, you might spend a little over $1 million in 12 months in salaries and maybe three times that in technical infrastructure costs. Looking at it that way, Denton’s decision not to sell this company—despite the annual rumors—makes perfect sense.

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