There are many people talking about what the upcoming year will bring for bloggers, and while I see some great opportunities opening up for people, I also see that 2009 will be hard to monetize in any other way than affiliate programs and CPA advertising. If you are depending on CPC or CPM advertising, you’ll have a hard time making ends meet.
Also, I see 2009 being the year that the WordPress community fractures more, as Habari and Movable Type start to make strong movements in enticing some more big names in the WordPress community to their software. Of course there are millions of new people joining the WordPress world, but it won’t be the same.
Another major shift I see coming that might surprise people is the rebirth of the super-blog. One blog with dozens of authors on a wider topic. They will probably cover certain demographics and be the “go to” portal for everything that a person would be interested in. While these sites will still have a niche slant to them, their size alone will warrant attention.
Smaller niche blogs won’t be able to effectively compete, and will become oriented towards fandom, rather than money making.
The next interesting thing I see coming down the pipe are more jobs for action oriented people, and specialists. People that have multiple talents will continue to have trouble finding decent jobs, as even startups look for specialists that they can hire and use to their fullest. Businesses will continue to keep their numbers small, expecting specialists to not only do amazing things with their talents, but also pick up on a few other duties as time allows.
Some other things of note include more bloggers “faking it until they make it”, more blog networks probably shutting down as they stop being profitable enough, a new wave of advertisers looking for results, and a stronger push towards accurate statistics on all websites including blogs.
Next year will either be really great for bloggers, or really horrible, but in the end, it will be about adapting fast to changes, and working for companies that need your strengths in one topic, and then riding out the economic storm.
Would I suggest people get into problogging right now? If your expenses are under $1500 per month, I think that now is the best time ever for building out your own brand if you can find others to work with. Don’t go it alone, and don’t work for a blog network unless you have to. Your personal brand is what will be valuable.
If your expenses are over $1500 per month, then don’t become a problogger. Use whatever talent you have the most skills to back up, and get a job related to that. If you are a great server administrator, now is not the time to explore other options, like becoming a full time blogger. Stick to server administration for the time being.
That’s my thoughts on the coming year. Am I way off base? Let me know!