There was an interesting article the other day in the New York Times about the growth in online media aimed at women – second only to politics, apparently.
They profile a woman called Heather Armstrong, who runs a blog about motherhood at dooce.com – and makes enough money from it that she and her husband don’t have to work elsewhere.
What I find interesting is how she is doing so well despite not “playing it safe” like magazine sites tend to do:
Ms. Armstrong of Dooce says readers come to her because she is more honest than glossy women’s magazines. “It’s really raw and unfiltered, not run through a committee of 12 people who need to approve what you say. It’s the real deal,” she said.
That does not always go over well with advertisers. When Ms. Armstrong used a lewd phrase in the subtitle of her blog, two family entertainment companies removed their ad campaigns from her site.
“I thought that was awesome,” Ms. Armstrong said. “I knew an advertiser would pull out, but I think advertisers are beginning to understand that people come to my Web site because I do that — the reason I have eyeballs is because of my irreverence.”
The question is, in the long term, is it better to cater to advertisers to protect your revenue or to cater to readers for better traffic growth? Can you do both?