Check out Michelle Malkin’s newest blog, Twitchy. What Twitchy does with Twitter — explained at Ms. Malkin’s blog here — is similar to what Memeorandum does with blogs and news websites. It’s a Twitter curation blog, which means her editors are pulling news on a spectrum of news categories onto a page that gives you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the world.
However, unlike Memeorandum, which gives you a bird’s eye view of what prominent blogs are covering a particular story, Twitchy apparently selects funny or useful tweets that link to a news site providing the full story. So Twitchy is leveraging the smartness — or smartassery — of the selected tweet’s author. I’m betting that there will be tweeters who will become favorites of the editors and will essentially be columnists. I think getting your tweet selected for Twitchy is going to become very prestigious.
I’m also impressed with the opt-in for Twitchy’s newsletter. Getting people to allow Ms. Malkin to e-mail them means she can monetize the blog and make very significant money from it, since the e-mails can contain both the promised news and also advertisements and affiliate offers.
One of the biggest problems that political bloggers have is figuring out how to get paid for all the time they put in writing their blogs. How do you monetize a political news or commentary blog? There are six ways to monetize a blog:
- Donations, including an Amazon wish list
- Subscriptions and membership
- Contextual ads (like Google Adsense)
- Affiliate offers
- Direct advertising
- Selling products.
The problems political news and commentary bloggers face are that we are at the mercy of breaking news, we must be virtually omniscient, our product goes stale immediately and it gets very little traffic after the initial excitement. Contrast that with niche bloggers, who target a niche where people will buy products they create, such as information products or software, and buy affiliate products that pay them a commission. They can write on a decent schedule and their posts will draw organic traffic from Google for years.
So, kudos to Michelle Malkin for figuring out how to mine Twitter for gold.