If you think the blogging is a waste of time, think again. United States online business publication 24/7 Wall Street has just valued the 25 most valuable blogs in the world, declaring blog company Gawker Properties (home blogs such as Gawker, Defamer, Jezebel, Gizmodo) the most valuable at $263 million.
This list (which can be seen here) has been compiled using visitor and page view numbers, advertising rates and estimates of operating costs and earnings. Blogs where the founder is an intrinsic part of the brand – such as Matt Drudge or celebrity blogger Perez Hilton – often have a higher value, but only if the founder was to stay with the business.
Ranked just behind Gawker is Huffington Post, which may be the best known blog in the world with 12 million unique visitors a month and about 50 staff. The company recently raised $US25 million and was valued at $US90 million ($140 million).
Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report is one of the oldest news and opinion blogs and is valued at $US48 million ($75 million) based on a multiple of six times earnings. Of course, without Drugde himself, the business is basically worthless.
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton attracts 5.5 million unique viewers a month and earns around SUS8.8 million a year. The business is valued at about $US32 million ($50 million) providing the founder stays on.
Rounding out the top five is Sugar, which is home to youth-orientated blogs such as PopSugar, BuzzSugar, and CelebStyle. It is believed to be worth $US27 million, ($42 million).
What is particularly amazing about these blogs is the extremely low advertising rates they charge – an average of $US3 to $US5 per thousand page views (known as CPM in the industry). This is far below the Australian market, where rates can range between $30 and $90 CPM.
This means the blogs must rely on generating huge amounts of traffic each month – a difficult task given the fickle tastes of web users.
But the high valuations ascribed to the blogs proves that blogging has clearly moved from nerdy pastime to legitimate money-making venture.
The top 25 (all in US dollars):
|1. Gawker Properties||$190 million|
|2. Huffington Post||$90 million|
|3. The Drudge Report||$48 million|
|4. Perez Hilton||$32 million|
|5. Sugar, Inc||$27 million|
|6. TechCrunch||$25 million|
|7. MacRumors||$21 million|
|8. SeekingAlpha||$11 million|
|9. GigaOm||$9.5 million|
|10. Politico||$8.7 million|
|11. SmashingMagazine||$7.7 million|
|12. SearchEngineLand||$4.5 million|
|13. Boing Boing||$3.6 million|
|14. ReadWriteWeb||$3.4 million|
|15. SB Nation||$2.7 million|
|16. Destructoid||$2.5 million|
|17. Mashable||$2.5 million|
|18. Alley Insider||$2.25 million|
|19. /film (slashfilm)||$2.1 million|
|20. The Superficial Network (AntiClown Media)||$2 million|
|21. Neatorama||$1.5 million|
|22. Daily Kos||$2 million|
|23. Talking Points Memo||$1.2 million|
|24. VentureBeat||$1 million|
|25. Wowowow.com||$1 million|