NYTimes has a nice profile of Nick Denton’s efforts to build a “nanomedia” business:
Mr. Denton’s blogging venture runs on a shoestring. He employs three writers, one for each blog, who “are not paid much.” And he depends almost solely on good buzz for marketing. His tiny advertising budget consists of spending several hundred dollars to buy ads tied to certain keywords on Google’s search engine.
The way Mr. Denton determines the theme of his blogs has less to do with his own personal interests than with the demands of the market, as determined by Google. He relies on Google’s AdSense program, which pays Web sites to publish text ads matched to the pages’ content, for the bulk of his revenue. As a result, he picks blog subjects based on the rate Google pays for clicks on ads in specific topic areas. Among the topics of blogs he plans to start this year are computer gaming, travel and politics.
“The rise of Google’s AdSense and related automatically targeted ad servers really suits narrowly focused blogs,” said Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine. “It provides a way for niche media and niche advertising to find each other, with virtually no human intervention required.”
Mr. Denton is thinking about how to expand the blog market, perhaps by creating product-focused blogs for major marketers. His next big project is a site called Kinja, which is supposed to be the blog of all blogs, compiling the best of Web log writing from thousands of different blogs.
Nick Denton had earlier founded Moreover and First Tueday.