Over at Read/Write web there is a piece on why there is no money in the long tail of the blogosphere. I wouldn't necessarily argue with the conclusions, but my reaction was similar to Hugh MacLeod's twitter response 'duh... Hello 2003'. The author concludes by asking whether the long tail of blogging is stable. The implication being that people are only blogging to make money and as soon as they realise they can't they'll go elsewhere (presumably they'll think pyramid selling schemes are a neat idea).
I rather thought we'd gone beyond all this. People making money from blogging are obviously in the minority - but so are people whose intention is to make money. Must we really go through all the motivations for blogging again?
But, having said that there is a monetary value from blogging. It just isn't a direct one. As Stowe Boyd said "when asked what was the single most important business decision that I had ever taken I responded "blogging." That is, if you are a business then your blog can be the best source of building your brand that there is. But, and this is crucial for all those who want to make money from blogging - the blog comes first. If your blog is interesting then consultancy, requests to speak, produce reports, be a business partner or whatever may flow from it. Blogs are good at building personal brand. Anyone who is blogging to make money will simply be producing a dull blog and readers will look elsewhere.
But most of us blog because a) it's the most creative thing we do and we are creative animals, b) it establishes us in the online world and c) it's a good place to work through ideas. Those are actually quite powerful motivations, and they don't need to be monetarized.
(I've used 'personal brand' and 'monetarized' in one post - I feel unclean)