Leaving a steady income to venture into the unknown of advertisement driven internet writing isn’t something revolutionary. It’s been done before. One obvious example is Jason Kottke of Kottke.org – home of fine hypertext products. Jason started blogging back in 1998, roughly the same time as I did1, and he is probably best known for the Silkscreen font. In 2005, Jason quit his job to run his blog full-time, a project he abandoned a year later because he was unable to develop “a sufficient cult of personality” to stay afloat financially.
So what makes me think that can succeed when a well-known internet personality like Jason Kottke failed? First of all, the internet is a very different place today than it was in 2005. According to Internet World Stats, 46.4% of the world’s population has access to the internet as of 2015, a 832.5% growth since the year 2000. 46.4% of the population translates, in 2015-numbers, to roughly 3,366,261,156 people, which means that the potential audience is absolutely massive. Secondly, the time people are spending on the internet has increased since 2005: Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report (PDF) shows that the average adult spends more than 20 hours online a week. For young people aged between 16 and 24, the number is even higher: They spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet, only a few hours shy of an average work week.
But how can I convince these three billion, three hundred and sixty six million, two hundred and sixty one thousand, one hundred and fifty six internet users to spend a little of their 20+ hours online on me?