I love publisher success stories. I think it’s part of the core of what I love about the business aspects of the web, and why I ended up building advertising tools that help them earn more money doing what they love.
The New York Times recently published an article about Arnold Kim who runs MacRumors.com, one of the most successful blogs on the web.
It’s not really a touching rags to riches story as Kim was already earning a six-figure income as a doctor, but it is a great example how identifying a need, then building a relatively simple site, and working really hard to create great content over the years can put you in a great place.
The site placed MacRumors No. 2 on a list of the “25 most valuable blogs,” right behind Gawker Media and ahead of The Huffington Post, PerezHilton.com, and TechCrunch. Two of the other tech-oriented blogs on its list, Ars Technica and PaidContent, were sold earlier this year, reportedly for sums in excess of $25 million.
The cynics out there will say “Sure, but all the good topics already have established sites today so it’s too hard to compete.” While it’s true it’d be hard to crack the rumor market for Apple right now, it’s far from true in general. There are new areas of interest all the time that lend themselves to opportunities. Techcrunch is one of the most successful sites out there, and it was started a couple of years ago when Web 2.0 caught fire.
Just now the market is somewhat open for someone to do a great job covering the iPhone App world in great detail and becoming THE resource. An established site like MacRumors.com has an advantage of already having a foothold in this area, but they also suffer from not being able to focus on the topic exclusively.
It’s not that hard to think up topics if you open your mind, the harder part is putting in the effort for years creating content and marketing your site to achieve the success. It’s exciting to know though that the door is still wide open, and I think we’ll be reading stories like this for years to come.