It's not just a hobby - some small sites are making big money. Here's how to turn your passion into an online empire.
Business 2.0 Magazine
By Paul Sloan and Paul Kaihla,
October 2 2006: 11:31 AM EDT
Michael Arrington is a partying kind of guy. While showing off his home in Atherton, Calif., he boasts about how he crammed 500 people into his one-acre backyard at a bash in February. Then there are the official parties, like the one he threw in mid-August at August Capital, a nearby venture firm. Arrington posted an open invitation on his website at 3 a.m. By sunrise, all 500 spots were taken; the onslaught of traffic crashed his site. "I knew it would be fast," says Arrington, who houses so many out-of-towners in his ranch home that he often isn't sure who's crashing on which mattress on which floor in which room.
Arrington, a 36-year-old entrepreneur behind a long list of unrecognizable startups, has suddenly become one of the rising stars of Silicon Valley. Why? The answer lies in TechCrunch, Arrington's blog about new technologies and companies. In the year since he launched the site, he has amassed such a strong following that he's become a go-to person for VCs and tech execs looking to leak corporate tidbits or announce news. More than 1.5 million readers regularly check out his site. But here's what gives Arrington real distinction: He's pulling in $60,000 in ad revenue every month. That's 10 times what the site was making earlier this year, which was when Arrington, convinced of the potentially monstrous riches ahead, quit his day job as president of a startup to blog full-time.