The economics of making money via a blog is pretty simple: more eyeballs means more money. And a view is a view; it doesn’t matter if the reader enjoyed the post or thought it was rubbish.
Nor does it matter if the content is correct. In fact, a blog about a rumour or a controversial topic could draw in more traffic, though the content might be completely incorrect.
This incentive for generating traffic trumps any other measure that one might think is important for a blog post – how well written is it? does it cover an important story? is the information correct? etc
The above is described in the following excerpt from Ryan Holiday’s book, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator:
Blogs are assailed on all sides, by the crushing economies of their business, dishonest sources, inhuman deadlines, pageview quotas, inaccurate information, greedy publishers, poor training, the demands of the audience, and so much more.
These incentives are REAL, whether you’re the Huffington Post, or some tiny blog.
Taken individually, the resulting output is obvious: bad stories, incomplete stories, wrong stories, unimportant stories.
After reading this book, I’m a lot less trusting of the content I see on the internet. And due to the perverse incentives, I’m discouraged from the idea of pursuing income through blogging.