Monday, March 12, 2012

CNN Buying Mashable And Why This Matters To You

News is expected soon of a reported deal between CNN and internet news site Mashable worth $200 million.

Mashable was started in 2005 by Pete Cashmore who has said something to the affect that covering Internet news was the easiest way for him to work from bed. Cashmore was so committed to his idea that he dropped out of college at age 19 to pursue it. In the past several years it has expanded from covering just social media news to become the preeminent Internet news site.

CNN has already been partnering with Mashable, whose stories often appear under the Technology news section of the CNN web site, so it is not too much of a leap to believe there is logic in the move.

This brings me to my point: One blog can go a long, long way.

That's what Cashmore started in 2005. It was one blog against the world, so to speak. Cashmore's genius was in identifying a growing trend and focusing his blog squarely on that niche market. He didn't try to be all things to all people, or simply do what everyone else was doing. He found his own way, created his own "thing" and did it better than anyone else.

There are lessons for every blogger in Cashmore's success starting with his commitment to excellence. Rarely have I seen a Mashable post retracted or corrected. careful study of the facts; research, editing and presentation made his blog successful, garnering his respect from readers and industry insiders. It also made him and his blog a household name (in households where social media and technology is an oft-discussed topic.)

This was his recipe for success and it resulted in a successful business model that brought him the recognition and respect he deserves. It also seems to have brought him a $200 million buy-out offer from CNN.

Considering he has only been in business for seven years, that means, in addition to the revenue Mashable earns him from the 20+ million unique visitors it gets every month, Cashmore has made almost $7 million a year for his investment of time and effort.

Not bad for a blogger.

Now, take a look at your own blog and ask yourself if you're following in Cashmore's footsteps or blazing your own trail. Either way, at least you are on the road to something, right?

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