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Bloggers that turned into multi-millionaires

While most bloggers do it for a hobby or drive their existing business, some have managed to turn blogging itself into a money spinner.

Top blogs that turned into big business include Mashable, Life Hacker and Perez Hilton - all of which have made their owners a fortune.

While it's an attractive proposition, blogging requires the same ingredients all great successes need; a good idea and a lot of commitment.

Joe Pulizzi started his Junta42 blog in 2007 to be the foundation stone of his content marketing business.

"The idea was to position myself as an industry expert, and then launch the initial company product six to 12 months afterwards," he explains.

Today, his blog is part of a larger site that gets more than 100,000 unique visitors per month, meanwhile Pulizzi  himself has 20,000 followers on Twitter and over 20,000 email subscribers. But it all started with a single blog.

"Blogging is the online proof of my expertise," he explains. But to be successful, he recommends you find a niche.

"Go small - focus on a niche that you can be the leading expert in the world at. Most individuals go too wide. Get really specific."

You need to carefully identify your target audience too and not be afraid to share your great idea with your readers. 

"People will flock to you if you give away information they can't find anywhere else," says Pulizzi . "Give away the secret sauce ... lay it all out there."

Here are five bloggers who did just that, and turned blogging into business.

Pete Cashmore, Mashable
Cashmore started his blog with a focus on social media news from his home in Aberdeen in 2005. Now it has millions of monthly page views and hundreds of thousands of followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, rumours continue to circulate that Cashmore is in talks with CNN to sell his baby for a reported $200m.

Perez Hilton,
Hilton, aka Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr, started blogging about celebrities as a hobby but quickly became known as the most hated blogger in Hollywood because of his bitchy gossip. But the blog brought Hilton fame and 300 million hits per month.
Timothy Sykes,
Wunderkind, stock market trader and now a crusader against financial scams, Sykes started his blog in 2007 and, judging from his post "Suck On This John Chow, My Blog Made $45,000 Last Month" (see below) his gamble to blog has paid off – not to mention also winning him a contract for reality TV show - Wall Street Warriors.

John Chow,
According to Chow, he is best known for showing the world you can take a blog from earning zero to over US$40,000 ($38,000) each month in a mere two years and only work two hours a day. More than 200,000 users now visit his blog - the modestly titled john chow dot com - on a daily basis.

Ariana Huffington, The Huffington Post
Journalist Ariana Huffington already had a high profile in America when she launched blog based news site The Huffington Post in 2005 but it has shown that blogging can take on traditional media and win.  In fact, win big; in 2011 AOL bought the Post for a reputed US$315 million ($310 million).


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