Daniel from Daily Blog Tips has created a Blog Incubator Project. I think it is an interesting idea, although the current implementation is flawed. The goal is to encourage someone to start a high-quality, popular blog. You come up with a topic you’d like to blog about, pay a $10 entry fee, then next week people get to vote on the ideas. Most popular idea gets the accumulated entry fees. This money will help you offset the expense of starting up the blog.
How much does it really cost to start a blog? ~$10 for the domain name. Hosting at WordPress.com is $10/year. Unless your blog idea requires you to spend a lot on supplies and materials (e.g. I’d love to blog about the OLPC laptop, so I need $400 to buy one), this is simply an easy way to monetize a blog idea up front, instead of waiting for content to develop and advertisers to appear.
Suggestion: An entrant should pay the $10, plus actually start the blog somewhere (theircoolidea.wordpress.org would be free) and describe the idea and give some sample (or real!) posts. Then we voters could vote for the person and content that is best, not just an idea of what the blog may be about.