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Blog Advertising – Fear and Ignorance Keep Media Buyers Away

Advertisers including Paramount Pictures, The Wall Street Journal, and The Gap are successfully reaching niche audiences for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and a handful of bloggers are earning six-figure incomes from their blogs. Why aren’t more advertisers and bloggers getting together? Fear, ignorance and the knowledge that a lot of pioneers got shot.

With clickthrough rates in traditional online advertising dropping, inexpensive blog clickthroughs are as high as 5 percent. Blogs provide advertisers an excellent opportunity to reach a devoted audience niche for as little as $10 a week. Already, blogs like DailyKos which receives 15 million page views a month, get $9,000 a week for advertising and is sold out for weeks in advance.

Advertising on blogs is not like buying a minute on the Super Bowl says Henry Copeland, founder of Blogads, which matches advertisers with blogs. Successful blogs are edgy, have a sense of humor, and are recognized experts in a narrow niche. Blog audiences look at traditional ads, like “Click here, get 20% off,” and say “screw this, I’ve seen it everywhere,” Copeland says.’ Read more at Blogs are a Good Buy for Advertisers but Fear and Ignorance Keep Media Buyers Away

Article Swapping

Wayne over at Blog Business World has a good article on Article Swapping as a strategy to increase the content on your blog. If you can ensure the quality of your article swapping partners this is a good strategy that can double your article producing power and therefor quantity of content on your page. He writes:

Adding new visitor traffic to your website is always a challenge. Finding fresh and innovative promotional techniques is often as difficult as creating fresh content.

Wait a minute! Why not accomplish both goals at the same time? By working with your current link exchange partners, and other website owners with businesses that complement yours, both goals are achievable.

Every website requires new content to provide interesting information for your site visitors. The same old stale articles won’t bring in much in the way of return traffic.

The various search engines give extra credit for site freshness and incoming links. Every article you provide to other webmasters provides them with new content. It provides your site with a themed incoming link. The same holds true for guest articles hosted on your site.

The level of my blogging earnings are directly related to the number of pages on my blogs (of course there are many other factors but quantity is a significant factor). Therefor one strategy for increasing earnings is obviously more pages as I’ve written about in my Generating Quantity of Content series.

Street Talk

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Street Talk is another blog with an income stream that uses the Adsense program. It is a little different to other blogs that we’ve featured here in that instead of focusing upon products it focuses upon a popular New Zealand Television show – Shortland Street.

The site is currently in beta and will no doubt add more features and advertising opportunities – it will no doubt be a popular site for private advertisers which will be drawn to the site as traffic levels build – which they will if it goes in the same direction as another NZ fan blog that the owners of Street Talk own – Idolblog which focusses upon the New Zealand Idol and Australian Idol shows (ala ‘Pop Idol’ (UK) and ‘American Idol’ (US)). Idolblog has been a massive success for its developers generating a frenzy of activity every week before during and after episodes of the popular shows.

The beauty of these sites is that they are highly targeted on geographic areas and they will appeal to private advertisers from those locations.

Questions for Nick Denton

Nick Denton seems to be on a bit of a publicity tour at the moment as there have been quite a few interviews with him and articles about him online in the past few days. Here is another Questions for… Nick Dention. Here is one of the questions put to Nick:

WSJ: Name two interesting moments in blog-ad history.

Mr. Denton: The first most significant development is Google’s AdSense. This enables small Web sites — like Weblogs — to at least fund some of their costs without having to build an advertising sales force. It provides very good targeting of text ad to content. If there is an item about Palm Pilots, then Google will supply ads about Palm Pilots automatically without any need for manual intervention. For certain topics, the revenues are quite meaningful. There are some Web sites, like a site called PVRblog, all about personal video recorders, that pretty much cover their running costs with Google ads and nothing else. The other development, in the last six months, advertisers like Nike and Audi are discovering blogs and engaging with the medium. I think it shows that blogs can attract innovative, brave advertisers, not just technology advertising, not just performance-based advertising, but classic brand advertising.

RSS Ads – Monetise your RSS feed

RSS Ads is a system to add ads to your RSS feeds. They are currently signing up publishers for a release of the program shortly.

They write – ‘Monetize your RSS feed. Maintain total control over the ads placed in your feed. Expose all of your content via premium RSS feeds.’ It will be interesting to watch how this system and others like it work out for bloggers.

If any of you are using such a system drop me a line and let me know how you’re finding it and we’ll put it up as a case study.

Found via Micro Persuasion

Nick Denton Profile

Fortune Magazine has a profile piece on Nick Denton and his growing blogging ventures:

‘With nine sites launched in two years and 24% month-over-month aggregate traffic growth, the business outlook for Gawker’s mini-media empire seems promising. Denton won’t talk about the company’s financials, and he points out that even at 2.5 million unique visitors per month his sites are only just starting to “get the numbers that actually register with media buyers.” But he also makes the case that numbers aren’t everything. “It’s not just a numbers game. If it was, they’d all be advertising with Weather Bug,” he says referring to a popular Windows toolbar download.’

Read more at Gawker Grows Up

Blogging for Dollars: WebPro News

WebProNews has a good little article on Blogging for Dollars that picks up a few income streams available for bloggers wanting to make money from their blogging.

‘Blogging for dollars might sound like the latest game show or some new drinking game, but it’s the latest craze to hit the Internet. Bloggers began blogging for a number of reasons, but as the blog movement has increased in popularity, they have found ways to monetize their blogs and are seeing their commitment pay off’

Also read my article of the same name – Blogging for Dollars

Travel Blog

travel_blog.jpgTravel Blog is one of the best ProBlogging ideas I’ve seen for a while. They offer free blogs to travellers to update with their latest travelling stories and photos.

‘Travel Blog is a collection of travel journals, diaries, stories and photos from all around the world. The journals are added by real travellers, and recount real experiences and impressions from the places they visit. The site includes lots of features that help you keep family and friends back home up to date with your adventure.’

So how do they make money from their blogs? Adsense ads appear on most pages – and adsense ads for travel pay out pretty well from what I’ve heard and seen.

They also sell Travel Blog Journals on the side. I havn’t seen any affiliate ads yet on the site but suspect that they would do well to add some – especially ads for travel books (amazon), cheap flights etc.

Found via Seths Blog

A Short Course in SEO

SEO – A short Course is a useful article written about Search Engine Optimization that will help anyone seeking tips at how to Optimize their blog or website for Search Engines.

‘Anyone who does business on the internet today has heard of SEO (search engine optimization), and many have tried their hand at it themselves. Most find, however, that they don’t get much response from their efforts. This leads to a dilemma for a start-up business: Is there any way to capitalize on internet traffic without paying big bucks for a professional SEO?

The answer is, yes and no. As with anything in business, you can’t get something for nothing, and most people who own top listings for competitive search engine keywords have paid dearly for that privilege. However, there are some simple things that can help make your new website more friendly not only to search engines, but also to your customers:

1. Remember that your customers always come first! Make your site easy to use and easy to buy from, and you will win a loyal following. Simple, straightforward sites perform best all around. Clearly labeled navigation, informative page content, secure online purchasing and ease of ordering are some key elements to a successful website.’ Read more at SEO – A short Course.