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Weblogs, Inc. – Focus Ads

Comment-Advert

Weblogs Inc are taking blog advertising in a new direction with their Focus Ads which invite their readers to leave a comment on advertisers (you can see one here). Its an interesting concept that they are promoting as adding to their transparency in advertising. Here’s what they say about it.

‘Weblogs, Inc. Focus Ads are meant to create transparency in advertising — helping our readers to gain insight and helping our advertisers to create a better product or service. Our advertisers participate because they believe in their brands and are willing to improve them through the feedback of enthusiasts.’

So far the concept on the Grifffin technologies feedback page seems to be pretty positive but I guess time will tell whether advertisers actually want the feedback and whether readers can be bothered giving it.

Team Blogging the Only Profitable Way?

pc4media is making some sense writing on Access to Inventory. Ad sales is Most Profitable when More Inventory is Accessible

‘No matter how good your writing is, if you don’t have a full time sales guy selling ad inventory, you aren’t making a living. And therefore, the more writers you have – the more inventory you have – the easier it is to sell the inventory. The more inventory you have – the more money you make – the more sales people you can hire. And the cycle continues. Pretty simple formula.

So, if you are blogging for profit and you aren’t playing on a team or teams or atleast have a sales team working for you, you won’t be blogging for profit very long.’

I see the sense behind such a statement but don’t completely agree. I’m a one man band, I don’t have anyone selling ads for me (except for me) and I am making a good living from my blogging.

Yes I could do better if I had a full time ad selling person and more people writing with me, however at this point that isn’t possible. I am hoping to expand things a little in the next 12 months but at this point am finding things are working out pretty well. I guess its each to their own and a medium where there is no one way to be successful.

Blog Advertising Articles Blog Advertising: Right for You?

I’m sorry for my absence this past few days, I’ve been speaking at a conference and also trying to keep up with posting on a couple of trade shows in the US that are related to a couple of my blogs. Things should return to normal here in the next day or two.

In the mean time – here are a few articles that I just noticed on Blog advertising.

- fulminator has a two part article on ‘The Blog as an Advertising Medium – Part 1 and Part 2

- Clickz has a feature titled – Blog Advertising: Right for You?

Why Adsense Doesn’t Work…For Everyone

Jim at BlogKits has a good article on why Google Adsense Doesn’t Work for all Bloggers. His argument is sound and his figures are good. He does a case study whereby he comes to the conclusion that a blog with 200 visitors per day with 1000 page views would earn $2 per day if the click through rate were 10% and the value per click were 2 cents each.

His thinking is similar to a post I did a few months ago asking ‘is contextual advertising Viable on a Blog?‘ I gave some tables there that showed a range of different potential earning levels depending upon:

1. Click through rate
2. Traffic levels
3. Value of Clicks

Earnings varied vastly with different combinations of the above ranging from 10 cents to $6250 per day!
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Last In Text Link Auction

Paul has an interesting article on Harvesting his High Page Rank. He has a travel site with a page rank of 5 that he sells text links on. However he has a novel approach to how to determine which link is first in the list – he auctions the top spot off using a ‘last in auction’. If you want to be on top spot you simply bid another $1 and you get top spot – til someone else bids another $1. Interesting system which appears to be working if you check out the long list of sponsors he’s got (currently 38). You can sign up for a link here. Paul explains the system:

‘My solution? A last-in auction. Whoever is willing to pay to be number 1 gets the slot — everyone else gets moved down. If someone doesn’t like being #2, they can pay again to be #1. The price doesn’t change, just $1 — It’s determination, not finances, that keeps a link at the top. And, as an added incentive, the #1 link is guaranteed to be on every page, #2 on down may or may not show, depending on how long the article is. How long does a dollar keep an advertiser on top? Five minutes or five days, depending on how long it takes for someone else to pay a dollar.’

I just bought a $1 link – interested to see if it brings any traffic.

How To Make Money With Your Blog Site

Robin Good has a good post on How To Make Money With Your Blog Site which outlines 13 or so ways that bloggers can make money from their blogging. His tips range from Google Adsense, to Amazon, to other advertising programs, to donations, through to premium content sponsorships and online guides and e-books.

This is one of the better ‘blogging for dollars’ type articles out there and mentions all the methods that are normally covered in such articles with some good examples and advice.

My similar article on the topic is here.

335X50 Problogger

Should Google be the Blogosphere’s Ad Agency?

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post titled Should Google be the citizens’ ad agency? where he questions whether Google is the best ‘ad agency’ for citizens media and writes:

‘But it makes me wonder whether we’re foolish letting Google be our ad sales agent. For Google undersells the value of citizens’ media: Google sells the coincidence of a word on a page when the real value of citizens’ media is in its conversation, its relationships, its influence.

Mind you, we should bless Google for taking the cooties off of citizens’ media and showing that, indeed, real people have a message and audience worth attention.

But now I think it’s necessary for citizens’ media to find its own path, its own sales agent who can sell its own value.’

Jeff makes some valid points which are worth taking on board – as usual he sees both side of the story. My opinion? It is getting late so let me attempt a few points:

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Blogkits Announce 7 new Banner Ad Sizes

Blog Kits have just released 7 new sizes of banner advertising – designed specifically for bloggers. Whilst I’m surprised that they haven’t gone for some more standard sizes (eg 468 x 60) which would allow them to be used as alternative ads for Adsense, there are a few nice sized buttons there for sidebars.

I might just have to give some of them a go in the weeks ahead.

Bloggers Sell Advertising Space on Ebay

Ebaylogotm

The Mobile Technology Weblog is another blog that is using Ebay to help them earn an income from their blog by selling advertising space on it. They are currently up to $41 for a 120 x 90 banner (for a month) after a couple of days of the auction. I’m sure others have done this (I’ve definitely seen non blog type sites do it) but its a good idea and worth a try.

‘TJ and I came up with a pretty cool idea recently, which I think is unique – but I’m sure we’ll find someone who’ll claim it’s been done before :-)

Why not auction off advertising space on blogs on eBay? So I placed an ad this morning to sell off the ad space you can see on the top right of the blog for a month. You can see it – and bid on it! – here.

It’s a bit of a punt, but if it works, it could be a great way to connect advertisers with bloggers, which is what eBay does so well. And if it enables bloggers to be rewarded for their work, I’d be delighted.

If you’re a blogger reading this, I’d really appreciate a link to this post – the more people see it, the more likely it is to work and the more likely it is that it’ll start something big for all of us.’

I was actually pondering the other day whether an auction type version of BlogAds might be a viable method of selling ads. For example if instead of bloggers setting their prices (guessing at market value) and hoping that an advertiser comes and pays that much – if Blogads added the option to have an auction for your ad space. This way advertisers would have a little more say in the setting of the price as we as the blogger would find the true market value of our sites. Just an idea – one that I hope who ever uses it will give me 10% of the earnings from!