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.
Advertisers should look at blogs in terms of brand development, says Rick Bruner, of Business Blog Consulting, It’s easy for a billion dollar company that has a customer service or brand blog to see $100K worth of value, Bruner says, “and that’s just a bug fart in the marketing budget of a Fortune 500 company.”
Blogs are efficient buys
Blogs are an extremely efficient buy for companies compared to traditional online buys like banner ads, says Steve Hall, publisher of the popular adrants blog “Blogging in general is coming out of its geeky shell. In the early days, people said “you can’t put ads on the Web!’ Now any good media buyer is going to do a test on blogs.”
In a clueless explanation of blogging’s appeal, CFO.com says “For just a few hundred dollars, companies can start a buzz about new products, tout awards won, and generally blow their own horns.” Wrong! Nobody is going to read a self-trumpeting blog or one that’s awash in PRese. In fact, compelling content is the driving force and any company that doesn’t realize that will have a blog that’s bound for oblivion.
Advertising is not the only way for bloggers to make money, say Bruner Bloggers could have a hybrid of free and paid content, Bruner suggests, with micro-payments of as little as 50 cents for reading subscriber-only articles or papers. One blog that does this is adrag which charges 2 Euros a month for subscribers to view its huge video archives of commercials.