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moneyman.pngBy B.L. Ochman
Mainstream media is in a major hurry to start selling ads on blogs. I was part of the Washington Post/Newsweek network (a total bomb) and have recently been asked to join the Forbes Business and Financial Blog network. I hope Forbes learns from Washington Post/Newsweek’s blog advertising mistakes.
Blog advertising isn’t for everyone
There’s money in blog advertising, for advertisers and bloggers. But here’s the bottom line: without great creative — which is in very short supply — blog advertising will fail. And without first-hand knowledge of social media influence building — which, sorry to say, mainstream media still doesn’t have — blog advertising will fail no matter who’s selling the ads.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having ads on my blog, and I make good money from them through My blog, like many others, can produce great results for advertisers who want to reach online influencers and those who follow them.
With the right creative, no medium comes close to blog advertising in efficiency, effectiveness, focus or influence. But you can’t just re-cycle traditional advertising onto blogs and expect new results. You can’t take traditional media metrics, content, or methods and throw them on blogs and expect great results.
The secret sauce
NBC ran some absolutely horrible ads on this and other high-profile blogs earlier this year. The clickthru rates stunk, and I’m willing to bet their agency turned around and said “blog advertising doesn’t work.” And that’s true, it doesn’t, unless you understand social media, social objects, and blog readers.
Washington Post/Newsweek, and now Forbes blog advertising networks run on a traditional CPM model. But blogs are not traditional media. There is no ideal measurement vehicle for blog traffic right now. One needs to combine and average the stats provided by Google, Urchin, Feedburner, Technorati, Site Meter and others to get a true picture.

Having run many high-yield blog advertising campaigns for clients, I can prove that some blogs with just a few thousand readers can provide higher clickthru than better-known blogs. That’s because blogs can be remarkably niche-specific. And sometimes, blogs with high stats produce low clickthrus because those blogs have too many ads for one to stand out.
I also can demonstrate that it’s never a good idea to buy all the blogs in any blog ad network. A savvy blog media buyer will buy within and across networks and will pick blogs based on their content, reach, and branding within the social media community.
What’s Next Blog has been a member of network for several years. The company, founded by Henry Copeland, saw the potential of ads on blogs long before most mainstream media and corporations understood that blogs were more than just online teenage diaries.
Dear potential blog advertisers: Don’t trust traditional ad agencies to create high-yield creative or media buys for blog advertising. I’ve achieved average clicktru of 1.5% (and as high as 5%) on blog advertising campaigns for clients including Cendant, American Greetings, and others. I’m available on a paid consultant basis to consult to any major corporation or mainstream media ad network that wants to know more about what makes ads work – and not work – on blogs. Call me: 212.369.8312.
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