When you read as many blogs as I do, it becomes necessary to wrap them all up into a tidy little aggregated space. Who has time to actively seek out news these days? Nope, I need my news to seek me out (Big shout out to Google reader for making this a reality). Occasionally though, when I’m feeling adventurous or I get bored with the interface, I’ll venture out to the sites themselves. Seeing the words in their individual aesthetic element makes me a happy girl (which is why I still prefer actual books over reading on the screen of a Kindle/iPad/any other device, but that’s another story – no pun intended).
Last night I was perusing one of my favorite “non-advertising” blogs, when I found myself in the FAQ section, hoping that other readers were also curious as to where to buy those iron on curtain hemming strips. I know, I know… it’s not an industry blog, but I promise this has to do with advertising in some form. I’m getting there.
Apparently, of all the things my little DIY blogging couple gets asked about, one of the most frequent is how they make money. Seems kind of nosey for my taste, especially when the askers could just Google it and eliminate the high probability of sounding crass, but since blogging income and digital advertising go hand-in-hand, I figured I might have something to contribute to the conversation.
It is true that there are many people earning their primary source of income from blogging, and it’s also true that it can be a pretty lucrative profession. If you’re wondering where that money comes from, it’s advertising. Yep, some brands/companies are actually willing to spend varying degrees of “big money” to ensure that their stuff reaches those internet browsing eyeballs.
All sarcasm aside, this type of advertising can be both mutually beneficial and wildly effective when brands leverage relevant product proposition with a blog’s targeted, dedicated audience. Are the audiences smaller than say, a top media outlet? Generally speaking, yes (in certain situations, like in the entertainment industry, The Huffington Post actually beats Newsweek, its mainstream media competitor, in readership). Despite that fact, successful blogs are dripping with potential, because they ultimately extend reach to hyper-targeted niche audiences. At the end of the day, a blog with a decent readership could ultimately be a better media buy than its conventional digital counterpart with an astronomical readership – it is up to each individual brand, along with their ad agency, to weigh the significantly smaller but cream-of-the-crop audience segments that will likely carry lower cost entry points.
[Note: There are tons of opportunities for blog advertising, some of which media planning agencies will propose to brands as part of a larger digital initiative, usually involving a PPC or CPM campaign on a relevant blog network. But there are other ways to get involved in a particular blog too. Sponsor giveaways. Sponsor product reviews. Sponsor mentions on the blog itself (and their associated social media accounts). The main thing to keep in mind is that most people turn to blogs for one of 2 things: expertise or inspiration. Find out where your product fits within the content being produced and you could strike gold!]