Look! No ads on the blog!

Recently, someone asked me if I would like to put up some ads on this blog and earn some money. I said no. The person asked “why not?” For a few seconds, I was not sure how to reply. I went with a “well, I like my blog’s cleanliness as it is now and don’t want any banners to spoil the look.”

The question, however got me thinking about the much discussed topic of ads on blogs. I know how search monetization works, read about Payperpost and the usual ad banners. There is also the “bloggers’ endorsement” on various products and blog endlessly about them. So, my question is, should bloggers (1) put ad banners all over their blogs? and what are the motivations behind them? (2) endorse products or services and blog endlessly about them?

The following are views from 3 different blogger friends’ (Kevin, Jason and the(new)mediaslut) on the topic of advertising on blogs. Wish I had done it in iChat/ video style, but oh well, for now just read the straight forward Q&As:-

1) Do you have ads on your blog/s? What kind of ads?

MediaSlut: Yes. Put advertlets banner ads on it

Jason: I signed up to Nuffnang so I don’t get to choose the type of ads to put up. However, they did assure me that the ads put up will be ‘family friendly”

Kevin: Not that I know of… so no.

2) Do you think bloggers should endorse a company’s products / services and put ad banners on their blogs?

MediaSlut: If you are talking about banner ads from google and advertlets or nuffnang, the advertisers can be so random that you don’t know who it is. Sometimes the blogger don’t ever see the ad at all. If somebody from US visit the Singapore based blogger, the visitor might see a ad for the US. But because the blogger is Singapore based, he won’t see the ads at all.

But if you are talking about product endorsement, why not? If the blogger really likes the product and says he likes it, why not? So far, usually most bloggers will only endorse the product they really like. Those they don’t like, they will just reject it.

Kevin: As much as we genuinely do it through word of mouth, blogs shouldn’t
be any different. Just like in real life, going overboard with it
might mean losing friends (readers) …

Jason: …it is a win-win situation for both company and individual. Companies get write ups from a customer’s perspective and individual gets new toys. However, it could be a con as the individual may be pressured to write something nice about it to get more toys to endorse in the future.

3) As a blogger, do you think you will be pressurized to blog about
your “ad clients”?

Kevin: ... If you made a commitment, you’ll have to follow through. Otherwise I’d stay clear of advertising as much as possible since it might not be what I usually talk about on my blog.

MediaSlut: To be honest, most bloggers will be more than happy to blog about their advertisers. But they don’t just blog about the advertisers’ product.. Some do it by writing their own experience with the product, or issues regarding the product. But whether they will be critical of their sponsor’s product, I don’t think at the moment they will be.

This problem is similar to the print publications of media1.0. The culture here is not ready to accept criticism good or bad.

Blogs are, however, designed different than print magazine is that for every post, there is a comment field. So the advertisers should react to a critical post by engaging the blogger via comments, not threatening to withdraw ads.

Jason: Absolutely not, but I guess more on increasing my posts to get more unique visitors. However, after receiving money for the first
campaign, it really isn’t worth it… $2.88 for one week…yeech!!

4) Beside money, why do you think bloggers agree to endorse certain products or agree to put ads on their blogs?

MediaSlut: Most bloggers have day jobs, so money is a side income. If it is a product, say a mobile phone, and u let the blogger play with the phone and review it, they will be happy.

Kevin: They could endorse because they could simply like the product /
service. I find this more likely the case than putting up ads, which
is another thing altogether. Endorsing creates an emotional
attachment, advertising doesn’t (or perhaps fakes it).

This is an interesting topic and bigger issues, concerns, business models etc to look at so, I am happy to hear more thoughts from other bloggers. Meantime, the following few links are some other posts I picked up:-

One of my favourite posts on the topic – by Mitch Joel and Ed Lee

Mr Endoh’s post on why he is giving up nuffnang

Jason Kaneshiro’s interesting thoughts on choosing between advertising or readership for the blog

16 thoughts on “Look! No ads on the blog!

  1. wp.com blogs are not allowed to put ads unless they’re in the vip program. if you did so, your blog would be suspended!

    good thing you don’t want to put ads. 🙂

  2. Josh Lim, founder of Advertlets here:

    TheMediaSlut: Hi! Thanks again for your sponsored review of Advertlets and the future of online advertising. Will continue reading your blog for more insight and gossip 🙂

    Kevin: Great meeting you at Ping.sg earlier in the year. I must try that video cyborg thing someday.

    Jason: Your package looks moist and tasty. Please don’t take the line out of context 🙂 Happy birthday too btw!

    Priscilla: Your entry stood out when I was monitoring posts today, and btw, you have the same name as my sister 🙂 Good interview, thanks for a good read and insightful look at bloggers motivations.

    Just so you know our angle: at Advertlets, we value our bloggers as content publishers and citizen journalists – all forms of content production require effort and investment (whether financial or time). We aim to offer a solid way to monetize the newest, fastest growing form of personal publishing available today – blogs. We aim to balancing freedom of expression and honesty with commercial sensibility, through disclosed sponsored posts/reviews and clearly marked advertisements.

    I’ll like to personally invite you to give Advertlets a try, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Don’t be too scared about clutter 🙂 We offer a variety of ad sizes, and also since the same team behind Advertlets runs an interactive design house as well, we often undertake customization and banner production for our clients so that the end result is pretty. Cheers!

    Josh Lim
    CEO, Advertlets.com

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Singapore: Blog Advertising

  4. 2) Do you think bloggers should endorse a company’s products / services and put ad banners on their blogs?

    Personally, I feel that bloggers should only endorse a company’s product / service if they have used it before and like it.

    As for ads banners, most of the time, it is beyond their control.

  5. hello there Sulz, thanks for reminder.

    DK: I agree. If someone sends me an iPhone or a new Prada bag, i’ll so totally rave about them, haa.

    Thanks Josh for clarifying. Good for people/ bloggers like me who wants to find out more about what you guys are doing. I have absolutely no issue with advertising online.

    I guess I am trying to figure out, not so much whether it’s wrong or right, but how the new media platform works out for advertisers, consumers (us as blog readers), the bloggers themselves and how that can potentially affect PR folks.

    So yes, once I have more time on hand in between jobs, I shall drop you a separate note with more questions. 🙂 And tell your sister, I like her name too.

  6. Thanks for the mention there Pris 😉

    woah…I am pleasantly surprised to see the CEO of Advertlets.com replying. This is something my agency needs to do man..keke..

    actually I started the ad thing solely for charity purpose, meaning that the money generated from ads will go to a nice needy organisation. but unfortunately, I am not getting lots of money from Nuffnang (say, under $6 for a two week run).

    Maybe I should give adverlets.com a try eh? Think I can get more $$ from them?

  7. Go for it, Jason and see if there’s any better result and then tell me so that I can add on to this post!

    Yes, your agency should always reply to bloggers’ thoughts/ opinions esp. if clarifications are required to the post.

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