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