B. L. Ochman in his What’s Next Blog asks and answers the question "Why aren’t more advertisers and bloggers getting together?" According to Ochman, the primary reasons are primarily fear and ignorance. He ends with admonishing readers, "No smart company, organization or association can afford to ignore blogs as an advertising option any longer." When considering whether or not to advertise your product or service on a blog web site, ask yourself:
- Who are the readers of this blog? Blogs are the ultimate targeting mechanism. Some can deliver more readers than the New York Times.
- Are these readers my potential customers? A million impressions won’t help your bottom line if the blog’s readers aren’t potential customers.
- What do I have to offer this blog’s readers? Again, advertising ice cubes on a blog read by Eskimoes won’t help your bottom line.
In essence, advertising on blogs isn’t any different that advertising in any other medium. Pick a place where your best customers/clients hang out and create a compelling message which communicates what your product/service can do for the customer. There are those who are tempted to try to improve the effectiveness of the message by taking the "sneaky" route. The sneaky route is where you pay bloggers to write favorably about your company without full disclosure. While this may seem to have merit, expect repercussions in the future. Instead of taking the sneaky way, purchase your ads honestly and hopefully the blogging master will comment on your product or service with full disclosure that you are in essence paying the bills for his/her blog. In the end, honesty really is the best policy. If you’re going to pay for publicity, at least be open about it.Â You’ll find the public doesn’t MIND the fact that you’ve paid for the publicity as long as you’re open about it. Bill Barnes is quoted in How to Blog for Money by Learning from Comics, SXSW 2006,
"I LIKE ads. It’s not that we don’t like ads, we just don’t like ads when they are out of place."
EXACTLY! When trying to marry blogging and advertising, just keep that quote in mind.
Your potential customers don’t mind your ads. As a matter of fact, they welcome them when your ads are letting them know that YOU have a solution to THEIR problems.
Just make sure the ads are not "out of place."