Blogs and Blog Advertising
Why the Hype?
A blog gives the average person, with very little knowledge of Web design, an opportunity to build a personal Web site to discuss any subject he chooses. The ease of use, and support of free speech, has helped the blogging world grow exponentially. The world of blogs is vast, and it covers limitless topics. Famous bloggers include Al Roker (www.alroker.com/journal.cfm) and Jeff Bridges (www.jeffbridges.com/main.html).
Conversely, blog advertising has been growing slowly, very slowly. Typically, a blog ad is sold on a cost-per-click basis and appears as a text or display ad somewhere on a blog page with relevant content. The process is very similar to paid search engine marketing.
I know of only a few colleagues who have tested the waters, and they all have gotten mixed results. A handful of companies have emerged to capitalize on this new marketing tactic and facilitate the process for advertisers. Essentially these companies have become ad networks for blogs, offering anyone with a blog the opportunity to monetize their content. Google has tied its AdSense product—an ad-serving program based on Web page content and site search activity—to Blogger for just this reason. In addition, a company called BlogAds (www.blogads.com) has built a robust blog ad network.
Who Reads Blogs?
According to a survey of more than 17,000 blog readers conducted by BlogAds, 61 percent of readers are 30 years of age and older, and 75 percent earn more than $45,000 a year. A surprising 66.7 percent of blog readers have clicked on a blog ad in the past. This study helps draw a picture of blog readers that may be very different from what you previously may have pictured. A promising stat for e-commerce companies is that most blog readers shop online and indicate they trust blogs as a valuable news source.