Monday, February 05, 2007

Of Advertising and Sustaining the Blogosphere

A couple items showed up in the e-bag today relevant to the ongoing discussion about sustaining the blogosphere (a.k.a. getting paid.) The question confronting bloggers is the same as that confronting any other content generator on the web – how to monetize the content you produce.

One obvious answer is advertising, but that hasn’t been terribly successful on the local level. Rather than go into detail about why, I just note that internet advertising is still as new as, well, the internet. It’s taking a while to develop advertising strategies that fit the medium.

And so I’m always on the lookout for stories like the following. Christian Science Monitor ran a story about bloggers making money from “contextual advertising,” which sounds impressively cutting edge until you realize they are talking about Google Ads. Still, it’s nice to see some people supplement their incomes and justify their blogging with what they get from ads. And the article turned me on to, which I’m just beginning to explore.

The other article, from Sunday's New York Times Mag, is about an online marketing site for Budweiser called The site itself sounds too insufferably testosterone fueled to be interesting in its own right. But it’s at least potentially interesting for what it represents: creative thinking about how to use the new and burgeoning capabilities of the internet. We’re just skimming the surface of what’s possible here. We in creative online communities should keep close watch on such ventures, looking for lessons and pitfalls.


ohdave said...

In the long term advertising revenue will increase and more bloggers will be able to get paid. But it will still be a relatively small minority of bloggers who derive substantial income from their work. I suspect bloggers will eventually get paid by doing things outside of blogging which their blogging helps promote. Glenn Greenwald is an example here; he is making a living from his book and working on another one; his blog promotes his book. People want to read his book because of his blog. Now trying to blog full time as he does and write full time as well is a tough gig. But good bloggers are good writers, and many will end up deriving income from traditional print media.

Not to discount what you're saying, though. Bloggers have to keep working to make a living at what they do.

bonobo said...

Date Description Amount Account Balance
11/30/2006 Earnings
(Nov 1 - Nov 30) 2.77 2.77
12/31/2006 Earnings
(Dec 1 - Dec 31) 1.12 3.89
1/31/2007 Earnings
(Jan 1 - Jan 31) 2.12 6.01

Given my Google AdSense Account, I have not yet quit my day job.