Northern Voice: Is Advertising Killing Blogging

Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Even though the wifi is chugging along today, and Flickr is jammed up like the Port Mann bridge at rush hour, here we are in the session. James Sherrett of AdHack is leading, “Is Advertising Killing Blogging“.

Update: Starting off with full-on participation from the audience, getting some views about advertising. Do you have ads? Are you a non-commercial contributor? Do you feel pressure to put ads on your site? Do you have a personal blog and feel it’s not right? Do you have ads on your archives? In your feed? Are they unobtrusive? Are your ads for major profit or just to cover your hosting?

Side note: Ads on contribute towards hosting and site costs. I’ll have a blog post up soon enough about my trials and horrible experiences with hosting. Thanks to some great ad contributors (all Vancouver-related and a great fit for my site) I’ve been able to make the move to a reliable (knock on wood) host this past month.

My big question is how am I improperly using adsense? I mean I really don’t want to saturate my site with ads but seriously, after 12 months I’ve just touched the $50 mark with Google… and they still only pay out at $100/month.

Update: More input from the audience is going up on the board, “I have ads but basically in exchange for free stuff”, “I haven’t found ads that don’t look hideous”. I just overhead someone say they charge $500/week for ads on their site. HOLY dinah! (to quote Keira). Am I undercharging (I don’t think I am) or are some people just REALLY ambitious??

On that note, I just went to that website and they’re an aggregator that is scraping content from my friends’ websites… so they’re charging loads for advertising on their site whose content is purely taken and copied from our websites. Wow. I mean I’m a little off topic here but maybe I should ask about this if there’s a Q&A later.

Photo Credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Back on topic, reasons people don’t have ads: “clutter”, “ugly”, “what about kids, would the ads be appropriate?” on the ‘yes’ side, “we have a tip jar”. This session is currently being streamed on Ustream.

Speaking to the subject of aggregators, we have two sides of the argument. The one I mentioned above where I get no links and no ad money but then someone mentioned Google – they refer tons of traffic to your site and they’re making a heck of a lot more money than you. I think speaking to that, a lot of aggreators scoop FULL posts – Google doesn’t. Also, Google links, a lot of aggregators don’t and they just purely violates licensing etc. It’s a whole other ball of wax but in greatful for the lively discussion in the room and seeing both sides and perspectives. I (heart) Northern Voice.

James just asked for a show of hands, “how many of you then think that advertising is killing blogging?” One hand raises.

Update: Oh crap. I just realized that I hadn’t even PUBLISHED this post yet. Crap. So much for “live” blog. It’s up now.

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9 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Sameer VastaSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 11:35am PST

    This session was one of my favorite sessions at NV08 so far. Really got me thinking about how I’m implementing advertising on my blogs.

  2. Sameer VastaSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 11:35am PST

    This session was one of my favorite sessions at NV08 so far. Really got me thinking about how I’m implementing advertising on my blogs.

    And $500 per ad per week? Wowsa!

  3. SimonSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 11:43am PST

    What’s the url for the aggregator?

  4. KevinSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 12:43pm PST

    And of all those people with advertizing – how many folks actually made any money? I bet only a very few have, and it wasn’t much.

  5. ScottSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 1:29pm PST

    I watched the presentation too and it finally addressed the one issue which has been bugging me: When you go to some sites there is so much friggin advertising that you can’t read the content. If you are more concerned with making money of your blog than actually writing something useful, then get the f*&k off the net – because you are killing the blogosphere.

    Good post Rebecca.

  6. John ChowSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 3:10pm PST

    So that’s what they replaced my session with! I made an offer to speak about making money from blogging and they said no. Something about money and blog being evil. Oh well. You guys can as “pure” as you want.

    I do have a questions for anyone who say blogs shouldn’t have ads. How many of you would be saying that if your blog made $30,000 a month like my blog? $500 a week? Ha! Try $500 per blog post. 😛

  7. Jeffery SimpsonSaturday, February 23rd, 2008 — 3:38pm PST

    John, I don’t think anyone would argue that blog + money = evil at least nobody I ever met. Sure some people are wealthy enough they can run their blog out of their pocket for more nobel reasons, but I do think that most people would be eager to find reasonable ways to make some money off of their online work.


    As much as I might be Bloggy McBloggerson I’m from a fairly old school press background where the ad sales department was seperated by an invisible wall from the sales department. I’m incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of taking money to write content on my blog. If BMW, just randomly, wanted to pay me to write for BMW’s blog then sure I’d do that. I’m a freelance writer and I’m willing to sell my soul. But if BMW wanted me to write nice things about them on my own site I’d have an issue with that because it’s my site.

    That’s why though I took part in the Matchstick promo for the Nokia phone upon reflection I made sure that they were clear that if I thought the phone was shit I’d be quite willing to say that. And I actually was overally positive about the phone I did point out that for a phone marketed for blogging it had a great deal of limitations.

  8. BethSunday, February 24th, 2008 — 1:05pm PST

    There’s a bit of a discussion about the $500 a week ads on that site over on my blog. Apparently she wasn’t too happy that I expressed my displeasure over this.

  9. Miss604Sunday, February 24th, 2008 — 3:41pm PST

    Thanks for the link Beth, there’s some great discussion over there! 🙂

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