Sunday, August 15, 2010

Selling space on blogs

A word to the Lebanese companies who are interested in investing money on online digital marketing:

This thought has crossed my mind (and many bloggers' I presume) many times before, but I used to always dismiss it. Every blogger's dream would be to make a living from their blog, and I don't deny that this sounds very tempting to me.

Anyway, I know for a fact that many companies (and individuals) have been very interested in the Lebanese bloggers and blogosphere, and this Aggregator has provided them with the right tool to look into this blogosphere and see what blogs are popular, and what blogs draw the attention of a certain type of audience etc...

2 ways to deal with this whole online marketing:

  • We as bloggers in Lebanon are being heard, we report what we see as is, we don't sugar coat or lie. We have become a sort of united voice on many fronts (Municipal elections, Leb Laique secular march, environmental, blog in Arabic initiative, billboards critiques, justice, ICT Law in Lebanon, etc..). Consequently, there is a high possibility that many bloggers wouldn't mind testing products, trying out restaurants, reviewing services etc... (you get the drift), but you should also note that an honest opinion will be given here.
  • Our blogs (some of us) have a wide range of audience, they either come regularly on their own, or they come after we promote our posts through various mediums (e.g. facebook, twitter, email, ...)  and these mediums result with a very high turn. Therefore, our space is out there for the world (Lebanon) to see, and I suggest you contact those bloggers, and check whether you can place an ad on their blogs or not.

Another point I would like to make is that, this post is completely my own doing, I did not involve any other blogger in this brainstorming, nevertheless, the idea of selling space on a blog or viral marketing is not new, and that's why I thought it would be a good idea to point it out to the Lebanese market. Please take note that some bloggers would probably not be interested in selling space.

Good luck with your online marketing, I think you should just go ahead and realize that we are in the social media era and it is time for you to get going.. digitally.

p.s. I am offering my online services if anyone's interested ;) (you saw that coming no?)
p.s.s. Oh and we do it with passion


Danielle said...

While I agree with you that it would be any bloggers dream to make money off of their blog, I think that selling advertising space on our blogs in the form of posts or reviews has to be done with care.

I'm thinking back to the time when a number of bloggers wrote a review about Amethyste lounge, do you remember that? ;) Well, if I remember correctly, readers weren't too happy that 1. we had all blogged about the same restaurant/topic 2. they didn't like the fact that our posts had a hidden agenda (advertising)..

How do we solve this problem then? As I really think that us bloggers would like to be compensated for our efforts, and I also think that we shouldn't be crucified if we do so..The amount of time I spend drafting, writing, and disseminating my blog amounts to a full time job!

As in life, I think honesty is the best policy. Instead of trying to mask the fact that we have been approached by businesses for commercial/advertising purposes, I think it is best to be honest about it. Our readers appreciate our honesty, our readers keep coming back because of our honesty..honesty therefore, is the best policy.

But in traditional advertising, honesty is not always the best policy (if it was, agencies would have no clients), hence the paradigm shift of people to digital media and user generated content for reviews on products, services, and businesses. The problem here is that, I think businesses will be reluctant to pay for space on blogs if we tell them that we will be one hundred percent honest in our review. What if the food sucks, the services is terrible, and experience over priced? Why would any business want to be reviewed in such a way? Especially taking into consideration that what we post online is pretty much permanent (unless we take it down and unless the said business has enough online content to be able to mask this one bad review)..

Will we have to guarantee them that the review will be positive if they are paying us?

What do you think?

Mich said...

Yes, we do it with great passion! It's a great idea and I'm so pleased that you have put it out there! Would love to offer online services and only blog!!! Great post! :-))

Liliane said...

Danielle, great points you made there. Yes the amethyste lounge in my opinion was badly executed, but funny thing was that we did enjoy our time there :) I think we should find a way to actually successfully go through such reviews.

As for honesty to our readers, yes, we tell them, we are doing this and not hide it.

As for honesty while reviewing, maybe this way we only get the best of the best for us to advertise for them, you know? or maybe when we go to their restaurant, they actually make sure we get a great service.

Either ways, it's our blog, we're the blogger, and we do what we see fit. It's up to the corporates to decide whether they'd want us to help spread the word about their service, product etc.. or not. They should do their job in finding the right place to advertise in the traditional for that matter...

Mich, thank you dear :) this has been on my mind for a while, and as I said in the post, I know many many companies are interested in bloggers, so why not just put it out there

Arabianism said...

Advertisers need to know if the blog is worth the investment. How many bloggers have prepared a sales pitch for their blogs? Hits, target audience, demographic, etc. I believe this is what the advertisers care about, more than the content of the blog.
I am all for blog advertisement as long as it doesn't influence the blogger's writing. Selling out is not an option.

Liliane said...

Arabianism, definitely. This post has 2 audiences, it isn't dedicate to one party alone. But because it's pretty new in our region, I guess shedding some light might open the eyes of the interested companies, also motivate the bloggers to start looking into stats and preparing a pitch knowing that a company might actually be interested. Looking into a new field or source of income that they haven't considered prior.

Pascal Assaf said...

Great Post

ArchAngeLuS said...

it is actually a great idea ,
and if applied,it should follow certain regulations just to keep the integrity of most bloggers intact and immune to the lack of it in other bloggers.

on the other hand , advertisers should keep a regular scouting mechanism to point out the efficient, and influential blogs .

It can be a win-win situation

and honestly i think Lebanonaggregator is the ideal place to start with since it is in the spotlight, and it is undoubtedly "the" reference and checkpoint for online Lebanese users/bloggers no matter where they stand , socially, politically , culturally ...etc

i hope your post gets to the right audience

Mustapha said...

You know, this is the first time I learn that the Amethyste series of blog posts was sponsored. At the time I thought It was just a weird coincidence.

In my opinion, every review should be clearly labeled, if possible in the title, as a sponsored post.

As you probably noticed, I have removed all adsense ads from my blog. My new advertising strategy is: If you become very successful, they will come. Meanwhile, enjoy blogging for its own sake :)

Rany said...

Well it's an interesting idea but unfortunately no one will pay money for an honest opinion, you might convince them to pay in case your review was positive but otherwise it's against common logic to pay for something that will paint a negative image about your company even if it's the reality.

On the other hand, you can setup a guide blog and with a good strategy become viral, then they will come to ask you to post ads on ur site.

But the right way to tackle this in my opinion is a startup! Yes a web/mobile ads startup that will link the blogosphere to the potential advertisers. I don't think that this type of business is very developed in the middle east region, so there's a nice opportunity here that doesn't require huge investments nor a big team.
What do u think?

(PS:if things go well, in a couple of years google will make an acquisition, and your lamborghini will be parked in front of your home, "akh ya albi" mesh heik? :P :D)

Chantal said...

Thank you Funky for this lovely post & your great ideas!!

Liliane said...

Rany, that's actually a very good idea. w min timmak la beb el sama concerning google's acquisition lol

Mustapha, well if blogging becomes a duty for me, i would stop it immediately.

Chantal :)

Archangelus, well of course advertisers should do their side of the research and investigations! good luck to everyone i guess :)

I have to admit though, there are many practical ideas in the comments, hopefully I will compile them in a new post

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