Chris Brogan in blog monetization shocker!

Today’s post is about something I saw on Chris Brogan’s blog.  It left me really curious about the different opinions people have, regarding what is OK, and what is not, when it comes to blog advertising.

Monetizing this blog

This is a commercial blog, which generates 6 figures in income every year for my business.  Because I hardly ever put an affiliate link into my posts, have just 1 sponsor and no ads, the blog gives the impression to many readers that it is just an Aladdin’s Cave of free marketing information; rather than an Aladdin’s Cave of free marketing information, which pays my bills.  Trust me though, Jim’s Marketing Blog is very much a commercial site.

Other bloggers use different monetization approaches.  One of these is Chris Brogan from chrisbrogan.com.  Chris’ blog uses a number of effective monetization models.  These include ads, affiliate links and the promotion of his services.

Chris Brogan: A few extra ads in 1 popular post

I read a post on Chris Brogan’s blog today, where he felt the need to explain why he inserted some additional ads into a blog post he wrote, which he knew would attract a lot of traffic.  He then went on to offer a 2nd version of that post, with the ads removed for people who were offended!

You can see the shocking, original version of the post here.

CAUTION: Contains advertising some people may find useful!

I’m amazed that over a decade into the evolution of blogging, we still have people, who manage to get angry when a blogger does a form of advertising that they don’t like.  In this instance, Chris’ crime against blogging was to insert 4 ads into a very long blog post, which he knew would attract a lot more traffic than his usual posts.  This was a step too far for some of his readers, though many others said they used the opportunity to click his links and make purchases.

I find those very different responses to the same blog post really interesting.

It seems some blog readers want information from blogs for free, but are offended when the blogger offers ads, so that those same readers don’t have to pay!  On the post in question, Chris’ ads were clearly identified (they were banners) and the ads were for products, which he is strongly associated with and which appear on his site all the time.  Other readers saw the exact same post with the ads and were motivated to click and buy.  Same post, totally different response.

Payback?

If we read a blog on a regular basis, which we find useful, surely we should not only welcome the ads, but if they are for something we are thinking of buying, we should click on them too?  Now, if the ads are poorly targeted we will see them as of zero value, so no one will click on them.  The blogger will then either have to remove them, replace them or suffer the consequences.  But when the ads are targeted, they provide us with a way to repay the blogger for all the value they give us for free.

Remember: Free information on blogs is only free to the reader.  The blogger has to invest the time to create the content and the money to ensure it’s on a fast server and properly designed / maintained.

What do you think?

How do you feel about business bloggers monetizing their posts:  Is targeted advertising OK?  What about affiliate links?

I’d like to know your opinions on this!

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