Making money from blogging

Okay it’s an old topic, and the methods are not exactly new, but it’s still worth reading Mashable’s article, 3 ways to make more money blogging.  Essentially the recommendations are:
1.  Behavioural marketing and targeted content
2.  Building brand with video
3.  Sponsorship rather than advertising.

Now I’ve been promoting all three ideas for at least 5 years. The trouble with executing these idea are as follows:

1.  Behavioural marketing is limited by the Terms and Conditions under which you collected information.  If you are the usual run-of-the-mill agency who collected data only for registratin purposes, and used a stock standard contract declaring you would use that information for no other purpose then the chances are that a lot of the information you collect is functionally worthless (except in terms of your own registration process).  And even if you do find a way around your Terms and Conditions limitations (usually with a clause saying you will vary your Ts&Cs on a semi-regular basis), then really you have an obligation to ask your users if they mind you targeting them this way.  Otherwise you risk breaching the Spam Acts in force all over the world.

2.  Building brand with video is a fantastic idea.  But only if you are any good at all in creating video.  If you have no media training, don’t know how to light subjects, and have no eye for editing, then it’s highly likely that your brand will be damaged by video than enhanced.  Of course if you have any idea at all how to do video and you don’t then you’re either stupid or insane.  It’s just too easy to disseminate video for there to be any excuse at all.

3.  Sponsorship can work.  Indeed it does work.  But it doesn’t have to be separated from advertising.  Microsites and sponsorship oriented programs enable information rather than pretty pictures and bells and whistles of advertising.  Sponsorship as a revenue strategy is a retainer, so it’s secure, it provides a free channel for collaboration, so it’s productive, and it usually involves better returns for both parties.  But find me a company that is prepared to write a sponsorship contract and I’ll find you a company with reputation management issues. 

Making money from blogging is never going to be straight forward.  But the more that organisations collaborate on service provision and skilled labour, the more likely it is that we can all start making some money.  The trouble isn’t so much the revenue generation approach, it’s a cultural shift within organisations to develop a co-dependent supply chain. 

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