This article will not look at how to create or market your blog. It will simply look at how to market yourself on other people's blogs through paid blog advertisements. It will look at the big blog ad companies out there and then look at how a company can use them (hopefully with as little cash as possible) to promote its products. I will also look at how viral campaigns catch on in the blogosphere and how you can create some free cyberbuzz by letting your PR blow across it.
I have written several articles on social media optimization that discuss a number of ways to utilize it for marketing purposes. Studying social media optimization has to be intense, hands on, and ongoing. But there is one part that I simply mentioned and did not go into, called blog marketing. When all is said and done, apart from the big community sites, we have to look at the little community sites and the not-so-little communities that they are spawning. But first .. the bad news.
The Bad News
The bad news is that paid bloggers anchor their marketability to factors beyond their control. Indicators, like Alexa rankings and Google Page rank, are touted by bloggers eager to one-up their competition and get themselves a cut of the advertising dollars. This has led to web sites like www.searchking.com and www.payperpost.com facing difficulties because Google hand-picked them and their publishers for downgrading in terms of PageRank and possibly in their rankings.
This could lead to the destruction of several blogging networks if bloggers were to decide to take their business out of these networks (which may not be a bad thing). The Google downgrading of blogs that use PR as a marketing tool has even been going on with small web sites that sell text links. I'm noting their fall from grace in terms of PageRank and SERPs.
The Real Bad News
Another piece of bad news is the total lack of discrimination that the blogs exhibit when pursuing the almighty dollar. To put it simply, blogs are not picky. Fortunately, most networks do not support adult web sites, but the same cannot be said of gambling sites and online "Viagra" sites. Not to knock our SEO friends who promote such sites, but the total lack of discrimination puts tech posts right next to online poker posts and MMA posts (a top Payperpost blogger).
With total disregard for categories and themes (check this out), I seriously wonder how many visits these blogs get and how long people spend on them. Needless to say, right now blog ads are getting a bad name, but as a model they probably will be around for a long time. It is a good idea to use them as part of any focus in social media, both paid and free.
We will look at other blog networks (like www.techcrunch.com) that have built networks and individual super blogs that draw a lot of traffic, like www.problogger.net. First, let's look at whether blogging ads serves any purpose.