the starting page: NotesA6Feb2009
drafted by RyanWells, BridgetCorson, and AngelaWalker

Chapter 6: Blogging Brands

This chapter focuses on blogs in use for marketing purposes, including methods for making money on blogs, who makes the money and why, and other related topics. For example, in the chapter introduction, Rettburg briefly mentions the tendency for many individual bloggers to make money off of ads that are conveniently placed on their blogs.

The Human Voice
  • "Markets are conversations," from The Cluetrain Manifesto. The internet, as such, can be thought of as a conversation.
  • By the time of the release of Cluetrain, blogs barely existed...but other web "conversations" did.
  • Cluetrain was written by consumers taking part in the new web conversation, and made it clear that businesses had better start taking part in it as other mediums begun to decline in popularity.
  • Trevor Cook argues that blogs enable free speech between corporations and consumers. He also argues that the blogs in question must maintain certain journalistic values like integrity and honesty.
  • Most bloggers do indeed follow typical journalistic values, and professional ones have to try even harder to do so. In particular, professional bloggers must be careful to separate the "sponsored" content from the editorial content to maintain their audiences and keep a sense of integrity on their blog.
  • Individual bloggers make money from advertisement on their personal blogs. Companies are moving toward advertisement on blogs because more people are spending time on the internet. Spammers make money by creating fake blogs.

Advertisements on Blogs
  • Bloggers currently make half a billion U.S. dollars.
  • was the first blog to contain advertising. It included small text-only advertisements. Today, most blogs are considered a hobby so only the most popular ones provide income for the authors.
  • In the beginning, readers complained about the addition of advertisements to blogs. Today, it is common to see text and graphical advertisements.
  • Some companies give bloggers a percentage of sales if the customer linked to the companies website through the blog.

  • Jason Kottke asked readers to become micropatrons by contributing a small amount of money to read his blog so he wouldn't have to add advertisements.
  • Kottke was able to sustain his blog for a year with such contributions, but only one in three hundred readers contributed
  • Kottke ultimately suggested advertisements as a better means of money-making

Sponsored Posts and Pay-to-Post
  • Companies have paid bloggers a monthly wage to blog about their products. Most of the bloggers felt forced to blog and didn't enjoy the experience.
  • Because blogging is so new, there are numerous questions about which journalism laws apply to bloggers. Many think that sponsored posts are against the typical journalistic "integrity."
  • Though bloggers have been critical of services like PayPerPost, it has been successful.
  • PayPerPost has a policy for its bloggers to disclose the amount they're being paid and when they're being paid.

Corporate Blogs
  • Corporations want blogs to boost their income by generating new attention for their products or services, rather than making money by sponsoring a blog or placing ads.
  • These corporations also want to build their credibility and their customers' trust for them
  • Blogs are a way for companies to interact directly with their customers
  • Getting indexed by search engines like Google is important. There are many ways to tweak a website to become noticed and indexed, some of which are unethical, like spam comments.

Engaging Bloggers
  • Micropatronage, sponsored posts and ads are ways that bloggers can make money.
  • Most companies and their advertisers consider these methods largely unprofitable, but companies like Stormhoek have become very successful in blogging to increase business.
  • To be successful, bloggers like the ones for Stormhoek must engage their readers in conversations.
  • One example of a successful engaging technique is Stormhoek's tendency to give readers tasks to solve.
  • "Blogs are a social form of writing, and don't work well in a vacuum."

Corporate Blogging Gone Wrong
  • Not disclosing when a blog is sponsored is a good way to loose trust, like what happened to a Wal-Mart sponsored blog.
  • Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has created guidelines for its members to follow
  • Some companies, like Nikon, avoid Wal-Mart's folly by insisting on honesty from bloggers that write about their products.

a demo of refactoring a notes page using stubs

[note as of 10:26, Weds. This page is slowly becoming an entry point into an essay or article or pages on TheHumanVoice and TheCorporateVoice - a look at the differences in interaction between individual bloggers and between corporate bloggers and their markets.]

from Rettberg, chap 6

BloggingBrands is the title of Chapter 6 of Blogging, by Jill Rettberg [link]. The chapter looks at how blogs are used for marketing purposes, including methods for making money on blogs, who makes the money and why. [a chapter summary, with links, written as free standing]

[more here later: needs to sum up the issues this page introduces and develops]

Rettberg: The idea of "Markets are conversations" was introduced by TheCluetrainManifesto in 1999. The internet can be seen as a conversation. Rettberg looks at how that idea has been adapted by corporations and businesses and marketers with respect to consumers. Before TheClueTrainManifesto, web conversations took place between people who defined their relationship as suited them. Cluetrain encouraged businesses to get into the exchange as an equal to the other participants.

But in entering the exchange, business defined the others they want to talk as consumers. This is not a symmetrical exchange.

[move this section to its own topic and develop it further.
TheClueTrainManifesto is a free to read book. The entire text is online here. The fast way in to the ideas of Cluetrain are here: People of earth, and the 95 Theses.]

This is to say that CorporateBlog and TheCorporateVoice developed as something different than the TheHumanVoice.

All voices are motivated and implicitly articulate their own interests. Rettberg points out that corporations use blogs to boost business by generating attention for products or services and to build their credibility and their customers' trust for them. Blogs are a way for companies to interact more or less directly and individually with customers.


Corporate Blogging Gone Wrong
Sponsored Posts and Pay-to-Post

Sponsored and editorial content

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