Weblogs have taken a place in the information and money streams surrounding companies. It means that there are new opportunities for both companies, webloggers and weblogservices to attain a place in this new eco system. I had fellow webloggers in mind when writing this posting.
The schema as drawn below is a simple schema which just shows the main streams which currently make up the Blogging world. I will explain the streams by the numbered list right under the image.
(1) The first stream is the so called “CEO Blog” where the CEO of a company runs a weblog and by doing this directly communicates to end-users circumventing other communication channels. In doing so they might have a direct impact on the customer’s view of the company (PR) and it provides a way of breaking out of group-think, touching ground. It is a communication and information channel only used for personal or strategic purposes. There is no direct sales involved. In many cases the blog is part of a company blog system where many employees have the opportunity to run a blog within the Intranet. Note that customers are often allowed to leave comments on the blogpostings so there is an information stream back.
Examples CEO’s: Jonathan Schwartz (SUN); Bob Parson (GoDaddy); Christian Lindholm (Nokia)
Opportunities: Consultancy on Blogging Tactics, SEO and implementation of Blog Software, if you are a CEO start a blog
(2) The marketing teams currently have the option to focus on
a) a small set of weblogs who reach a huge amount of their potential customers (3). These blogs are paid for writing about products or get products from the marketing teams for reviews. In most cases it are the blogs who rank within the top 10.000 of the Technorati rankings and have a high Technorati Authority ranking;
b) a set of weblogs who don’t rank high in Technorati but are specialized on a certain niche market and are therefore also interesting for marketing
c) weblogs who are available to post about a product or service and either contact the marketing team directly or offer clear options on their blogs for this (e.g. via services as PayPerPost Direct or directly).
Note that regular ads where there is just an advertisement is clearly a possibility but has a scope further than alone weblogs, in this case Bloggers are being paid for either views or clicks on the ad.
Example top Technorati Blogs: Engadget, Gizmodo, Techcrunch
Opportunities: start niche blogging on subjects that are interesting money wise, provide a direct “blogposting about your company” option and approach companies in your niche, offer innovate ways in offering information on the product or service via your blogchannel, sign-up with Direct Posting Services, become big and beat engadget
(4) The marketing teams can also use an intermediair. The Intermediair has a portfolio of blogs and handles marketing, payments and more. Bloggers (5) just sign up with the Intermediar and either get offers via the Intermediar or search an online marketplace for offers that fit. They write about the product or service and via this wide array of different blogs totally new audiences can be reached (6). Note that regular ads where there is just an advertisement is clearly a possibility but has a scope further than alone weblogs, in this case Bloggers are being paid for either views or clicks on the ad.
Example Intermediairs: smorty, reviewme, payperpost, loudlaunch, blogvertise, sponseredreviews, payu2blog, blogtoprofit, blogitive, creamaid, bloggerwave, linkworth, blogcatalog, linkylovearmy
Opportunities: either start your own intermediair if you are in a niche focal point situation or are in a country where there are no Intermediairs yet, sign up with all possible intermediairs to earn $100 a day writing paid articles.
(7) As with Marketing, the sales units of companies have
a) access to the biggest blogs overall and the biggest niche blogs. Via direct contacts they offer a share of the sale (associate programs) or other inventive sharings of the profit. These “associate program ads” are then integrated within the postings.
b) offer associate programs via their site by which they offer a share on each profit or profits for anyone who want to sign up (or via a selection program where factors as language, niche, PR ranking, Technorati ranking, Alexa ranking, amount of unique visitors, unique pageviews, amount of RSS readers take a role). The difference with regular usage of associate programs is that the weblog will integrate the “ad” in their postings e.g. a review on the new Harry Potter book will integrate the associate link to the Amazon product page of this book.
In general the readers of the blogs (8) will create a profit for the weblog webmaster when they click an ad and sign up for a service or buy a product (16)
Example Associate programs: Amazon, the Affiliate program directory
Opportunities: sign-up with associate programs corresponding to your niche, integrate associate content in your site, focus on click-throughs for products and services of affiliates, create new blogs on high-paying advertisers, start an affiliate or advertisers directory, start an affiliate program
Bloggers (10) can also find many intermediairs who handle a part or all of the relation ad-company. The most famous example is Google Ads who displays ads depending on the content of the blogposting. The advertisers (9) sign up with the Intermediair and the intermediair handles most of the communication, payments, selection and placement of the ads. Affiliate Intermediairs offer a more direct portfolio of advertisers who are looking for affiliates. For most ads Readers (11) will generate revenue for the blog by just clicking the ad, for most associate programs the Reader will actually have to buy a product or take a service (e.g. 5% of the audience clicks on the ad and 5% of this actually leads to a sale).
Many Product Development units or employees at a company working on products or providing services around it, are using the blog as a mainstream communication channel (12) for about 2 years now. Sometimes they are in direct contact with specific bloggers (13), providing extra info, beta news, specific products by which the blog in question only will florish and will reach a wider audience (14), which is, in the end, good for everyone in the eco system. The revenue here is indirect and can be seen as a CRM initiative. Most direct earnings are on coarses, conferences and books.
(15) With all of these blogs making revenue and this complete blog ecosystem, it opens the door for a new business area: the blogservices. They provide specific hosting, content, guidance, SEO support, consultancy, books, tools, payment channels, etc.. Ofcourse there are weblogs operating in this area which are florishing on the rise of professionalization of the weblog.
Examples: Problogger, doshdosh,
Opportunities: start your own “pro tips seo blog”, start a service for webloggers, write a book about it, become famous and start speaking in public on blogs, set up a weblog directory, start a technorati ranking like service, do something social bloggers get together and gain money