Blogonomics: A New Chapter

So, this weekend, Mrs. Big Picture tells me that I got a 1099 from Google for $3000. (She handles that stuff, it is not my forté).

That’s interesting, I do not recall performing any services for Google – it must be a mistake. Google Adsense is not running here, nor at the old Typepad blog nor Posterous (where I dump random stuff not deemed blog-worthy).

Ahhh, Feedburner – I forgot all about it. This was a great feed management tool that also had a nice ad sales compoenent – it used to be good for $3,000 a month. Then Google bought ‘em, replaced the ad team with Google Adsense, and boom! $1 cpms with surprisingly ugly text ads for embarrassing products (uh, no thanks). I check the bank account, and low and behold, about $300 a month has been getting direct deposited by Google.

Hmmm, go figure.

The Google revs starts me athinkin’: The entire economic model of blogs needs a reboot. There is enormous traffic, tremendous intellectual firepower, budding influence — all gravitatating to the blogosphere, and yet for most bloggers, the economics of blogging are dismal. Ad networks are okay, but only if you are one of the top 2% of blogs, and even then, they can be inconsistent.

I had a good blogonomics idea several years ago. I pitched it to numerous media outlets, but to no avail. The Street.com, NYT, Conde Nast, WSJ, CNBC. The idea was for a mainstream media outlet, with their ready-built ad sales team, to extend their advertising umbrella to the blogosphere. We bloggers provide content/inventory/page views for free — remember, the MSM is spending millions to crank out content themselves — and they provide high CPM adverts. The bloggers capture 50-60% of the revenue, and the balance goes to the MSM ad teams. For them, its cost-free content to serve the ads they sold anyway — it not only brings the MSM deeper into the internet,  it should be found money for them.

No brainer, right?

Only, not so much. There were very few takers. Wired, to their credit, tried it with the Big Picture, but one blog was too small to move the needle much for them.

But the idea makes sense. The next step is to do this with a cooperative of sorts – a network of blogs that perhaps individually may not have huge traffic, but collectively match the traffic of the NYT or the WSJ. A handful of the larger blogs, a substantial run of the up and comers, some established mid-traffic blogs, and collectively you could end up with 25 million page views per month. THAT has to be worth something to advertisers.

And if the blogs are selected carefully – avoid the SEO sites, content farms, and click whoring articles on 20 pages – you would have a tremendous grouping, with a very worthwhile audience. Well-educated, high net worth, discretionary spending, substantial investment portfolios — an advertisers wet dream.

Gee, might a network of Market/Trading/Economics blog reach that desirable audience? What is that worth to an ad buyer?

Indeed, it seems almost obvious.

So why hasn’t this been done yet? What am I missing here?

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