The days of blogger aversion to advertising on their sites are long gone, but still only a little more than half actually run ads on their blogs. Of those who do, nearly 70 percent use self-service contextual ad platforms such as Google's.
As part of its annual "State of the Blogosphere" report, blog search firm Technorati asked bloggers -- from full-time pros to once-in-awhile diarists -- about their approach to advertising, in addition to how they interact with brands on their sites.
According to the survey, 23 percent of bloggers use three or more ad platforms. Of those who include ads on their sites, 35 percent feature affiliate ad links and 10 percent run ads through a blog ad network.
A significant portion of bloggers, 46 percent, don't include ads on their sites, though. "A lot of blogs are still pretty small," said Technorati VP of Marketing Jennifer McLean. "They didn't feel like they had enough traffic yet." Perception and integrity are also a factor with some who choose not to include ads on their blogs. According to McLean, 14 percent said they believed they'd be perceived as less impartial or less credible if ads ran alongside their content.
Perhaps most surprising, 19 percent of bloggers surveyed work directly with advertisers. "A lot of them are negotiating with advertisers directly," McLean said. Still, only a small percentage actually uses an ad rep or sales force.
"The big takeaway for me was the level of sophistication that everybody is approaching their blog with," said McLean. "It's pretty good news for advertisers."
"The CPMs are pretty good," added McLean. According to the report, U.S. bloggers made an average of $5,060 in ad revenue through their blogs. However, the median income was only $200.
Of course, while many advertisers have yet to buy ads on blogs, they embrace them as forums for discussions about their brands. The report indicates why: 90 percent of bloggers said they talk about brands, and four out of five post product reviews. "Brands are a lot further along in approaching bloggers," McLean said. A third of bloggers have been approached by advertisers to be brand advocates.
About two years after the controversial pay-to-blog phenomenon started heating up, the study indicates most bloggers may not be keen on getting paid to write about specific brands. About two years after the controversial pay-to-blog phenomenon was heating up around two years ago, when firms like PayPerPost and ReviewMe were spurring interest. The study showed only 6 percent of bloggers get paid to post product reviews.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014