Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peer Influence, Association Bloggers and New Advertising Models

A few things have happened lately that have me wondering about blog revenue models and opportunities for association-related businesses.

First thing that happened was that I decided to stop running BlogHer ads on this blog because I was making a whopping $3 a month and having to dedicate a huge portion of my right sidebar to ads that were of no real relevance to my readers. There are enough things in life that are not optional--like answering to a boss (if you're me and not interested in working for yourself)--but having to get emails from BlogHer telling me that my ad block has moved too far down the page and can I please move it up? Sorry but having to answer to someone else about the layout of my own blog? So I can earn $3 a month? Yeah, thanks but no thanks--I'll pass.

So there's that. Clearly the BlogHer ad model doesn't work for bloggers like me--who don't have millions of views per month but who have a decent following of loyal readers.

Then I read this post about Peer Influence Analysis. I'm going to make you read the post because there's a lot of good info there, but the thing that stuck out at me was this point: people's influence on each other rivals online advertising. And this one: peer impressions are more credible than advertising, since they come from friends.

So if I'm active in the association space and my blog is read by other association professionals, wouldn't that mean that maybe companies whose target audience is my blog audience might want to advertise on my blog? And/or other association bloggers blogs? How would something like that work? Could it work? Or would it be conceived as unethical--association staff taking money from vendors on their personal blogs but remaining impartial when it comes to any business relationship in the context of their jobs? And, for that matter, what about associations buying ads on their members' blogs? Or trading a discount on conference registration or products in exchange for ads for a meeting or product?


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