Ad Friendly Blog

(Image from The Daily Etsian)

There has been a lot of discussion about my PR Friendly Blogs Are The New Infomercial post. The people reeling against my thesis are mostly those with a PR Friendly tag on their blog or Twitter account.

So here’s how to solve the problem and make some honest money with your mommy blog, daddy blog or personal blog. Instead of being PR Friendly, try being Advertiser Friendly. Try being Client Friendly.

My blog network mostly relies on AdSense for revenue. I also belong to TextLinkAds and I have tried a few affiliate programs without much success. I have blogs because I like to write and share stories. I have something to say, I have an opinion to offer, I have insight. If I can make enough money to drop in a US savings account to blow at CES in Las Vegas every year, I’m winning.

Only one of my blogs, DadCAMP, actively solicits relationships with brands. It’s a parenting blog, a genre filled with opportunities for brand relationships to happen. So to tap in to those opportunities, I placed an Advertise link and page on the site.

DadCAMP has an audience. DadCAMP has influence. If a brand wants access to that audience, it comes at a price – not a product.

By being Advertiser Friendly I’m still asking for clients and partners to engage with my audience, but I’m seeking out business relationship with the clients, not free samples to play with, keep or giveaway.

When you’re Advertiser Friendly, you’re actually placing more value and legitimacy in your content.

Traditional media does this all the time. When somebody is giving away something on a radio station or on a television news program or in the newspaper it’s not just because they walked up with tickets to giveaway

Traditional media offers up the giveaways as added value on top of the thousands of dollars the client makes in the ad buy. It says “Hey we’re in business together you spend thousand dollars advertising on my radio station newspaper or TV show. I’ll give you some added value by doing extra mentions through giveaway.”

PR companies send bags of treats to dj’s all the time hoping for plugs on air. But if we were to give a plug in exchange for free donuts every time they showed up, we’d be devaluing the real clients who actually pay for access to the audience via commercials. This is what bloggers do – they do the plugs for peanuts. You can’t get the real business relationships if the PR companies know they can get access to your audience for a simple gift basket.

It’s magnified when bloggers get into the giveaway scheme too. Not only does the PR company get the original blog review, they get their message spread virally through your audience with the giveaway. They are not taking advantage of you once, they’re magnifying it with the word of mouth. Sure, it looks like a win-win for you and your readers, but it’s the PR company that’s winning.

Giveaways are great, but they should be saved for the clients that do real and honest business with you.

When you get paid that little gift of a teabag sample or a book or diaper bag, you’re selling yourself short. You have influence you have an audience. If somebody want access to that audience and influence, make them pay for it. Set the bar high and demand more. If more bloggers work as advertiser friendly and client friendly instead of PR friendly, we would all make more money.

We are saying our audience has monetary value, our content is honest and genuine and if you want in to this party, you’d best bring a chequebook. But that’s work. Instead of being an editor or writer, you now need to be a salesperson too. You won’t deal with the cushy PR side of the business, you’ll need to get into the business side where budgets, ROI, CPM and RPM swim.

It is still okay to have exclusive and great relationship with client and it’s still okay to be the spokesperson for a grocery store or a spokesperson for an electronics manufacturer, just remember that your brand is worth something.

JLo isn’t driving a Fiat because they just gave her a loaner for the week. Charlize Theron‘s not wearing Dior just because she got a free pair of shoes.

When you’re PR friendly you’re selling yourself short. You’re selling your audience short. You’re selling your business short. You’re selling your brand short. Demand more. If you truly have the audience, if you truly have the clout, if you truly have the influence you’ll get a lot more than a promo code for an iTunes app.

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