Duncan Riley> I read with interest an article over at ValleyWag (the new Gawker site with the horrible logo and where you cant comment without an invite….Nick I’m waiting for mine…) today which unfortunately appeared to be nothing more than an attack piece on Tony Perkins’ Always On network. The article compares Always On to Techchrunch using Alexa. The article claims that Perkins’ charges to much for his advertising relative to his traffic, but also makes the point:
Tony has CEOs and VCs pay to write about themselves for a site that is largely read by other CEOs and VCs.
The question therefore becomes not one of quantity but one of quality. If you’ve got a blog or website that has as its readership CEO’s and VC’s then its an audience advertisers are willing to pay a premium to target.
But lets play with the figures a little bit. The Blog Herald doesn’t have the largest readership in the world, but it’s primary audience are bloggers and people who are interested in following blogging news (blog network owners, probloggers, smaller bloggers who are giving things a go, people from outside blogging who want to follow the blogosphere). Lets compare The Blog Herald to Always On and Tech Crunch:
Yep, The Blog Herald has a similar number of readers as that of the Always On network, and yet if I received 1/20th of the advertising revenue Always On receives I’€™d be going really well.
Darren posted yesterday over at Problogger asking readers to comment about what blogging skills they are missing. Looking at it honestly I’€™d think my biggest deficiency has always been adequate moneterization. Sure, I make some reasonable money from The Blog Herald, and I am capable of giving reasonable advice to others on the subject (although I’d note its from an all-round experience from other blogs as well..ask Darren at Problogger how much he makes at Problogger for example :-) ), but given the target audience at The Blog Herald I should be doing a lot better. It was one of the reasons I put The Blog Herald on the market, and at the time of writing we’re having some difficulties finalizing the sale as well (if you are interested in the sale side email [email protected]). With somebody who is in North America who can contact and talk to potential advertisers, The Blog Herald could be doing at least 2 to 3 times better on revenue returns than it is now, if not 5 to 10 times. Indeed, if I could find an exclusive advertiser for the site (I’d drop every other paid ad, Google/ BlogAds, text links, you name it) who’d pay me between $3-$5k in advertising for the month, I’d try to back out of the sale, keep the site, and work a darn site harder in producing more content, and probably go and spend some money on getting a new template professionally design as well to maximise the exclusive ad deal returns to the advertiser.
But now I’m rambling a bit. Quantity is good, but quality is also important. When I first talked to a few people about selling The Blog Herald, I found that people outside of blogging don’t get the quality bit, and I guess they never will. Sure, Always On doesn’t have the highest traffic stats out there, but it would also happen to have the highest quality of audience compared to just about any other site, and ValleyWag seems to miss this point as being the defining feature of the Always On business model in an attempt to basically take a shot at Tony Perkins.
The flip side of course is true. If your an advertiser selling T-Shirts go for a high traffic political or celebrity blog. If your selling a $300 odd dollar blogging course (like Darren Rowse and Andy Wibbels recently did) you’ll not be interested in quantity alone, but the quality of the traffic. The best advertising campaigns are never mass market, they are targeted, and the same holds true in the blogosphere.