Follow the Ad Money…

You have probably noticed that newspapers and magazines are dwindling away.  My guess is that advertisers are turning increasingly to the Internet to reach customers.

Even in my quiet corner of Floyd County, Virginia, I am seeing some evidence that advertisers are getting increasingly serious about advertising on weblogs.

I received an email yesterday from an Online Marketing and Advertising Executive who is interested in placing an advertisement on my Making Ripples site – payment up front and an annual renewal.

A year ago, I would have jumped at the chance, but not now.

I used to get these emails from assistants and interns in advertising departments and the ads would be placed for one month at a time, so I can see that more importance is being placed on Internet Marketing and the competition for space is heating up.

Unfortunately for the advertisers, I am rethinking my whole approach regarding advertising on this weblog. I have experimented with Google ads and space ads for almost a year and I don’t think the income makes up for the negative impact on the aesthetics and the effectiveness of this weblog.

I know there is a place for ads on the Internet and I will accept ads on my more commercial websites as I find a way to do that without impacting my own message.

I will also continue to place links and ads on this website for people who have supported me or who have a product or message that aligns with mine.

I feel that content is paramount on a weblog and that anything that detracts from the presentation of the content is contra productive.

I have watched blogs that followed the path of becoming ad income producers and they become almost "content-free" except for snippets of posts from other websites. They become less interesting as the percentage of fresh original content decreases.

I think that "fresh original content" will continue to generate traffic and I intend to continue providing that for the foreseeable future. It seems to be the best way to keep in communication with readers and share my ideas with them.

The big problem for advertisers will be in learning how to tap into weblog traffic by producing relevant copy that will be read.

I think that mass media has become a world unto itself and increasingly out of touch with reality so readers are finding less and less to be interested in. The results are already coming in as can be seen below.

From the Editor and Publisher comes this gem published November 05, 2007 8:10 AM ET:

Many Top Papers Take Big Hits

NEW YORK The Audit Bureau of Circulations released circulation numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers this morning for the six-month period ending September 2007. Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains.

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