I have been asked of late to participate in a web log survey about the power of blogging and whether or not it should be used as a marketing tool. The survey actually went into far more detail about the use of blogging in marketing and it is an important point which I really wanted to get into today.
Straight off the bat I’ll tell you that I have absolutely no bones in bloggers looking to make some cash from marketing, not at all, but it should be done right and that comes from both the side of the blogger and the side of the digital agency.
There are no rules of course but in the interest of ethics I wanted to put my point forward.
One danger which we all must become aware of is the point at which marketing becomes more important than content, and this will happen with some blogs. There will be bloggers out there who have a site which has done well and then their eyes light up with dollar signs. When this happens there is a danger that their blog becomes less about the genuine content which they once cared so deeply about, and instead just becomes a farmyard of different ads and plugs. I know that I could do the odd software or product review, keep fit transparent and I’d maintain my readership, if however 2 in every 3 pieces of content were for marketing you’d all notice pretty quickly and likely switch off.
Another risk which we do run here is that marketing agencies may look to cut out the middle man and lance their very own blogs. They could buy links off others to boost the blog’s profile and they could then simply market themselves under anonymous names. This would diminish what we are trying to do as bloggers and what all of us work so hard to achieve, it would also starve us of potential earnings.
In a topic world here is what would happen, a manufacturer would come to me with their brand new phone and ask me to write a review, they send it out, I play around with it for a week or so and think ‘this is a great product’. Once I have reached that conclusion I will jump on here and write a honest review in order to let my followers know what the scoop is. I keep the phone which will be my payment, you guys receive some marketing, albeit marketing which I think will help, and the phone company sees a kick in sales. That is how marketing should be done, and the same should happen if I don’t like the phone because I must ensure trust between myself and the company and myself and the readers.
This is a wonderful opportunity for bloggers and marketers alike, I do worry however that if things are not respected and done in the right way, that the opportunity may turn sour.