"The blogging empire is temporarily welcoming a new site into its fold that’s written and paid for by HBO to promote the network’s noir vampire drama, True Blood. And the word “advertisement” won’t appear anywhere in the project’s vicinity."
I'm gonna say it.
I've been blogging in the "sponsored post" arena since November 2007, and there has not been one minute that it has not been controversial. Initially and I was late to the party by at least 18 months, all sponsored posting was baaaad. Only bad people with bad intentions did paid blogging without the blog post itself screaming "I'm an advert!!! She's getting money to write this!"
admit I had not thought through what the ethical implications were to
writing short blog posts which pushed products. I didn't think it was
doing any harm as I talked about what I thought of the product or
simply talked about the product in the days where I was assigned work
that if I turned it down I would get no further work.
literally did not care what I wrote. They simply wanted me to insert a
link. So for example, if I had to write about a diet supplement I would
talk of the dangers of dieting and if you ever did use a product like
"X" do so only under your doctor's care.
Frankly, I was glad when that company told me to choose them or another another company to work for. The other other company told me to work for whomever I pleased. Guess who I chose? At the same time, in fact years before, Google was getting very agitated because companies that had bloggers share their opinions about products got free "Google" juice when a "do follow" link was used in the post. That means, to make it very simple, that the company pushing a product was in direct competition with Google's Adsense when it came to search engine results that Internet users would get.Huge no-no in the land of GOOG. Again, I totally had no idea that what I was doing was in violation of Google search engine rules. They stripped me of PageRank which is a metric which is considered to be a short-hand way of telling the world what your blog is worth.
11/2007, I've made over $4000 doing paid blogging some with "do follow"
links and here now only with "nofollow" links. There are
no ads on this blog that violate Google's policy. I only very occasionally
write adverts here and all of them have a big honking in-post badge
saying I got paid, along with the non-Google juice producing nofollow
links. I might add that I'm offered many posts per pay for decent money but the advertisers do not want me to disclose that I'm writing an advert. So I never write them. For one, I'm acutely aware that I'm being used (for my Page Rank! I feel so dirty!). They want to take advantage of my PageRank so they get sweeter link juice--for about a week--because that's when Google will strip me of my PageRank and if I have anything to say about that, it's not going to happen. I know better now.
If you read an ad on this blog you'll know it's an ad. And this is important, too: I hand-pick all my ads. As I said, I turn down money each day--and that's really painful, believe me. But I'm preserving my PageRank and my integrity.That's the other part of Gawker's experiment (their wording) that I find intriguing. Will they too lose PageRank? One would think that the Blood Copy ads will be in violation of Google's rules. I know I'm staying tuned in order to see what happens when one of the big guys does what the little guys got crushed for.
Lastly, Gawker is utilizing paid blogging to advertise one of my favourite shows. I have to be honest. I'm excited about this. I'm interested to see how it plays out, yes and I'm curious to hear what kind of reception the advertising gets from various fronts but most importantly from the consumer because friends, despite being told as we grew up that the Hokey-Pokey was what "it" is all about, that is simply not true. In this great land of consumers what it is all about is selling stuff, the more stuff the better. The ways of selling are changing at a dizzying rate. With newspapers, magazines, and television losing ground in the advertising wars, those that want to sell stuff need to be willing to experiment with a variety of venues. That's what it's all about, folks.
Entries from the blog, BloodCopy, will appear as cross-posts in the mix of Gawker Media’s eight verticals, which include Gizmodo, Kotaku, and the flagship. They’ll be set off by a border and labeled as BloodCopy posts but otherwise indistinguishable from editorial content — except that the blog is written by an undead, bloodsucking ghoul.
“With vampires, we thought we could be a little looser with the disclosure and create some disbelief,” Chris Batty, Gawker’s vice president of sales and marketing, told me yesterday, dismissing critics of the advertorial as “humorless.” He also made a bold prediction that surprised me so much I made sure to confirm I’d heard correctly:
“If we’re around in three or four years,” Batty said, “the majority of our advertising revenue will be in sponsored posts like this.”