Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Online Advertising Strategies: Why Is Best To Invest In Blogs Rather Than On Large Traffic Sites

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If you're looking to improve your business, just give me 180 seconds and I will tell you why you should invest in blogs and not in traditional highly trafficked sites.

Photo credit: Robert Scoble

I will start by sharing with you data coming from a recent US study about online content, then I will move to heavy trafficked sites, and finally I will focus on blogs.

What I am about to say will surely knock you off the socks from your feet, placing many of your long established beliefs in a new cloud of doubt. Yes, I am here to provoke you, and hopefully to guide you to find an answer as to why your online advertising investments may have not given you back what you actually expected.

My goal is to try to show you where it would be best to invest and why. Are you ready?

Read along!

According to the non-profit organization Pew Charitable Trust, among the American youth aged between 12 and 17 years old, 57% have created content on the Internet. This means that more than 12 million young Americans have:

  • Created a blog

  • Worked on a school, friend's or organization's website

  • Exchanged content online such as graphics, photos, stories, online videos or

  • remixed contents found on the internet

The most interesting aspect of the study claims that 19% of these young Americans have their own online blog while 38% of them read them on a regular basis.

This is highly significant.

The ease of use of blogs united combined with the expressive wishes of a budding teenager create an explosive mix which doesn't only pertain to the creation of new online content.

If personal expression and strong individual emotions and opinions pass through blogs, then blogs can be a strong instrument for analyzing market trends and for marketing to specific and very niche targeted audiences.

Which blogs are read?
What blog directories are used?
Who are the bloggers featured in these directories?
Which specific online communities would be a great investment?

One of the most looked at indicators in the selection of online marketing sites has always been absolute site traffic. Do blogs change the relative importance of this variable? I believe so.

The communicative style of a blog together with the strong trust placed in it by its readers and its natural viral communication ability, enables a message sent through a blog to amplify it's scope, reach and persuasion effectiveness in a radical way.

Investing in contextual ads (such as Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network, Kanoodle) or in an advertorial in a group of niche blogs has, in my opinion, a larger selling capacity and greater potential for reach and exposure than placing all of your bets on one large traffic website.


Among many, the following are priorities.

Communication starts from a person, not a website.

Blogs are written in first person, the person communicating is perceivable. Therefore, the product is not publicized in the traditional way but rather it is made public, shared and enriched in the process. The product in question is no longer a mere promotional object but turns itself into a topic of discussion. The website turns itself into an "informative virus" able to increase understanding of the advertising message, the introductory step toward persuasion into buying.

The synergetic relationship between keywords - informative weight and referrer

What needs to be refuted is the notion that any site with heavy traffic will undoubtedly transform any product into a selling product. Those who invest in a popular, highly trafficked site think that the percentage of their selling power increases proportionally to the popularity of the site selected.

Are we really sure about this?

A site with heavy traffic attracts a lot of attention but it can also

1) increase the number of ads it displays and

2) increase the ad types and the topics covered by advertisement.

In a website full of advertisement, what is the probability that your ad will be seen?

And even if it was seen, would it be clicked on?

That all depends on:

  1. The page layout
  2. The context of the page: does your message pertain to the website's subject?
  3. What other ads are displayed (how successful can an ad about your online computer store in between ads for travel agencies?)
  4. The ad design itself (a good text-graphics ratio)

There is also another aspect I would like mention. A visitor who has become faithful to any specific website is ready to buy.

I know that this may appear a little difficult to buy into at first, but if you want to invest a little of your budget online, just try to follow my reasoning.

The loyal visitor has already made a choice on a particular site. SHe is constantly checking it.

The constant monitoring of a specific web page automatically produces cognitive paths, mental routes our brain uses to learn and remember effectively.

When I systematically go to a web site, unless the webmaster often changes the layout, my mind interprets the various visual schemes and after several visits, a so-called "blindness" occurs. Some parts of the website aren't even perceived. Banner ads are one of the areas that are usually unconsciously blanked out.

If you've understood this reasoning, please go on to really understand what I'm trying to say.

Why Invest In Blogs?

1. Keywords
Most site visits are generated by search engines using keywords or keyphrases.

A niche blog, constantly working on a specific group of keywords has a high percentage of being found with many key words specific to its own area of interest.

You might ask yourself: How will a blog without a high link popularity be found?

And my answer is: Blogs have an extremely high link popularity potential.


Because blogs are made by real people, and real people like to mention and refer to other real people. Niche bloggers refer to themselves, they often communicate between themselves, creating a connection which goes beyond their individuality.

There is an important link between bloggers and referrers and more than that between relevant search keywords. If you use your advertising budget on a series of contextual ads within a group of niche bloggers, you may have even better results than bidding through AdWords or Overture on selected key searches on your marketing subject/theme.

2. RSS Search Engines and Blog Directories

The increased use of search engines for blogs and RSS in which more relevance is given to the latest news in a specific topic, reduces somehow the heavy reliance on link popularity, therefore in an increased number of situations a blog holds the same percentage of probabilities of being found just as a website with heavy traffic.

The time has come to understand this new subject.

Investing in a group of niche blogs can really be more fruitful than investing in a single yet highly trafficked site.

1. Your message is more visible.

2. Your message has greater viral potential (there are more referrers and linkers among bloggers)

3. Your message is more relevant by being highly contextual to the content of the blog you have selected (more niche equals more selling power)

4. Your message stands out more (no flooding of ads or genres)

5. Your message is less prone to go unnoticed (by displaying it in many blogs vs. displaying it only on one site)

Advertising agencies don't allow you to what I've just suggested? Then click on our links directly. Even here on this page you can easily click on "Advertise on this site" or "Sponsor this section now" links appearing next to other ads.

You wonder on whom you should invest?

Who better to ask than to us bloggers. We'll tell you without hesitation who's worth a shot.

The next step is up to you.

Alessandro Banchelli -
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posted by Chiara Moriconi on Saturday, November 26 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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