Why Ads On Your Favorite Wine Blogs Are GOOD!!

There has always been a bit of a cringe-factor among wine bloggers when it comes to the issue of running advertisements on their blog. It results, I think, from an intense desire to try to show themselves as being apart from mainstream publications that make their money off ads and who have always been accused of showing favoritism to those who run ads in those magazines.

But, advertisements are GOOD for Wine Bloggers as well as readers of Wine Blogs.

The vast majority of of folks that take ads on their wine blogs, and there are not many, are able to charge anywhere between $20 and $200 per month for a spot. The first thing to recognize is that if you are willing to show favoritism to an advertising client just to get, say, $100 per month for an ad on your blog then you clearly have more pressing problems than the compromised nature of your character.

But here’s what’s GREAT about Blogs that take ads: They motivate the blogger to create a better product (blog). No one wants to sell and ad to a company then see their readership languish or decrease. And in the world of blogging, readership increases as you increase your postings and as you keep your postings compelling for the audience you write for and for the audience your advertisers hoped to reach.

As you can see, we take ads at FERMENTATION. We sell companies these ads because we can. And the fact that folks do want to advertise on a blog that originally was created just for me to to spout off is a source of pride. But I don’t think I’m any different than the vast majority of wine bloggers: I want to make sure that those who have expressed this kind of confidence in me and my blog are rewarded…and I’m not embarrassed by not living up to their expectations. That means I try to continue to make FERMENTATION a blog that more and more of a particular audience will want to read.

This is why ads on Wine Blogs are a good thing. They motivate the blogger to give you a better blog, whether you are an advertiser or a reader.


16 Responses

  1. Mark V Marino - November 8, 2007

    Hi Tom,
    I agree if you can sell ads this is a reflection of your success. The fact that we are all motivatred to reach that level encourages all that blog to try and improve their blog. To get more interested in reading their posts and thereby increase their page views.
    I am surprised I have not met you as I too lived in Sonoma Valley for over 20 years, in 2003 I moved to Rohnert Park but still I have done many tours out of the Gaige House, 3 last week. Did you see Audelssa is now tasting there?

  2. Tom Wark - November 8, 2007

    I live just down the way from the Gaige House. But yes, I know that Audelessa is tasting in Town. Great wines. The property that produces them is spectacular.

  3. helenjane - November 8, 2007

    I won’t put ads on my site.
    First, for aesthetic reasons — you can’t control the quality of the design of other people’s ads. Second, I like being the boss of all of my content. If a big company is advertising on my site, I’m less likely to be honest and critical.
    (I guess my character must be flawed.)
    Ads *can* be great — I have seen the impact on my client’s sales and traffic from advertising on blogs — but aren’t the defining mark of a successful blog.

  4. swirlingnotions - November 8, 2007

    Just try finding a magazine without ads. I support you, Tom.

  5. swirlingnotions - November 8, 2007

    By the way, thanks for the blogroll add!

  6. Crystal Bradley - November 8, 2007

    Why can’t you control the quality of the ads posted on your site? I’m of the opinion that just because someone is paying you to place an ad on your site doesn’t mean you have to turn head when a hideous ad rolls in.

  7. fredric koeppel - November 8, 2007

    I’d love to have real ads on http://www.biggerthanyourhead.net, those Google clicks are bringing nothing. call me, email me. and people, you just have to be professional enough to be honest and objective whether you carry ads or not. Newspapers deal out plenty of scathingly negative movie and book reviews and guess what? the producers and the publishers just keep taking out ads.

  8. Michelle McCue - November 8, 2007

    Absolutely right, Tom. It’s a cyclical effect, just like any publication. Better content = more readers = more ad revenue = better content = more readers, etc, etc… Love your blog and have been reading for a long time, but never commented before. So… hello!

  9. Gretchen - November 8, 2007

    I wouldn’t complain about making some money from my site… I am loving writing about my take on wine and would and do without it.
    I don’t criticize anyone who can profit from their insight or wit.

  10. helenjane - November 9, 2007

    My experience with placing ads on ad networks doesn’t allow the blogger to choose — but there may be a more individualized way to advertise that is more aesthetically pleasing.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that others can profit from their insight and wit. My clients’ success proves it!
    Keri Smith’s FAQ sums up some of my reasons as well — http://www.adfreeblog.org/faq.htm

  11. Agent Red - November 9, 2007

    Michelle is correct: Success breeds more success

  12. Saint_Vini - November 9, 2007

    “Just try finding a magazine without ads.”
    It’s known as Consumer Reports. Legendary for its impartiality….

  13. Dr. Debs - November 10, 2007

    I don’t take ads. Period. I just don’t like the way they look on a blog. I get lots of requests but I don’t accept them. Does that mean I am a success or not? Just wondering…
    Also, what motivates me to keep writing is the feedback that I get from readers and my increased circulation and subscriber numbers. That’s all the “keep up the quality” motivation I personally need.

  14. Jill - November 11, 2007

    The internet (and blogosphere) is, at least at this stage, a niche-oriented medium; and this makes it much harder to judge things by the standards of traditional media, where eyeballs have long translated directly into advertising revenue.
    Even with “old” or “traditional” media, I don’t believe there has ever been a direct correlation between advertising revenue and “quality”. Popularity and revenue, yes — quality? Not so much…just because Dancing With the Stars or Desperate Housewives command top advertising dollar, I’m pretty sure that none of us would argue that these shows represent the best television programming available to audiences.
    It’s more a symptom of what’s referred to in academic circles as “lowest common denominator” programming, which implies that to be broad and accessible to the masses, studios and networks must dumb down content, sacrificing quality and sophistication for the sake of boosting ratings and increases advertising revenue.
    No matter, it’s too reductionist to apply any of this criteria or traditional academic thinking onto emerging media, whose revenue streams and measurement systems have yet to solidify.

  15. Duane - November 14, 2007

    I am the kind of guy that purposely Tivo’s the first half of a football game while working on something else and then blows through all the commercials to catch up by the 4th quarter.
    But blog advertising is very different. Instead of being subjected to a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter to me, the content on my favorite blogs should, I repeat, should be of interest to me since I am participating in a much more specific media.
    If someone creates killer wine software for the iPhone, they can’t afford to buy a spot on ESPN, but I could find it here and snap it up.

  16. Jill - November 15, 2007

    Funny that just a few years ago a spot on ESPN would have been considered a “niche” ad buy (compared to network TV). How things change so rapidly…

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