This chapter looks at the commercialization of personal blogs and also defines some of the key terms that have emerged as a result of this phenomenon, including “sponsored posts.” Despite their importance, the authors feel that not enough attention has been paid by academics to the development of marketing in the blogosphere. The chapter also examines the concerns that marketing communications on blogs may be contributing to the shadow economy around the world. The uniqueness of this new form of advertising medium is emphasized, and it is hoped that this chapter will also add to the understanding of why the study of blogs and their commercialization is absolutely essential.
Blog Commercialisation Modes
Right now there are various commercialization modes available to bloggers (Table 1). The earliest forms of advertising to appear on blogs were the graphical banners and text ads. In this respect, Google or more specifically the Google adsense program, has been the market leader for contextual advertising solutions (Evans, 2008), where targeted advertisements are automatically displayed based on the content on the blog. An increasing number of companies are also launching affiliate marketing programs. Amazon Associates is said to be the most popular and successful affiliate program. Payment is usually commission based and on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis whereby visitors from the ads on the blog leads to a sale or conversion.Table 1.
Various blog commercialization modes
| Mode|| Description|
|Display advertising||In the form of banners, buttons or rich media, such as interactive videos.|
|Text link advertising||Specific key word/s on a site linked to another website.|
|Sponsored posts, paid posts and sponsored reviews.||Promoted entries or posts which contain links that point to the webpage or specific product pages of the website of the sponsor.|
|Direct sales/auctions||Sale and/or auctions of products or services directly on blog.|
|Others||Embedded YouTube videos, content available on subscription, etc.|