Family links 11/13/08
A New Kind of Baby Book!

Kathryn's Blog Prognostication in light of the Coming Ad Crash

I got a note from Henry Copeland about gloomy predictions for ad sales revenue with my hundred bucks from Blogads this morning. The expanded version of what he said is now on the Blogads blog: Ad sales in Depression 2.0. I wrote him a long -- and I hope helpful -- letter back with suggestions as to how Blogads could do better with what it has to sell. Here's some of what he has to say:

The good news for indy bloggers and Blogads: our competitors — with higher overheads, less skin in the game, higher turnover and less devotion to the connecting advertisers with bloggers — will suffer more than we. Eventually, as competitors like NYTimes, TMZ, HuffingtonPost, OMG, Buzznet, TheAtlantic, Blogher, People, Myspace, Newsweek and Glam fold, scale back or lose their staff to greener pastures, ad buyers will spend more than ever with indy bloggers and Blogads.

There are a number of articles on on the Coming Blogvertising Crash out there. Googling news on ads and bubble or advertising and bubble in the news category turns up some which I was reading just last night.

Putting on my Social Media Web Guru turban for a moment (I have a lot of hats in the top of my closet), here is Kathryn's Super Supper Web 2.0 blog prognostication: A lot of blogs that tend to publish headlines with the following key words to go away:

  • How to . .
  • Reasons
  • Ways
  • Solutions
  • Easy
  • Simple
  • and headlines with numbers under five hundred (especially number spelled out)

. . . as in Fourteen Ways to Stuff Lima Beans in Your Nose, Five Sticky Things to Put in Your Hair, Fifteen Easy Ways to Build a 747 in Your Basement, Real Simple Solutions for Those Looking for an Easy Way Out, How to Decant Wine with Your iPhone, Seven Simple Reasons to Be Hostile to Strangers Wearing Yellow, Five Ways to Tell that This Blog Post Won't Actually Help You & You Should Go Take a Walk Instead, 101 Reasons You Should Stop Trying to Blog for Profit, Plus 18 New Ways to Make Below Minimum Wage while Wasting Your Life on the Internet . . . ad nauseum.

Why am I so confident in this amazing prediction? Because people who blog like that are in it for the money! It used to be that people who wrote articles with titles like that got paid two or three grand and got published in the slick magazines sold in airports and grocery stores. These days people write that kind of article for a whole lot less money, often merely the hope that Google Ad Words will slip them ten bucks. Slick magazine-type writing has really come down in the world.

And so now there is apparently about to be a big decline in online advertising revenues. I've seen estimates of the decline ranging from 9% to 40%. A bunch of would-be for-profit bloggers are about to discover how truly unprofitable blogging can be. If Gawker and Wired are cutting back, what does that mean for the rest of the blog-for-profit too-slick and too-on-message scene?

A big die-off.