When all else fails, there’s always money. That’s what Metro seem to have thought, missing the first blog race, and now offering 3 Swedish öre per page view (100 öre=1 SEK=0,14 USD) for bloggers that switch to their new platform. More at Martin Jönsson and Internetworld (both Swedish). An inevitable development really, just look at what Revver has been doing on the video side. YouTube are following suit. But it is it interesting from a blog perspective? Hardly. I’ll tell you why not.
Firstly, any new advertising model based on page views sucks. Especially for blogs as all the posts are in a row and there’s no real need to click around too much.
Secondly, this initiative is doing nothing but trying to maximise the amount of generic page views that they can sell to major advertisers. Pushing banner ads to a big bulk of blogs. This is not where they are strong. Blogs are sharp and specific, targeted to an audience interested in specific things. This enables the possibility of extremely targeted ads, and a higher CTR than you will get on any of the major sites. They should be leveraging this.
This pinpoints the third point. Media buyers need to recognise this fact and start creating media plans focused on reach, rather that views. We need BlogAds, Federated Media and all of those initiatives here in Sweden as well. A considerably wider media portfolio for each campaign.
Targeted ads are relevant for the readers, and therefore more accepted. This will be key when planning media ahead, in my opinion. Initially, this business will be hard to swing. The number of needed blogs in the same field will have to be higher than today in order to justify the work load that comes with it. Either that, or a PageRank-like algorithm that is purely contextual.
Fourth and last point. All people like money, but that’s generally not why they blog. I think paying very little money can sometimes be a lot worse than not paying at all. It puts a low figure, and therefore a low value, on the blog in question. I think the disappointment of hardly making any money is more destructive for visitor loyalty, than the incentive of trying to make money. More about this is my presentation about internet currency.