Commercial Blogging Has A Unique Set Of Challenges

June 5, 2008 – 8:51 am

by Darren

Blogging is a relatively new media, but it’s starting to mature in many ways. More and more money has been invested by companies as they attempt to “control” the conversations in the blogosphere. More commercial content isn’t a bad thing. Without a profit incentive, much high quality content wouldn’t be created, and it certainly wouldn’t be free. But being a commercial blogger has its’ own set of issues.

Commercial blogging is tough

Blogging initially had very little commercial appeal. It was mainly people sharing their thoughts in “journals”. To their surprise, the medium took off, and many of the early bloggers took to the airwaves promoting blogging with evangelical zeal. Of course their message of a new frontier available with easy profits attracted many people. Let’s face it; we live in a world where many people are discontented with their jobs and futures and are looking to become “masters of the own destiny.” Suddenly the WordPress was the modern printing press and a nascent nation of citizen journalists/entrepreneurs was born.

Here we are, a few years later, and the blogosphere is largely a commercial one. Sure, some people still share their innermost thoughts in the old tradition, but many bloggers are merely mercenaries. This includes myself. I can’t say I became interested in blogging until I noticed a few declines in my other online strategies and recognized the maturing blog market as one that could be exploitable using relatively few resources. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in my increased expansion into blogging. There isn’t an SEO or SEM company out there who hasn’t expanded into blogging, as well as the PR and marketing firms that have such clout in the offline world.

Commercial Blogging is competitive

Now we face a lot of competition in the online arena. There’s no debating it. If you plan on carving a living online, you better be prepared to work quite hard, and be tenacious in order for your dream to advance. Here’s a few of the challenges that face you:

  1. Getting “natural” links without paying in the commercial blogosphere is very hard. Most people expect payment for their efforts. Without the links, you probably won’t rank. You need a link strategy if you’re a blogger, not just a content one.
  2. It’s tougher to build readers in many commercial categories. You have competitors, and you’re writing about subjects that aren’t always conducive to interaction. Product review pages don’t necessarily inspire a sense of community.
  3. Your pages will undergo a great deal of scrutiny since they have ads on them. People understand you’re trying to get paid, and want more from you.

Of course these disadvantages are no big deal in the end, because they’re outweighed by the positive fact that commercial blogging pays. You’re only confronting these issues because you went for the money.

Commercial blogging will continue to grow in the next years. More and more people read and trust blogs and the shift from mainstream media is unavoidable as more people spend time online. Commercial blogs are the future.

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