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How to Crash-And-Burn Your Branding Blog

Bloggers take note, there’re 2 basic types of blogs:

  • Branding blogs
  • Monetization blogs

Branding blogs: Build either your personal brand or a product/service brand. An example of this could be high-end gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer’s blog or this blog which focuses on blogging, affiliate marketing and traffic generation.

On the other hand, you have “Monetization blogs” which are intended to generate income. The blogs can serve either as traffic generation tools to push visitors to a site, or sell products or services themselves. Product review blogs designed to close transactions fall into this category.

Monetization blogs also include blogs created solely to monetize Google’s Adsense contextual advertising program. Such blogs feature prominent locations for adsense advertising blocks, or other advertising networks like Yahoo Search Marketing or Adbrite’s ad blocks.

You can recognize an adsense-optimized (or MFA – “Made for Adsense”) blog through it’s template which gives more prominence to the ad blocks, rather than the content.

Here’re two examples:

made for adsense

made for adsense

Many of these templates are available freely and you can locate them by googling for “blog adsense theme” or “blog adsense template”.

I’ve seen some newer blogs which have made me raise my eyebrows more than once.

For online marketers seeking to establish yourself (especially if you’re planning to develop your own product or find joint venture partners), it makes sense to establish a branding blog to build up your reputation and credibility in the marketplace.

What I don’t understand is why some of these marketers choose to use a “MFA template” for their branding blog.

This will hurt you because you’re working very hard to bring visitors to your blog and then sending them away when they click on a link which probably earns you $0.02 to about $0.50 (for Internet Marketing).

It would make more sense (and make for better income generation) to bring visitors to your branding blog, present them with quality content, build a relationship and aim for a higher value activity like product development or entering into a joint venture.

Starting out with a overt monetization template also subconsciously send out the message to your visitors that you’re pushing short term income generation (with your 10 visitors a day), rather than focusing on building readership.

A branding blog represents your online presence, and every element on your blog, presents a facet that presence to readers, customers and ultimately in the long term, your friends and allies.

Managing that relationship effectively will go a long way in ensuring your online longevity.

15 comments on How to Crash-And-Burn Your Branding Blog

  1. Rachit
    February 23, 2007 at 5:21 pm (5080 days ago)

    Dude, I couldn’t agree more.

    Too many new bloggers give away too much of their reputation with Google Adsense … for $2-$5 a day!

    Give it a break guys. Spend that time preparing for a great new post. For studying other strategies for quality blogging (like reading Andrew’s blog). And for socializing with other bloggers and building traffic.

    Let the monetization come through your recommendations or your reputation.

  2. David Airey
    February 23, 2007 at 9:13 pm (5080 days ago)

    The amount of blogs I’ve come across that list ‘no comments’ on each post, coupled with Adsense everywhere is no coincidence.

  3. Colleen
    February 23, 2007 at 9:48 pm (5080 days ago)

    You forgot the 3rd type of blog – a true blog, with no intent to monetize. There are plenty of blogs out there that are JUST personal journals and outlets for people.

  4. Calvin
    February 24, 2007 at 5:26 pm (5079 days ago)

    Hi Andrew,

    that’s really some food for thought..

    I have to admit I’m also guilty of trying to over monetize my blog.

    But I will seriously take what you just mentioned above into serious consideration and rethink my long term strategy.

    Anyway, talking about branding and maintaining relationships, I must admit you have indeed successfully managed to do just that. Your blog is really one informative resource and I can sense your sincerity.

    Thanks Andrew!



  5. Andrew Wee
    February 25, 2007 at 9:06 am (5078 days ago)

    I don’t think there’s a “true” blog or “fake/false” blog.

    If you’re refering to personal blogs, they generally are rambling and cover a myriad of topics. Which might be great for people who know the blogger personally or are relatives.

    If you’re fine with an audience of 1 or 10 or 100, I guess it might be ok.

    I focused on business-related blogging, so that’s outside the scope of this blog.

  6. Don Wilson
    February 25, 2007 at 10:17 am (5078 days ago)

    OK! I admit. I’m in it for the money.

    But, for the reasons you stated, among others, I removed adsense from my blog some time ago.

    It is most important, in my opinion, to establish onesself as someone who presents useful, quality information. More than any SEO technique or marketing tactic, good information will draw traffic.

    Of course, I offer affiliate products on my blog, but the main objective is to first brand myself.

    Great post, thanks.


    p.s. How long do you stay on a blog that presents itself as an adsense blog complete with articles pulled from free article sources?

  7. Andrew Wee
    February 25, 2007 at 11:36 am (5078 days ago)

    Good move.

    In almost all cases, given the same amount of traffic, affiliate marketing will outperform web ads.

    I’d think if articles provide quality information to a reader, they should spend some time on a “republished article” blog or website for that matter.

    You might see them read multiple pages too. It’d depend on your skill in selecting articles and arranging them thematically.

  8. Jacqueline
    March 26, 2008 at 2:10 pm (4683 days ago)

    Hi Andrew, first visit and I really found this article helpful. Actually, I just pulled down a lot of ads from my blog. As a new blogger, I just filled my side bar with lots of links for ClickBank, text ads, banners, etc. LOL. Hindsight is wonderful! I believe as a new blogger it is very easy to fall into the trap of just loading your blog with ads (especially after reading article after article about monetization). Unfortunately, few present this side as well. If they did, it would prevent many blogging mistakes. Informative post!

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