The brand-aware take on making money online

Blank billboard in desert landscapeI have never been against people attempting to make money online. On their blog, on their Twitter account, it really does not bother me. If I like their content and their way of thinking, I trust them to make interesting recommendations and to post ads that won’t make me run away.

The trouble begins when people are so wrapped up with making some money that they forget all about their brand in the process. All bloggers, business or not, work hard to promote their blog, to position it and build a brand for it. And then when they have enough traffic they want to have some income in exchange for their hard work. But why kill your blog’s brand for a few bucks when you could get said money without loosing trust and readers?

If you want to advertise, advertise something related to your blog or that might interest your readers. If you talk about web hosting, you can advertise designers, web copywriting services and other such services. But if you start promoting a teeth whitening formula, you’d lose. Why is it a bad decision? It makes you look easy to buy and a bit desperate. People who read about web hosting don’t care about teeth whitening in their web hosting dedicated time. They might want to read about it on the beauty/health/make your self pretty blog they read every day.

The purpose behind monetizing your blog or twitter stream is to actually make money! You need to find the products and services that would make your readers click. They have to think you had a great idea recommending something like that to them. They would have to trust you with that recommendation. Your expertise is part of what convinces them to give that ad/review or any other form of advertorial a second thought. That’s what brings you more money at the end of the day.

Yes, branding is tough. But the advertisements you choose actually help shape your brand. They position you in your niche to some extent. Choose to say your brand helps people and makes expert recommendations. Not that your brand couldn’t care less and would promote anything for the right price.

I bow to BMW – No mercy!

I haven’t seen great ads in a while. You know, the smart, funny and compelling type of ads that make you smile and secretly crave for the product they promote. And then a friend pointed me to a BMW poster ad. It had that very same effect on me! So I am sharing it with you :) It might work on me because I am sort of in their target, but still, great one!

Click on image for the original.

How to keep growing when the economy works against you

The solution

In troubled economic times when companies assassinate their marketing and advertising budgets, you’d expect companies in this industry to talk about how there’s no business and loss is lurking along their way. Yet in this very time and day,, online business directory from the UK, reported steady growth, a solid influx of new customers and a great, strengthened relationship with companies already working with them. I wanted to know more about their approach to business, as it is driving them up, right through the rough economic clutter. Lee Cheesman (see photo), Director was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Lee CheesmanWhile advertising budgets are being grossly cut down, Businessmagnet keeps growing. What’s your secret recipe?

Whilst we have seen a different trend throughout the advertising industry, we have been surprised by the number of businesses that have taken a proactive approach with the current economic situation, many businesses actually increasing their advertising spend, especially within the online sector. We too have taken a proactive approach to ensuring that our Directory is as streamlined and effective as ever. We have increased our web prominence and introduced a better system to keep our contact frequent with our customers. Continue reading

CoSoSys – making the ad

Sometimes work is purely fun and I feel bad getting paid for it. Like being there when this fun ad was created for one of the Mirror Communications clients, CoSoSys, vendor of leading endpoint security and data loss prevention solutions.

The ad is meant to emphasize how a company can simply not worry about thieves coming in and trying to steal their sensitive data. More on data loss and theft, how to prevent it and how serious it can be here.

Hope you enjoy the ad! Oh, and I challenge you to find me in the ad 😀

Monday Reading Roundup Take #13

What I think you shouldn’t have missed last week…

ReadingNew week, new reading list ready for you! Hope everyone’s having a happy Monday and enjoys my recommendations for today.

Is your social media campaign already in place? Are you going to start one in the near future? You should, and fast, as a new survey quoted by Alan Weinkrantz PR Weblog shows consumers want to interact with companies on social media.

You have your brand name and logo ready, now you need a battle cry! Your PR Guy gives a few tips to come up with an exciting slogan.

Are economic downturns a good moment to start cutting PR and Marketing budgets? Todd Defren of PR Squared is showing you why you should think twice.

The best part in working closely with a research company, such as Forrester, Radicati or Gartner is the analyst briefings such a collaboration entails. Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester, shared a few tips for a successful briefing.

Stories sell. So the best way to increase your sales is to learn to write such stories. To help you out, Brian Clark of Coppyblogger put up a great how-to.

Laura Spencer of Business and Blogging posed an interesting question: should your business blog be designed by a professional? She argued both possible answers, go on and share your personal opinion.

Ads are not the only way to make money with your blog. Tibi Puiu explained why ad-free blogs rock and which are the alternatives.

If you’re thinking to start a group blog project, this insightful post from Chris Brogan is exactly what you need. Go ahead and add your own thoughts to the list.

That’s it for this week, see you all next Monday! And of course, if you think I’ve forgotten anything, please add your suggestions in the comment box!