Imagine if online media outlets only ran advertising that they agreed with? Of course, this level of censorship would never be tolerated (or legal), however blogs hold a special distinction when it comes to running advertising. As a blog owner, you have complete control over what ads you display. Unfortunately, the most prevalent form of advertising on blogs is Google’s Adwords program, which is automatically served through keyword matches. BlogAds offers more control, but there are still limitations and many ads served are for commercial products (t-shirts, etc.). Like many bloggers, I consider my blog a valuable place for me to not only try and share some of my thoughts on the world of marketing – but also as a venue to help to promote services or ideas that I believe in. What about bloggers who want to spread the word about something they believe in, but don’t necessarily have the right fit to make a blog post about it?
I came across an intriguing eAdvocacy site several weeks ago called the Word of Blog. The mission of the site is described as:
Word of Blog enables blog owners to spread ideas and influence throughout the blogosphere, promote causes or services that they believe in, recommend products and organizations they like, and create communities of like-minded blog owners, all through blog word of mouth.
The site offers a listing of small banners and HTML code to be pasted onto your blog site to tell users about a particular cause or website. The Word of Blog team cleverly includes a link below each banner driving users back to their own website, effectively branding every banner as part of their network. What I love about this idea is that it delivers on the promise of the Internet from the 90s to be the great leveler, allowing smaller companies to finally compete with larger ones. Now small nonprofits can reach out to bloggers and receive help in driving traffic on topics they both care about. It’s a great example of how the power of word of mouth marketing and consumer generated media can be amplified by simply making eAdvocacy and marketing messages available for use on blogs hosted by those who believe in those messages.