Progressive blogs, ad revenue, and growing the blogosphere

There’s been considerable discussion lately about how the big four liberal / progressive blogs, DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, FireDogLake, and AmericaBlog, get deluged by pitches from highly-paid PR firms yet few of the same big hitters hiring those firms actually advertise on their sites. This is made worse by the recession and the inevitable drop in readership after the elections.

The ad networks they use now, like Google and BlogAds, take 40% or so off the top. Maybe they could form their own ad network and keep all the revenue. Between the four sites they probably get over 500,000 views a day from a targeted audience – something a big buyer would certainly be interested in – especially if they could make all the ad buys from a central location.

Jamie Holly, the software developer for CrooksandLiars, has a thoughtful post about Growing the Blogosphere.

But now we are at a point of stagnation in the blogosphere. Traffic spiked during the election last year, then it fell off drastically. It has been slowly creeping back up, but not like we would like to see. Perhaps its time to look for new ways to promote our product and offer our readers a sense of involvement.

He mentions social networking sites as one way to do this. Absolutely. Yes, these are becoming crucial now. People are increasingly using Twitter Search to find things, not Google. FaceBook continues to grow enormously fast. The Big 4 definitely need an active presence on Twitter, FaceBook, and probably FriendFeed too. I get a steady stream of new readers to Polizeros from social networking sites, and any website is at a disadvantage now if they don’t use them.

Tech blogger Robert Scoble says some companies now are making millions off of Twitter. That’s right, millions. Progressive blogs can certainly boost their readership and quite possible their revenue by actively having a presence on social networking sites.

I expect that the big 4 will start getting the ads they want and need. They are now big enough and influential enough that political advertisers would be foolish to ignore them.

The blogosphere has been an enormous tool in changing our nation, and right now it needs a little help. It would be nice if the people who receive help from the hard work of the blogosphere could give back a little in return. Its not about greed, but rather growth – a chance to grow the blogosphere into something so much more than it is today.

  • Brian and I were just having this conversation last night. I’m definitely interested in some sort of… an ad network would be good, maybe something like a blogger’s Chamber of Commerce? What have you heard about the possibilities for this? We are definitely interested.

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