The New York Times reports that businesses are spending “$50 million to $100 million this year on blog advertising and marketing.”
Many blog writers have signed up for Google’s AdSense program, which started in 2003 and pays Web publishers based on how many times advertisements on their sites receive clicks. Google places the ads on participating Web sites using contextual word matching, in an attempt to ensure that the advertisements relate to the content on the page.
Bloggers are also making money through “affiliate networks,” which, in contrast to Google’s automated system, allow blog writers to choose which advertisements to put on their pages. They also can be paid based on how often ads on their sites lead to sales rather than how often the ads receive clicks. Shareasale, Commission Junction and LinkShare are three such network companies.
“You have all these self-publishers, people like the bloggers, who suddenly become business partners with Fortune 500 companies,” said Heidi S. Messer, the president and chief operating officer of LinkShare, which connects Web writers with companies like Dell, Wal-Mart and Apple Computer.