It’s interesting how blogging has evolved over the past decade. At first it was about writing and getting folks to respond. Then it became about traffic and bringing in readers. Then, the monetization craze hit and some people got rich and others got offended. However, for bloggers it was always about the soft sell. Ways to earn money through blogging weren’t always so in your face. Maybe some blogs got carried away with ads, but we weren’t always screaming, “BUY MY PRODUCT!!! NOW!!!”
Just like that, with lots of exclamation points.
At least that’s not how it used to be.
I’m noticing now how bloggers are getting more in your face with their approaches as well. We used to be mostly about sharing and if there was a product to sell we’d maybe post about it once or twice and then let the ad in the sidebar do the talking. Now, everyone is an Internet marketer. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I’d rather not have every post, tweet and update from my favorite bloggers be about why I need to buy their products.
I don’t believe we shouldn’t be earning money and we certainly shouldn’t be giving away every tip or bit of advice, but I’m surprised at how much our approach has changed over the years. I’m also surprised at the prices some of these courses, webinars, and “bundles” are going for. Are we worth it? Of course. Can people afford that much? I’m not so sure, and I’m certainly not sure if buyers are getting value for their bucks. Are they buying a name or something that’s truly offering value. If I’m paying $100 for an ebook, it better not be just a bunch of blog posts slapped together in book form.
It’s interesting seeing how some bloggers have changed from a one day product launch to having a daily pitch. It’s also interesting to see how blogging has changed from something genuinely giving, to bloggers seeing how many ways to make money blogging, without looking as if we’re making money blogging. I mean, we’re made to feel as if ads are very, very bad and smarmy and ugly. Yet, constant sales pitches and product launches aren’t annoying? For certain bloggers it’s like we’re getting a new launch or pitch every other week.
Are bloggers the new Internet marketers?
I’m not someone who made a million dollars through products. I did very well with an ad supported blog network, and I had an ebook that did ok. I’m also working on ebooks, books and webinars both by myself and with other bloggers. However, I’m wondering about the approach. I’m not digging the new sales pitch-y blogging that’s going on now. However, if I don’t scream louder than all the other Internet marketers, will you buy what I’m selling? If I only write up a blog post, and don’t bombard folks with email announcements, will y’all still buy? And finally, how can we earn money doing this if we’re not so in your face?
It used to be that only smarmy Internet marketers had the bold approach. Now bloggers are using the same approach and the line between those who are hawking and those who have an awesome product are getting blurry. Some bloggers are even using that Internet marketing landing page (you know the type I’m talking about) to drive their sales.
I don’t mind that everyone has something to sell. If we can earn money doing what we love, then why shouldn’t we? I guess I just wish is wasn’t so obvious. I’d like to visit a blog or talk to a blogger without feeling as if everything is a pitch. I’d like to see a speaker without wondering what he’s selling.
I miss sincerity.
What do you think? Have bloggers become the new Internet marketers? Is Blogging more about selling than sharing?