Grassroots Marketing & Paying Bloggers To Post

I just finished reading the book Startup Nation (not an aff link) and although a lot of the book offers plenty of good info online marketers can use (yes buy it), this part struck a chord with me:

How to Create Demand for Your Brand
(page 178)

Razor Scooters, all the rage in the late 1990s, became popular through a concerted grassroots campaign led by Razor’s founder, Carlton Calvin.

“We never spent a single dollar on traditional advertising. It was all grassroots marketing and word of mouth that drove the demand,” Carlton said proudly on StartupNation Radio. He got his scooters in the hands of the “cool kids” whenever he could. Excited about their new toy, the kids would immediately head outside to the sidewalks. With the Razor logo emblazoned on the scooters, wide-eyed kids looking on cried out, “I want one of those!” And demand spiked instantly. By strategically giving scooters to “influencers” in various communities, Carlton has sold five million Razor Scooters in just a few short years.

When I read that I thought of blogs and approaching bloggers to introduce your products or websites to their readers. Have the kids (bloggers) that have some attention (eyeballs) sit and have a chat and show off your products and websites.

I wrote this post last week but have had to come in and rewrite since there’s a lot of talk right now about paid blog posts. I’ve read opinions and discussions that are both pro and con, and I think some bloggers business models may be threatened by it–but overall I think it can be a great move forward if it’s done properly.

I see every blogger that’s making a dime directly or indirectly from blogging as ‘blogging for money’. If you removed adsense, removed affiliate relationships, removed sidebar and banner advertising, removed building business opportunities and networking relationships or establishing reputations/careers, there aren’t a whole bunch of bloggers getting paid in some manner to post.

I don’t see a whole lot of bloggers writing blog posts without some sort of incentive (both direct and indirect cash) involved in some way.

Paid to post is simply another option. It’s product placement (products used within main content) rather than commercials (sidebar/text/banner advertising). If not overdone and obnoxious, this can serve both the advertisers and the bloggers well.

I think it’s an exciting thing for an advertiser, and I’m more drawn to that aspect of paid blogging rather than as a blogger. Good times. And if a blogger insists on personal transparency regarding paid posts, she’d be miles ahead of many of the A, B and C-list bloggers who shill miles a minute undercover (wink wink).

SuperAff Transparency: I was not offered nor did I receive any payment nor had any knowingly loosely tied monetary gain by posting the above and no one I know owns or is part of or is a competitor to any external link within this post ;).

Good times indeed.

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I’ve been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

2 thoughts to “Grassroots Marketing & Paying Bloggers To Post”

  1. I think you’re right, Terry, that some people are ranting about PPP because it has the potential to screw with their preferred way of monetizing their blogs. I think some of the concerns about disclosure are fair, but I’m not sure why they think it should be PPP’s responsibility to make bloggers disclose, and I’m not sure how they expect them to enforce it.

    The pessimist in me says that if this sort of thing kicks off, it’ll be a race to the bottom, with bloggers writing a lot of useless posts about useless products in exchange for pennies. I hope I’m wrong for lots of reasons, not least because PPP owes me $15!

  2. The pessimist in me says that if this sort of thing kicks off, it’ll be a race to the bottom, with bloggers writing a lot of useless posts about useless products in exchange for pennies.

    I think that’s destined to happen on some level Wil, but it doesn’t have to kill the concept. It really does come down to each blogger doing the best job he/she can to be transparent and not overdone.

    Your paid blog posts are a perfect example IMO of how well it can work:

    PayPerPost.com is NOT Evil
    Advertising Everywhere

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