I don’t blog for the money, but for those who do, purported online marketing gurus provide a proliferation of epistemically baseless, if not bogus, advice. I prefer recommendations with some data behind them.
Recent research presented at the International Conference on Information Systems may be of interest. Researchers June Zhu and Bernard Tan of the National University of Singapore reported on three factors that determine the effectiveness of blog advertising: blogger expertise, advertising intent and product involvement. Here is a summary of their results.
Blogger expertise refers to how much the bloggers knows about the item being advertised. Advertising intent refers to whether the recommendation of a product is explicit or implicit, for ex., “You should buy my book” is explicit; “Recently my several of my friends read the last George R. R. Martin book and really like it” is implicit. Product involvement refers to how much consideration one gives a purchase, e.g., buying popcorn at the theater is usually a low-involvement purchase, while buying a car is usually a high-involvement purchase.
The study found that almost opposite between high and low involvement products. For low-involvement products, low-expertise bloggers should be explicit and high-expertise bloggers should be implicit. In contrast, for high-involvement products, low-expertise bloggers should be implicit and it doesn’t matter if high-expertise communicators are explicit or implicit.
The full citation of the paper is as follows. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an online version to link to.
J. Zhu and B. Tan, “Effectiveness of blog advertising: Impact of communicator expertise, advertising intent, and product involvement,” International Conference on Information Systems, Montreal, Canada, December 2007