There was an article in the NYTimes Home section yesterday entitled, “When Blogging Becomes a Slog“, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the themes in the article about DIY bloggers and the current state of the miles/points blogosphere.
While people like Gary and Ben aren’t losing steam any time soon and haven’t expressed a desire to give up their blogs, many sentences from the article lifted directly out of this article and applied to many people’s discontent with many miles and points blogs.
1. “But some loyal readers had lately noticed a decrease in quantity and quality. There were more product giveaways, fewer in-depth tutorials.”
2. “A tricky thing to avoid as a full-time blogger, considering that the Internet never sleeps, readers want fresh content daily and new social media platforms must be mastered and added to the already demanding workload. Add to that the economic challenges of blogging full time. As Grace Bonney of Design Sponge lamented earlier this year in a “State of the Blog Union,” advertising rates have dropped significantly because advertisers are flooded with options.
To earn money, many bloggers have had to embrace sponsored content, breeding distrust among readers.”
3. “‘If readers begin to suspect that your content is heavy on product placement, if they see excessive amounts of sponsored posts, you risk losing what’s most important, which is trust and authenticity,’ said Ms. Kueber”
I think we need to ask ourselves what’s realistic to expect in terms of blogs. Blogging takes time. For most of us, we don’t make meaningful sums of money from our blogs; for a select few, they make sizable incomes. Do you want to reward a blogger who posts multiple times a day just to post? Are credit card affiliate links legitimate ways for bloggers to monetize in spite of the potential conflicts of interest? Would you prefer to compensate bloggers directly (a la the Freequent Flyer)?