I’ve now finished the one month experiment I ran where I tracked how many clicks I was sending from MMM and CT.WP to mainstream news organizations. Just to restate how I did this, I used Bit.ly tracking links to see how often people clicked through to the websites of newspapers or magazines, not other blogs. That’s because it’s not blogs that are complaining about how other blogs are stealing their traffic or ad revenue and it’s not blogs that are considering erecting paywalls for their content. So this was meant to see how much money I was helping those news organizations earn by linking to them, something that’s only possible (for me at least) if they continue to be free.
- Links Shareed: 82
- Clicks: 983
- Ad revenue at $25 CPM: $24.57
The most highly-clicked link I included was the one to the Los Angeles Times story I was quoted in. Personally I look at that and feel that it’s not just in newspapers’ best interest to continue allowing plentiful opportunities for links but engage in more outreach to blog writers for stories about the niche topics those writers cover since such outreach is likely – almost guaranteed – to result in a recommendation by the writer to go over and read that story.
I know there are some flaws in my “experiment’s” methodology. It’s not perfect by any means. But I do think the results support the broad idea that not only can blog writers help newspapers and magazines survive but that there are more opportunities for each party to help each other and build a mutually advantageous relationship. There are always going to be bad actors out there – there are as many sites that rip off the content of a highly-trafficked blog as there are ones that rip off a newspaper’s content – but for the most part we’re all in the same boat. I love to write but I’m dependent to a large extent on newspapers and their reporting resources. Newspaper writers love (I hope) to write but they can get more traffic for their stories by doing outreach to blog writers also covering that topic area.