A micro model way to make money – Part 2 of 4

August 27th, 2008 by Robert McIntosh · 4 Comments

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Part 2 – Micro … RETAILER

Maybe we could answer the question: Why should wine bloggers all be “journalists”, worrying about objectivity, even-handedness, transparency and so on?

I believe I first saw this point on pinotblogger, but we are at risk of limiting ourselves too much if wine bloggers are ALL to be considered micro-PUBLISHERS looking to sell advertising to pay for our content.

If you are not selling eyeballs, you might consider selling wine.

What are you selling if it isn’t eyeballs?

Just content? A subscription model is feasible, though unlikely to work.

Another, entirely workable model is to become a micro-RETAILER.

Bloggers, feeling the need to ‘prove’ their journalistic credentials, often go to great lengths to avoid seeming to be “in the pocket” of a producer or retailer – declaring all samples, visits, and so on. I find many bloggers are unnecesarily prickly about this subject and strive for levels of sainthood rarely seen in the real publishing world they are trying to emulate. Whilst this is commendable, the point is that most bloggers have a relationship with readers that are looking for advice on what wines to buy. As long as the relationship is clear, why should the blogger not benefit from this demand?

In fact, some already do, but often these are actual retailers or winemakers who blog. There are many good examples of readers trusting the integrity of these bloggers despite the fact that they are being ‘sold to’, however tangentially, so there is no reason to think this couldn’t work for others.

If you are not selling eyeballs, you might consider selling wine.

You can do this through affiliate schemes of individual retailers, through sites such as Snooth, or even establishing a retail operation of your own and put together suggested shopping lists (either from your own inventory, or ‘virtually’ through others).

This means acting as a conduit for marketing (conducting honest reviews), being a lead generator for retailers (finding others who like wines that you do too, and encouraging them to buy the same) or even creating ranges of your own that you can promote.

This now has the potential of further revenue for the blogger, but requires a great deal of trust from the readers/consumers, and a high level of professionalism, honesty and openness, and this takes time and effort to create, but if there is one area I think that is underexploited and ripe for development, it is this one.

This area, like the advertising network for micro-publishers, is likely to be MUCH more effective if bloggers could find a way to adopt a common system or process and collaborate to increase their reach.

However, not everyone wants to get directly involved in selling. So, where else can a wine blogger turn?

More ideas very soon in Part 3.

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Tags: Advertise Here? · Conference Discussion

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