“These guys are great, this tool is awesome!”. Words you here constantly on all websites and blogs across the Internet. I don’t think I would be too far off to say that 80% of the posts are being driven by money, not by any actual like or dislike for the product or company. If you run a site in a small industry and you take advertisements, it is VERY difficult to be objective. Not saying that writers aren’t trying to be neutral. They all probably think they are being objective but it’s human nature to say nice things about people that help you, especially give you money. But in the back of their mind you can tell when a writer is concerned you might not trust what they are saying. You can see it when an article is ended…..”I’m not being paid to say this”. But in reality all blog writers are being paid to say SOMETHING. We are paid to provide content. In my opinion, what you are being paid to do is NOT say anything bad about your advertisers. So in reality you really can’t be objective. I can remember having dot co as an advertiser and I felt uncomfortable writing anything negative about them when they were paying the bills so I didn’t. It was killing me. To the point that I didn’t email them to renew just so I could start writing articles about how I really felt. I vowed to not take any advertisers that I didn’t believe in or feel I could support with honest opinions.
In our industry, two big advertisers have pulled out since the start of the year. The Namejet affiliate program and DomainTools has scaled back heavily on their marketing as well. Now that Namejet isn’t paying people you’ve noticed there is not a heavy push towards lists with Namejet. Did we really like the names that were put on our lists or did we put them there because they provided the best opportunity to make money? With financial incentives you never know. DomainTools has been the primary sponsor of domain blogs for man years. This year they have reduced their marketing budget. While DomainTools is easily the best domain research tool on the market, will they get the same love and mentions in 2013? We’ll see. They still advertise here and the only thing I do differently from them advertising and not advertising is if I use their information to write an article (or mention them), I put a link. No more no less. So I am NOT objective, my articles are different because of advertisers. As my disclaimer at the bottom says. My opinions and articles are influenced by advertisers. It’s also the reason I don’t take sponsored posts. I do want the opinions to be mine, skewed or not.
This isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s life. When those that give or support stop giving, the receiver forgets and moves on. Usually looking for the next person that will help. This also doesn’t mean that writers with advertising are lying about their likes and dislikes. It truly IS their opinion. It was just naturally swayed before they ever started writing.