In stating the obvious, I’d like to proclaim that the Internet has changed the face of journalism and writing professionally forever. Historically, being a good writer wasn’t enough to making a living as the barriers to entry were enormous. You either made the right connections or you got lucky. Nowadays, the Internet has afforded anyone with the gumption to put their thoughts into a <insert preferred word processing application here> document and subsequently “publish” it online. If the work is good enough to amass a decent-sized audience, the attention you’ve received can be turned into cold, hard-earned cash. If that’s not the epitome of capitalism and democracy, I don’t know what is.
That may be taking a fairly meta approach to WordPress’s new ad-platform, but given another recent article I wrote reviewing a similar monetization strategy, I believe we’re experiencing an exciting time in the history of the written word. When you combine this opportunity with the power of social media to help you build the aforementioned mass-audience, you can understand my excitement. The recent news from WordPress that they’ve partnered with a very credible blog-ad-network, Federated Media, just cemented this concept even further.
WordAds, as they’ve dubbed it, is a very straightforward offering. You implement display ads on your WordPress blog, and you’ll make money off the eyeballs you attract. Claiming that bloggers “deserve better” than AdSense, WordPress believes their partnership with Federated Media will enable a much richer advertising experience than other blogging platforms. As they’ve so eloquently stated on a recent blogpost “If you’re going to have advertising on your site, it darn well better be good.” When you consider that even interactive, rich-media display ads are almost all alike, I’m somewhat unimpressed by the rhetoric but I’m psyched that they’ve partnered with Federated Media.
I started this post with a dreamy idealism about the opportunity the Internet provides prospective authors, but there is a reality check at the end of all that. To make money writing online, you need to find people willing to pay you in some manner. If it’s advertising dollars you’ll be counting on, an ad platform that can tap into an extensive list of marketing partners is a good start. WordPress is hoping Federated Media is exactly that platform.