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Business - Written by on Monday, February 23, 2009 15:31 - 1 Comment

Blog It, Earn It – Barter Based Blogging

In the fall I introduced SocialSpark, a pay-per-blog marketplace that connects bloggers with financial incentives to blog about specific brands and products. An interesting business model, although clearly waist-deep in ethical issues. Although not directly related, I recently stumbled on the “Blog It, Earn It” story, which does something similar, except on a much smaller, event-specific, and transparent scope. Any and all bloggers are encouraged to blog about the upcoming SOBCon09 conference in exchange for a (significant, $200) discount on the admission price of the conference, themed “ROI of Relationships.” Entries can be made by blogging about the ways in which relationships are important to you, and in what ways they are shaping personal and business worlds. These blog posts must be submitted to the site, as well as a twitter feed, which is an interesting way of maximizing exposure to the promotion and participants’ messages, by relaying the information back out through the author’s personal blog and twitter networks. A limited number of participants will be rewarded after submissions close.

SOBCon stands for Successful and Outstanding Bloggers, so it seems fitting that any promotions for the event take advantage of Web 2.0 opportunities. By targetting the core audience of this event, bloggers, and providing a tangible reward for their participation, I am confident that this type of promotion will be a highly cost effective way of advertising for their event. This is especially true when you consider that the prize is a discounted ticket rather than a monetary reward, and therefore the actual cost of the promotion is likely to be negligible in the face of some good publicity. You might also consider what type of blogger might be interested in this reward and my thought is that respondents who self-select are more likely to be well-connected virtually, and hence the audience for their ‘discount-per-blog’ promotion will likely also be larger and = bigger impact.

Here’s the description provided by the founder of SOBCon:

“Blog your thoughts, share it, link it back to this post, and broadcast it on Twitter (hash #blogitearnit).  We’ll also link to you on the SOBCon blog for others to see and learn. And as a thank you for sharing your story, we’ll send you a special code to take $200 off the $795 FULL conference rate - that’s over a 25% savings!


We also know that getting to conferences isn’t always easy, especially this year.

So we are announcing today the opportunity for you to significantly reduce your registration cost for the event.

It’s called the “Blog It, Earn It” discount. We’d like to hear from you about what “The ROI of Relationships” means to you. Tell us why relationships matter. How they affect what you do every day and how you do it. Maybe how you see them changing the face of tomorrow’s businesses. We want to know how relationships and personal connections shape your world.

Blog your thoughts, share it, link it back to this post, and broadcast it on Twitter (hash #blogitearnit).  We’ll also link to you on the SOBCon blog for others to see and learn. And as a thank you for sharing your story, we’ll send you a special code to take $200 off the $795 FULL conference rate - that’s over a 25% savings!

Please act quickly because there are only a limited number of these discounted registrations available. All blog entries must be posted no later than March 7, and the discounts must be redeemed by March 14.”

What I like about this promotion, beyond it’s impact, is that it’s transparent in the exchange taking place – in fact it’s almost hard to ignore the quid-pro-quo nature of the activity given its name. I suspect that to many people, this information might make the difference between an unethical viral marketing campaign, and one with the public on its side. Thoughts?

My question for you: if you could have an alternate prize that’s more meaningful to you than the one offered, and which is within the range of reason, what would it be? Money? Items? Reputational rewards?



1 Comment

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Liz Strauss
Feb 23, 2009 21:08

Thanks Jude,
Naturally the only folks who’ve taken us up on the offer are folks who want to be part of the this small event. Not a unkind word has come our way. But folks know how hard it is to put this together and that we do it for them.

Would love to have you there if you’re in Chicago in May.

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