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Announcing The Great ABDPBT Product Placement Experiment

Announcing The Great ABDPBT Product Placement Experiment

product placement in blogs

Earlier this week, I wrote about The Mayflower Model for monetizing blogs through careful, highly specialized product placement. In the discussion that ensued, it became clear that, not only are people impressed and intrigued by this model for monetizing blogs, there is also a lot of confusion about how to go about trying to do the same thing on your blog as Gabrielle Blair managed to do with Design Mom. So I thought, let’s see if we can figure it out for ourselves? Because if we succeed, then we will have recorded a step-by-step process through which a blogger wanting to arrange this kind of thing for themselves might be able to implement it. And if we fail, then not only will that provide lots of free entertainment and schadenfreunde to go around, it will also no doubt spark lots of conversations about how we might improve the model going forward.

So here’s my idea: we (me, Mini, and Mr. Right-Click) are planning on going to New York this summer for BlogHer, and for a family vacation during the week before or after the conference (we haven’t decided yet). Since this is a trip we’ve decided to take no matter what, and for which we will have to buy various things like plane tickets and hotel rooms and transporation and what not, I thought this would be a good time to try to experiment with product placement and test the waters for how companies feel about this kind of thing. We are going to approach the product placement experiment and try to break up the process into steps that people might replicate at home, if they want to try to do it themselves. In other words, we are going to throw stuff up against the wall and see what sticks.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Step One: Figure Out Who Your Audience Is

OK, before we get into creating a media kit or providing statistics to sponsors, we have to figure out what my audience consists of. First we’ll see what Quantcast has to say about it.
demographics for abdpbt.com

According to Quantcast, the audience for abdpbt.com is made up of an overwhelmingly caucasian audience, with slightly more women than men (but almost exactly the same), most of whom are in the 35-49 age group. Most of you have no kids (!), and a third of the audience has a household income of over $100,000 per year. I have an unusually high number of readers with graduate school educations (not really surprising, given the title of the blog), and people who visit this blog are likely to also like blogs that talk about politics and commentary, science and nature (really?!) and fashion and cosmetics (booyah).

These generalizations fit, mostly, with what my impression of you guys would be, though I’m a little surprised that there are as many men as women, and a little surprised there aren’t more people with kids. But here’s the problem: my stats are skewed by a couple of things, most notably, the fact that I have the New York Times Crossword Puzzle on this site. This gets a number of visitors, regular visitors, who don’t read the rest of the blog. Those people are included in my stats through Quantcast, but they are not necessarily people who would be reading a content campaign. So if I can, I have to try to exclude them from my results. One way of doing this would be to put a different Quantcast tag on the pages with the puzzle, and I will do that to make the future results more accurate. But for now, I’d like to hear from you guys: how would you profile the ABDPBT reader? Do you think the different sections have different readerships? What kinds of brands do you think would appeal to the ABDPBT readership, and why? I don’t want this to turn into something like a quiz, but I thought it’s always enlightening when we talk about ourselves, and it might be the best way to shape a (hypothetical) content campaign that doesn’t make all of our skin crawl, so please chime in with your thoughts below.

Comments (10)

  1. Feb 25, 2010

    I thought there’d be more mommy bloggers. At 52 I am probably your oldest reader, but I do have kids, they’re just not little. I only the read personal finance and tech blogs, sometimes mini stories, so yes I think the different blogs have different readers. I think smart, savvy travel brands would appeal because we all have to travel for business or pleasure and it’s nice if someone else does the research to figure out how to navigate the experience as smoothly, efficiently and smartly as possible so we can focus on the fun part.

  2. Feb 25, 2010

    Re Mommybloggers, they don’t read personal finance blogs as often, and the main one probably alienates them. LOL.

    So let’s see if I’m on the right track:

    Jet Blue
    Grid It
    Flight 001 and basically any product they have there
    Eagle Creek
    Maybe Chris Guillebeau‘s travel guides?

  3. Feb 25, 2010

    Yeah, GoToob and GridIt are cool. I know about Jet Blue but I don’t think I can fly from SFO to JFK on Jet Blue, the flight path I’m always taking (from NY), but maybe I’m wrong, will look forward to your findings!

  4. Feb 25, 2010

    I just checked the Jet Blue website, and they do have SFO to JFK as a route that’s possible. I’ve never flown Jet Blue, but always hear great things about it. I’ve just not done it because there’s always been a flight that gets in at a more convenient time or something, but I’ve been meaning to do it. I would take it to Austin in a few weeks, but I would have to go to Long Beach, and I’m just not sure if it’s worth it.

  5. Feb 25, 2010

    I already purchased my 4/20 SFO to JFK (returning 5/10 via Istanbul) flight on Virgin, because someone told me they love Virgin, and there was a redeye. I like to take the redeye because it usually takes off, and then I get to JFK 6am which is a good time to be heading West on the Long Island Expressway to visit family.

  6. Feb 25, 2010

    I am way surprised by the high number of men, but I think the crossword puzzle explains it. I figure your reader is maybe a mommyblogger, but one who is interested in the business-y angle of it all.

    I read all the sections of the website with equal interest, but you and I are kind of the same person, demographics-wise. And for product placement and you, I thought, “lululemon!”

  7. Feb 25, 2010

    I think the next time we try a cross-country flight with Mini (ie in August), we should do a red eye. It would be just so much easier to have him sleep on the plane, if possible.

  8. Feb 25, 2010

    Hah! Lululemon would be good for me, but I’m not sure they’d bother. They pretty much already get product placement here for free, constantly. Though for a travel story, that might be tough.

    Other people who should be paying me: Starbucks, Diet Coke, Apple, WordPress, Thesis (well, they do, kind of), LiquidWeb (same thing, they do kind of), Equinox, Travis from Equinox, anybody who makes macaroni and cheese, Seth Godin.

  9. Feb 27, 2010

    I fit your demographics except for the part about being Caucasian (I’m South Asian). FTR, I read personal finance and abdpbt…the one I skip is commodity fetishism and that has nothing to do with you. I just don’t read review blogs (lack of interest in most things they cover) with the exception of a post I might come across because I’ve googled my way there while searching for a particular product. I probably wouldn’t notice your travel/product placement posts if you stuck them there.

    Love JetBlue. Hands down my favourite American airline and even the flight attendants are in a good mood (compared to the bitterness of the United employees). I had to fly all over the country for my b-school interviews in late 2009 and I used them as much as possible. I flew out of LAX, btw.

    I guess this relates to my demographics-but for things like travel & makeup, I basically prefer to go to Tripadvisor and Makeup Alley and don’t bother with blogs at all. Have zero interest in home decor and for everything else I just google but I automatically start deducting credibility points if the product being talked about is from a specialised blogger (like, I discount kitchen gadgetry product reviews 95% when it’s on a food blog) or it becomes a quick click-away. Then again, I’m kind of a jerk and my lawyer brain is set to “I don’t believe you” at nearly all times.

  10. Mar 2, 2010

    I actually also fit your demographic. I am really interested in this topic, specifically, as I think about it for my own blog, a lot, and my own demographic is really skewed towards married men (gah) which I actually know more from specific emails I receive than anything else. Also, since I’m sharing, I read and really enjoy all of your blogs.

    I also give mad props to JetBlue and am guessing they might be really open to working with you. Same with Flight 001. Both are companies that think beyond the traditional venues and boxes when spending their advertising dollars.

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