Washington Post Helping Bloggers Monetize

    October 10, 2007

More newspapers Web sites are now embracing and partnering with bloggers in an effort to increase readership and revenue.

"Any new information source is a potential competitor to a local newspaper. Smart newspapers are figuring out they don’t have to fight with those competitors — they can make alliances with them," Robert Niles, editor of the Online Journalism Review told the L.A. Times.

The Washington Post is one example as it has added a sponsored blog roll to its Web site with a directory of links to blogs that focus on travel health, technology and more. When the paper sells an ad on the blog roll’s main page, the bloggers share the money with the newspaper.

Caroline Little, chief executive of Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive says the ad network is good business. She says the partnership with bloggers has increased ad revenue. A spokeswoman for Adify, a company that powers the ad network technology to the Post, said the blog roll had increased the site’s traffic by over 50 percent. "It’s about figuring out how to monetize other people’s content," Little said.

The Houston Chronicle has also turned to bloggers and has recruited 50 reader bloggers. Scott Clark vice president and editor of Chron.com, said reader’s blogs have broadened coverage. "Many of our readers have specialized knowledge and passions," he said. "By adding them to our site, we tremendously expand the scope of information that we’re able to provide."

Kinsey Wilson, executive editor of USA Today, summed up the concept of newspapers and bloggers forming alliances. "The walled garden is dead. We’re living in an era of distributed content," he said