1WineDudeTV Episode 22: Wine Blogger Welfare (or “What Doesn’t Work In Wine Blog Advertising”)

Vinted on November 24, 2010 binned in 1WineDude TV, going pro

In the latest Going Pro series installment, I talk about what works (and doesn’t work!) for advertising on wine blogs.  Why? Because YOU asked for it!

I also engage in some very, very strange dancing behavior which I hope doesn’t offend anyone. (Sorry!).

Have a safe & happy Turkey Day, people!

Mentioned in this episode:






  • @viniculture_pl

    As usually… your job is great! Thank you very much for spreading words with your experience to wine bloggers/writers community. Hope they're all smart enough to get lesson and start doing things in a correct way!

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks – I'm not gonna say that this way is "correct" but I am gonna say that I feel confident telling wine bloggers that google text ads are NOT usually gonna work for them.


      • @viniculture_pl

        Let's be honest. Wine bloggers are not really familiar with internet based solutions. The bar to entry is not really high, but underneath there are a lot of sophisticated tools and possible ways which can guide you to be efficient. On this level, to me, it's "correct way";) At the end of the day I just agree with you:]

        • 1WineDude

          Fair enough! :-)

  • Lesley

    Hi Joe – Thanks for responding to reader requests and making this informative episode! I joined the Palate Press Ad Network a few weeks ago, so was happy to hear that you recommend it.

    Do you have any thoughts on sponsored blog posts? I was approached by a potential advertiser who wanted to sponsor certain blog posts (with a "sponsored by" ad at the top of that particular post). This advertiser feels that sponsored posts are more profitable than sidebar ads, which they see as a money loser. In the end I decided that I wasn't really comfortable with the idea, because even though there was no suggestion that the advertiser would actually influence the content of the blog posts, I thought it would probably be perceived as an advertiser-influenced post by readers (thereby harming my credibility as a blogger). But I would be curious to hear others' opinions…

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Leslie. I don't accept sponsored blog posts for exactly that reason. However, I wouldn't rule it out entirely if, for example, you could work out an agreement that you do not write about that producer/sponsor/etc. so long as they're a sponsor. In the end, being open and honest and totally transparent with your readers is, I find, the best option, and the great thing about a blog is that you can ask your readers if they're cool with your approach – if so, then you could go for it, if not then skip it.

      This works because on-line, people can smell a fake from a mile away, *especially* smart people who are into wine and reading your blog!

      BTW, if those advertisers are seeing sidebar ads as money losers, then they're probably running crappy ad copy and/or are measuring the wrong things and/or have expectations that are out of whack with reality, and are therefore (more than) partially to blame. I mean, you're offering them the water to which you've lead your readers, it's *their* job to get people to drink. Just sayin'. :)


  • Susan Guerra

    Hey Joe,

    I haven't been by in a while (new job keeping me busy) but I love the new look of the site. Great video and very sound advice. Did you hire a foot model for this episode because those toes looked awfully perfect! The dancing wasn't too bad either. If I squinted my eyes and cocked my head a little you looked a tad less caucasian!!!

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.


    • 1WineDude

      Sue – HA!!!

      • Susan Guerra

        Shapely feet are an asset in this life. Not that I would know! :-)

  • Joeshico

    Thank's Joe for the info. I do currently have the AdSense and will take your advice and drop, just don't know if I can get rid of it entirely since I have a Blogger platform. I may also have to wait (like to wait) a few weeks since I am very close to first pay off.
    The big question you answered for me was on ad rates. Those who have contacted me ask what my rates are and I had no idea on what the structure should be. Do you think it is wise to ask them what they are willing to pay or should I set an ad payment plan myself?

    • 1WineDude

      Joe – I should stress that if Google is working for you, you may want to keep it around and possibly even rotate it with other ads (WordPress for example has plug-ins that an do this); for the vast majority Google is probably NOT gonna pay out well, but if you're close to getting a payment I'd keep it around at least until then!

      I would only ask advertisers for their budget if you have a really good relationship with them; they may even be able to tell you the approx. range of what they paid for similar ads elsewhere.


  • David Honig


    First, thank you for the kind words. Our goal in Rhe Palate Press Advertising Network has always been two-wY, to create a one-stop shop for wine advertisers, and to create a place where wine bloggers can combine their viewers and page views to maximize their value.

    You point about direct ad sales is a very good one. Know your audience and then offer it to advertisers. One thing we do at the Ad Network to make that work for individual bloggers is to create a system that allows them to sell space on the or own site and on the network. It's best explained with an example:

    1. Assume you run a wine blog that gets 2,500 page views a month with 750 unique visitors. That is pretty average for a moderately successful wine blog.

    2. Assume next that you focus on white wines and wineries from the southeastern corner of your state. That means your readers like whites, the region, or both.

    3. An advertiser is not going to pay much to reach 750 people, even if they are all the target audience. On the other hand, you want to get the maximum value yourself from your direct sale. That's where we come in.

    4. The Palate Press Advertising Network is non-exclusive. That means you can approach an advertiser ad say "how would you like to reach my viewers, as well as an additional 2.5 million page views by wine readers every month?

    5. Sell the space at our ad rates, $10/1,000 page views. Put the ad on your own site yourself, and we will put it on the network on every site BUT yours. You get 100% of what you eat on your own site (instead of the usual 50% for ads we place on the site. You also get a 10% commission for ads on the network.

    6. Assume the advertiser has a $1,000 budget for a month. If you run the ad on every page view, you only generate $2.50 on your own site. But by running it yourself and sending the lead to the network, you also get $100 as a 10% commission. You are generating revenue as a blogger, taking advantage, not just of your page views, but of your increased visibility that makes you a good salesman. It's easy to sell, because you are selling something you believe in – yourself.

    Just a couple of other comments in response to some of the other comments here.

    Susan, Joe's feet are definitely smoking. I just wish he hadn't been so coy. Hey Joe, let us see those painted toes.

    Joeshico, good luck with Adsense. Getting close to the payoff is not the same as getting paid off. I know of people who have been told, when they reach payoff, that they are in violation of TOS and won't get paid, usually for the sin of self-clicking.

    Lesley, sponsored blog posts come in many flavors. Some are very basic, like placing an ad in a post on the topic, but Not specific to the advertiser, and the advertiser has no input, like an ad for a specific Oregon Pinot in a story about the history of the Oregon wine industry. At the far other end are advertorials, "stories" that are really paid content, but look like regular stories. Those are not just questionable, but might also be in violation of new FCC rules. We can give you more specific guidance within the network. We're thrilled to have you.

  • 1WineDude

    THanks, avid.

    Another reason to use the PP ad network – there are actual human beings behind it! :)

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