A guide for potential bloggers

What’s the difference between
advertising, advertorial, editorial and blogging?

 

CONTACT is a ‘platform’ with a large, engaged niche audience, to which companies and individuals would like to gain access.

The main components of the CONTACT ‘platform’ are our quarterly magazine, our fortnightly newsletter and this daily-updated web site, which we consider to be our HQ – all of which are provided completely free to our more-than 10,000 email subscribers (subscribe here).

We also use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ as ’embassies’ to connect with and engage our audience where they hang out, and invite them to visit our HQ (web site).

Building the audience we currently have has taken a long time and a lot of work – so we very highly respect and protect our relationship with our audience.

To that end, all content on this web site is selected and curated for relevance to our audience.

We also do not ‘spam’ our audience and we do not allow others to spam them either – we will never sell or allow third-party access to our email list.

CONTACT relies almost completely on revenue generated from commercial advertising. But, even in this space, we still vet our advertisers and apply rules to the type and standard of advertising we accept – and sometimes reject – for publication. We have actually said no to fee-paying advertisers who do not share our values or whose advertising we deem ‘inappropriate’ to our audience specifically or ‘tasteless’ generally.

Unlike many other web sites, we also do not enter into advertising arrangements whereby we cannot directly control, censor, block or remove undesirable advertisements. The ‘click-bait’ rubbish found at the bottom of many, even respectable, web sites is actually very lucrative – but we gladly forego the money in favour of control.

 

Can we ‘blog’ for you? or
‘Do you accept contributions?’

Being a publishing house with a very attractive audience in terms of size and demographic, we are often approached by companies (some of whom already advertise with us and some of whom do not) and individuals asking if we accept articles for publication. More often in this digital age, the actual question is, ‘do we accept ‘blogs’?’

And the simple answer is, ‘yes, we do’.

But that question and answer is then usually followed by a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about what constitutes around what we will and will not accept in terms of content.

Sadly, a lot of people just don’t get it – and consequently don’t get to ‘blog’ with us.

So, we figured it was time we laid down the ground rules as clearly and as simply as we can, to save confusion and disappointment – and to save ourselves from having to explain it over and over again to each new prospective ‘blogger’.

A few (of our) definitions to start…

A ‘blog’ is an article or a post on our web site, usually fairly short and concise (not a rule) that offers the reader something for nothing – news, opinion, advice, guidance, information, entertainment etc etc on any topic or theme about or of interest to military personnel (massive scope).

An ‘article’ or ‘editorial’ usually refers to a piece that is intended for publication in our magazine. These are usually much more refined in standards, style, tone, topic etc – and photographic-support requirements.

‘Advertorial’ is a piece that is written in the style of editorial or a ‘blog’, but is clearly (to us) designed to promote a product, company, person etc etc. ‘Advertorial’ is basically ‘advertising in disguise’ – as such, we may still accept it for publication, but usually for a fee.

 

 

What you need to know:

If you are a commercial entity and your goal is to sell a product or a service or to promote your company or to attract our audience to also ‘like’ your web site, Facebook etc, then you should seriously consider advertising with us. Our rates are very competitive and ‘traditional’ advertising is (or can be when done right) a ‘quick fix’ for getting attention.

If you are a commercial entity and your goal is to sell a product or service or to promote your company etc, then ‘blogging’ for our audience could also be a very attractive option for you.

HOWEVER – if you think blogging is cheap – or if you think blogging is easy – or if you think blogging is a cheap and easy alternative to advertising – then read no further – don’t waste your time or ours. BLOGGING IS NOT A SHORT-TERM SALES TOOL – BLOGGING IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE FOR ADVERTISING.

Blogging – true blogging – is not cheap or easy. True blogging requires time, resources, research, effort, commitment.

Blogging is all about building long-term trust, respect, recognition, brand awareness.

If you do not take blogging seriously, you will do more harm than good in terms of audience trust and respect.

Companies or other commercial entities can, of course, create their own web site and blog to their own audience.

But building an audience is not easy or quick.

So, they come to us, seeking to ‘blog’ or write for or speak to our large, ready-made audience.

And we welcome them – if they play by our rules.

 

Our audience, our rules:

We are here to serve our audience. If you want to speak to our audience, your first and foremost intent must be to serve them too. Through blogging, you must offer our audience something of value – news, opinion, advice, guidance, information, entertainment etc etc – AND you must not ask for anything in return.

Blogging is not advertising. If you want to advertise – then advertise.

 

What does this means in practical terms?

Let’s say you are a company selling after-market military equipment and you want to ‘blog’ about after-market military equipment. Let’s take military boots for example. We think there could be a dozen different blogs that could be written about military boots…

DO:
How/why military boots differ from work boots; why fit and comfort are important; how good socks help prevent blisters; advice on how to take care of new boots to make them last longer; tips on drying your boots in the bush.

DON’T:
What we do not want to see is a blog about how you have the best brand at the best price or that you are the most trusted expert on boot care or that no other shop has a boot-size-measuring gizmo like yours.

At this stage, if you are thinking, “how can I sell boots if he won’t let me tell the audience about my shop?” – the answer, of course, is “don’t blog – advertise”.

But, if you are thinking, “how can I educate young soldiers on the pitfalls of buying the wrong boot so that they don’t hurt their feet or waste their money” – then you are the kind of company we would like to talk to about being a CONTACT blogger.

 

To discuss this further, phone or email…

Brian Hartigan
CONTACT Editor
0408 496 664
editor@militarycontact.com

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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