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The Huffington Post UK is launching branded blogs at the start of next year, mirroring a service already offered by its US counterpart and Forbes.

The US version of Huffington Post already offers brands the chance to blog, providing a new form of advertising to clients like BMW.

Forbes’ contributor platform is a repackaged result of the company’s acquisition of True/Slant. It allows handpicked bloggers, journalists and experts to have their own space on Forbes.com. Like Huffington Post, each writer’s content is edited, but not restricted, and the 700-plus members of the community are all allowed to update whenever they like.

At the time of acquisition, True/Slant had no source of revenue, so Forbes created AdVoice, which basically does the exact same thing – but for brands instead of individuals.

Forbes staff provide consulting services to help position AdVoice content. In the old days, those employees might have produced advertorial for marketers, which was usually ofairly obvious due to the tone and style of the writing. But with paid and unpaid bloggers as well as the self-published musings of staff writers circulating among magazine content, a good post from a marketer might have a chance for eyeballs.

True/Slant founder, now chief product officer at Forbes, Lewis DVorkin told AdWeek that, "Marketers need to reach the audience. This is where publishing is headed."

Now, SAP, Dell and Microsoft are all AdVoice users. Even though Forbes initially faced some criticism about the blurring of lines between editorial and advertising, its been a huge success for the company. It’s no wonder that Huffington Post is now following suit.

The New York Times’ Nate Silver analysed HuffPo’s content at the beginning of the year, and came to the conclusion that the average blog post was worth $13 to the company in ad revenue. Signing up a brand, giving them a platform, is more likely to be worth thousands. It makes total sense.

This week, the Huffington Post also announced that it would be creating a 'celebrity and culture' section, signing up Susan Boyle, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Carol Vorderman to write for the site.

Vikki Chowney

Published 15 December, 2011 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

David Petherick

David Petherick, Head of Digital Marketing at First Vehicle Leasing

Hmm. Not sure I like this.

Blogging should have consistency and transparency at its core, and I think there's a very fuzzy logic to say that 'writer's content is edited, but not restricted'.

To say that 'this is where publishing is headed' is simply a declaration of desperation.

"Hey! The old print model is busted, online subscription model doesn't make enough to keep the lights on. I've got it! We'll try letting advertisers come under our trusted brand, and pretend it does not dilute our editorial integrity and perceived quality. We'll own millions of eyeballs and get paid again!"

Adding Susan Boyle, Jeremy Hunt, and Carol Vorderman just about sums up the importance of quality and creativity.

almost 5 years ago

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