The philosophy of advertising on your blog (or other platform that you’ve developed) as a peace builder should be “baked in” to the approaches that you make before creating content. 

To understand the idea of “baked in,” advertising the consideration should be what sort of advertising might be best to drive revenues to a blog and a business.  In this stead, there are pretty much two (and maybe three) ways that a peace builder can generate revenues on their platform using advertising:

Native advertising—this includes sponsored content, advertorials, and some types of guest posts. It also includes any writing the peace builder does to promote a product or service they have used. At this time in the Internet’s history, sponsored content is all the rage, as commercial (and some non-commercial) brands struggle to push through the noise and grab the attention of various audiences.

However, native advertising works in two directions—for the person who owns the platform and the audience and for the person, or organization, who wants to get the attention of that audience—when there is a developed audience. This means, the savvy peace builder has to have been doing the hard work of blogging, video development, social media following, email marketing and all of the other small things which lead to growing an audience desired by an external third party. 

Many peace builders struggle with the implications of developing native advertising. As we stated in the last article, issues of access, social justice, equity and equality all rub up against the inherent nature of native advertising. However, as a revenue stream, many bloggers in many other fields are working hard to build up an toward which audience they can then push native advertising efforts.

Direct social media advertising—this includes Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter cards, and other forms of purchased advertising. For the savvy peace builder, there are pluses and minuses to purchasing social media attention. On the one hand, it is cheaper to turn a blog post into a Facebook Ad that drives traffic back to a website and encourages people to download a $0.99 eBook. 

On the other hand, there is the issue of where those ads are located (particularly on mobile devices) and how much the peace builder may be interested in paying. Facebook has set the standard (after Google, of course) for this kind of advertising and prices range anywhere from $2.00 per ad to $25.00 per add. Depending upon what audience the peace builder is targeting, paid ads can become a way of paying to get a downloadable piece of content in front of a diverse audience.

Guest “contenting”—this is not recognized as a form of advertising, but for the peace builder, I would recommend considering podcast interviews, guest blog posts, video shoots, and even YouTube interviews as methods of advertising. From an ethical standpoint for the peace builder, this is the most ethical form of advertising. Everyone involved understands the product they are getting. Hopefully, the collaboration with the interviewer, the blog owner, or the videographer is a good one; and everyone wants to advance their products, services and approaches. 

However, many peace builders hesitate to “cross over” and to insinuate (or even introduce) themselves to professionals other industries or spheres. Such as, a mediator commenting on entrepreneurship in high tech start-ups, a social worker dipping into the world of financial planners and advisors, or even an arbitrator developing a collaborative podcast with a graphic designer. In an increasingly complex world, however, such collaborations serve as a form of advertising which benefits the peace builder, the audience (who may never have been exposed to the principles of peace) and to a larger world that is more, not less, ethically fraught.

Please feel free to contact me via email or explore my blog,  The HSCT #Communication Blog, as well as take the time to talk with me via Twitter, the HSCT Facebook Page or even connect with me via LinkedIn.

All right. Let’s get going…

By Jesan Sorrells

Jesan Sorrells is the founder, owner and principal conflict engagement consultant at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT), a boutique, private, conflict communication and corporate training consultancy, based out of Endicott, NY. HSCT focuses on delivering Christian based, alternative dispute resolution solutions in the areas of conflict communication, conflict skills development and conflict consulting for a variety of clients, including corporations, higher education organizations and nonprofits. HSCT accomplishes this by leveraging cutting edge, pioneering and entrepreneurial resolutions to conflict, communications, social media, and organizational development for its clients through trainings, seminars, workshops and 1-on-1 consulting.