Seth Godin has an article today called ads are the new tip jar, where he advocates clicking on
webmaster welfare Google adsense or other contextual ads to help bloggers get paid for their work. He of course completely ignores that advertisers will be paying for clicks from people who had absolutely no intention of using or buying the service advertised. If you click on an ad and your purpose is to make sure the site owner or blogger gets money from the click, and you had no intent to buy or research, that is click fraud.
That kind of behavior comes from some belief that bloggers are entitled to get paid for their work wheter it’s valuable or not (see Adsense: Why Bloggers Don’t Get It). Bloggers need to realize just because a handful of lifestyle mommy bloggers are able to make a living blogging, there isn’t an unlimited market for that type of content, and unless you are the best of the bunch, you will probably make more money working the drive thru window at McDonalds.
Want to make money blogging … write blogs that are commercially viable and attractive to advertisers. Be willing to give up some prime real estate to advertising.
For other opinions see Is Seth Godin encouraging click fraud and Seth Godin Advocates Click Fraud. This is the kind of subject I wish Techcrunch would talk about or would make its way onto techmeme. Not enough bloggers understand the full circle of advertising and buying on the web.