According to Fast Company, as ad blocking software becomes more ubiquitous (consider Apple’s new iOS 9, which supports ad blocking applications), the entire ecosystem of small publishers and bloggers is threatened by an inability to adequately fund their sites. Web users, including myself, are now opting for better control over their browsing experience after being accosted with ads that are intrusive, slow and many times dangerous. This often translates to the implementation of ad blocking software.
But ad blocking software does not have an even impact across the playing field. Larger companies likely have other means of income from product sales and other offline sources. To survive, small publishers and bloggers may have to move towards sponsored posts, product promotions and paywalls.
We’re proud to say we manage all of our online ads in-house and do not use any third-party ad placement service, so no worry of malware for our readers. We also don’t employ a paywall at Comstock’s — yet. We do, however, offer sponsored content to our clients. The two pillars of effective sponsored content are authenticity and transparency. That’s why we work hard to publish sponsored content that offers real value for both our clients and our readers, and we clearly label this content via text notations, color scheme and relevant hashtags when posted on social media.
As a reader, you can vote with your dollars by paying for subscriptions to the publications you support. You can subscribe to Comstock’s magazine here, and I encourage you to do the same for all of the small, local publications you love.