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BlogPodium: The Business of Blogging Recap

May 27, 2012

Conversation, collaboration, connection. BlogPodium is conference series that brings design & lifestyle bloggers, marketers, and the design community together.

With another successful BlogPodium Conference behind me, I can honestly say that I have learned a lot when it comes to Blogs + Media and The Business of Blogging. The panel of experts and guest speaker, Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely, shared in inside perspective of how they run their blogs as a businesses.

Here is the rundown of the great tips that the expert panel suggested….

Nicole Balch Making it Lovely
  • How did you start advertising? Getting Started with Advertising: I started advertising within 1 year of starting my blog.
  • My Ads: I offer small ads for etsy sellers/bloggers at a more affordable rate + larger spots for companies.
  • Advertising Types: Direct Sales, Networks, Text Links, Affiliate Links, Google Ads, Sponsored Posts.
  • Affiliate links are a way to monetize on a topic you are already posting about. StyleRewards is an option.
  • I started doing ads when I hit 10,000 pageviews/month. It’s a good goal to strive for.
  • Ads should be free to start, with inexpensive rates to get established. Approach bloggers or Etsy shops. Test the waters and see what the market with support.
  • Talk to other bloggers in your category to determine where you should set your rates.
  • Above the Fold & Below the Fold will have different rates. ATF will have a higer rate.
  • Working with an Ad Network allows you to hand over the management of the ads to them. Time saver!
  • The downsides of working with an Ad Network is the fees. They can range anywhere between 40-70%.  Contracts. Most of the time you are locked in for 1 year. Payment delays – they are paid after a certain period of time.
  • What is the sponsored post frequency that is comfortable? Twice per month is the consensus.
  • How I format my sponsored post… “This post is brought to you by…” like a commercial before a TV show.
  • Advertising Trades: Posts on products or services that were received for free, in exchange for exposure.
  • Companies tend to like “projects,” approach them and tell them your vision for the project. Ask for it. Give them exposure.
  • Endorsement: Should be used sparingly. Brands love them, but your readers may not.
  • You are going to make mistakes when you are growing. Pay attention to your reader feedback.
Lindsay Stephenson
  • When did you implement advertisign on your blog? Mine started later than most, I dabble in the advertising, but find more in the sponsored partnerships.
  • I started with sponsored posts. I had a project in mind and reached out and asked for product
  • If I am asking for something from a company, I usually ask for something to giveaway to my readers too.
  • I don’t do a lot of giveaways. I don’t want to be a giveaway blog.
  • If you are going down the advertising road, you do have to think about what your readers will think.
  • Although we learned a lot from @makingitlovely, the opportunities & advertising is very different in Canada.
  • I spend 1-2 hours a day writing my blog. I have a structured balance between work and Oscar.
  • You can tell when reading a blog whether or not they are “in it for the money” sometimes its a turn off.
  • I try to blog 3 times per week. I have set that, and try to stick to it. Blogging regularly is important.
  • “When tweeting a sponsored post, put “SP” in your tweet so you know you’re directing them to a sponsored post.
Christine Dovey
  • When did you implement advertising on your blog? I set a number before implementing advertising. I sought out advertiser, shops that I like, and asked them.
  • I did not start my blog with the expectation of making money.
  • Giveaways are a win-win. You gain readership, the company gets exposure. I don’t charge for giveaways.
  • If you live in Canada I think you are going to have a harder time making a living off your blog.
  • Your blog gives the opportunity to open avenues that you never thought existed.
  • I spend about 6 hours on my blog. I write my posts in the morning & spend time commenting on other blogs.
  • I do not have a business plan for my blog. I work on an organic basis. What I like, see, feel, day to day.
  • I don’t do contracts with advertisers, I ask for a 3 month minimum, and charge via paypal.
  • Commenting on other people blogs is huge. It is where they find you, & you can get them to keep coming back.
  • Pinterest has really changed the way that I curate posts on my blog. It makes it more editorial focused now.
  • If you are accepting income, you do have to claim it on your taxes!
Cheryl Kozoriz
  • When I look at blogs I look at authority, context, engagement & reach.
  • Open to pitches – a friendly short email. Have a plan in mind & why. Make sure you are familiar with the brand.
  • We work bloggers into our media outreach when it comes to editorial (ie press releases, product launches, etc).
  • Make sure you can support your rate with reach and other statistics.
  • If you want to be on a media list, just reach out!
Laura Muirhead
  • From a PR perspective it depends on the clients objectives: is it brand awareness, creating buzz, a recommendation.
  • We are always looking for co-creation of content.
  • Brands are looking for a true partner. And the amplification through other social media channels.
  • 2 secrets to share: 1) Identify yourself as Canadian, 2) I check out Twitter lists.
  • Are bloggers in your marketing plan? Yes, we build in blogger outreach when it comes to certain promotions.
  • If you reach out to a PR company, the PR company has to “sell you” to their client, so include stats.
  • Turn offs? It’s disheartening when there is no follow up. Always, always follow up.
  • When we pay bloggers it’s to cover the cost of materials. Ex: we give them $ to buy ingredients for a recipe.
  • Brands know you need them, and they need you. You need their content, and they need your amplification.
  • Check out WOMMA.org for disclosures when it comes to compensation and giveaways.

We can’t forgot to thank Jennifer and Lindsay, for once again, working so hard to organize this event. Everything from the thoughtful swag bags + bloggers directory, to their scouting of some phenomenal sponsors and guest speakers.

Did you enjoy the event? What was your biggest takeaway when it comes to the business of blogging?

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