Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BlogPodium: The Business of Blogging

I posted this BlogPodium recap over at DTTD, but I thought I’d share it with you here as well because it’s important information that every blogger who’s interested in monetizing their blog may find helpful.
Although this past weekend was filled with laughter and wine and crazy cab rides and more laughter and more wine and some singing and more wine and TBB brainstorming and tap dancing and more wine, there was some serious business going on too - The Business of Blogging, to be specific :-) Jen and Lindsay brought together a great group of people at a great venue for another super-informative installment of BlogPodium.
Keynote speaker
Keynote speaker Nicole Balch from Making It Lovely talked about how her blog has evolved into a business, and gave us advice on how to monetize our blogs.
In a nutshell...
  • A good starting point for adding small ads is when your blog reaches 10,000 views per month. These are typically small boutique ads (for example, an Etsy shop).
  • Approach vendors that you like and want to support, and offer them ad space on your blog. You might even start with a free ad to get things rolling. 
  • A good starting point for using an ad network is when your blog reaches 50,000 views per month.
  • SheBlogs Media is the place to go if you're a Canadian blogger - they're Canada's first official social ad media network for women and represent 100% Canadian content.
  • Sponsored posts are another way to make money with your blog. But don't overdo it, and don't let the brand write the sponsored post for you. Your readers want to hear your voice and know that the post is authentic. Make it clear that a post is being sponsored by a brand - it's as simple as a statement or logo at the beginning of the post that says "Today's post brought to you by....."
Panel discussion
Nicole's presentation was followed by a panel of experts who discussed monetizing blogs from the perspective of both brands and bloggers.
Left to right: Cheryl Kozoriz from Gluckstein Home, Laura Muirhead from Tribal DDB, Lindsay Stephenson from Little House Blog, Christine Dovey from Bjou and Boheme, Leigh-Anne Allaire Perrault from Cityline (moderator)
From the brand perspective, they're looking for the following from bloggers:
  • Authority  How well informed and professional are you.
  • Context How does your blog's content relate to their brand.
  • Engagement  Do your posts get a lot of comments, what's your following on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Reach  What are your blog stats, do you have a strong social media reach.

  • Brands are open to different kinds of pitches.
  • You don't necessarily have to be a the big kid on the block - smaller niche blogs are appealing to brands, and the style and aesthetic of your blog are also important.
  • Brands want to know who you are and where you're from - identify yourself as a Canadian blogger.
  • Authenticity is important.
  • How has your blog grown over time, what kind of reaction do you get to your blog posts.

From the blogger perspective:

  • If you want to monetize your blog, it's super-important to keep track of and know your blog stats.
  • Put yourself out there - approach shops, sellers, and companies that you like and ask them if they're interested in working together on a project.
  • Prepare a proposal to submit with your request - be brief and have a plan in mind.
  • Make it clear what you're able to offer the brand - for example, an ad above the fold (highest visibility) an ad on your sidebar, X number of sponsored posts, etc.
  • Tell the brand why they should want to work with you.
  • If a brand approaches you but you don't like the pitch, reply back and let them know what you DO want to do with them.

Vendor Meet & Greet

We spent a couple of hours meeting all the BlogPodium vendors and sponsors. It was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves and connect with brands that want to work with bloggers. I'm already thinking about the projects that I have planned and which brands I'd like to approach about working together! And once again, a huge THANK YOU to PARA Paints for selecting me to be on their Blog Crew. It's an amazing opportunity to work with a Canadian company that has been in business for almost 100 years, and I'm really excited to get started :-)
Jen and Gary from PARA Paints
Thank you to all the other amazing vendors and sponsors!
Thanks to Jen & Lindsay for all the hard work they put into making BlogPodium such a huge success. Hope you ladies have some time to relax now!
The BlogPodium Queens! Lindsay & Jen
Thanks to Nicole, Cheryl, Laura, Christine, and Leigh-Anne for sharing your knowledge and insight.
And hugs to the TBBs! :-)
TBBs 2
I'm already looking forward to the next installment of BlogPodium :-) Will you be there?