Wednesday, 30 May 2012

blogpodium: the business of blogging

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
And thanks to Nicole, Cheryl, Laura, Christine, and Leigh-Anne for sharing your knowledge and insight.

I'm already looking forward to the next installment of BlogPodium :-) Will you be there?


  1. Great roundup and lessons to take away. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is very valuable information. It's funny, I was just approached by a company today regarding putting an ad on my blog. I am super excited !!! Now I just have to talk business with them.

  3. I made the experience once my blog was found by people via google search, companies approached me for ads.

  4. What a wonderful group of talented bloggers. I hope to attend one in the near future!

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing this information with us, Kelly! A very useful round-up, and so awesome that it's Canadian specific... I deleted the last comment, because I got the wrong cocktail connected to the wrong blogger ;-) Ooops!

  7. This is so awesome. I was just looking into ad options this morning. I have been hesitant about reaching out to companies, but think that might be a good exercise to try. Thank you for sharing all of the tips.

  8. Great summary, thanks for sharing :)

  9. As you know Kelly I do not have a Blog and am more of a Commentor (than anything else) who genuinely appreciates the talent, effort and dedication that an individual puts into their posts. I applaud all of you!

    With that said, I do admit that I do have my favourites that I regularly visit however am detecting a trend 'of in your face sponsorship' for a product brand or cause which I personally feel as a reader some times can have an negative effect. In a nutshell I guess what I am really saying is 'in the case that you are approached, be very selective and wise about who you Sponsor or you may find your number in readers plummet'. Do your homework so to speak, as Kelly suggests.

    Also a tad off subject; I have noticed as of late (namely on American Blogs) there appears to be a new-wave of undercurrent hostility in event one does not credit a source. IMHO, it is unfortunte and sad to see that Blog Land may be turning into a battleground.