Last Saturday I joined with an army of other bloggers and headed to London for BlogFest. I love blogging get together’s, as blogging can sometimes feel like a solitary pursuit. So it is great to have an opportunity to see your blogging friends, to learn, swap ideas, have a good gossip with lots of laughs.
I met up with various friends along the way and eventually we found our way to the venue, the fantastic Kings Place, which was a fabulous conference venue. After drinks and pastries (not for me I must add!), it was onto the welcome by Mumsnet, followed by a panel discussion highlighting how the internet shapes the way we think. Onward to the first break out session, which gave us a chance to pick which session suited us best. I went to the session ‘Making money from your blog’ and these are the main points I gleaned.
Gina Roughan (Zone)
- Mum audience is hard to reach for brands. Mums are tuned into bullshit and brands know they need to use Mum bloggers to target mums.
- Mum bloggers get into the nooks and crannies of the internet that brands can’t.
- Mum bloggers have credibility and are especially interesting to a brand if they have a particular passion in a niche.
- Cut through – Mum bloggers know SEO and social media. They also know who and how to connect.
- They have trust, their readers trust what they say.
- They encourage approaches to their agency.
- If using images for gift guides etc, you can just take them, as you are promoting the product.
Why brands want to work with certain bloggers;
- Traffic and figures.
- Quality and regularity of content.
- Social profile/following.
- Previous brand work.
- Reputation/relationship with agency.
- Level of work involved.
- Added social media support offered by the blogger.
Tara Cain – Sticky Fingers – 8 ways to work with brands
- You are a brand – be professional at all times (especially on social media). Don’t apologise for wanting to make money. Be respectful when you turn a job down.
- Make it easy for people to contact you – ensure all your contact details are in a prominent place. If brands can’t find them quickly, they will move on.
- Build up traffic and social media.
- PR Yourself – make sure you have a media pack.
- Join a blogger network.
- Get creative – think for the brand. If you don’t want to do something in the way it is pitched, counter pitch a creative idea.
- Show off – list all the companies you have worked with.
- Be in it for the long haul.
Alicia Navarro – CEO of Slimlinks
Skimlinks is an automated Affiliate link network.
- Traditional advertising is peripheral, but affiliate marketing is within the content.
- They are native adverts (the same format as the content) so they look more natural.
- Simply input your usual link and Skimlinks will monetize it (if possible). You are in control of the links.
- Through the reports you can gain an insight into which pages drive most money.
- Provide a url shortener which you can use on twitter/ FB etc.
- Affiliate marketing makes brands notice you. Then they start to approach you for other opportunities.
- If you install Skimlinks it will convert historical links too!
Advanced Social Media – Paul Armstrong
- Use Twitter lists
- Beatrix – Gives you post ideas, cost approximately $9 per month.
- Flipboard, great for drawing together content in one place.
- Rapportive, adds a panel to your emails, which shows you the persons social media channels.
- Hello Bar – nicely designed bar on your page, which you can edit as you wish.
- Twitter Cards
- TSU – pay for your posts.
- Find out where your traffic comes from and interrogate it, in order to maximise it.
- If your bounce rate is high – make sure your blog theme is responsive.
- Increase FB traffic – Commenting, sharing with friends, good use of adverts.
- Increase Twitter – Photo’s, GIFs and calls to action, asking for RT.
- Google + is good for international traffic
- Google hangouts are good for free advice,
- Instagram – remember to tag, tags drive traffic.
- Text people your blog post links. On average the response time for texts is 15 seconds!
- If you are starting a blog, use Squarespace, not WP or Blogger.
Monetize your blog roundtable – Chaired by Alison Perry (Not Another Mummy Blog)
- Paul from Alfilinet – Brands want bloggers who can communicate their brand values.
- Disclosure is VERY important.
- Alison – ‘Your voice/tone is your niche’
- If you are paid to tweet you should incorporate #ad or #sp.
- Emma Nutrition – makes most money from joint ventures. Her mailing list is the most important thing to her. Join with a bloggers or companies and cross promote between each other’s mailing lists. To grow a mailing list – offer an incentive to sign up.
- Reviews – must be balanced, and show some negatives in some or you will lose credibility with your audience.