Champagne, cupcakes, and blog talk? What could be better? Nothing in my book!
Which is why I enjoyed the Blogging as a Business + Monetization seminar with Meg Biram last night so much.
It was informative, motivating, laid back, and intimiate. And, best of all? I walked away with new friends, a renewed commitment to get my "business" underway, and the know-how to take this blog to a new heights.
A few of MY major take-aways:
// Spend less time blogging and more time on the business aspect (i.e. pitching yourself to brands, working on creating products and/or services, and getting the backend of your business in order). One piece of advice from Meg - if you treat your blog more like a business (as in, getting it organized), you'll start to act and think more like a business!
// For me personally, upping my social media presence. I need to get engaged. I work so hard behind-the-scenes getting content together but I'm not really connected with my readers on any social media platforms (except maybe Instagram). Twitter, I'm learning, is very powerful (There's a great post about this today over on The Well).
// Content is king. Do something original. In Meg's words, "take it to a crazy new level." "Seperate yourself SO much." "Create your own content."
// Be your biggest PR rep! I am so shy about my blog and it's really quite ridiculous! I should be proud! I need to yell it from the rooftops... This was one of my goals for the month.
// Be very selective with financial risks. I already should have learned this lesson, but it's one I find myself continuing to learn over and over again. I need to get it through my head that business shouldn't mean spending all my money; it should mean making money! Personally, I need to be much more selective with blog/business purchases, and ensure there's a return, or simply abandon the idea/project (unless it's working with a product I truly love or I'm honored to work with, or there's the potential for more followers. However, be leary of the latter, because that isn't always the case. I really like this post on the b bar about this topic.)
// This is the Wild West so saddle up and lasso some opportunities! --> Sorry, that's kind of corny, but from what I learned, the blogging/business world is still new and there's negotiating power and leverage and room for growth. You have to put yourself out there, test the waters, and CREATE opportunities for yourself. Don't wait for them to come to you.
Also in my notes:
- Saying no is OK.
- In partnerships, ask yourself, how is this mutually beneficial?
- Be a negotiator.
- Read the fine print and hire a lawyer help decipher contracts you can't understand. Or, break them down into layman's terms and reiterate to basics back to a company for clarification.
- Emails are better than phone calls - get it in writing.
- What's your hourly rate at your day job? Think about applying that to the work you do. the work you offer as a blogger.
- Look beyond blogging! What are you passionate about? What do you want to spend your time doing? What comes natural? Focus on what you enjoy.
- It's not all about the numbers! 1,000 really engaged readers is better than 10,000 followers who aren't paying attention.
- Sponsored content and collaborations are the future. (We're moving away from Ads.)
- When working with brands, be innovative - offer up ideas.
- Have a PDF "deck" of stats, audience stats, brands you've worked with, etc. Your go-to for facts about your blog and businesses.
- Be your own biggest PR agent/advocate!
- Before reaching out, pay attention to what a brand is doing - are they working with bloggers? In what ways? Research (or as some like to say, "stalk") them!
- Network with other bloggers!
- Tag and link to brands and other bloggers - see how they react.
- Plan way in advance (as a business, with partnerships, you should be thinking months in advance).
- Use an editoral calendar. (I blogged about mine.)
There was a lot more but I don't want to overwhelm you! I suggest checking out Meg's blog and The Well (the b-bar blog). Meg was really nice (and she's so pretty too)! It was awesome to meet her in person,
What piece of advice here strikes a cord with you?
How could you be doing better as a blogger and/or business?