EVO: The Business of Blogging

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????I just got home from attending the EVO Conference hosted by Rachael from Today’s Mama and Jyl from Mom It Forward and here’s a quick recap of the Business of Blogging panel.  These are my notes from the panel by Danielle Wiley and Carol Schiller.

When in the business of blogging, a great first impression is key.  The session taught us  how to secure sponsorships from brands and agencies with top-notch pitches and proposals.  We also got the low down on how to keep brands coming back with ROI reports and campaign recaps.

You can check out the rest of my insights and what I learned from my posts:

all crafts EVO: How To Create Your Impossible Dream Alli, Me, Barbara, Catherine, and Danielle

The Business of Blogging

1. Define Yourself. Who you want to be and what you want to be doing.  Really think about where do you want to be in 2013 in each of these categories.  Think a little outside the box and keep your impossible dream in mind.

  • Media brand
  • Book deal
  • Spokesperson
  • Consultant

Then working from success backward, pick out the steps needed for you to accomplish use the Back Casting method.

2.  Showcase Yourself.

  • Media kit
  • Testimonials
  • Video
  • About me
  • Writing samples
  • Social media success stories
  • Links to appearances

This doesn’t have to be all pretty in a .pdf format.  Ask each PR company or Brand how they prefer the information because they just might tell you in text. Which is really easy.

Don’t Ask For Sponsorships!

Brands are hiring you not sponsoring you!

  • It can devalue yourself if you ask to be sponsored.
  • Don’t work for free. If you won’t value yourself neither will anyone else. Keep in mind that at a certain point you have to stop working for free.
  • Engage your readers when hosting a giveaway by asking them, “leave a comment on why you love dairy!”.
    • “Just leave a comment” is not moving the needle – have it start a conversation. This is what the company/brand really wants.

The example we talked about specifically was hiring a blogger to go to a conference like EVO.  You have more to give than what you are wearing. So pitch the company/brand to hire you to take them to a conference.   Explain that it can be hard to understand and you can navigate it for them, introduce them to people, as well as why and how to sponsor a conference session.  Any company/brand would find this proposal so much more beneficial than just sponsoring you to attend.

Laurie's Tide Campaign

Review vs. Feature {Free vs. Paid}

There is a distinction between a review and a feature when working with a corporation or brand. Reviews are not paid, features are. If you receive a free product and there is no pressure on what to post about – then it’s a review.  However, once you are given requirements for the blog post then it’s not a review – it’s a feature.  For instance, if you have to include the logo, a specific image, link it to a specific site, Facebook it or tweet, then it’s a feature and you should be paid.

Build Relationships:

We also talked about how to properly e-mail PR agencies and companies.  Here are several tips on how to compose your email:

  • Don’t bury the lead ~ main point goes to the top in an email
  • Be clear ~ use bullets
  • Use the appropriate tone ~ write the email as you would talk to your sisters best-friend
  • Spell out the clear benefits (Then create great results and metrics – set lower expectations so that you can beat them)

Potential clients spend their budgets 18 months in advance. So plan an editorial calendar and let them know way ahead of time how you can work together. Ask them, “How does your planning calendar work and when should I follow up with you about this?”

PR agencies don’t have ad budgets to spend. PR Marketing budgets are gone but promotional budgets can be available. If PR budgets get slashed – ask about reaching out with colleges with advertising  marketing departments for joint partnership.  The easier you make it – the easier to turn it around quickly.

Your Prospect: How to identify and how to write.

  • A local is a great client
  • Imagine someone who has tons to do but no time to do it – that’s your best client!
  • Tell your client exactly what they want to know: “How can you help me do my job better?”

Be the solution!

  • Don’t compete with big companies that every blogger is trying to get – find those who are local or aren’t being pitched by 13 other bloggers.
  • Everyone is focused on themselves.  They want to know: “How can you make a difference?”

Email Headline

  • Most important job of the subject line is to open the email!
  • Keep it within 90 characters or less
  • With a number has better open click-through rates
  • Questions are good
  • How to’s are good
  • Name of referral into headline is also effective

Headlines that work: Tell me what I need

  • Name prospect (who)
  • Name the benefit
  • Uses vivid language
  • Elicits emotion

Examples:

  • “Get a seat at the table with theist influential moms online” – for a conference propsal
  • “Hire me to boost your sales and inbound inquiries”
  • “Give an abandoned puppy or kitten a chance for a loving home.”

Language of business – is money.

  • Why it will move their bottom line? – to get action
  • No context for brand with follow numbers. – why should brand care
  • How many units will I sell, more subscriptions.
  • You are not a charity – do not ask for sponsorship, ask to be hired.

Elements of a persuasive pitch: (do not change this order in your pitch)

  • Brand’s problem? (prospects problem)
  • How are you going to fix my problem. (no “I’s” only “you”)
  • What will it feel or look like when it’s fixed.
    • How many people will like you on Facebook, 100,00 talk with you every day, engage with you
  • What’s your offer?
  • Why should I believe you? {Testimonials are the best way}
  • Call you action ~ spell it out and ask: call you, email you

Don’t Beg, Deliver

  • “Who ever sponsors @ will be so happy they did!” Make it about their business goals.
  • Self- deprecating doesn’t work in this space, market your strengths.  Where does your value lye?
  • List 3 things you will do
  • “Not sure, here are what some brands had said about me.” {testimonials}
  • Interested? Give me a call.

EVO Conference New Balance EVO Conference Elmo

EVO Conference Pepperidge Farm

Brands that did it right at EVO! {New Balance, Sesame Street, Pepperidge Farm, Xbox}

Follow up:

  • Before you start,  find  out what are your goals before the campaign. This way you know what to report on and how to change course if it’s not going well.
  • You asked for 3 blog posts we got you this…
  • We talked a out this – and we need to Change course – here is the solution. We will add xyz.
  • The business will tweet, I will RT and provide a hashtag. {They need to participate.}
  • Hashtag is easy to manage. {Radian6 tracks stats for twitter}
  • Screenshots are good for presentations.
  • Analytics: TheNextCorner.com
  • HireMyMom.com to hire a newsletter header writer. Copywriter with experience in email marketing.

What’s your story?

This is a little off topic.  But I thought it was really interesting to note that a “brand” is what people say about it when they’re not in the room.  Hmm… ever since I heard that I can’t stop thinking about what people are saying about TipJunkie.com.  {inquiring minds}

  • Who are you
  • What have you done/inspire to do?
  • Why are you special?
  • Why should people care?

This is the basic outline of what we talked about.  I promise I was typing as fast as I could to be sure share with you all of the amazing information that Danielle Wiley and Carol Schiller were giving us.  Be sure to check out their sites as they might post about their panel as well and give you even more great info!

More Tips From Conferences:

Also, don’t forget to check out the Tip Junkie Facebook page for even more blogging tips, creative ideas, and free tutorials.

Tip Junkie ~ Laurie Turk

Creating Memories that Endure,

Laurie

One comment

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  1. Comment-Anonymous Cathy Lunsford

    I would love to win a Lisa Leonard design! It would for sure be a Christmas present!

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