DPCON12: How to turn your blog into a business

Nikki Parkinson Life 32 Comments

It’s the morning after the day before. The Digital Parents Conference is over for another year.

Like after all blogging conferences, I’ll be buzzing for weeks to come.

I’ll have more on the blog next week about the key things I learned from the day but today I thought I’d share with you the key points from the Blog to Business panel that I moderated.

Not everyone will want to turn their business into a blog or use their blog to create a business but it is possible if you want it to be so.

It really is up to YOU how you can make it happen for YOU.

Because it is about YOU. YOUR blog. Not that other blog or blogger sitting over the bloggie fence.

It’s about working out what blog business model works for you and then WORKING on it.

Just like any business.

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Key points

    1. Be prepared to NOT to immediately make a profitable income directly from your blog. Just like any business this takes time and hard work.
    2. For a blog to become a business you need a unique product – or a number of unique products. That product may be your blog or it may be a product sold to customers off the back of your expertise and credibility that your blog has given you.
    3. A sustainable blogging business is usually one with a diverse income stream base and a strong readership base.
    4. If you are turning your blog into a business, you need to treat it as such, putting in place systems and tools to sustain it.
    5. Your blog is the focal point of your business marketing but also look to other methods in your digital toolbox to get your message and brand out there.
    6. Seek out professional advice in the areas of business that are not your strong points, eg legal, accounting and marketing.

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The panel

Emma Ashton: Reality Ravings

Reality Ravings is a media blog that covers reality TV news and gossip, as well as recaps. It was originally not set up as a business but was started as a hobby when I was home with my first child, and I read about blogging and thought it sounded like a good creative outlet. At the time I tossed up between whether to do an Australia perspective on the US Presidential elections or reality TV. I picked reality TV as I wanted a place for the older reality TV fan, ie over 25 year old, to be able to discuss the show. Mid last year I realised that the blog was the portal to start a business. My knowledge obtained about the genre, plus skills from my previous working life I had gained meant I decided to start my own Reality TV Consultancy business in October 2012, doing a variety of things including the first type of reality TV research called ‘Reality Rules’ in how and why viewers watch reality TV. This is sold to people who work in the TV industry and who work in brands that are promoted on the show. I also assist people with their applications as well has helping people with reality show pitches. Also I work as a media commentator in the field of reality TV.

Laney Galligan: Crash Test Mummy

As you know my blog is pretty new, so I haven’t really got a blog to business story as such. Mine is a different perspective based on my previous sales and marketing experience and my more recent studies in digital marketing. I have over 10 years experience in sales and marketing, predominantly for the tourism industry, in NZ, US and Australia. Started moving into managing websites, email campaigns, and online marketing and studied Digital Marketing via the Institute of Digital and Direct Marketing in the UK. I use my blog to keep my skills up and plan to launch a business and my own consulting on the back of it later this year.

Renee Mayne: Bra Queen

There is a post here has to how and why I started to blog Bra Queen, it’s nearly three years old. Basically my thought process was I wanted to write and build an audience then see what unfolded and go from there. The blog really resonated with women and business so I based my business model around that. I have been in the retail industry for 17 years and used to manage and mentor businesses so it was a natural progression. However this time I based it predominately online, now under the Bra Queen umbrella sits five businesses and blogs…. a business blog, a lingerie blog, a lifestyle blog, my speaking site and the newest addition Stereo UN Typical Success.

Nikki Parkinson: Styling You

I’m a former fashion journalist and magazine editor of 20 years who swapped dressing models for real people and in 2008, started a personal styling business. I “stumbled” into blogging as a way to keep up my writing skills and market my business. Now that blog has become the Styling You business – this year I’m officially a full-time blogger. Styling You currently has 170,000 page views each month and was judged Best Australian Blog in the Sydney Writer’s Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011. I’m no longer taking on personal styling clients and my blog business model is based upon advertising, sponsorships and ambassadorships, with brands such as Big W, Maybelline and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans looking to connect with my readership. I also blog every day as a freelancer on Justb Australia – part of the Kidspot group.

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I attended Digital Parent Conference 2012 thanks to my sponsors Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. You can find stockists around Australia via their Facebook page. If you’d like to WIN a pair all of your own, head over here to find out how.

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Have you blogged about blogging this week? Feel free to join in my link-up (no rules, just add your link below!)

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  • Donna @ NappyDaze

    So happy to have read this as I missed this session when I was in the writing workshop. While I know I am not anywhere near being in a position to make a business (or book!) from my blog I so admire others who have been a success in this area.

    BTW you looked stunning at the dinner – sorry if I stuttered when speaking to you, am a tad intimidated still by speaking to someone of your blogging stature!

    • I would have loved to have been in Val’s workshop! And never feel intimidated by me, Donna … I love talking to you … I was finally relaxing by the time of the dinner x

  • I don’t know what I’ve done incorrectly but I tried to enter your linky twice and they haven’t appeared (apologies if it ends up doubling up) – they are some notes from Valerie Khoo’s session: http://www.kirrilywhatman.com/2012/04/writing-tighter-notes-from-dpcon12.html

    • Looks like I’ve got it – and thanks for sharing Val’s session – I missed it and would have loved to heard here.

  • I love what you have to say about this, Nikki.

    It strikes me that I’ve seen you fleetingly at no fewer than three events and heard you speak at each of them but we’ve only ever passed each other by. Both busy! Or already in conversation. One day, I’ll have to corner you and say g’day properly because I’d really like to 🙂

    • I’m very happy to be cornered! I think when an event like this is one day it’s SO hard to fit in some quality chat time. I’m also usually a bit “in the zone” before speaking so don’t tend to relax until afterwards. x

  • Bra Queen

    Great wrap up chick! There was heaps of great feedback which is always good. We needed more time 🙂 Soooo much to discuss in this topic and you are so right because there are so many models we can use and it really is up too the person and the blog. You did such a great  job x

    • Renee, you’re an absolute legend! We didn’t get enough time to hang out together. Will make sure that’s different next time!!

      • Bra Queen

         For sure! I know, I just love to meet awesome chicks making a difference and just “get” it. Feeling very blessed and grateful x

  • Wish I’d been there, but great posts like this give us a succinct precis of the ideas and strategies that were discussed during the conference. Your tips for turning a blog into a business are clear and sensible, and we should take head of them if we are serious about blogging as a profession. There are no overnight successes and it’s always a case of the ‘harder I work the luckier I get’ but you need systems, tools and strategies in place just like a proper business. Thanks for reminding us of that 🙂

    • Thanks so much Johanna … I’ll have more from the other sessions on the blog this Saturday. I took SO many notes. Very inspiring to hear from others.

  • Carly Findlay

    Really great advice. Thanks for this wrap up. Sadly though, the first thing I noticed was that EVERYONE on this panel has fab shoes. Is that a pre-requesite of being a good business blogger? 😉
    PS – I blogged about blogging and business this week – will link above. I like that you give your readers the opportunity to share 🙂

    • LOL – I didn’t send them a memo but was suitably impressed! Thanks for linking!

  • My favourite session. I found that was very well-done, and confirmed I am indeed on my way to what I am wanting ….business from the blog, not on the blog. I’ve included My Blog My Story speech in your link on blogging because it sums up what blogging’s done for me.
    I have post-conference ‘blahs’ but moving around the blogosphere is cheering me up.
    Denyse X

    • It’s wonderful, isn’t it Denyse … we’ll be talking about it all for some time to come. Loved your story and thanks for linking up. Have emailed you a photo x

  • Cheryl

    Great post, nice to know what happens at those parental conferences! 😉

    • You might like to see today’s post for a better insight 😉

  • Laney CrashTestMummy

    Thanks for doing such a great job of moderating the session Nikki. I will endeavor to post my notes today and link up.
    Laney x

    • Thanks for linking up Laney – great having you on the panel and you rocked those jeans!

  • Nikki, you are one inspiring lady! and your do make me believe that maybe, just maybe, one day…. I could make it too. I wish I had been able to meet you in person but the day was just too quick! I have taken a lot away and you gave a lot of food for thought. 

  • You can see why women dominate the Australian blogging landscape. What wonderful , talented, inspirational women you all are. Great to see you all enjoy success.

  • sydneyshopgirl

    Well done, Nikki!  Really helpful post.

    Wish I was at the conference too.

    SSG xxx

  • CazR

    Some great info here Nikki my new blog was one week old yesterday (http://thegorgiegirl.blogspot.com.au/) and I’m really not sure how it will unfold.  I’m sort of just going to write about stuff and really not even sure what subject matter will be so I’ll see if I ever get an audience and go from there.  I just was so inspired by the blogs I love and I’m a great procrastinator where everything has to be perfect before I will take the plunge so this is really unchartered territory for me.