Hello from Melbourne. I do get a buzz out of attending blogging conferences. And this year’s Problogger Training Event is the biggest in Australia to date.
Having two days to not only take in some pretty amazing and engaging information but to also network with some of the best bloggers in Australia makes this blogger very happy indeed.
Today, I’m putting all my OMG-I’m-On-Stage-With-Sarah-Wilson nerves aside ready to interview her about how to work with mainstream media to boost your blog and blog’s profile. I have my chartreuse shoes at the ready for good luck.
Yesterday, I moderated a panel close to my heart. A panel with my closest friends in blogging and my agent.
If I had a dollar for every time I was asked how to work with brands … well, I probably wouldn’t have to work with them. Kidding.
Navigating the blogger-brand paid relationship is something that bloggers in Australia will increasingly be doing. There’s still so much education to be had on both sides of the equation. We are learning and tip-toeing through this potential minefield.
I hope these notes below from yesterday’s panel give you some tips. Don’t forget you can still buy a virtual ticket of ALL the sessions (audio and slides) at this year’s Problogger Event. There is always something new to learn …
Moderator: Nikki Parkinson, blogger, Styling You @stylingyou | Panelists: Lorraine Murphy, bloggers’ agent, The Remarkables Group @theremarksgroup | Eden Riley, blogger, Edenland, @edenland |Mrs Woog, blogger, Woogsworld, @woogsworld
Value your blog
- Every blog has a value.
- Your blog is your real estate and your readers help set your market value.
- There is no set rate card for blogger/brand involvement but there is a sliding scale of fees that brands and agencies are paying in Australia right now.
- That sliding rate of scale is based on readership statistics.
- To set your rates you need: Google Analytics installed – this is the universal stat counter that brands use when looking at the digital space.
- From Google Analytics you need to track two key stats: UNIQUE VISITORS (UVs) and PAGE VIEWS (PVs). Brands are also interested in the return visitor %
Options for paid brand work
- Banner advertising
- Sponsored posts
- EDM (email newsletter campaigns or inclusions)
- Event sponsorships
- Social media placements
- Television commercials
- Print advertising campaigns
- Point of Sale images
- Appearance fees
- Writing on a brand’s website or blog
- Keynote speaking
What about PR agencies?
- PR agencies have been engaged and contracted by brands to garner FREE editorial coverage. They are unlikely to have a budget to share with you in regards to sponsored posts.
- PR agencies can be the conduit to working with their client, the brand, especially if you are talking to them at a time when that PR agency is preparing their pitch to retain that brand as a client
- If a PR representative is based in-house at the brand they may have more scope to source a budget for sponsorship
Working with marketing departments and digital agencies
- Most large brands outsource their digital marketing budget to a media agency.
- Bloggers are starting to get a slice of that digital marketing budget.
- You may also work direct with the marketing team within a company.
How to get your blog noticed
- Talk and get to know brands and PRs via their social media networks.
- Attend events hosted by brands or consultants who are paid to bring bloggers together for an event.
- Monitor Source Bottle, an online site that connects journalists with credible sources for their stories. Coverage in mainstream media does get you noticed.
- Enter credible industry-based blog competitions, which are judged on your writing.
The Sydney Writers’ Centre’s annual blog competition is well respected
Pitch your blog
- Approach as you would a job application.
- Pitch your blog direct to a brand or brands that you love. Get on the phone and find the person who you need to email your media kit and intro letter to.
- Keep this short and sweet – brand managers are time-poor so they just won’t have time to read a six page proposal. Tell them upfront who you are and what you’re looking for – just as you like to be pitched to.
Which brands to work with?
- This is where bloggers have it all over a mainstream publisher. If you publish a magazine, for example, you’re not going to knock back anyone’s money.
- When it comes to your blog, however, it pays to be selective.
- YOUR brand depends on the brands you associate with.
- Is it a brand you know and love? Is it a brand your readers know and love?
- Can you tell a story about the product?
Mrs Woog travelled to BlogHer ’12 with sponsorship from Garnier
Your media kit
- The key blog business tool is your media kit.
- A good media kit is short and succinct.
- Get your point of difference across on the front page.
- Know your reader demographic (Surveys and Facebook insights)
- Include up to date stats across your blog and major social media networks.
- Don’t be misleading about your stats.
- Include prices for sponsored posts and any banner advertising you might offer.
- Include ways that brands can be involved in giveaways and other editorial (free) opportunities.
- Include your contact details.
How to get paid
- If you want your blog to be a business, treat it as one.
- Get advice from an accountant.
- Register your blog’s name as your business name. There is a new National Business Names Registration System.
- Get an ABN: this can be done online via the ATO. Make sure your “entity name” matches your registered business name as some large company’s accounting systems will not pay you if these don’t match.
- Consider using cloud-based accounting software such as Freshbooks, Xero or MYOB live online. Otherwise create an invoicing system using excel or word.
- Keep ALL expense receipts.
- Register for GST – and charge it on your invoices – when you know your turnover is going to exceed $75,000 a year.
- Outsource if words are more your thing!
- Nicole Avery addressed what rates are being charged and paid for in regards to sponsored posts in Australia in the session following ours.
- Bloggers can be paid on a scale ranging from $200 for an email newsletter inclusion through to $15,000 for a print advertising campaign.
- Readership numbers are important but marketers also want to know who’s behind the “eyeballs”.
- Value what your blog and your blog’s readership offer a brand.
- Have the professional tools in place to be a business.
- Know the difference between PR and marketing.
- Build your blog’s profile outside of your blog.
- Choose to work with the brands that are a right fit for you.
- Don’t forget to have fun.
The slides from this presentation are available to view here. The audio for our session as well as others can be purchased as part of the virtual ticket option.
Share your blogging know-how
Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.
Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.
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