#bloggybootcamp – @momfluential Selling Your Site Without Selling Your Soul

Selling Your Site Without Selling Your Soul by @momfluential

  • Grew up with a father as an advertising executive (real-life “Mad Men”)
  • Started doing reviews back in 2007
  • There are a million different types of blogs out there
  • All of us are consumers — We all use products and we all have opinions about the products
    • We’re loyal to the products that we like
  • “Experience” vs. “Review” — Is there really any difference?
  • People are worried that writing about brands is going to give the impression that their other writing has been compromised in some way.
    • Afraid of being judged by other bloggers — don’t want to be labeled as “swag whores”
  • Bloggers will reveal their deepest, darkest secrets but aren’t willing to share what type of shampoo they use.
  • Secret is storytelling
    • Stories are not selling, their content — not ads
    • Storytelling does not come natural to everybody
    • Brands are getting savvy to schism between bloggers and are getting wary about the number of review bloggers
    • Need to think of brands and how they relate to your life. Weave that in to a story.
  • Good Examples
    • Velveteen Mind – Tide “Loads of Hope” campaign
    • Busy Dad – Did a campaign for beef – BusyDadBlog.com
    • Busy Dad – Currently doing a campaign for Huggie wipes (Did a “crime scene investigation” to track the trajectory of his daughter’s poo.)
  • Pictures are super important
    • Even things in backdrop with other products
    • If there’s things you love, include them in your photos and in your comments
    • If you are truly enthusiastic about a product, people are going to respond to that enthusiasm
  • Bloggers are about authenticity.
    • Don’t shill about something you don’t like.
  • How you can be compensated by working with brands.
    • You have to put some things out there — let them serve as your portfolio.
    • Can lead to advertising, brands sponsoring your site, satellite television tour and brands wanting you to talk about their product
    • If you’re a business owner, it’s a way to get your own message out and get your name out there.
  • Should you post negatively about something?
    • If you’ve been sent a “free” sample by a brand, make sure you tell the brand about your negative experience. Ask them to send you back a shipping label and return the product.
    • Be aware that if you post negatively about brands, you may be less attractive to other brands who are looking for bloggers to talk about them.
  • Don’t be pushy.
    • Be careful about sticking affiliate links into storytelling posts.
  • Ideas for how to write a creative post for a product you believe in.
    • Tell me about 3 products that you’ve used for 3 years or longer.
    • Describe the most special outfit you’ve ever seen or owned. Who made it? Why was it special?
    • What’s the one thing in your suitcase right now that you REALLY need? Write a story about why you need it.
  • Be Transparent and Authentic about what you were doing and people will respect it.
  • Almost every product has an affiliate link out there.

Tiffany’s perspective:

  • There’s something wonderful about being approached by a brand, but remember the big picture.
  • If blogging is not fun at some point, you need to stop blogging for a bit.
    • Women say “yes, yes, yes” and take on everything. Blogging should never be stressful.
  • Your blog can be a resume for so much more and people can find you.
  • You’re probably more of an expert, than most of the people that are calling themselves experts — Brands are starting to realize that women are better than 20-something interns.
  • Check out CollectiveBias.com and join.
  • Working with a brand tips:
    • Have an elevator pitch about yourself
    • Most brands are good at getting contracts out. If they don’t, make sure you do a really clear scope of work — What work you’re going to do for them and what you’re going to get paid for that work. (How many tweets you’re going to do, how long the ad is going to run, etc.)
    • From @momfluential – People are not going to consider you an “accomplished” blogger until you hit 10,000 hits per month
  • If you’re not getting the eyeballs, use Twitter. Ask people with larger followings to RT your stuff.
  • Tiffany says not to automatically post tweets from your blog. (Sue Anne note: I disagree.)