On Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2nd edition of BlogPodium (you can read about the first here) which was held at the beautiful Arcadian Loft in Downtown Toronto. BlogPodium was started by two Toronto design bloggers (Lindsay of Little House blog, and Jen of Rambling Renovators) as a way to share information with other Canadian bloggers about how to make their blogs better.
This topic of this edition of BlogPodium was the Business of Blogging, and Nicole Balch, the lovely and talented lady behind the blog ‘Making it Lovely‘ was the keynote speaker. Like the first edition I learned tonnes – so much that my head is still spinning with ideas and inspiration.
As the topic for BlogPodium was the Business of Blogging both Nicole’s talk, and the panel discussion after focused mostly on if it’s possible to make a little money from what most of us see as a hobby.
There are generally three types of advertisements on blogs:
- Small ads (Etsy, and other blogs – 125×125 pixels)
- Large ads that are generally sold via an ad network (300×250 pixels or leader board ads, all above the fold)
- Sponsored posts.
When to start advertising:
- This is up to you. Nicole started at 10,000 views a month.
- When starting consider giving away your ads for free to encourage others to inquire about advertising with you.
- As your traffic grows increase your rates.
- Offer a discount for those who advertise for longer than 1 month (15% for 3 months, 20% for 4)
- Determining rates: $1.25 CPM for the smaller ads, $3 CPM for the larger ones.
- Nicole has asked, and the general consensus for bloggers is no more than one sponsored post a week (for those that post daily) Too many sponsored posts, and your readers will leave – they’re looking for original content – not an ad.
- Suggests putting ‘Brought to you by’ at the top of the post so your readers know it’s sponsored – just like ads on TV. Also, if you tweet your post add ‘sponsored’ so your readers are aware before they click over..
- Be very careful about who you work with – only accept doing a sponsored post from companies you feel strongly about.
- If something isn’t a good fit, be polite and explain why. The potential sponsor might have something else.
How to attract readers and sponsors:
- Be yourself, and put yourself out there. Try to write like you would speak to your friends.
- Comment on other blogs
- Giveaways are a great way to get readers.
- Make sure your blog is well-balanced – is it about original content or sponsored posts?
- Want to work with a specific brand? Ask. You might be surprised and they’ll say yes to your proposal – the worst that can happen is they’ll say no.
- Have a detailed profile page – you are the brand
- Do guest posts on other blogs
- Sponsors are looking for 4 things in a blog they’ll work with: Engagement, Authority, Content and Reach.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion we all had the opportunity to mix and mingle. I got to meet some of the bloggers I read on a regular basis (it’s nice to put a face to a blog or twitter handle!) There was some marvellous food, and we got to chat with the wonderful brands that helped make BlogPodium a success.
BlogPodium will be returning in the fall, so if you’re interested in attending make sure to sign up for the newsletter here. Hope to see you there!