In Spaces Between

Problogger Event 2012: The Full Wrap Up (Pt 1)

I’m back after two info-packed days at the Problogger Event in Melbourne!

Like last year (2011 event recaps here and here), I’ve come home with my head spinning and full of ideas that I can’t wait to implement over the coming months.

The event was brilliant. On the networking front (although I prefer “connecting” or, let’s face it, chatting up a storm) I had a ball catching up with the women I met last year, as well as meeting some of my beautiful readers in person – and let’s not forget the B-School babes. There were fabulous ladies at every turn.

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Big shout outs to: 

Steph (Lipstick & Cake); Christina (Hair Romance); Serena (Pretty Fluffy); Cara (Ultra Inspired); Celeste (As Seen In); Rose (Stylisa Mama); Chantelle (Fat Mum Slim); Kesh (The Bold and the Blunt); Denise (Denise Duffield-Thomas); Kylie (The Tall Poppy Project); Victoria (FB Ad Queen); Melissa (Soul Wellness); Kerry (Awaken Kinesiology); Lesh (The Mindful Foodie) and I’m sure I’m forgetting plenty of others, so hi hi hi to you too!

Other highlights of the weekend were having a good ol’ chat to Sarah Wilson at the post-event drinks on Friday night (yes, she is beyond amazing) and Chris Guillebeau, who has to be one of the nicest and most humble souls on the planet.

Both Sarah and Chris are huge inspirations to me for the way they show up in the world and it was a joy to be in their presence. When it comes to following your passion and living life on your own terms, these two have got it nailed.

{Clearly loving the Smilebooth}

And now to the recap. I’ll post my conference wrap up over a few different posts so your brain doesn’t explode with all the blogging info I’ll be serving up over the next few weeks (including my ‘build a blog’ series, that is).

Let’s launch in with a summary of two of the sessions from Day 1, shall we?

The first session was an introductory keynote from Mr Problogger himself, Darren Rowse. He eloquently made the point that we all start out small (and that small can be bigger than you think) and that growth comes as a result of taking consistent action.

Look for sparks.

 

When you’re thinking about ways to grow and monetise your blog, train yourself to look for sparks of energy that you can turn into something incredible.

+ Think about what it is that gives you energy – what posts flow easily, what topics do you love writing about?

+ What are your readers gathering around? Align what you’re excited about with what your readers are excited about and already responding positively to.

+ What are potential collaborators responding to?

+ Where is momentum growing? Darren identified iPhone photography was on the rise, so he created an instructional eBook to meet the need for information on the topic. Easy win.

Be active. 

 

Do you take daily action to monetise your blog? Consistent small actions have a big impact, so ask yourself What action will I take today that will grow my blog?

Darren issued a 15 Minutes a Day Challenge, which is as simple as adding 15 minutes every day to your workflow to focus on the activities that will make you money including:

1 // Writing an eBook or book

2 // Contacting potential advertisers

3 // Writing affiliate reviews

4 // Creating videos for a course

5 // Developing a media kit

6 // Building a coaching service

7 // Organising an event

8 // Evaluating what other blogs in your niche are doing to monetise their blogs

* 15 minutes a day helped Darren create a book that has now earned him $250,000. 

Nikki Parkinson, Styling You (pic source); Eden Riley, Edenland; Lorraine Murphy, The Remarkables Group (blog agency); Mrs Woog, Woogsworld

Next up was a panel discussion with the wonderful women above, who shared their experiences working with brands, and in Lorraine’s case, being the facilitator of the blogger-brand relationship.

If you’re looking to explore sponsored posts, giveaways and everything in between, it’s important to get your head around the below:

Ensure you’re tracking your stats. 

 

Brands will want information on the traffic coming to your website, so ensure you have Google Analytics installed and you’re tracking two key stats: Unique Visitors and Page Views.

Lorraine mentioned that brands are also interested in the return visitor percentage (to show how loyal your readers are) and that when she’s working with a blogger, she’ll take the average of their last three months of traffic because one month may be an inaccurate representation of real traffic to the site (EG: if a blog is linked to by a big blog the traffic may spike that month).

Know the difference between PR and marketing. 

 

PR: The aim of PR is to garner free editorial coverage for a brand or organisation. Most PR’s do not have (much of) a budget for sponsored posts.

Marketing: Large brands will generally have an allocated budget for marketing, which can include paying bloggers to promote a product. Bloggers with reasonable traffic (5000 uniques a month is a good start) can be paid on a scale ranging from $100 – $200 (for a sponsored post or email newsletter inclusion, for example) through to $15,000 for a print advertising campaign.

Get your blog noticed. 

 

Start a conversation with brands and PR’s on Twitter and Facebook. A good shortcut is to approach brands that are already working with bloggers as they’ll generally be more receptive. Ensure you love/ can relate to the product/ brand to keep the whole process authentic.

Attend events hosted by brands.

Monitor Source Bottle, an online site that connects journalists with credible sources for their stories. Coverage in mainstream media does get you noticed.

Enter blog competitions/ awards, which are judged on your writing.

Pitch your blog.

 

Approach a pitch as you would a job application (tailor the message and keep it professional).

Attach your media kit to a short and sweet emailing telling the brand manager who you are, what your blog is about and what you’re looking for.

Create a media kit. 

 

1 // Keep your kit to three pages with the most important information presented clearly, including all contact details and your bio.

2 // Get your point of difference across on the front page.

3 // Current stats (and don’t be misleading!) including blog traffic, Twitter/ Facebook numbers (including “talking about” number), Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube (if applicable, as well as any other social networks).

4 // Include details on you reader demographic, which can be derived from Facebook Insights and reader surveys.

5 // Include prices for sponsored posts and any banner advertising you might offer.

6 // Include ways that brands can be involved in giveaways and other editorial (free) opportunities.

The last session I’ll be recapping in this post was presented by Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids and covered the how-to’s for making money through sponsored posts.

What are sponsored posts?

 

A post published on a blog for which the blogger has received money from a company/ brand.

Sponsored post: a product/ experience is given to a blogger, who then writes about the product/ experience tying in key messaging and that blogger is then paid for doing so. It’s important to disclose that the post has been sponsored by including a line such as “This is a sponsored post” and linking off to your disclosure policy.

Review: a product/ experience is given to a blogger, who then writes about the product/ experience, without payment.

What you’ll need to run sponsored posts.

 

1 // An advertising/ Work With Me page (examples here and here).

2 // Professional and up to date media kit.

3 // A disclosure policy. If you’re stuck on what to include, generate a policy here at disclosurepolicy.org.

4 // An ABN/ invoice system/ way to be paid.

Blogger agencies and setting your rates.

 

Nuffnang - starting rate for sponsored posts is $110.

The Remarkables Group - starting rate for sponsored posts is $1500 (less agency fee of 30%).

Digital Parents Collective - starting rate for sponsored posts is $150 (less agency fee).

Rocketman Media - starting rate for sponsored posts is $100.

Social Call Out - based on what the brand is offering.

When it comes to setting your rates, the following need to be considered:

1 // Unique visitors to your site.

2 // Australian traffic percentage.

3 // Reader engagement.

4 // Blog and brand reputation.

5 // Social media reach (number of fans/ followers).

Converting PR pitches to sponsored posts.

 

Hands up if you receive a slew of emails from PR’s looking for you to write about the brand they’re promoting? Yep. If you’re looking to take things a step further and have the traffic to back up a request to be paid for the promotion, Nicole suggests creating a standard template email that goes something like this:

Hi xxx

Thank you for your email regarding a product review on {your blog}. Due to the sheer volume of requests I now receive to do product reviews, I am no longer taking items for review, with the exception of items from sponsors for sponsored posts. I have attached my media kit with rates for your consideration. 

King regards

{your name} 

Reporting back.

 

Track the performance of your posts through things like: click through rates, reader reactions on social media (take screen captures) and total visitors to the post.

So there you go, lots of information to take in there! As always, I encourage you to leave any questions you might have in the comments below and (pretty please) spread the love using the ‘Share’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons below. Thank you so much!

Image: Society 6 

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17 Responses to “Problogger Event 2012: The Full Wrap Up (Pt 1)”

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  1. Kelly Exeter says:

    What a great wrap up Rach! Can’t believe we didn’t get a chance to chat. I promised myself we would on Saturday but by Saturday my dear sinuses were tormenting me so I wasn’t in the right shape to talk to anyone.

    Oh well, next year! Love your work as always and can’t wait to see where you go from here :)

  2. Rach - In Spaces Between says:

    Thanks Kelly, and I know – we kept passing each other and doing the “Hi, hi!” thing… next time we MUST have a proper chat. Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling the best on Saturday. xx

  3. Celeste says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Rach! And for the fantastic wrap-up. My mind is still swimming with all the fabulous and inspiring info from the two days. Bring on BIG things for all!

  4. jazziefizzle says:

    Such great info Rach – and glad to hear that you had such a fabulous time! It can’t be all work and no fun now can it ;)

    I’m very much looking forward to having a bit of extra time over my holidays where I can spend some time on my blog… I miss it so much but life is just getting in the way at the moment.

    I have had such a great experience working with Garnier through their Ambassador program, so I think it is worth looking at things like that too (though the monetary benefit was to my ’cause’ I don’t think I will have to buy shampoo again this year haha). I totally agree with the advice on working with brands who already work with bloggers, as they really seem to know what they are doing and how to keep us happy! :)

    Looking forward to seeing what you implement next!

  5. Thank you so much for this, really interesting to read!! xx

  6. Loved this post Rach, interesting stuff. Sounds like you had a ball in Melbourne. Xx

  7. Rach - In Spaces Between says:

    Celeste: BRING. IT. ON. girlfriend! xx

    Jas: It was awesome – you have to come next year (that’s an order!) Lovely to hear about your great experience working with Garnier too. xx

    Lisa + Monkia: Pleasure ladies! xx

  8. You’re so divine. Thank you for filling us in on your beautiful weekend baby. This has inspired me to contact potential sponsors.

    You’re so generous. I can’t wait to hang out and trade knowledge we’ve learnt over the last 6 months. MWA

  9. Rach - In Spaces Between says:

    Tara honey, I am SO excited for that. Seriously. Beyond. xx

  10. Liz N says:

    What an amazing wrap up. I wish that I had met you – I had a wonderful time at the event and learned a heap. I agree Chris G and Sarah W were fabulous!

    Best regards
    Liz N

  11. Fab post Rach – I’ve added it to my “Best wrap up posts from #pbevent” post today… living vicariously my friend!

    So glad you had a great time! I hope we get to catch up at a bloggy event soon!

    x Catherine @ The Spring

  12. Great wrap up Rach! So wonderful to see your shining spirit at the event. You are doing so awesome! Cannot wait to see where you go

  13. Fabulous wrap up Rach! Can’t wait for part 2. Although it was two days, I felt more rushed this year. So great to see you and your beautiful shining self. Hope it’s not a year til we catch up again x

  14. Rach - In Spaces Between says:

    Liz: I wish we’d met too – will have to ensure that happens next time! Hope you enjoyed the event. X

    Catherine: Thank you so much lovely, appreciate it! YES, let’s make that happen for sure. X
    Caz: So lovely to see you – still looking gorgeous, even when you were under the weather. You’re amazing! X

    Christina: You did so well on the panel you superstar – so inspired by what you’ve achieved and can’t wait to see your continued growth. Go girl! We def need a catch up before next October, I’ll do a Sydney trip in the New Year. x

  15. Great review (and I really enjoy your blog)!!
    I just moved to Brisbane (from Canada) and was so happy to hear about this conference. I really hope to attend next year, as the schedule and presentations looked fabulous.

  16. Rach I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this very thorough post! I have recently started my blog and need all the tips I can get on how to promote it, this is so helpful.

    Hopefully I will also be able to attend next year, sounds like a great weekend!

  17. Rach - In Spaces Between says:

    Girls, you should DEFINITELY come along next year – it’s good fun (and informative, of course!) x

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