BlogHer11- Day 2

6 Aug

Don’t forget- that  if you miss anything, you can find information at the conference website.

The Newbie Breakfast.

Yesterday, while my second day out here in San Diego for BlogHer, was technically the first full day of the conference–  and boy was it a blast.  I’ve never been more inspired and excited to be working with the wonderful women that make this an amazing community.  (I should also mention that as I’m fixing this up, I can hear Bob Harper-downstairs leading an exercise group.  How awesome and surreal is that?)  I went ahead and live blogged some of the stuff that stood out to me in a few sessions- and in the coming weeks will likely come back to the these topics. In the meantime though, here’s a quick breakdown.

From the Welcome & Speed Dating — 9am: 

The folks at BlogHer put together some research- including some great information from Nielsen:

  • Blogs have become the most trusted resource for women regarding products and brands.
  • Blog readers prefer blogs for almost everything-  Facebook is a source for play and friendship.
  • Facebook beats Blogs for reaching family and friends.  But entertainment, research, stress relief are all higher on blogs.
  • 80% of the women who read your blog- made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.

Overall this information does not surprise me at all.  Women trust the opinions of other women- that is absolutely no surprise.  What I do think is interesting, and worth noting, is that 80% of women who read a blog are making a purchase recommend by that Blog.  The Question becomes- why the heck are you not monetizing your site?  I’m definitely interested in exploring this in more depth, based on the conversations that have occurred this weekend.

Now Onward and Upward-

Bad Blogger Pitches (The Other Side of the PR-Blogger Relationship)-10:30am: 

What are the major issues you see with blogger pitches?

  • Passion without focus is not appreciated by Brands- We love that you love us.  But do you have a story to tell about why you should work with us?
  • Sponsorship- Assumption that the budget is always there.  Sometimes it is, sometimes not, and sometimes delayed.  Please don’t delay an email or push something a week before and event or concept and expect our help.
  • Too much or too little information- I love reading about your lives, it’s why I enjoy my job.  But in a first contact email, I don’t need to know about your family, why you stay home, or your favorite color.  I do need to know why I should choose your blog, who your audience is, and what you can do to exactly help my company.

What are the Questions you need to ask?

  • What are the company’s objectives?- Ask what our goals are. Sometimes we won’t have something specific, but that you’ve thought to ask, makes us know you are in this as a partner- not just a benefactor.
  • How can I make your job easier?-I typically want to do my best to help you out, but asking what you can do to help me get you what you need faster is something that let’s me know you are proactive and care.
This is still business
  • We may love hanging out with you, but please don’t come to us without the numbers to back this up to our budgets and bosses, especially if you are looking for something outside of our typical relationship.
  • Understanding what our job is and why we are offering what we are.  As an Affiliate Development person, I can’t give you everything you’d like. I wish I could.  Please understand, and don’t let it come between our relationship.
  • Provide us with relevant information to the what the request is.
  • You are a source of content and community – so how do you do these things?  How do you layer your multi-media strategy?
  • We work with Bloggers because of the content opportunities you provide.  We LOVE conversations that are multi-dimensional and not copies of our press releases and emails.  We appreciate, but not necessarily reward efforts that look- well, effortless.
  • How did you interact with the product?  Remember how I said that 80% of your readers purchase based on your habits?  Well, that’s because they like to do so because they start to understand the product from your perspective.
  • Spell the Product name right (you have no idea how often I see GroupOn or Group On in Blog Posts).
New Bloggers how do you start?
  • Enthusiasm is a helpful start.  Be detailed in correspondences, follow through with actions, and appreciate the process.  It’s an exciting and awesome business you are starting.
  • Be willing to start small- get to know the brand and the others that you work with and the rewards and awesomeness will come.
Blog Drama- do you really notice?
  • Yes we do notice.
  • It’s choices.  Remember if you want to play with corporate America- we have shareholders, mission statements, and objectives to meet.
  • If you blast people it’s not good because reputations are there for a reason.

Are all blogs good for brands?
  • Not always, but it’s about the right moment.
  • The heart and depth of the conversation is what’s the most important.
The Pitch- What’s Good?
  • Last minute is not good.  Ask us what our timeline is.
  • It’s not always about the numbers.  Tell us about your engagement numbers and places too.
  • What’s your background (professionally)?
  • Use specific language- specifically what makes sense for the Marketing Objectives that you can help us achieve.
Money?
  • Stephanie Azzarone does not believe in paid blog posts- I disagree.
  • Context is key.  Commercials happen- people get paid, but it’s all about how it can be done. –Stephanie Agresta
  • Some do pay for Product Review- based on choices – Stephanie Smirnov
  • Tell your story.  That’s more of what people are looking for.  Big content partnerships are again about relational information.
  • Don’t be Nascar- you are not a racer and it takes away a special vibe – Stephanie Smirnov
  • Stephanie Agresta- Context is always the key to seeing if something is appropriate for your blog/business.
General Thoughts based on Q&A:
  • Get to know your audience and consider what we would like to know about them as well if you do any research on them.
  • The perfect time to start working with Brands? When you feel ready and that you’ve defined what your blog style is.
  • Dad/Male Bloggers need to find their collective voice.  We need more help to make the case that the shopping demographic is shifting.

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