rachelle opened by telling us a bit about herself, and intro’d the session. asked us what we want to get from the session.
arienna foley: blogging prof for just over a year (blogging 2 years). started out doing a corporate site. started blogaholics, when categories got too big, spun it off into a new blog. she has 17 blogs. she likes the cooking blog and personal one. she doesn’t like some of the others (lindsay lohan, hillary duff), but they make her money.
heather armstrong: started in 2001, to practice writing. fired for site in 2002. moved to slc w/husband and had a baby. about a year ago oct., decided to make the jump into advertising after advertisers approached them. when they decided to have john come home, things changed: it’s a job and you look at things and do things differently. lawyers and accountants help you protect your stuff and help with the tax stuff.
arienna: balance between the work & personal blogs. struggles with how the business blogs affect what she can blog about personally.
heather: first few months when it was paying the mortgage, there was a lot of pressure the first few months. she feels like the ceo of a company and they are dependent on her coming up with content. the quality of the writing and photographs must match the brand she’s trying to make.
arienna: pay structure for corp blogs. if you’re an expert in something, find the companies that do that. they are looking for people.
heather: keeps a monday – friday schedule. helps keep things sane. she takes notes for later entires (using mac stickies). jon takes care of biz part of blog so she can write. always steps away at 6 at night, so they can have family time. otherwise, it would consume her life.
heather: writes for alpha mom (a tv station) – online content. leverage blog to get other things.
arienna: diversifies the subject matter of her blogs and offer other services. more than one thing to do keeps you excited about the industry. she has a business degree and is a marketing director for a company.
arienna: motivation for writing about things she doesn’t like. only do it for part of the day. and think about it as a job. have a routine.
heather: content control from ads? depends on the advertiser and who’s paying you. like for her, it’s eyeballs, not content.
arienna: don’t have too many ads. it minimizes their effectiveness.
does rss affect page views?
heather: has some ads in rss feeds. one solution: don’t provide entire post in rss feed so people will click through. but it’s annoying too (having to click through). so not sure of the solution yet.
balance ad looks w/ reader expectations
heather: at first just put graphic ads. tried to listen to constructive feedback. trying to tone them down. readers are important. stretched header across site. and she tries to be loyal to herself (like the sweaty goat balls tagline) and not what the advertisers might say.
heather: social blogging, not alienating family. how do you do that: first person she alienated was her father. wrote a post after 9/11 about mormons, comparing them to the terrorists. (their fundamentalism, fanatacism) next, she got fired. and then, she said something that jon actually didn’t say. they sat and talked about it. what you write has consequences. there is no freedom of speech if you don’t want to live with the aftermath of what you say.