Professional Blogging: Ways and Means – Live Blogging

Moderator: Arieanna Schweber

Panel: Jody DeVere, Paula Neal Mooney, Stefania Pomponi Buter, Chloe Spencer (I’ll link to their info later)

What does pro blogging mean? Many ways.

Arieanna – she’s a pro. B5 media entertainment. She writes 13 sites and manages 57 sites.

Jody – pres of Ask Patty automotive info for women. They blog about all things automotive.

Paula – her own site. Help other bloggers to monetize site & increase readers.

Stefania – editor for babble.com, and mommyblogger

Chloe – Neo pets fanatics

How did you first realize this was something you wanted to do and when did you start making money off of it.

Jody – strategy was to go out of mainstream; get brand out quickly by launching the blog.

Paula – started on blogger for links to give editors. She caught the bug & learned ads make money on blogs. Recently changed focus to create a list of blogger salaries.

Stefania – in a playgroup w/editor at weblogs inc. Both were blogging and she hired Stefania. No plan or vision or strategy. It just happened.

Chloe – started off as neo pet fanatics. Her dad’s biz is SEO and he helped her optimize and get noticed.

Arieanna – started as marketing professional, was given a blog to help up search results for company. She decided to start her own and soon had four. Worked on a well-known site and got exposure through their traffic. Went with B5 when they first started.

Open up for questions.

Audience: Would you feel comfortable noting money?

Paula – about $1000/ month (through several venues)

Stefania – doesn’t feel comfortable telling her personal income, but can tell us what bloggers can make. First started w/ $5 a post, but there was no revenue sharing.  It varies a lot by who is paying. You can always negotiate.

Jody – she is paying 2 full time people and 1 part time. Especially for those who have specialized knowledge, the money can be very good.

Chloe – makes $30/ day from Google ads.

Arieanna – one of the 6 figure bloggers, but that does include being channel editor.

Audience: How would you improve ad revenue with a small readership?

Paula – relate mommy blog to current events. She reads yahoo buzz, which mentions the popular terms. Match demand by supplying what people are looking for.

Chloe – have it in the content and blend it in so it’s not just a big box.

Stefania – go to parenting sites and comment, then others will find you and write about you.

Arieanna – every topic is different. Understand who you’re trying to talk to. Find the people like you and watch what they do. Use tags and strong keywords at the beginning of writing. Images are huge draw, too. Label them well and describe them. Use categories and set them up early on.

Audience: More about image code?

Arieanna – Name the photo with a hyphen and use alt text.

Audience: What was your most successful decision, and your mistakes?

Paula – a lot of prayer and jealousy. She wanted a viral post. She noticed a trend of people reporting their income, and saw interest. She got the idea to post salaries. Worst – what she probably shouldn’t have blogged about.

Jody – good: starting business on a blog. She used typepad, which is a bigger community than she is. Attended training. Was a featured blog. Knew the guys in automotive. She commented on their sites and talked to them and got noticed. Mistakes: blogging late into the night, and making mistakes when tired. Your content gets syndicated whether you want it to or not. So be careful what you blog, because it will be out there even after you pull it.

Stefania – quasi-mistake was taking a $5/ post job. Success – finding out what you’re worth and sticking to your guns.

Chloe – mistake, found out she couldn’t have ads on a wordpress hosted site, so she had to change her domain to have ads.

Audience: Trying to emulate bloggers she likes; part of BlogHer ads network. She sees other blogs with advertisers. How do you get advertisers to put an ad on your blog? Do you contact them?

Paula – you can approach people, certainly. Google ad sense.

Stefania – she has text ads with a link to advertise with her.

Arieanna – people will email her and ask how she has gotten her ads. There are communities as well.

Paula – some will let you in once you hit a certain level of traffic.

Jody – at first she didn’t accept ads. She didn’t want her readers bombarded. And there are none on the home page right now. But later put a link at the bottom regarding advertising (direct ads).  But she makes money differently in her brick & mortar, so wasn’t dependent on ads.

Arieanna – your site template is an overlooked aspect. A customized design will make you seem more authoritative. And ads that integrate into your design.

Audience: As a new person, she’s noticing that a lot of it’s going pro. So what are you excited about right now in blogging?

Jody – It’s been over a year. What’s exciting is they are the only women’s automotive blog. So there’s a lot of potential there. When they get questions, they blog about that topic.

Paula – excited about people reporting their income, but also traditional media realizing that we should be paid for the traffic we send to them. Recognizing that we are citizen journalists.

Stefania – excited about reading blogs. She gets chills when she can connect to people. She loves blogging and reading new blogs.

Chloe – exciting to watch site get more popular and be involved in conferences and things like that.

Arieanna – seeing a global trend, getting more global readers. Conversations in different languages. Readers exposed to new things.

Audience (Sarah & the goon squad): Is there such a thing as over exposure? Is it good to be in group blogs, even if they don’t pay or does it water you down?

Arieanna – doesn’t think there’s a watering down (she hires bloggers). What’s important is your passion.

Jody – different angle. Other women’s site have wanted them to push content to their sites. Partnerships. But they have to link to her, which grows her brand. Uses PR web for announcements. $40 gets a lot of exposure. Syndicated widely. You can track the views, downloads, etc.

Audience (Josh, hyku.com): Friend releases things every day (financial). Gets picked up by news. Sometimes they find content you’ve written about, even if it’s not your business.

Audience: What is it that you look for – those of you that hire?

Arieanna – not necessary to have a blog to be an expert, in her view. She looks for passion and ability to write well. She looks at a lot of things for success. Traffic isn’t always the only factor. They provide a lot of training. She likes people who can learn. And whether they get comments – and do they respond to those comments?

Jody – she wasn’t a blogger prior to askpatty.com. But she found that she’s good at it. She interviewed a lot of people for the first person. Her writer is an excellent creative writer. But she hadn’t blogged before either.

Stefania – She knows people who have been hired because of the thoughtful comments. It’s your calling card.

Audience: Don’t forget the regular avenues, too. Companies who are trying to integrate blogging into their content need someone who knows blogging.

Audience: Talk about journalistic standards for those who don’t have the background.

Paula – she sees people scrape her content all the time. She ignores them. Some people go after them, but she doesn’t.

Stefania – it’s not hard to figure out when it’s happening. They always find out. It’s not hard to link a source.

Arieanna – best thing to do is to subscribe to your name or blog name in google news, to track those.

Wants to address finding those paying jobs. She recommends volunteering for guest blogging. Offer yourself to local associations.

Stefania – don’t do someone’s marketing posts for $5. Get paid appropriately for it.

Arieanna – if they only talk about their ranking, then be aware that they only want traffic. And some might not care if they are spamming.

Audience: Can you set a price to start? What would it be?

Arieanna – set a minimum for yourself, because it’s more than just traffic. It’s community, too.

Audience: Best job boards?

Paula – problogger.net

Arieanna – using craigslist

Audience: Corporate blogging gigs – how much do the companies listen to word of mouth?

Arieanna – some people get excited about new stuff. Others couldn’t care. They want to be authoritative and don’t care as much about feedback. You need to provide reports and tell them what they should be looking for.

Audience: If you know enough to give companies advice about trends and what to look for, you should be charging them $150/ hour.

Audience: Have you found a stigma with paid content? How do distinguish from your stuff and paid stuff?

Jody – thought it would help to use payperpost. For her, it was a waste of time and money. But she wanted to try it. Quality from a real person with passion is different. If you want links, that’s one thing.

Paula – depends on writer. Some things she won’t accept; check with your guts. It is controversial.

Arieanna – in the beginning there were inconsistencies, especially if it’s out of your normal postings.

Stefania – don’t be afraid to be critical.

Audience (Josh): problem with payperpost was that there was no disclosure requirements at first.

Arieanna – she feels that she should be responsible for what she says and posts.

Audience: part of women’s orgs. Lots of access to those people.

Paula – google ads are more appropriate when you go niche.

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