Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blog Podium 101... Through My Eyes

If you follow me on Twitter and read my post on Friday you know that I attended Blog Podium yesterday. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit nervous going into yesterday event, with being around all of the fabulous people with amazing blogs and all.

First off, I need to mention how great the space looked. I walked in a fell in love with the centerpieces We Create Hoopla created. I also adored the Blog Podium pencils in the rice jar - definitely something I'm going to do in my office.

The event was headlined by key note speaker Nicole Bach from Making It Lovely. Nicole spoke about Monetizing Your Blog and boy was it a great presentation.

Here is some of what I took from Nicole's 40 minute presentation
- Anything I'd want to read on another blog is what I'd put on mine.
- Different avenues of advertising on your blog: Sponsored Posts, Affiliate Links, Direct Sales, Networks, Google Ads.
- Determining rates - Chat with fellow bloggers and see what they think is reasonable and is working for them.
- 10,000 page views per month is a good start for advertising.
- Offering free ads is a good way to get your feet wet.
- Blog Networks - most offer a page view minimum
- Placement of ads matters - above and below the fold
- "There's a good match for everyone"
- "Brought to you by....." Sponsored posts has worked for Nicole.
- Don't be shy to propose ideas that make you comfortable and feel right for you.
- Going out there, getting what you want and giving exposure.
- "Always experimenting and seeing where to go next"
- Business & blogging can co-exist. Don't blog about your daily business, blog about what your customers are wanting to hear.
- Contacting trades and how to go about it.
- Making your blog look bigger than it is.
- Make sure your comfortable for what's right for you.

After Nicole's inspiring presentation we moved onto the Business Of Blogging. The Business Of Blogging portion of the event was a panel discussion with four influential ladies and a great moderator, Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault.

Lindsay from Little House Blog

Christine from Bijou and Boheme

Cheryl from Gluckstein Home

Laura from Tribal DDB

The above panel covered some interesting topics with great banter.

Here is some of what I took from the panel discussion
- Set a goal
- Don't be too specific when contacting companies
- If I'm getting something for myself I try and get something for my readers too.
- Don't do giveaways too often or you'll become to giveaway blog!
- How are companies (people) finding you? Chicken & egg scenario.
- Brands are always looking for content
- The concept of working with bloggers is still new - Companies find bloggers intimidating.
- Good content, knowledge, attractive, identify yourself as a Canadian blog.
- Twitter lists - I must look into this!
- What the companies are looking at
- Your blog has the ability to open avenues and opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise.
- Make sure you're commenting on the blogs you're reading - time consuming but necessary.
- How much to charge for ads & a minimum amount of months
- If you tweet about a sponsored post say it's sponsored!

And that's only the information I was able to quickly write down in my fabulous new Blog Podium notebook.

A big thank you to the amazing sponsors of Blog Podium!

 Last but certainly not least, a big thank you to Lindsay & Jennifer for putting on such a fabulous, inspiring and educational event. We're lucky to have such motivated women in this great blogging community!