Yesterday afternoon instead of braving the London heat, on a ticket courtesy of iFabbo, I attended the first annual iFabbo London blogger conference at Kettners for some fantastic panels on all aspects of fashion, blogging and social media, cocktails, cake and a keynote from Amber Venz: the co founder of my personal ad and affiliate network RewardStyle. It was lovely to meet so many new bloggers, as well as to catch up with some old faces, and while I was hearing lots of things that all bloggers know are the ingredients to a successful blog, I did learn a lot so I've decided to put together a round up post of what I learnt!
Sorry this post is not as picture heavy as usual; it was very, very hot and I don't think many of us were feeling the photos, so I have decided to focus on some of the really great information we were given instead!
#1: Becoming more valuable to brands and create lasting relationships with brands and PR companies.
Moderated by: Tonia Korakis, Co Founder of iFabbo and Editor of PinkLayers.com
Panelists: Tala Samman, My Fashion Diary, Edwina WynYard, Amazing PR, Hayley Carr, London Beauty Queen
This panel was really interesting, because while bloggers talk to each other about PR relationships, we all receive press releases, solicited or not, and interact on some level with PR's every single day, but it is not often we get to hear about blogging from their perspective.
- A blogger is valable to a brand if they have clear opinions and varied content. Writing about different things, such as food, fashion and beauty all on one blog is not a bad thing as it opens it up to a wider audience that brands can tap into.
- A bloggers influence is not just measured by their amount of followers; other social media outlets are also balanced, and how much readers engage. 100 readers who engage with a blog are more valuable than 3,000 who are just passers by.
- The consistency of your content is of the utmost importance. Want to post something which everyone else is posting about? Come at it from a unique angle!
- Sometimes PR's prefer to work with bloggers because unlike magazines, they can publish something instantly which is better for smaller, newer brands.
- Don't be afraid of contacting brands and PR's. Drop them an email explaining who you are, what your blog is about, any accomplishments or awards your blog might have won and let them know you're interested in hearing about their clients. A phone call would not hurt as well! However, make sure you do your homework on brands and agencies before you contact them!
#2: The business of blogging... how to make your passion your career.
Moderated by: Sinead Norenius, Co Founder of iFabbo and Founder of Beautisol and SelfTanningQueen.com
Panelists: Sarah Bush, ShopStyle, Nik Thakkar, Creative Brand Strategist, Joe Stepniewski, SkimLinks.com, Christina Butcher, Hair Romance, Colleen Bulfin, RewardStyle
Because it is a personal aim of mine, I have read about professional style blogging until the cows come home, but I thought it was really great that this panel focused a lot of monetization, especially through affiliate marketing which is something I have recently been experimenting with, with a lot of success.
- If you want to make your blog into your career you need to approach it as if you are an entrepreneur; a business plan is key.
- When dealing with brands, ethically, transparency is key.
- As a professional blogger you need to create as many revenue outlets as possible; build your blog as a showcase for your personal brand, which will be a springboard for other opportunities.
- Build relationships by being proactive both online and off. Attend blogger meetings and industry events to network, and try to reply to and engage with your readers through your social media outlets, as well as reaching out to some of your favourite brands via social media. If a PR sends you a press release you are not interested in, instead of deleting it, ask them if you could see anything from their other clients.
- Random advertising that does not fit in with the ethos of your site alienates other advertisers. Also, try not to advertise competitors of brands you are collaborating with.
- You can monetize your blog at any point, however big or small it is. Your revenue will grow with your blog.
#5: Social media: How to use it effectively to promote your blog, find new readers and build your brand.
Moderated by: Clare Neilson, CCLAREBEAR
Panelists: Alex Outlaw, Motilo, Zara Stone Rabinowicz, Almost Zara, Emily Quintin, Online Communications Consultant, Alisa Gould-Simon, Pose
- Only use the social media outlets that you enjoy using. If you have to forse yourself to do it, it will feel forced and be inauthentic.
- Use your social media outlets to start a conversation with and among your readers, not just as a way of distributing your content.
- As far as Facebook pages are concerned, keep your updates short and snappy. Integrating your blog posts by using an RSS feed will make your life a lot easier. As a way of reaching out to brands, tag their pages, where relevant, in your content.
Congratulations those of you who made it to the end of what has to be the most text heavy post I have ever written - I hope you have found it useful, and I promise you my posts will return to their full colour photo glory tomorrow!
Do you have any sucsessful blogging tips that are not run of the mill you would like to share?