Blogging as a full time job?
With the rise and rise of blogging in Australia – and in the fashion sector particularly – blogging as a way of earning a living is becoming a more and more viable option for those who started their little slice of the web with an iphone and a laptop in their bedrooms.
Hosted by Nuffnang, the Asia Pacific Blog Advertising Community, the Nuffnang Fashionopolis gave bloggers the opportunity to come along and hear from experts about the ways in which a blog can be monetised, how best to build the brand of your blog and how you can actually make a career out of sitting on your couch with the computer.
Your Blog, Your Brand
Popular fashion blogger Phoebe Montague, of Lady Melbourne, hosted the first session of the day – Your Blog, Your Brand – talking about ways in which bloggers can take control of their own personal brand and use this to build an audience and, in time, make money.
Key takeouts included:
- Your blog is an extension of yourself and should reflect this through the authenticity of your voice and originality. Shareable content is what the people want.
- Share your blog/brand across multiple channels. Being on Twitter gives you an authoritative voice; use Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest as extensions of your blog.
- Imagery is currency and your photography is one of the most important elements of your blog. Smart phones are great and more than sufficient for photos and video. Do get a tripod for digital camera and outfit pics.
- Remember what you love about your favourite blogs and think about your blog from the readers’ perspective.
- Treat your blog and readers with professionalism. Pay attention to what you tweet (behave online to be taken seriously!) and if you can’t blog regularly, be transparent and open about it.
This session was followed by a panel discussion with Fashion Torque founders Phillip Boon and Jenny Bannister, with special guests Patty Huntington and Sarah Gale.
While Patty is a veteran of traditional media, she was also one of the first to venture into blogging as part of her profession, with Frockwriter, giving her a unique angle on the subject.
The panel talked about the entrepreneurial spirit of the blogging community and the benefit of bloggers to up and coming designers, especially when traditional media (particularly newspapers) tend to ignore the Fashion Industry in Australia.
Key takeouts from this session included:
- The importance of doing your research. When you already have an interest in an area, take the time to seriously look at the topic and know the background.
- Know what your blog does well. Is it surprising styling, amazing images, etc? Leverage this.
- Bloggers are 24/7 news gatherers. While traditional fashion writers write between 9 and 5 and get paid for it, the bloggers are writing in the middle of the night to ensure they have the story first.
- Networking is VERY important. Have business cards and remember you are a walking endorsement for the content you create.
- Understand how best to work with advertorial. Fully disclose the nature of these posts and don’t post on products that are completely unrelated to your audience.
Monetising Your Blog
The final session of the day bought back Phoebe, and introduced Kyra Pybus of Pybus PR, David Krupp from Nuffnang and Amber Venz from Venzedits, each providing an angle on the subject of monetising blogs.
While there are few bloggers who gain a full time income from blogging at the moment, the door is wide open for the future with endless possibilities in the reach of the bedroom blogger.
Key takeouts from this final session included:
- Consistency – in both regularity and style – in posting on your blog.
- Checking spelling and grammar of a blog post – a simple thing often overlooked!
- Have a point of view that is unique to you – talk about your own experiences, use your own voice and be authentic.
- Content is king, but going forward, imagery must be really, really good.
- There are many ways to make money indirectly from blogging – diversify into selling your images, writing ebooks and charging appearance fees, freelance copywriting or styling etc.
- Value your own experience and know your worth – don’t work for free.
In summary, all the speakers over the day acknowledged the potential that bloggers have to be a driving force in both the bought, and earned, media space. The power the blogger yields is their voice, and their opinions are held in higher esteem because of the perceived unbiased opinions they present.
Going forward, while brands will work more closely with bloggers and bloggers will charge for their services, it will be even more important to ensure a blog remains transparent and true to the personality of the individual behind the blog.
Do you have a blog? How do you feel about blogging in return for products or payment? As a reader, do you think this compromises the opinions and views of the blog?