Introduction to Monetization Models for Creative Bloggers
By BHLiveblogger on September 15, 2011
Monetization and Business Models (Beginning)- Introduction to Monetization Models for Creative Bloggers
*** The session presentation is linked at the end of the liveblog. ***
Gina Luker, (GL) TheShabbyCreekCottage.com @shabbycreek Blogger, etsy shop, makes money from Google & other ad networks, independent shops, working with PR companies to do product reviews and giveaways, affiliate book sales, EBOOK she wrote. Half income from blogging, half from etsy.
Traci Bautista, (TB) http://kollaj.typepad.com"@treicdesigns.com Mixed media artist, author, monetize thru sponsors to do product reviews or tutorials, sells a line of digital products, etsy business, services like teaching
WP commented they MIGHT not be so beginnerish, so stop and ask questions.
Panel introduced themselves. They all want to convey how passionate they are about what they do.
GL: Started blog as virtual scrapbook remodeling childhood home. Quickly had a following and within a year she had quit her job. Faith in her passion for a beautiful home led her to blogging.
TB: Build business around passion and share your story. Share hobbies, projects working on and tell that story, not what you don’t like doing. Message comes across to your audience, your passion, and other opportunities come your way.
AR: Talked about the TV show SharkTank. Somebody had good idea, nobody wanted to buy it, asked the guy what important, execution or idea? Execution is! She can present making a cake in a way to make money. Passion is figuring out new ways to share with people.
WP: Passion is the gasoline of your business. Your passion gets your through what you don’t want to do.
WP: Break down a typical work week for the audience. Crucial for understanding the business side and making money.
AR: I make money from traffic to my blog. It goes to show you can have some disorganization in your life and have a life you love.
TB: No typical week. Pretty much do everything myself…I need to work on finding other people to help me. I do everything for my business. Most of us wear multiple hats. Studio time is rare for me now. I travel and teach so much. Another percentage of time is writing. I wrote, edited, photographed, etc. the book. I do take time out to do Yoga 4-5 times a week. Average 5-6 hours a day for sleep. Percentage is traveling and in hotel rooms and airplanes. I do a lot of marketing from my phone. I use Mint.com for managing my accounts.
GL Spends nuggets wearing different hats all day. Morning time is computer time and I have to decide when to stop. Then she makes things, post office, orders, is assistant-less at the moment. Everything is handmade by her. 10 hours a day is spent making product. Even during a lunch break, I’m checking emails or blogging. She does tutorials on her blog. She thinks good content on her blog will bring sales to her etsy shop. Spend 6-8 hours a week creating content. Then manages comments, and weekly blog party. Break it up into chunks where you get little nuggests here and there. She works on nuggets all day. This works for me, it is not monotonous.
WP: Has a blog network about kids activities. Monetized thru ad networks. Entity that sells ads for a group of blogs. Spends 2-3 hours for each blog post creating content. 2-3 hours on bookkeeping and finally know how much I’m making and where the money goes. This helps her see which blog makes the most money, so that’s where she spends her time. Spend 5 hours a week on website maintenance…. Changing out ads, optimizing, looking at tags on posts. SEO work. The passion for What she does helps her move beyond her comfort zone and do the work she necessarily doesn’t like. Spends hours crafting and taking photos.
WP: We’re here to talk about business models.
- Selling your own products.
- Selling consulting services, teaching services.
- Advertising and sponsorships
- Building a platform. Getting a book deal. Speaking gigs.
WP: To panel: Talk about your business model and how does it play to your strength and making money. Publicity doesn’t mean crap if I’m not making money. Put ROI first (time and money) anything not making ROI came off plate and then I became successful.
TB: Primarily make living teaching and the arts. Downloadable projects and e-projects. She likes to have her hands in a lot of different pots.
GL: I just do what I want to do. That’s my business model. She makes money from blog and from Etsy.
Question who are you connecting with for ads?
GL She got an email and woman wanted to put an ad on her blog. Also has google ads. Her ads are from small businesses. Very rarely sought out an ad. You need one full page of products going over to second page on etsy. The more you have in your Etsy shop, the more chances you have to catch someone’s eye.
WP: Thinks her model…advertisers coming TO you is most likely the exception not the norm.
WP: Make a media kit. Showcase traffic and audience, and put out there for advertisers. 5 readers who like cool baby clothes is better than 100 readers who like gadgets. Specific is good.
Question to WP talk about Etsy vs brick-n-mortar store, how much to charge, and why not just have a shopping cart.
Her friend said charge $1 per 1000 impressions a month. That was the beginning. She doesn’t charge that anymore. Doesn’t believe in pricing yourself too high. Difference between Etsy & store is Etsy is made to order, store is already made. She chooses Etsy because she has a lot of traffic. Etsy customers already know the beauty of handmade.
WP: Talk about working with an ad network.
AR: Nothing wrong with seeking them out. Put yourself in a power position to find a network you like. FoodBlogAlliance has an article by Elise Bauer that lists advertising companies and which companies to go with.
She works thru sponsorship. Company supplies free product and she shows how she uses the product. Focuses on products she loves and uses.
Question about teaching online.
TB: Says she does it thru 2-6 week sessions. She does live sessions. PDF handouts. Workbook, content, video, live chat. She uses U-stream. She hosts workshops on NING. It has become a tremendous community for artists.
AR: Tips to generate traffic
- Stumbled Upon
- Pinterest -- sign up as business name
- Forums, Communities find your favorite topic, sign up, chat, get your website out there.
If you have your name and website with these companies, they can find you!
WP Diversifying the ways you make money. You start with 1 way, then build up on it. Don’t get stuck with 1 advertising method.
To panel: talk about how you diversify.
GL: She had 1 sponsor and went out and found some affiliate ads. She feels SHE is her audience, and found sites she felt represented her. Google works the best for her. She hasn’t tried BlogHer network. You don’t have to have a huge following for advertisers to work with you. She gives advertisers more than they want. If they want 4 blog posts, she does 5. if they want 5 tweets she does 7.
Follow your suppliers on Twitter and Facebook. You paint with Dutch Boy paint? Let them know it! Then make sure you give them exposure, market research, space in front of your readers.
Many companies are willing to give you product that you love. Check the company website if they pay for blogging, etc.
Question: What is Mint.com? Personal budget money manager.
Question: How do you develop sponsorship ideas?
WP: Be creative! Come up with some projects that you are comfortable with. Send them a proposal, put a dollar value on it, and send it. Shoot high with your number.
WP: Get a hosted ad server. Put the code of an ad on your blog. OpenX and GoogleDFP have ad server. It isn’t hard to set up, not hard, but doable.
You are valuable. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t do stuff for free unless you WANT to.
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