Friday, July 2, 2010

Caveats to Flipping Your Blog into a Business ...

Jennifer James writes on how mom blogs can be flipped into a business in this article. I think her points are valid but they just scratch the surface of a complicated evolution in the mom blogging world: from "diary" to "money generating brand."
I think she's right in saying that mom bloggers must focus and have a consistent point of view. More importantly, the mom author must have authenticity in her voice -- much more so than focus. I think the consistency of the blog will then naturally flow from her voice.
Focus: from a branding perspective is that you can't be all things to all people and do that WELL. Segment your market into a small piece and own that piece. Deliberately turn away some readers to focus on core constituencies. DEFINE YOUR MARKET NICHE. In a marketing class, you'd make all kinds of nifty charts and graphs to portray the market and where you are (and what value you are adding).
Show Me the Money: a previous post on CoffeeShopBloggers featuring Nick Copley from the Sherpa Report gave us the revelation that advertising is becoming a commodity that is valued at very close to free. Think how many blogs will create content for just a link. Right? Think about how many content creators are out there in the blogosphere -- competing with mainstream content creators such as newspapers and magazines.
So we at CoffeeShopBloggers maintain that the monetization of your blog is not coming from ads. Sponsors, however, are a whole different ball game. How is this different?'s the same targets. Sponsors and Advertisers may very well be the same companies but the big difference is that Advertisers want ad space and will pay based on what your audience does: click on a link, look at the ad, purchase on their site. Sponsors want lead generation for a very specific defined potential customer. They want contact information and purchasing profiles. That requires a little more thought. And readership profiling -- who is your audience? If your focus is tight and your voice is authentic, you will know... as in the case of the three mom bloggers in the article. Are they upscale green, new mommies? Are they gym rats? Are they "education" mommies?
The next step after engaging your audience and knowing roughly who they are is to actually capture their contact information and their permission to be contacted by a select group of your sponsors. If you can achieve this, you have just created a business.

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on children's literature, parenting and education.
Tons of blogger experts and digital insiders promise that you can earn money as a mom blogger, and indeed, it’s true. If you really want to flip your blog into a business you must focus. There is no other way to put it. You have to focus on your time, your talents, and your readers, but most importantly you have to focus on your point of view.
Few mom bloggers can seamlessly turn a traditional mom blog into a consistent moneymaker. After all, that requires striking a strong balance between your blog, brands and your readers. That’s not easy to do. To remedy the difficulty in fusing a personal blog with working with brands, you must have a very strong point of view or expertise. Do you know who does this beautifully: Audrey McClelland of Audrey Confidential and Mom Generations. Audrey has an extremely solid point of view. When you think of Audrey, you automatically think fashion, but at the same time you know she is the mother of four small boys. That means while Audrey maintains her mom blogging focus, she has also brought in a professional fashion element into her blog that we all respect and know her for.

Also, think of Christine Koh of Boston Mamas. When you think of Christine, you immediately think green, organic, minimal, and design. She has consistently retained this point of view and never wavers from it. At the same time, you know she has a daughter, Laurel, and a husband, Jon. Her consistent outlook and theme for her blog allow her to work with brands that share her vision, but in doing so she still writes from the point of view of a real mom.

Click here for rest of article.

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