When I signed up for Blogging While Brown I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I’ve been to a lot of conferences and events and usually minorities are highly underrepresented, so Blogging While Brown was a bit of a culture shock, yet a beautiful amazing experience that I will never forget.
The Business of Blogging: Blogging While Brown Day 1
Originally I didn’t sign up for the pre conference Friday but recently my blog has begun to gain a little traction so I decided to make the extra investment and learn about how to handle brand relationships and how to get some too.
I got up really early, took the 90 minute trip to Harlem and met one of my Bloggy besties Kim. We immediately started talking with other bloggers as we waited patiently for entry to the venue. Once we got in we got breakfast and yes, we started ON TIME!
We started the day with a seriously amazing session from Lamar Tyler. He is the mastermind behind blackandmarriedwithkids.com. He gave us 8 principles for blogging and working with brands that blew my mind. I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting such good stuff right off the bat. His principles included:
1) Do what is required: he talked about doing the actual work that is needed to succeed. We all want our respective blogs/dreams/ideas to take off, but are we REALLY doing what we need to for that dream to come true? Are we sacrificing fun time and getting to work?? When he mentioned staying up late till early in the morning even when you have to get up for work the next day…I nearly got up and begged the man to preach because he was singing my story with his song.
2) make yourself better: take courses, learn constantly. You have to get better and be better at your craft to stay above (and a step ahead) the rest!
Next we had a session from Nicole Moore from thehotness.com and Jodie Patterson from Georgiany.com. They spoke about the many many opportunities that they have received offline from blogging. This session further proved to me that the opportunities don’t end at sponsored posts and brand ambassadorships–there is a world of opportunities waiting for you that can result from your amazing blog.
Next we had lunch in the shaumbergs outdoor space, did I mention how beautiful it was outside?! We did some more networking and ate some really delicious sandwiches.
We came back from lunch and was clobbered over the head with legal information that ALL bloggers should be fully aware of. There are so many rules and regulations that made my head spin! Trezanay Atkins broke it all the way down. A few tips I learned from her:
1) Our content as bloggers is protected by free speech, however when you start to talk negatively about a brand, person or product, that is when you get yourself into trouble. You can’t publish false information on a person to injure their reputation.
2) Don’t depend on your disclosure page to be enough, make sure you are disclosing all affiliate links and payment inside of the post.
Next we had some executives about TV Land come in to talk about what do they look for in bloggers from a corporate stand point.
Kristen, Jennifer and Sue talked about wanting influencers. They weren’t concerned with who has the biggest audience or largest amount of pageviews—they want people who can actually activate their audiences. They want to know that you have a trusted relationship with your readers.
They also talked about how they like to be approached. They are more willing to work with influencers that tweet them often, mention them in social media, etc. They do not like when people force links on them or don’t take the time to build a genuine relationship.
Finally the first day of Blogging While Brown came to a close with a full session on blogs and brands. This session was off.the.hook. You guys know that I have been to a lot of conferences but this session was so raw and full of insider information I could barely take notes or tweet because I was so zoned into what they were saying. The session was led by a panel of marketing and PR people that scout for bloggers for BIG jobs and huge paying opportunities.
The one thing I got out of this was the fact that we need to bond together as African-American Bloggers and market ourselves! There are tons of opportunities available to us and we need to get together as one and become brand friendly.
But I digress.
We closed, I got on the long train ride back home full of ideas and happy about my decision to attend the preconference.
Stay tuned for Blogging While Brown Part 2! More sessions and even a party! 🙂