On Thursday, I attended a Mediabistro panel sponsored by AOL called How to Make Money from Blogging.
The panelists: Stephen Lenz – Editor in Chief of Urlesque, Dorothy McGivney – Founder & Editor of jauntsetter, and Lockhart Steele – President & Publisher of Curbed.
The atmosphere and energy was buzzing with interest and intrigue. The spectrum of aspiring and current bloggers varied from young twenty somethings (like myself) to seventies. Additionally, there were a lot of folks plugged in to their laptops or phones prior to the panel. How technology has changed the way that people relate to one another; we just sit in our little bubble before the attraction or in this case, panel. But in a way, this suited the audience because, I am in a bubble writing to anyone that’ll read this and I was there to find a way to make money from my bubble!
The panelists were all very helpful. Across the board, they all discussed that to write a blog, you must be passionate about what your topic. Lockhart hires bloggers to write for him and shared an anecdote with us (by the way, his anecdotes were hilarious). He asked a potential blogger, “What do you enjoy writing about?” The response was “I’ll write about anything!” His intention was to highlight that we should choose a topic and follow through; don’t half-ass it.
Another aspect about blogging they mentioned (which I should begin doing) is to identify the ecosystem your blog is a part of. For example, I blog about writing. I should be visiting other people’s writing blogs and sites and connecting with them. The panelists talked about becoming a part of the ongoing conversation on your particular topic. As a writer online, blogging is about connecting with other writers and the ever present (and growing) writing community on the Web.
This all leads to, “How do I make money from doing all this?” Essentially, the more followers and visits bloggers receive from their blog, the more likely they will receive sponsorships from companies. This also depends on the blogger’s brand and audience; the more fans and participation present on the blog, the more that companies will start to notice.
Overall, an informative panel for all bloggers.
After the panel, there was a huge opportunity to connect and speak to fellow bloggers as well as AOL bloggers from different industries. I didn’t stay because my business cards weren’t ready with my blog url. I hate being unprepared. Next time, I’ll be on it.
Oh and another thing I learned – maybe other bloggers know this but this was news to me: traffic for a blog increases based on the consistency of blog posts one has. Lockhart mentioned that his bloggers post about a dozen posts a day. This is very daunting for someone like me that is unemployed but extremely busy doing other things (like tennis, copyediting class, traveling, working on my resume and cover letter, looking and applying for jobs) that takes up my time. Lockhart responded to someone’s’ question about frequency in which his response was, “It really depends on the kind of blog you are writing.” The more up to date one’s blog is, the more traffic the blog will receive.
Mediabistro is one of the finest writer/freelance websites with the best resources available. I’m taking a Copyediting class from them and actually met a Career Counselor last fall due to a networking event in August. This website has been wonderful to me and it will be to you as well.
The goal now? Two posts a day. It’s not much but if I can get used to that number, I can expand and go from there. Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.