2009 29/07

The Business of Blogging

Most of the people who currently read this blog are either my in-real-life friends and family. And, it’s safe to say, this is one of the few blogs they read. So, it came to no surprise to me that most of the people around me didn’t really understand that I was going to a conference on blogging. A conference on blogging? Is there such a thing? What on earth would they even talk about?

I guess I should start by explaining a little bit about the conference. Blogher is a conference centered around blogging. More than 1600 women (and a few men) came together in Chicago to discuss everything from how to get a blog started to how to make money blogging. Yes, you can make money blogging…we’ll get to that later.

The conference was awesome! Most of the sessions that I went to were really helpful and I wish I had been able to attend a few others. The expo hall was crazy! I came home with a lot of amazing swag, some of which I am stocking away for stocking stuffers this Christmas. And the parties, yes, the parties. The best part was that I went with my friend Jodi (jodimichelle.com). It was so nice to have someone there with me who I knew and who was attending the conference for the first time. Oh, and I got to meet the fabulous ladies from 5 Minutes for Mom (the site I free-lance write for). AND I met Tim Gunn (Project Runway) because he was there on behalf of Tide.

That was the conference. Let’s talk about blogging now.

Blogging is like being a writer. Bloggers are writers but what I mean is that just as there is such a wide range of writers in the world, there is also a wide range of bloggers in the world. There are mommy-bloggers, life-bloggers (that is what I consider myself), specialty bloggers, review/giveaway bloggers, and those blogging for and about their company. Specialty bloggers are those who blog about something in specific — food, cooking, being eco-friendly, parenting tips, photography tips, fitness & exercise, etc. If you can think of it there is probably someone out there who blogs about it.

So, there are a lot of bloggers out there and they are blogging about everything. But why would they have a conference about it? Well, blogging is quickly becoming a very lucrative business. There are tons of people out there who have blogging as their primary business. And even more people who use blogging as a way to make a little extra money on the side. There are even bloggers out there who are doing so well, financially, with blogging that their spouse was able to quit their job and blogging now supports their family (check out dooce.com).

How do they do it? How in the world does someone make money blogging? Well, the same way any writer makes money. Some bloggers are paid by companies to write about them (often referred to as pay-per-post) and others have companies who pay to advertise on their site. Those who are doing reviews and giveaways on their site usually receive free products and, on occasion, monetary compensation for taking the time to review the product. This has become a great partnership between businesses and bloggers, especially small businesses and mom-owned businesses.

All this to say, blogging is a huge business. A huge community. It is so much bigger than my small personal blog. It is so much larger than the 1600 women and men who were at the conference. Bloggers were some of the first people to interview Barak Obama when he won his presidency. Bloggers have brought awareness to many important social issues. They have offered their emotional and financial support to families in crisis (those who have lost their jobs, their homes, their children).

I could go on and on and on. I love blogging. It has given me a voice. It has allowed me to connect to new people and to keep my friends and families updated on our life. It has stretched me in my writing. It has stretched me in what I think and what I believe.

Do I expect you to go out and start your own blog? No, although that would be cool. Do I expect you to start reading lots of other blogs? No, but I would encourage that. Do I think I’ll become rich or famous writing a blog? Oh, probably not, although I wouldn’t object to the rich part!

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