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blogging

How to Get a Blog Conference Sponsorship

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 2, 2009 · 38 comments

BlissDom09
Photo by Secret-Agent-Mama

So you missed out on the fabulousness that was BlissDom '09Mom 2.0 Summit came and went a couple of weeks ago while you sat at home?  With BlogHer '09 on the horizon as the next big women's blogging conference, perhaps you're starting to formulate a plan on how you might actually attend one of these events that are key networking opportunities.

If finding the funds to attend one of these conferences in your already-stretched-thin budget these days is an impossibility, let's look at another option: conference sponsorship.  Having a company sponsor your attendance at a conference is a win for both you.  You get to attend without incurring much in the way of costs out of pocket, and you're providing additional valuable and targeted exposure to a key demographic that many companies are looking to hone in on.

You're probably thinking, "That sounds fantastic, but I haven't the faintest idea where to even begin looking for a company to sponsor me."  The reality is if you've been blogging for any length of time, you probably have several prospects buried in your email inbox, but let's start at the beginning.

Create a Media Kit for Your Blog

If you don't have a media kit for your site, you're missing an important tool for promoting yourself.  A good media kit will include such key elements as:

  • An overview of your site
  • Traffic metrics
  • Audience demographics
  • Social media footprint
  • Ad formats and pricing
  • Policies pertaining to ads, reviews, and giveaways

Mandi at OrganizingYourWay.net has a fabulous comprehensive media kit template available to guide you in creating this document.

Choose a Conference and Estimate the Costs

Determine which conference would benefit you the most, and start pricing out how much it would cost for you to attend.  You'll want to include conference registration fees, hotel accommodations, and travel expenses for sure.  You might also consider including a per diem for meals and incidentals, but you'd be wise to look at this cost as negotiable.  Once you have a firm grasp on the costs for attending, it's time to look at companies to target.

Select Companies to Target

Now is the time to dig through your email to suss out all the companies you've worked with previously either directly or indirectly through PR contacts.  Think about contacts you've made on Twitter or Facebook.  Choose the top three or four that you feel are the best fit for your niche and, most importantly, that you would be able to promote enthusiastically.

Brainstorm on Benefits and Ways to Promote

Now that you have three or four companies to target, first consider what benefits you have to offer them.  Just a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What makes you a unique fit for their company?
  • How would connecting with your audience benefit them?
  • Will their competitors be in attendance?

And how will you promote the company that sponsors you?  A few suggestions:

  • Give them ad placement on your blog.
  • Write a blog post or posts featuring them before and after the event.
  • Live Tweet the event mentioning the company occasionally.
  • Pass out samples or other media.
  • Wear clothing with their logo.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Get creative and really put yourself out there, but leave it open ended for suggestions coming back from the sponsor as well.

Write Your Proposal

Using the information you just brainstormed, write a proposal letter to email each company along with your media kit.  Include important information about the conference, the benefits you brainstormed and why your blog is a good fit for them, your proposed costs for sponsorship, and what those costs will garner them in the way of promotion at the event.  I've created a sample proposal letter to give you a starting point, but you'll definitely want to completely rewrite it to make it your own.  Companies will start to notice if they get three or four proposals that are nearly identical.

Now take a deep breath, attach your media kit, and send the email. If you really want to stand out and have a good relationship, you may even want to follow up with a phone call after sending.  Be prepared for a lot of questions, and keep in mind that you may ultimately have to accept less than a full sponsorship in this tight economy.  You might even consider accepting more than one sponsorship, but full disclosure to all company involved is crucial to ensure that there are no conflicts of interests.

Above all, be true to yourself and your blog.  Just because one company turns you down doesn't mean there's not a company out there that will be a perfect fit.  As cliché as it sounds, I believe that everything happens for a purpose.  Perhaps a company doesn't have the funds in their budget now, but a good impression today may lead to bigger things in the future!

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Money-Making Monday: Logical Media

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 24, 2008 · 37 comments

logicalmedia__logo_If you're not already a Logical Media affiliate, there could not be a better time than now for you to get on board!  All new affiliates that are accepted will receive a $25 sign on bonus!

Not familiar with Logical Media?

They are a CPA or "cost per action" affiliate marketing company that pays you for each person that successfully signs up for freebies or other campaigns offered by their partners.  I mentioned Logical Media in my Blogging for Income: Affiliate Sites post about a month ago, and I encourage you to go back and read through that article if you're not very familiar with affiliate marketing.  I know that some of you have gone on to profit with them since then, and I'd love to hear some more success stories!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or use the contact form on my Contact page!

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One2One Network is THE Place to Be

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 31, 2008 · 35 comments

One2One_Network_Main

Seriously, if you haven't joined One2One Network yet, you're totally missing out! If you haven't heard of them, they're a word of mouth marketing network run by some really awesome women. In fact, they just hired one of my really good friends Arianne Segerman (also a new Elevenmom!) of To Think is to Create as their Director of Community Development, so you know they've got great taste!

I've been involved with a lot of really fun and exciting campaigns with them, and it's not just for bloggers. They're looking for anyone that enjoys trying new products and spreading the word about them. If you're interested in joining, you can register here, and be sure to mention my name (Tara Kuczykowski) in the referral box so they know I sent you!

You can find the full details on their FAQs page.

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Blogging for Income: Affiliate Sites

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 22, 2008 · 54 comments

Learning how to monetize a blog actually probably isn't the ideal place to start a blogging for income series, but because this is Money-Making Week, it's where I'm going to begin. Hopefully this will give those of you that already have blogs a starting point, and for those of you thinking about blogging, I'll come back to getting started over the coming weeks.

There are many ways to earn an income from blogging. You can use AdSense, ad networks, affiliate sites, sell your own products, do paid posts and on and on. But don't be fooled into thinking that blogging is a get-rich-quick ticket. It's hard work, and it can be very discouraging when you're starting out with little traffic and few comments.

(BTW readers, bloggers LOVE comments. Even if you just take a moment to say, "Thanks, that post really helped me out," I guarantee you'll make someone's day!)

With so many methods, it's only natural that some will work for some people while not for others. It's important to try a variety to see what works best for you. I've experimented with several, and one of my favorite methods is affiliate marketing.

So what's so special about affiliate marketing? Basically it's a win for me and a win for my readers! My readers get to sign up for great samples and other offers, and I get paid a little bit to offer them the opportunity. Of course not every sample I blog about earns me money. In fact most of them don't, but it's always a nice incentive when they do!

Some important tips about affiliate marketing:

  • Be selective. Before you promote an offer on your blog, look at the landing page that your affiliate link takes you to.  Is it something that you would feel comfortable signing up for?  If in doubt, you can email your rep at the affiliate network for additional details.  You don't want to damage the trust your readers have placed in you by having them register for a scam.
  • Do your homework. Be sure to pay close attention to the terms and conditions regarding an offer.  Some offers can't be offered as a text link.  Some can be sent in an email format.  Some offers can be incentivized meaning you can offer a bonus if a readers takes advantage of the opportunity.  Just be sure that you read thoroughly and understand before you promote.  Again, you can ask your rep for help if you have any questions.
  • Don't overdo it. Constantly bombarding your readers with affiliate links and placing tons of banners and ads in your sidebars will only turn them off.  Select a few good offers to promote and focus on them.
  • Personalize it. If you've had a personal experience with the company or offer you are promoting, tell your readers about it.  They're reading your blog because they like what you have to say, so if you can approach them with an insider's point of view, they'll be that much more likely to take action.

There are literally thousands of different affiliate companies out there.  The ones I've signed on with probably aren't even a drop in the bucket, but many were sites that were recommended to me when I started out, so I'd like to share them with my readers as well.

Recommended affiliate companies:

As I mentioned before, you're probably not going to make big bucks using these companies, but using them strategically can generate some nice pocket change or give you a little breathing room in your budget.

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