Monday, November 26, 2012

What I learned at Blogopolis

Last week, Vince and I attended the biggest and most fabulous blogging summit in the country—Blogopolis! Presented by Nuffnang, the conference dealt with topics such as how blogging truly is the new media, how to keep coming up with great content, how to turn your blog into a brand, how to engage your audience, how social media helps market your blog, what advertisers look for in blogs and bloggers, how to turn your blog into a real money-making machine, and the trouble with that troublesome Anti-Cybercrime Law. Then there's a party at the end of it. So comprehensive! And all that packed in one day!

I wanted to be there the whole day but I'm a mommy so I can only be a few hours away from home. I figured that the most applicable to me right now is how to attract advertisers, what kinds of services can I offer clients, and how I can turn my blog into a brand. So I just attended the afternoon session.

This dapper guy is Liam Capati. He's the media director of Starcom. That means he gets to say where the ads go. That means we shoulda gone up to him and said hi! See all those logos behind him? I want all those brands on my blogs and Twitter campaigns. Liam, if you're reading this, please make my wish come true! So far, I've worked with Meralco, Sun Cellular, Coca-Cola and McDonald's. That means I'm on their radar!

Actually, I got a big surprise when Liam mentioned that my parenting blog, Topaz Mommy, is a good example of a well written, well done, well branded blog. I knew Topaz Mommy has great writing (of course!) but I didn't know it's already seen as a brand. I must be more aware of what I'm doing!

That's Carlos Palma, executive director of Havas, with Liam. They're talking about numbers. Basically, what they're saying here is your blog doesn't have to be as huge as Yugatech or Chuvaness. Of course, a large readership is great but it's more important for advertisers to be associated with good blogs. So what matters to advertisers?

  • The blogger's personality. Is she engaging? Does she make readers feel like they're her friends? Is her personality strong enough that she stands out in a sea of bloggers? 
  • The blogger's influence. When she recommends something, do people try it? Are her blog posts shared, her Tweets reTweeted?
  • The blogger's authority within her niche blog market. Does she know what she's talking about? Is she an expert in her field?
  • The blog's good reputation. Your blog may be popular but if it's too negative or controversial, brands won't want to work with you. 

Now numbers. When is a blog big enough to make advertisers sit up and notice? Well, here's the thing: Because of the long tail statistical distribution, it doesn't really matter. Let's say Brand X has P10 million to spend on a campaign. Media buyers are in charge of distributing this budget over various media. So TV gets a chunk, so does a few print publications, and some big bloggers. Let's say P6M went to that. The rest of the money, which is still a hefty P4M will now go to a group of smaller bloggers and social media influencers.

That's where we come in. The more, the merrier because Brand X wants to be talked about. Sure, the money isn't as big as the one that goes to traditional media but considering that blogging is just a fun hobby for most of us and not a job, any income that comes in is amazing!

Now the good news is with blogging and Facebook, bloggers are getting a bigger and bigger chunk of that pie while traditional media's slice is getting smaller and smaller. So if you're asking me, "Should I blog?", I only have one answer: "Hell, yeah!"

Now, I did say that blogging is usually just a hobby for most bloggers but when your hobby becomes huge and starts taking up most of your time, Abe Olandres, Nuffnang's Country Manager, says it's time to make it a brand and a business.

Abe says there are many ways to make money from your blog. Display ads, sponsored posts, paid links, affiliate sales, co-branding and partnerships. I've done all of the above, except co-branding and affiliate sales. It's good money, y'all. But not enough. That's why I'm focusing on making the blogs bigger next year. It's top priority! I want to earn as much as some of my blogger friends! They earn much higher than I do as a magazine editor!

Besides, people already think of me first as a blogger. Then they remember my day job. It's an afterthought. So I might as well make blogging the day job, right? We'll see if this plan pans out!

Speaking of people thinking of me as a blogger, here are a couple of readers I met at Blogopolis:
Roxi of Mr. Jacob's Mom. She's so sweet! She's like my top blog commenter. I should give her an award! 
Chrissy of Changing Nappies in High Heels. I always run into Chrissy everywhere! 

And this is me with my date, Mr. Third World Nerd. We're having dessert and coffee at Shangri-la Makati while Blogopolis is on break. Vince wrote about what he learned from Blogopolis, too. Check it out!

Next year, if Nuffnang holds another Blogopolis, I'll stay the whole day. Why? Because we won the grand prize this year—an iPad Mini!!! But since mommy-to-babies duties and my breastfeeding boobs dictate my schedule, we couldn't stay and so we lost the prize! It's okay, it's okay. What I've gained from Nuffnang and Blogopolis is worth much more than an iPad Mini. Chos!


  1. I wasn't able to attend the Blogopolis. So, I'm waiting for your post. Hehe... Thanks for sharing what you've learned Ms. Frances! Now my question to myself is: am I ready to treat blogging as a business or still, just a hobby? Bago pa lang. Bago pa lang. ^_^

    1. Don't think of it as a business yet. Just blog because you love it. You know that saying, "Build it and they will come"? It applies. Create a great blog first, then the readers will come and then the advertisers. I've been blogging since 2006 but people only paid attention in '09!

  2. I learned a lot from your post. I sat down at Session A pero parang umattend na rin ako sa Session B. :)

    1. Okay, blog about Session A para I'll learn naman from you! =)

  3. It's as if I have been to the event too with the things I have learned from you. I'm a newbie in this blogging world and I never thought it's this big.Thanks for this. I love your posts both from this site and the Topaz Mommy! More power :)

    1. It's huge. You want a piece of that pie!

      Thanks for reading my blogs!!!

  4. Sayang didn't get a chance to meet you! Hopefully on the next Blogopolis! :)

  5. You won the iPad Mini! haha :) Sayang talaga, I missed this event because I wasn't confident enough to attend a bloggers' event by myself. Because of that I missed out on a lot of things. including meeting you. :( Next time, wala nang hiya hiya! haha :)

    1. Ya! Better nga if you go alone. If you're with someone, you don't feel the need to network kasi may kausap ka na. So if mag-isa ka lang, mapipilitan ka makipag-kwentuhan sa others!

    2. Nakakahiya naman, I'm your top commenter! Hahaha! Oh well, it's true! All your blog posts are so engaging kasi that I just have to comment. And that, my friend, is the reason why you're successful in blogging!

      And to comment on going alone, it's true that it's better. I got to really give my full attention to all the speakers that day and I learned a lot. Eh yung mga katabi ko (sorry sa kanila) who are with a friend or two, they were just chatting away. Para akong nasa classroom. I wanted to tell them to be quiet! Hahaha!

      Until the next Blogopolis!

  6. I have been thinking of taking my blog to the "next level", so I'm sad that I missed this event, as Im based in Singapore. Nevertheless, this summary was helpful. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for sharing what you learned from this event! I wanted to go, but I'm a breastfeeding mom too, and we don't have a yaya!

  8. I only learned about Nuffnang from this post. Thanks Frances for sharing. Now I'm also a Nuffnanger! :)


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