“It doesn’t matter if you have a 3-person operation of 650 million dollar business we all have a struggle that we have to get over.” Joe Zee at the IFB Conference
Blogging has become big business (part or full time). For most of us it starts as a hobby, but once you get really into making your blog stand out visually and textually you envision ways to take your blog to the next level. Blogger networks and conferences are a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn about how to grow your blog. Books, tool kits and conferences on blogging didn’t exist a few years ago. Now there are a number of resources you can reference online and off. As a member of the Independent Fashion Bloggers Network, this was the perfect opportunity to attend a local conference to see what I could learn and apply to Style & Vibes.
The IFB Conference, created by Independent Fashion Blogger’s Network and blogger of The Coveted Jennine Jacob Sponsored by Milk Studios, KMS Califoria, Pose.com, Magnum, Unilever North America and Aldo, the panels included successful bloggers who have turned the hobby into a career as well as brands and other industry leaders who are content providers.
There were a few key elements that remained consistent throughout the conference:
1.) Develop a unique voice.
Content is still king. Providing great content to your readers in your voice is important to maintaining integrity. Your voice may change over time as you develop as a person, so does your blog. People want to read your blog because of how you deliver the information.
2.) Your social media brand is just as important as your blog.
Sure you can write, but that doesn’t mean people will read it, and that’s ok, if that’s your goal. Social media is the easiest way to find your audience and connect them with your blog for free. You can connect with brands, celebrities, bloggers, marketing agencies etc. It’s the best way to keep in touch with your readers as well. (Tip: Make sure your social media outlets are all branded the same way to maintain consistency)
3.) Dont sell out, but sell yourself.
Don’t be afraid to monetize your blog, but when you begin to connect with brands, connect with real brands that make sense for you and your audience. You have an audience for a reason!
4.) Be confident in your abilities.
As bloggers we have to be confident in our ability to deliver. If that translates in to other kinds of work, be sure not to sell yourself short.
The interview with Joe Zee was inspiring in the sense that he really embraces bloggers and the digital media space, coming from a traditional print background that is a big deal. He recognized that bloggers and magazines can co-exist, we deliver content just differently.