It's not every day we get to announce the State of the BlogHer Economy on national television. This morning it was my absolute pleasure to join CBS This Morning with Norah O'Donnell and Anthony Mason. Here's what happened:
On air, I announced that BlogHer Inc. has paid out $36 million from 2009-2013 to more than 5,700 women—and men!—who are in our community of premium content creatives.
That total payday has more than doubled since 2011, when we first announced that BlogHer had paid $17 million to women in the years 2009-2011. It's also up $11 million or 38 percent since last year, when we announced the results from 2009-2012.
Today, BlogHer influencers tell us they are using this income to build their creative businesses and support themselves and their dependents:
- 50% re-invest their BlogHer earnings in their businesses (technology, Internet, design costs)
- 50% use earnings on discretionary spending
- 25% use earnings to pay grocery bills
- 22% use earnings to pay bills or to pay off debts
For nearly a decade now, Co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory des Jardins and I—and the entire BlogHer team—have been passionately committed to making it possible for content creators to be paid for their work.
From parenting to politics, we've been trying to shine a spotlight on the sheer mind-boggling diversity of women's writing online. These storytellers and photographers deserve for their voices, stories and photographs to be part of the national conversation—from the lighter side of life (such as our Lucy Ricardo of the Prairie Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman, and Christina Brown of Love Brown Sugar, who makes fashion and photography look sooooo easy)—to women brave enough to share their personal stories and change how the world sees everything from postpartum depression to parenting children with autism (I'm looking at YOU, Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress and Shannon des Roches Rosa of Squidalicious)—THIS is the new women's web; I only wish I could celebrate you all in such a short television segment.
The answer is that if you are a great storyteller—whether you write a blog, take digital photographs, record videoblogs or lead social media conversations—and you are willing to hold your content to a high standard for quality, disclosure and community (we don't allow hate or harassment in comments), you should apply to join BlogHer's community for premium user-generated content.
We do have long waiting lists, but we are growing: Women control more than 80 percent of household spending, a $15 trillion market, and we use social media 30 percent more than men do (comScore). Increasingly, that's where marketers and advertisers who want to grow their businesses understand they need to create relationships with customers.
Together, our community of 3,000 bloggers and 13,000 social media influencers reach an audience of 100 million every month—a testimony to premium user-generated content, where destination sites take an important back seat to real, social conversations, from the introspective intimacy of blogs to the sheer fun and games of Instagram and Flickr. Together, we are a powerful force, capable of achieving publishing history as a community in a way that solo bylines (pardon me as I harken back to my days as an ink-stained newspaper reporter) never could.
According to comScore Media Metrix from December 2013:
- Together we BlogHers are the #3 largest Food network in the United States—indeed, #1 for women 18-34. Who are #1 and #2? Meredith and Scripps, aka The Food Network.
- The BlogHer community is the #6 largest Lifestyle network in the U.S.—indeed, #2 for women 18-34. Who are #1-5? Powerhouses such as Meredith, AOL, Yahoo, Scripps and Conde Nast.
- Together our 3,000 blogs alone reach 28% of U.S. women who use iPads every month.
Congratulations on your achievements, everybody, and on our work in the past ten years to create the BlogHer Economy together. On being such fantastic creatives that the Fortune 10 (half of them), 50, 100 and 1000 are among the advertisers and marketers with whom we are proud to partner to support your voices. On being such gifted writers and photographers that we have been on the Forbes 100 list for top websites by women for four years running.
In the coming months, we will unveil new tools for monetizing your blog and marketing your personal brands.
So do it: Keep telling your truths. Here's to 2014 and a global stage for the voices of authentic influencers!
on behalf of Elisa, Jory and LIsa, BlogHer Co-founders
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