BlogPulse.com recorded 156 million public blogs as of February of this year. According to Technorati.com, nearly 40 percent of bloggers are actually generating revenue through things like ad sales, corporate sponsorships and speaking engagements.
Women are no strangers to the world of social media. In fact, BlogHer.com research shows that 42 million active social media participants are female.
Here, we share some of the best BlogHer '11 takeaways on how to make the leap from hobbyist to professional blogger.
Joining a publishing network can simplify the sales process and bring ads to your qualified blog, whatever its size.
"We work with companies to sell ads on our network, and that leaves bloggers free to do what they love: write," said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer.com.
According to Page, bloggers considering joining a publishing network should keep the following in mind:
In April, BlogHer.com released its 2011 Social Media Matters study that found 88 percent of active readers in the United States trust the information they receive from familiar blogs. Nearly half of them have purchased products based on blogger recommendations.
It's no surprise, then, that companies are integrating these bloggers directly into their marketing programs. Working with a corporate sponsor can be as simple as writing a few posts for their company blog or as involved as becoming their brand ambassador at events.
"No matter how you decide to work with a company, just remember that your blog is both your platform and portfolio," said Page. "And even smaller bloggers can do well for themselves, especially if they are focused on a niche."
"Your life stories should be woven throughout your blog in a way that communicates your personal brand," said Amie Valpone, who started blogging at TheHealthyApple.com and has since become a brand ambassador for Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread and Musselman's Applesauce.
Interested in working with a corporate sponsor? Here are some tips from BlogHer '11 attendees and guest speakers:
Make your expertise accessible to a wider audience through things like e-books, speaking engagements and seminars. Nicole Longstreath of TheWardrobeCode.com did.
Tired of a drab corporate wardrobe, Longstreath set out to renew her clothing arsenal by shopping only at Goodwill for nine months. She blogged about the experience along the way and gained followers who, before she knew it, started asking for tips.
In October, she is launching a three-week webinar called "Cracking the Wardrobe Code" based on her social experiment and blog. Her tips for developing an online seminar include:
New ways to make money with your blog pop up every day. But whether you're selling ad space or working for a corporate sponsor, there is one recurring theme: brand authenticity that's supported by a strategic plan.
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