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Blogfest 2014: What I Learned

  • August 28, 2014
  • By Brittany
  • 19 Comments
Blogfest 2014: What I Learned

Hey friends!  Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on Tuesday’s post!  I really feel like such a lucky lady these days! 

Apologies to all my non-blogger readers but this post is heavily geared towards other bloggers.  You might still find it interesting to get a taste of the “behind the scenes”  otherwise: big hug and thanks for stopping by today!

I’ve already recapped all the fitness highlights from Blogfest 2014 but I haven’t really given you the info on everything I learned from the amazing sessions I got to attend (in case you missed it, my recap on the fitness events is here and Les Mills Summer Games is here).  There were so many informative sessions with knowledgeable and inspirational speakers. Here’s the rundown on What I Learned at Blogfest 2014!

Turn Your Blog Into A Money Making Business

Cassey Ho from Blogilates have us some amazing tips on how to grow your blog into a money-making business (I love you all but this is a lot of work to do for free! 🙂 ). She gave a ton of great detailed information but one overarching principle she said was that you need to be personal. This is so true!  I really want my readers to know who I am.  But the bigger take-away for me was that Cassey had an amazing personality and I could see why her readers love her.  She is so energetic and passionate about what she does and she is funny!

cassey ho

Here are three things you can do to turn your blog into a money-making business:

1)  Giveaway free stuff to draw people in but don’t give away too much all the time!
2) Create value for your users. 
3) Stick to your guns when working with brands and be yourself!

 

The Business of Blogging
This session was like a master’s degree in blogging.  Important info that anyone who wants to run their blog as a business. Here are a few takeaways:
Accounting

No one loves to think about accounting but if you are getting paid for your work, you need to pay taxes and therefore, you need to do some accounting.  Here are some tips:

1.) Make a spreadsheet with your expenses (keep your receipts) and your income so you can report it on your taxes

2.)  Know what deductions you can take to offset your expenses.

3.)  Save your receipts for three years!
Lawyering
Ok I’m biased here given my own background as a lawyer but this was a helpful session because a lot of bloggers don’t think about all the legal implications involved in blogging.  Here are a few important points:

1.)     Always use a disclaimer.  If you are not a medical professional and are providing any advice about fitness always make sure to tell your readers to consult with a physician before starting any exercise program.

2.)    Treat your blog as a business.  From a liability perspective, you need to separate yourself from your blog.  Get a separate bank account and file any necessary state papers to  create a separate entity.

3.)    Be clear on contribution.  If you contribute to another blog (think guest post) or if you have someone contribute to your blog, think about who owns the content—is it the author or the site owner?  Make sure you have this ironed out before anything goes live in case either party wants to claim ownership, re-publish, etc.

Sidenote- I was thinking of putting together a document about the legal aspect of blogging.  Anyone interested in that?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Selling Yourself

Every blogger who wants to make money off of blogging needs to know how to market themselves.  This is much harder than it sounds!  A few key tips:

1.)    Find the right person to pitch yourself to.  Do some digging on Google and look for press releases, which often have a brands PR contact listed.

2.)    Have a media kit and a pitch letter ready to go to a brand.

3.)    Don’t oversell yourself.  Your readers want content so stick with the 80/20 rule.  80% of your content should be non-sponsored and 20% can be sponsored.

 

Bloggers Tell All

There is nothing better than getting advice from experienced bloggers.  This panel provided some fantastic tips for day to day blogging.

 bloggers tell all

Monica (Run Eat Repeat); Julie (Peanut Butter Fingers), Gina (The Fitnessista)

1.)    Create a content calendar.  I hate trying to think of a post the same night it needs to be written!

2.)    Negotiation is key.  Don’t name your rate first, ask the brand what their budget is!

3.)    Blog consistently.  Even if you only blog once a week, do it and do it consistently.

Phew, that was a lot of information to drill down into only three points each!  I seriously learned so many great tips at Blogfest!

Oh and for fun, check out who I saw at IDEA:

oc2

Some OC favorites! 😉

Readers, did you learn anything from this post?  What would you like to know more about?  Any tips to add?

By Brittany, August 28, 2014
  • 19
19 Comments
  • caitlin @ tulle wedding skirts
    August 28, 2014

    These were really helpful tips – I’ve already started doing a couple of these things, but need to do more to grow/make a profit. Thanks for sharing Britt!

  • Shawna
    August 28, 2014

    i’ve actually been thinking a lot about the purpose of blogging for me and where i’d like my blog to go, and wondering where to start/who to talk to…so these are great tips. thanks. 🙂

  • Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness
    August 28, 2014

    Great post!! Looks such a fantastic event- my dream would be to monetize the blog- thanks for sharing these tips!!

    • FitBritt
      August 28, 2014

      Absolutely! I have a ton more stuff I wrote down but didn’t want this post to become a book. Email me if you ever want more of the info!

  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    August 28, 2014

    You should be proud of me — earlier this week I created an expense sheet with blog things I can write off for my taxes. Woot woot!

    • FitBritt
      August 28, 2014

      Yay!! Good for you! I have to admit that my spreadsheet is really basic and then I make my husband work on it for me! Haha.

  • Davida @ The Healthy Maven
    August 28, 2014

    yes to the lawyering post!!! My poor father has to answer a bajillion questions from me daily about the business of blogging but it would be super interesting to read a post by someone who is a lawyer and a blogger! I think a lot of people would find the post super helpful too!

  • Melissa Burton
    August 28, 2014

    Nice recap. I think the legal parts of blogging might seem boring but they’re exceptionally important.

    I bet if you put together a one sheet for free (if you subscribe), you’d be building your list, providing valuable information for FREE and making the blog business gurus very proud!

  • Allie
    August 28, 2014

    Ok, so much to comment on! First – yes, I would be interested in the “lawyering” aspect of blogging. Lord knows that is the last thing I need to worry about when I hit “publish!” Second, I took notes on your notes from the session so thank you!!! Lastly, I haven’t a clue who any of those people are in that picture. I am old and out of touch 🙁

    • FitBritt
      August 28, 2014

      You are NOT out of touch. Most of these people I’ve only met through blogging conferences.

      I took a ton more helpful notes that I’m happy to share. I just didn’t want this post to become a book. Let me know if you want them!

      Thank you for the feedback! I’m going to start putting something together!

  • Kim
    August 28, 2014

    I think that I’m just to lazy to try to make blogging anything other than just a hobby for me – partly because I’m sure I break a lot of rules every time I post.
    I love that you were able to meet so many top name bloggers and learn such great information!

    • FitBritt
      August 28, 2014

      You are the exact opposite of lazy! I think its totally ok to blog just as a hobby. These conferences tend to be aimed at people wanting to monetize but they also have great tips on just improving your blog to make it something you love!

  • Jessica @ Absurd, She Wrote
    August 28, 2014

    All awesome points! I agree it’s so important to document any expenses / compensation, as well as providing disclaimers for readers. Thanks for putting together such a helpful post!

  • Holly
    August 31, 2014

    I am glad that you value your followers as evidenced by your commitment1

  • Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    September 1, 2014

    I would love your legal advice!! Thanks for sharing all that you learned. I need to open a separate account stat. I think its super important to keep that money safe and its also a really great way to keep track of deposits. I agree with the 80/20 rule thats why I keep my sponsored posts to once a week and on the weekends mostly. I appreciate all the tips! Blogfest looked awesome! LOVE Cassie Ho

  • catherine gacad
    September 17, 2014

    yes, would love a post on legal tips. that would be awesome. i kinda just shirk that stuff and hope nothing goes awry. not a good strategy!

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