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Bloggy Boot Camp San Francisco is in full swing right now. As you read this, women are busy learning, networking, and making friends. And because we are not all able to attend, we’re bringing the learning to you.
Ciaran Blumenfeld, aka @Momfluential and the creative force behind Momfluential Media, has generously agreed to share key points of her presentation with us so that we can get a small taste of what’s going on at the conference.
Ciaran is speaking on the topic:
Selling Yourself and Your Blog Without Selling Your Soul
“Nobody wants to be “that blogger.” We all know who she is – the “swag whore” or “event whore.” They question her integrity, her writing ability, her judgment, her sincerity. It’s harsh and sometimes it’s unfair. But like the slutty cheerleader, the swag blogger is a cautionary tale with some merit. She has lost the one thing that made bloggers special to begin with in the eyes of their followers and “better brands”: her influence.
When it comes to working with brands, most bloggers are conflicted. No matter where you are on the spectrum, whether you have a purely editorial site or a product review site, it’s likely that the idea of working with brands is one that makes you slightly uncomfortable. That’s OK. It should. There’s no proven road map or guide to refer to.
Here Are Some Takeaways On Why We Are Afraid to Write About Products and Brands
While many of us are apt to reveal our deepest, darkest secrets online, some of us are afraid to disclose we’ve used the same shampoo since we were 14. Why is that? Does it make you feel shallow to share this sort of information? Or do you struggle with a fear that your mention of products lacks context after years of carefully editing other brands out? If we are honest, we’ll admit that we are ALL involved with brands in our daily lives. Our lives are full of stuff – cars, food, toilet paper, shampoo. Some of us pride ourselves on buying organic, or the least expensive, or the highest quality. But the fact of the matter is that we all DO live in the material world. Whether we want to admit this or not.
Part of what bloggers do is share. We share advice and tips, and sometimes those tips include product recommendations. BlogHer came out with some shocking numbers on trust and online influence this year. Three out of four women in the US are online daily. Women also actively engage in social media and trust online sources MORE than traditional media as reliable sources of information and advice. That is powerful stuff. That is why brands all want to partner with bloggers.
When Not To Work With or Write About a Brand
We know we are influential, but we don’t want to abuse that power. We don’t want to be seen as product pushers or compromise ourselves. The good news is we really don’t have to. The best brand advocates are the bloggers who tell the best stories, and the best stories are authentic ones. Stories are essential and what keep it real. Forget about reviews. If you want to work with brands and get results without feeling like a swag whore, it’s time to hone your craft and tell your story.”
Now it’s your turn. Tell your story. Ciarin is challenging you to think and write about one or more of the following prompts:
You will always benefit by putting great content and authenticity before all else.
And, as always, when you see this:
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