CyberMummy, Working with Brands – Live Blog

 14:00 – 14:50 Working with brands and the tricky business of making money

How to successfully branch out, work with companies, and make your passion for blogging pay

I have been lucky enough to get to CyberMummy with the help from a number of brands.  I am the product ambassador for Carex and have been lucky enough to receive some of their new hand and Surface Spray and Aroma Gels, which I will be reviewing here.  I have also received sponsorship in the form of an anonymous benefactor paying for my ticket – A great big thank you to you (I really appreciate the support and help).  Seven Seas have also paid for an advert on my site too.
So this session really appealed to me.  I am keen on trying to make my blog pay a little bit, but also not take things too far, so for me it is all about balance.
I will be updating, saving and re-posting this transcript live from the CyberMummy Conference and will tidy it up after the event, so please excuse any spelling mistakes and remember to bookmark this page and come back for all the coverage on the day.

Natalie open the session confirming that she makes her living from blogging and that it is important to develop good relationships and not to be afraid to think about engaging with brands and that selling out is not working with brands.  That is it important not to over think things.

Be savvy about working with brands, find out the difference between marking and PR.  Get involved with the people you want to.

14.14   Kelly from MS&L

Kelly explains that she is aware that mums are using the Internet for information and that companies are looking for ways to be involved in Mum’s conversations.  “The delete button is the new receiver being thrown down”  An honest lunch the benefits both parties, MS&L US came up with the Blogger guidelines, so that transparencies is for all to see.

What is key from this is the need to disclose the nature of the relationship, trust must be maintained at each link of the conversation.  It needs to be none negotiable and maintaining the integrated means that their clients need to let go and that MS&L can put the product in blogger hands and if the resulted opinion is negative then they and the client needs to live with it.

Can you be an ethical blogger and accept free trips etc?

Am I free to write honestly about it
Is it something I really want or need

14.22  Gina from Blogher

55 million a week read blogs in the US, woman who blog are the most socially savvy, half of the most popular media destinations in the US are social.  They have 21 million viewers.

2400 bloggers at the Blogger Conference in network  with 95 sponsors, who recognise the influence and importance of bloggers.

There is a halo effect and a rub off in clients who invest in woman in the blogosphere.  They pay bloggers for their time, not for the review outcome, they have profiles and match them up to the brand.

Monitirising is possible as long as it is authentic and open.

14.28 Eva Keogan
Eva has just spent a year building Last minutes social media section and her message is to truly understand the value of what we do.  It is an amazing vehicle, it isn’t all about advertising.

There are many ways to work with brands.  Eva makes her living as a social media evangelist and works with brands.

Eva had three key messages.

  • How can people get in contact with you.
  • Be clear about what you right about – Eva isn’t a poo blog
  • Know your value

14.32 Samantha from Leapfrog

Blogging is every important voice in social media and leapfrog have been working with mummy bloggers for over a year.

61% of toys are bought from recommendations and Leapfrog actually read all the blogs of the bloggers they work with,  They  send products to them for reviews, although reviews must be honest and appreciate all feedback, both positive and negative.

They also give the mummy bloggers exclusive offers for their blog site.  In the long term they are looking for a brand advocate and they like to give the products to mums before they giving them to journalists.

14.36 Sian To

Working from a PR/Mummy Blogger perspective.  Sian can often feel stuck in the middle ground and reiteraed not to feel bad about not doing something, just hit the delete key. Dont feel pressured.

Mummy Bloggers are Sian’s Market and the main reason for her getting in to blogger.   


Open Questions

Antiona Chitty from Family Friendly Working – Woman she works with don’t really value themselves are UK Mummy bloggers undervaluing their blogs?

Gina – there is huge poential, if you don’t value what you do it can be put on the same level as any TV show, magazine.  Our audience loves what Mummy Bloggers do.   We are fabulous.
Samatha – Yes some mummy bloggers do undervalue themselves.  Word of mouth is key.  Ask for things we have nothing to lose.
Kelly – Ask yourself when was the last time you purchased a products from an ad or whether you purchase it from world of mouth.

Eva – brands search out bloggers, there is some value attached with that
Natalie – People have funny relationships with money, don’t overvalue yourself, but do get behind yourself

Kat from Bambingo Goodies

There is a rise of blogs charging upfront for review, but not disclosing this, what are your thoughts?

Samantha – Leapfrog don’t do that – it is a partnership for them about mutual benefit.  Blogging should be from the heart, you should feel it rather than being paid for it.
Sian – I wouldn’t work in this way with a blogger, it is about creating a buzz and a direct voice with consumer.  You can feel really passionate about the product.

What if you really want to do a review of the product, how do you approach the company yourself?

Eva – Eurostar supported something that she tweeted about, so just ask!
Samantha – Utilise the contact us page on a website and drop them a line and Ask.
Sian – you could do a review
Gina – bloggers have gone to brands and said that if you done give me X oe W I will say nasty things about you  and yes everyone knows who their bloggers

If you do a good review, then 2 bad ones, would the company still use them?

Samantha – Leapfrog would still contact you and maybe have more work for you if you have constructive criticism and hopefully learn from it.
Kelly – fair and constructive is key.  They like  bloggers with firm opinions

Arggggggggggggggggggg  – so much to take in and I am now going to do a key note seach, so will come nad edit is a little more later.  Please feel free to add any comments on anything I may have missed