|Image from here|
My head has been flooded with thoughts of all things PR related recently. After attending the Digital Parents Unplugged event a fortnight ago it has left me both enlightened and bewildered. Because even though there was a fountain of public relations knowledge flowing it begged the question: is there enough of the PR pie to go around to all?
Many agree the blogging landscape in Australia is in full bloom. The possibilities of what it could translate to are endless. And for people like me who house a hope that they might just be able to make a little pocket money from this hobby, it leads you to carve out aspirations for your humble little blog. But it is also against a backdrop of many others also vying for that same piece of PR pie. And when your knowledge of how the mechanisms of brands benefitting blogs is limited, you feel behind the eight ball before you even shoot to break.
Thank goodness many bloggers are happy to share their words of wisdom on this subject. In particular, people like Brenda at Mummytime, the gang at Brand Meets Blog or the recent Digital Parents Blogazine article on seeking sponsorship have been of great assistance, giving everyone snapshots at how to work towards achieving this transition in your blogging world.
My very first taste of the PR pie has come this month, thanks to Sealy Australia. Much like anything that that feels so damn good, you crave the continuation of it. It has left me with a strong desire to translate this golden opportunity into much more once my “Sleep Ambassadorship” is sadly over on October 31. I have loved being linked to such an iconic Australian Brand. I’ve relished stretching my writing voice and thoroughly enjoyed every second of this new ride so far.
But that is when little cobwebs of worry start to cloud my mind. Realistically, I can’t help but question whether smaller sites (such as mine) could ever compare to the uber blogging elite and vie for a slice of such awesome opportunities? Because I truly can understand why a PR company might choose only to court certain bloggers. Business is business and they have their own KPI’s to meet and clients to keep content.
Selfishly, however, I hope that companies come to the party and share the PR love around. We won’t all have the biggest & best stats, but we do all deserve a chance to prove our worth.
So what lies in wait in terms of enticing PR opportunities after this remains to be seen. I understand more than ever that one must be proactive. It will not just fall in your lap in a nice neat lashing of triumph. You need to earn it, own it, chase it…. Have the utmost in confidence in your abilities -forget the fear of pitching myself and my humble little blog and do it anyway. It’s my year of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. The worst that could happen is rejection. The best is a taste of success. It is a risk worthy trying for.
|Sealing the Sealy Australia deal|
Great post Donna! I love this is your year of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Toushka Lee says
I think there is plenty of pie to go around. There are also smaller party pies for smaller blogs and companies that want a new fresh face for their product and not a top blogger that has been perhaps, eating too much pie. It is important to share what’s on your plate if you are full, don’t just throw it away. Share it with another blogger who may be hungry.
Anyway, I got my first taste of the pie of awesomeness before I even had a proper blog of my own. I was a member of Kidspot.com.au the parenting website/forum and they have their own blogging platform. I was offered the chance to drive the new ford territory for a month and write about it. I thought all my christmasses had come at once and my family and friends thought it was rather bizarre. They kept saying “you won the car for a month” NOOOOOOO. I worked hard for it. they liked my writing. It wasn’t a draw! It annoyed me that they thought I had just entered some kind of lottery. I don’t know why. Two years later and lots of party pies and a couple of slices of family pie, I think they are starting to understand that this blogging gig is a pretty good thing and must be nurtured. My husband reminds me to blog or to work on my blog networks. “shouldn’t you be on twitter honey?” … “*sigh*, oh ok honey,if you insist” *giggle*
Susan @ Living Upside Down says
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately too, Donna. After becoming seriously sidetracked earlier this year, I am keen to stretch my little bloggy/writing wings to use my blog to earn some income.
I find my confidence sapped by those around me who, like the friends/family Toushka Lee mentioned in her comment, tend to regard blogging and even the freelance writing I do as a harmless hobby. It’s also hard to put yourself out there with brands when you feel like a very short person in a crowd jumping up and down shouting ‘Look at me! Look at me1’, hoping to get some PR attention.
Competing for the Sealy Ambassadorship really helped me to focus on the type of writing I want to do and the fact that it is possible to blog as a profession, not just a hobby. I just need to get organised, soak up as much information as I can from awesome people like Brenda and Louisa and go for it.
Louisa Claire says
My opinion is that in Australia there will always be more businesses and brands seeking to work with bloggers than there will be bloggers so yes, there’s plenty of pie to go around BUT it’s really dependent on how well the brands make that engagement work as to how much quality pie is offered up – does that make sense?
Louisa Claire says
ps. Toushka – your husband rocks!
Diminishing Lucy says
I suspect there is plenty of pie to go around, to bloggers who are prepared to work really hard on their blogs, very very hard on their writing, and focus hard on their content and on their engagement.
None of that happens overnight, and rarely does it come “easy”, I suspect?
Over the past 18 months I have made my blog and freelance opportunities my part time job. I have given at least 25 solid hours a week to writing either my blog or pitches or articles or short story fiction. On top of that is keeping up with Twitter etc.
Those 25 hrs have been structured on top of looking after the kids so that I am never “working” whilst the kids are at home or awake. And I also care for my sick mother and work a real part time job in an office. (And I have to make time to shag my husband in there somewhere too!)
The other thing I realise is that in order to make money from writing or from blogging (or both) you not only need to be a good writer or a good blogger, but also an effective and confident saleserson. That is, perhaps, a little uncomfortable to some people?
I am babbling now, so I hope I am making sense?!
There is so so much pie to go around. Blogs and bloggers change over time as their blogs grow and the it lives change. I can’t really remember an actual time when something happened, but the first thing I did was review a DVD. I was so so happy to do so. I also won $20 from Kmart in a writing comp that many poo poohed as too stingy from Kmart…maybe it was, but for me 20 was still exciting to receive. Would I blog to possibly win 20 bucks now…no way, but others will.
And while I may sound like a broken record on this, there are many ways to earn money off your blog too…probably easier money.
The pie is always big enough for everyone. Blogging in Australia is only just heating up. The brands are slowly recognising the fact that Social Media is not a shiny, bright object anymore. It’s a marketing tool that will allow them to reach and engage with their target market in a more “human” and personalised way.
PS. Thank you for the mention.xx
Corinne – Daze of My Life says
There’s so many different ways you can get something out of your blog and you don’t have to be a big blogger to enjoy the spoils.
I’m not a big blogger by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve received some interesting and exciting PR opportunities. Though for me I don’t earn money from my blog and I’m not looking to. The PR side for me is fun. It’s enjoying the opportunities that as a SAHM I wouldn’t otherwise get. Like test-driving a new car, seeing a theatre production, going to a fun launch, trying out a week’s worth of gourmet meals, my kids getting experiences out of the every day.
I only accept PR offers that appeal to me too. I don’t accept everything that comes into my inbox.
The reason for this is I want my blog to be for me. It’s my personal outlet. I don’t want to have to change anything or fit in with anyone else. I want to be able to write when I want about what I want.
In saying that, I get paid to write in other capacities (as you know), so I feel I can keep my blog just for me. Blog is my hobby and work is work. So I am lucky in that respect.
You need to work out what you want and chase it. Just as you’ve said. x
Just keep doing what you’re doing, I think there’s more opps than bloggers think 🙂 Don’t be afraid to grab a fork.
Fox in the City says
This is really interesting post, particularly for an outsider such as myself. From my perspective, there seems to be all sorts of companies begging to work with quality bloggers and you most certainly fit that bill.
Keep working hard, keep making your self uncomfortable but also remember your worth!