Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The digital revolution has made publishers of us all and yet one big fat question lingers – how can you make a profit online? Sian Meades of lifestyle website Domestic Sluttery and Duncan Hammond of Guardian Select hosted an IdeasTap Spa event addressing just this. Here's what they had to say…

Am I a sell out?
There are all sorts of reasons why people blog. For many it is a purely non-profit pursuit, done to boost exposure for a project, practice writing skills or share expertise in a niche interest with likeminded online chums. Sian Meades’s intention was always for her lifestyle website Domestic Sluttery to be a commercial venture and within six of months launching, it was. However, she warns, “It’s a massive leap from having a blog to turning that into a career.”

First of all, Sian believes, you need to get over the idea that making money blogging automatically equates to selling out. “The term ‘sell out’ is massively overused by people who have sour grapes about other people being successful,” she argues. “If you think you’re a sell out and that there’s no value in what you’re doing, then you probably are.” But, she adds: “You are not a sell out if you can pay your rent and live, if you are creating something you’re proud of and like the brands you’re working with.”

Build a community 
It’s not enough to produce lively, original and well-crafted content. To make your blog an attractive proposition for advertisers, you also need a community of potential consumers. Numbers matter but so too does engagement. “Be open, searchable and talk to people,” Sian advises. “Treat the internet like a conversation.”  Think about where your fans are. Twitter? Facebook? Both? “Know the difference between the two and don’t upload the same stuff,” says Sian. “Facebook is primarily image-based, relies on personal sharing and allows for long threads of community discussion that everyone can get involved in. It’s very obvious when you just are posting tweets to Facebook.”

Read the full article on IdeasTap.

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