Louisa Claire

Read more posted in March, 2012

DPCON12: Blog to Business

Nikki Parkinson from Styling You

Nikki is now running her blog full time, it is her business.
Her advice: look at your business model.
The whole reason your blog will be successful is the person behind it – that’s just like any business. You have to work hard at it.

Emma Ashton – started the first reality TV blog 4 years ago, it used to be very strange but after 6-12 months she realised she had the niche and realised there were going to be opportunities.

Is constantly asked if she is a blogger or a journalist. Her answer: blogger

Beginning of last year the blog traffic was going well, she was working part-time as well as running the blog.

Laney Her blog to business story is still being written. Her background is in sales and marketing which she finished when she had her first child. After her second child she started doing a digital marketing course with the idea to start a business.

Laney is launching a new site called crashtestmummies.com.au which will be a parenting review site, building on the trusted recommendations of mums in a quality controlled way. Later this year she plans to start the consultancy business (having children slows things down).

Renee Started blogging 5 years ago for her (at the time) online lingerie business. She ended up selling the business to focus on the Bra Queen blog – her goal was to build a community first rather than starting an online store and THEN looking for customers. She didn’t have a clear plan but trusted the process – let it evolve organically. 5 years on and her blog clicks over 5,000 page views a day.

Nikki Her model evolved by starting a blog to promote her personal styling services. She had a business from the start but would never have realised that in 4 years time the BLOG would be the business. Her blog has always had a commercial element to it (something she was comfortable with because of her journalistic background). The difference that has amazed her is that when it was an editorial in media was that they were so boring, but with blogging you can keep your style and readers and run a blog post that fits well within your audience. Nikki has found that sponsored posts has NOT damaged her readership but has in fact had the opposite result.

Nikki is going to be blogging for Maybelline during Australian Fashion Week, and is working with Big W and Emersen in paid capacities – these opportunities have happened because she has built up relationships and stuck to things that have a good brand alignment and fit with her audience.

What was your uh-ha! moment

Emma The uh-ha! moment came last year when she realised that her blog was growing too much and she couldn’t keep working. She thought she would focus on advertising but actually went to consultancy – one aspect is helping people apply for reality TV shows. Noone else is doing it in Australia or in fact the world.

Once she left work she had to hussle – she had to get tough and ask for payment. Her advice – think like man and focus on the things that you can do not can’t do.

Collaborate – she collaborated with the social research into what people think about reality TV.

Questions to ask -what sort of skills do you have from your prior experience and what kind of opportunities are there for you to build a business.

Trevor Young’s prediction that in the future blogs will be mini-media empires. In a few weeks Emma is kicking off ravenous ravings which is about reality food shows and gossip.

How do you get your digital toolkit together to stary your business

What is your online marketplace, start thinking about yourself as a brand.
What are your competitors doing, customers doing?
what’s in your way, stopping yo
What are your strengths and weaknesses

Game plan – revenue strategy. How are you going to make money? Advertising, monetising your audience (like her review site), can you sell your own services, affiliate products.

How are you going to achieve this –

Who are your customers
What is your target market
Why are they going to buy from you
Why are they going to buy rom you online
How are you going to connect with them

What social media tools you use will depend on what stage you are at with your customers – four stages:

Acquisition – get them subscribing or doing something
Retention – buying from you again

Each phase will require different mix of tools

Renee’s tips for monetising Worked out her core values – help motivate and inspire. She set her business up in a way that would help mentor businesses globally without requiring one on one time.

Some of her customers have direct access to her, some don’t – depends on the level they have chosen. Having different programs is one of the best things she did.

How do you get the message out about what you have to offer?

– Don’t forget the old fashioned press release.
– Create relationships with media sites and other bloggers that is relevant to what your blog is.
– Networking with people you know IRL and online
– Twitter is great for networking but Facebook is better for traffic
– Write articles for third party sites – MamaMia and The Punch (they don’t pay but are high traffic sites)
– Advertising
– She gets natural media because of what she does (it’s unique)

When getting ready to market your blog, what tools do you need in your marketing toolkit.


Bloggers are generally good at social media so not going to focus much on that except to say – don’t put all your tools into the one basket.

Consider having more than a blog, but a full service site with different landing pages.

Social media is great for viral reach but can be a time suck.

Search engine marketing – SEO is really important especially if you are selling product. You can also pay for Google Adwords, and other forms of online advertising – even advertising on another bloggers website.

Do you own PR – bloggers know how to pitch, so pitch other bloggers to get the word out about your own products..

Use email marketing to move the relationship along, convert to sales and keep the relationships going.

Which tools you use will depend where you are in your business model.

Some tips for the point at which your blog becomes a business

What are you doing to bring traffic to your site, and find customers.
Renee recommends collaboration and joint ventures – think about how you can help the other person, not just what you can get out of it.
How can you build your profile and credibility in the field.
Now looking at other things at the “back end” – advertising, menotring program, events, speaking etc..

– be prepared to NOT make a profitable income directly from your blog immediately (it takes time and hard work)
– For a blog to become a business you need to have a unique product (which may be your blog or another product)
– A sustainable blogging business is usually one with a diverse income stream base and strong readership base
– If you are turning your blog into a business, your need to treat it as such
– Your blog is the focal point of your business marketing
– Seek out professional advice in the areas of business that are not your strong points.

Question from Karen, Misc Mum. What can you claim for blogging as part of your business.

Nikki She claims everything (except clothes). Technology, internet, phone, travel etc… It’s pretty much in line with what a freelance journalist or home business could claim.

Emma Consider a trademark as a way to protect your brand.

Claire – just wanted to share that the jobs she has done since starting her blog have come about because of her blog. Message: be confident!

Natalie from Mummy Smiles. Question about fees – it’s hard to know how to position ourselves because of the secrecy – we don’t talk about our stats, our fees etc… so where do we go to understand what our time is worth?

Nikki Part of her work comes through Nuffnang who have a tiered system based on traffic so when she arranges her own brand work she uses that as a benchmark to decide what to charge. If you know someone who has info about industry rates then ask them.

Mrs Woog’s advice –

DPCON12: Working with BRand

Why work with brands?

Andrea from Fox In Flats

– It can help build your brand. e.g working with Eco shoes – tehy are about practical stylish shoes and her blog is about practical stylish clothes
– It can build your community (esp when the brand retweets and shares your posts in their community places)
– It can drive traffic to your blog esp when a giveaway is included
– Can be first with the news and other opportunities
– Potential for

Why do brands work with bloggers?

Brian Giesen from Ogilvy

TRUST – the era of Mad Men is over.
Stats show that 90% of people will look at a peer recommendation

Michael Henderson from DEC PR

Agrees its about trust
Also about building long term relationships with a readership
Brands are now coming around to the idea of building long term relationships and looking at the future.

Is size all that matters? (insert immature giggle)

Andrea – it’s not just about size. It’s about relevance and whether the blogger can engage with their community.

Michael – it’s much more about engagement, than size.
e.g. The Kellogg’s campaign – was much more about engagement than size and the community.
Michael would rather work with a smaller blog that has the potential to grow that just look at the bald numbers.

Michael also commented how does the individual personality of the site come through and differentiate itself from other sites.

Brian – Ogilvy looks for influence: how much traffic, how many comments, and some other factors. They also look at relevance: how relevant is that person to the brand.

Brian also commented on how niche your blog is and how that ties into relevance.

What are the things a blogger should include in a media kit?

Brian – traffic stats are a given but also include how you could proactively contribute your expertise to a team.

The challenge is that a lot of traditional marketers are really tied to the numbers and as PR they are having to educate marketers on things like reach and influence and how the market is changing.

Think about your collective reach on twitter, blog, foursquare etc….

Michael – include examples of other brands you have worked with and how

Acknowledge in your media kit how you would like to work with brands and be transparent about that. e.g. if you are flat out and busy during the day then say what are good times to connect with you. Include what your preferred method of communication is. If you don’t want packages

Include your other social media channels and other personal influence you have (or of any other partnerships, bloggers you have contributing for your site).

Andrea – think about what makes your blog unique and try to paint a simple picture of what the benefit would be for a brand to work with you. Include case studies and testimonials.

Going direct or via the PR agency?

Andrea – has worked both direct and via agencies.

How is PR changing as a result of social media growing?

Brian – in 2007 the Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics was created in the US about how to engage with bloggers. This was based on a lot of lessons learned in the industry in the wrong way.

They think about the value exchange between the brands and the bloggers. Not just money, but also experience and access to people.

Michael There has been a shift from brands as they become more willing to invest in digital. More traditional media and magazines are closing (eg FHM closed a couple of weeks ago). Digital can be a cost effective way of connecting with consumers – it’s not that the budgets are shrinking but it’s being directed in other ways – blogger engagement, events, product budgets, consulting (eg Brand Meets Blog – this was Michael’s example, not mine etc…

NicoleFind out when planning cycles for budgets are being set – can be around financial year or calendar year – don’t wait to the last minute to pitch.

Michael DEC PR agencies don’t pay cash for posts as they are after independent opinion. However there are other ways to collaborate with a brand – think outside of the square for other ways to partner.

Some brands will look at the paid post options but there are plenty of other options.

Q to Andrea, how does she feel about hearing that some brands won’t pay?

Andrea places a value on her time. Everyone needs to choose the approach that works for them. Most of the brands who approach her don’t respond once they know that she charges however if she feels that the fit is right then she talks with the company about what benefits she and her readers can receive for it.

Nicole – If money isn’t available you have to work out a value that is important to you and negotiate something that works for both.

Brian – Feels you run a risk from readers if you accept cash for posts. He feels that over time you will lose your audience and eventually lose readersPlease note: I do not agree with this comment at all. I will write a response to this in full after the conference.

Andrea She has to think about how much her readers will care about her experiences. She was invited to Copenhagen Fashion Festival but she had to think about whether her readers would actually be interested in her experience. She gave a lot of thought to what she could write about in a way that people would be interested and engage with the post.

Nicole She believes that you can earn money from brands while maintaining your credibility. Bloggers don’t have a salary and product samples and lunches don’t pay the rent. Brand alliances enables bloggers to keep blogging and can be done really well.

Andrea She read in BRW something that rang true to her – If people are shared relevant and entertaining information then they don’t care if brands are involved. Masterchef is a good example!

Q from Lisa from Madam Bipolar to the PR reps: Mainstream media has for many years being running advertorials, what’s the difference with paying bloggers?

Brian – the key difference is disclosure. You need to disclose any brand relationships you have. Look for editorial partnerships with media partners (eg BubHub) rather than running sponsored posts on your sites. e.g. They ran a blogger summit with Dupont with a media partner in the US.

Michael – having brands sign off on sponsored posts is not a good idea but when a brand is paying they feel that they ought to have the sign off rights to the post. Healthy discussion is the goal and when a post is reviewed before going live then that is lost.

Andrea If you have a good relationship with brands then you can write for them without them needing to have sign off because they trust you and what you can/will do for them.

Q from Claire Hewitt: Do you do a lot of risk management with your clients – and if so, what are brands biggest fears about social media?

Michael – Defamation. When a post goes up on a media site, comments are moderated because the poster is liable not the commenter if a defamatory comments is left.

Brian Recommends developing a crisis organisation plan – what the issues might be, how they would respond (update website, social media etc), who will be the spokeperson.

Having a social media listening strategy is the best way to mitigate risk for a company.

Question from Naomi, Seven Cherubs – really disagrees that you will lose readership if you do paid posts, and she is really upfront about it and her readers are happy for her to earn some money from her blog.

Q: She starts working with a brand, has half a dozen emails back and forth and then there’s a staff change and has to start all over again a couple of months later. How can we as bloggers keep up to date with changes that happen as it seems that the staff changeover rate is high.

Michael It’s difficult to stay up to date with the changes – you can subscribe to different newsletters. PR report is free and notes changes is agency as well as when clients change agencies. PRIA and Mumbrella are also really good free opportunities to find out what’s happening. Social Diary is also great but it is a paid one (socialdiary.com.au)

Brian Connect with the agencies you work with on LinkedIn. It’s a good way to find out who else works in an agency and gives you other ways to connect with people if you lose a connect.

Q. Question from Laney about crisis management plans – what advice would you offer to bloggers going into long term relationships to protect themselves (ie what if the brand stuffs up)?

Michael The idea conversation is “how should we work together” – be really transparent.

Q from Mrs Woog – do you think that having a blogger agent is a good idea?

Brian This could be a good idea, as someone else can keep on top of the changes for you. He is starting to see it a bit with some of the bloggers he words with.

Nicole: You are worth more than a bottle of moisturiser! Let’s help the PR guys understand how to measure and monetise that worth.

Working with Brands Key Takeaways
– Brands can help you build your own brand
– They can help you drive awareness of your blog
– They can get traffic to your blog
– Be the first with news
– Ask the what’s in it for me/my readers question
– Is the brand aligned with my blog?

DPCON: Blog To Book

Moderator: Valerie Khoo

Kylie Ofiu: Blogs on 3 sites, and was approach to turn a blog post “1001 ways to make money” into a book.

Pip Linconle: Blogs at Meets Me At Miks. Has written 4 craft books and is currently working on her 5th and 6th.

Pip chose a publisher and sent an email to Hardy Grant books and asked if she could write a book and they said, “sure, come in for a meeting”.

Valerie: It’s not always that easy but it does help if you have build an audience on your blog.

Karen Andrews: Self published a book. She chose to do that because she has watched this happen in the US and wanted to explore it with her existing platfrom, her blog.

Kylie’s Story

Kylie was approached and they had to go back and forward about how to cut the post down to a book amount.
She had about 100-200 followers at the time.

How much did the publisher want to show that you had a following? would have preferred if her blog was larger but she was able to show how she was planning to grow her readership.

She signed in December and delivered the book in January.

Again, Valerie stresses this is not normal!

Pip’s Story

Pip signed her first book in 2007 and was released in 2009 – it took 8 months of intensive writing, but there were other marketing hiccups along the way which is why it took a bit longer to be released.

Pip didn’t have to show anything about her existing blog or planned marketing strategy – though she did have a customer base through her shop and craft base which gave her a profile. It didn’t hurt that the publisher was a customer of her shop (which Pip didn’t know at the time.)

Valerie: Even though Pip didn’t have to prove that she had a marketing strategy, it was already there and the publisher was aware of it.

Karen’s Story

As she didn’t work with a publisher she didn’t have someone to help with all the behind the scenes things like illustration etc…

She used the book “Self Publishing Made Simple” which she followed pretty closely. It took 13 drafts until she felt it was ready to go .

If you want to get your book into book stores then you need a book distributor so that’s an important thing for people wanting to self publish. Karen used Darren Jones and Associates.

Self Publishing also means footing the bill for all the cost – has Karen broken even? Children’s books are expensive!! But her point of it was not to make money (though she did hope to break even which she thinks she has) her main goal was to build her profile which she feels she has done – her book is in libraries across Australia. People who have their books in libraries receive royalties – and as the publisher Karen recieves this twice, as the author and publisher.

What opportunities does having a book offer?

Kylie: It’s been huge – she’s been able to speak internationally about going from blog to book, her blog has grown and she’s had other opportunities to work with people.

What was it like to work with a publisher? What were your expectations and what was reality?

Kylie: She was told initially that pretty much everything would be done by them but as things progressed she was told that actually she was responsible for most of the marketing – had she known that from the outset she would have done things differently.

Pip: Didn’t have any expectations so anything that happened was a bonus? Pip and her publisher work closely together – she has a lot of publicity through her craft work anyway and so is able to work alongside that. Pip doesn’t think it’s all about talent, there’s a lot of luck that comes into play.

Valerie: It’s not all about talent, it’s also about strategy.

How did you cope with writing the book in one month?

Kylie: She tried to dedicate a couple of hours a day and anytime she could she would work on it – however as a lot of her book was already in an ebook draft form she was able to more easily stop and start and just finalise the structure of the book.

What has been some of the most challenging parts of this?

Karen: Her second book took more organisation as she was collaborating with other artists.

How important is traditional media?

Kylie: Traditional is really good – esp TV or radio. At the start, the blogging community was more important for her but over time they worked well together.

Pip: Traditional media is important because not everyone is in’t blogging and there’s a big market out there that might not read a blog but would read a book.

Q: Tania, from Meaningless Meadnerings of a Mad Mother. For Karen – how many copies of your book have you sold to break even?

1000-1500. A tradition print run of a picture book in Aus is 1200-1500 so she feels on par with that.

Q. Jess from Diary of a SHAM. When you talk about your audience reach, what are publishers a looking for.

Kylie had 100-200 on GFC and maybe 1000-2000 page views a month and wasn’t on Twitter or Facebook. She thinks that publishers would have preferred her to have anything on social media.

Valerie, it’s not about a number (though they will ask) it’s about knowing what your marketing plan is

Q. Tina from La La’s Big Band – they produced their first DVD and CD and she is constantly told that she is her best store. How do you drive people to find the books/merch (beyond social media/press)? Do you find that you are your own best shop or do the distribtuors really help.

Pip: You are you own best shop – don’t rely on your web presence and social media, you need to be out in the real world and do good stuff to raise your profile and create opportunities.

Karen: After about 12weeks you don’t rate as highly on the distributors list and so the onus is on you to keep the sales going. Karen has struggled with overdoing it and wants to keep a balance about it.

Q. Bianca from Big Words – do you need to have your whole book written before you approach a publisher?

Valerie: For a non-fiction, you don’t need the whole book written but you do need 3 chapters written to show the publisher what it’s going to be like. If you are a first time novelist, you need to have the whole thing written.

Make sure you put your best foot forward – make sure it’s been edited and got it to the point that it’s the best that you can do before you send it.

Networking is really key to meeting the right people – whether it’s an agent or publisher, see where the opportunity lies.

Karen & Pip both say you don’t have to have an agent, but it can be nice to have someone else doing the negotiating for you.

Q. Tahlia from The Parenting Files. Hardback book or ebook? Why book versus ebook?

Valerie: They are synonymous – when you release a book you also release an ebook so you can tap into both markets.

Blogger Q: What pressures do you feel affect you the most, and have you found them hard to overcome.

Kylie: Has borderline personality disorder, one of the struggles for her has been feeling overwhelmed and she did once delete a blog. Her sister’s stepped in an encouraged her, she finds her family to be a great support.

Karen: being a single person operation presents a challenge when things aren’t going well – the first stock that came back from Malaysia, all the books were contaminated so she had to send them back and get them reprinted which took her right up to the release date. She found she just had to keep a sense of the bigger picture.

Pip: She has to know which opportunities to take up and which to pass.


DPCON12: Social Media For Social Good

Darren Rowse is the first speaker – very passionate about blogging for social good.

Darren saw the good that blogging would do him from day one and he could see the potential to do good on his blog for his readers but has always wondering if there was more – if blogging could make the world a better place. He thought that it could and for his 12 months anniversary he ran a blogathon – he blogged for 24hours straight every 5 minutes. His goal was to raise money for a microfinance project in the Philippines and has run similar blogathons on Problogger. He’s also thought about ways to inspire others, his readers, to make the world a better place. e.g. Photographers – how can you use your skills to make the world a better place.

Last Feb Darren went Tanzania, to interview patients and gather stories.

Darren’s question: How do we hear the inspiring stories of others – people who have never heard of twitter or have the internet?

Darren met CBM – they would with people with disability, in particular site disability, around the world. They decided to go to Tanzania to a disability hospital and met 40 patients over 5days. The goal was not to raise money, but hear stories. It was an experiment. They spent time in a Fistula ward and speaking with women about their experience, he was nervous about talking about such a personal issue but the women were very willing to share their stories. Some of the women had lived with fistula for 20years – they lost family, husband, friends and lived as recluse as a result. Most of them hadn’t had any idea that there was a solution available.

2 out of 3 children born in Africa with a cleft palette don’t make it to their first birthday because of feeding issues. This is as opposed to in Australia where a cleft palette can be identified in utero.

It’s hard to measure the success and results of a trip like this – some of the results that have come through have been hearing from readers who are now donating time and money, who are more aware. CBM saw a big increase in traffic to their blog and their site crashed several times through the trip.

Darren’s advice:
– find something that fits with you
– take your time
– get to know the cause and the people involved.
– find a relevant way to tie it into your blog
– tell stories
– blog with respect: talk with the organisation about how you report what you are talking about
– give people dignity in the way you speak about them (e.g. not that a person is a victim, but how they are an inspiration)
– use multimedia, images/videos are what live on in people’s minds
– give people a way to join with you: include a call to action which doesn’t have to be about money.

Why did Darren do the trip? It makes the world better – builds awareness, gives people a chance to tell their stories, it makes your blog better – shows a different side to you, and gives you a common cause to share with their readers. Lastly, it makes you better – Darren says his trip changed the way he sees the world, priorities, time, money, relationships with boys and wife.


Lisa from Madam Bipolar is the Moderator
Gemma from My Big Nutshell (RU OKday)
Richenda from World Vision
Darren from Problogger

The power of blogging….what are the practical steps on both a big and large scale. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you can partner with an existing campaign (as Lisa and Gemma did with RUOKday) as well as doing something small, or something big such as Darren’s trip.

Some examples
The Bloggers Without MakeUp
Domestic Violence Awareness (Wunderlust)
The King fundraiser (Naomi, Seven Cherubs) raised $50,000 for the King Family
Daniel Morcombe, wear red for Daniel
are just some of the examples.

Q1. How do you get in touch with an inhouse PR person?
Richenda – it depends on the size of the organisation and whether they will have a dedicated PR person, but you can normally get a contact person via the Website. If it’s a bigger organisation you can tweet or FB the. Richenda says, be patient if you don’t get a response straight away because they are often time poor and understaffed. She also suggests going direct to the charity rather than going via an agency.

If you are thinking of writing about a charity, it’s always a good idea to touch base with the charity first to be sure that you are on the right track and going to add the most value. It’s a natural reaction to see pity and have empathy – but equally they need to be seen with dignity and are looking for your partnership rather than sympathy.

Gemma’s talking about mental health and the standards for sharing that. Bloggers aren’t journalists and people were sharing deep and personal stories and they wanted to ensure that bloggers weren’t exposing themselves in the messages and stories that they wanted to share.

Q2. What issues do bloggers feel are skimmed over in the general media that can be better addresses in social media?

Mental health. A doctor can tell you, but a persona sharing their stories and experiences is far more powerful and can be very empowering for other people.

Social media can enable “taboo” topics to become less taboo.

Q3. What are the top 3 guidelines bloggers need if they are going to participate in a campaign?

Darren: it was important in working with CBM from him to understand what their goals were for it, while at the same time having flexibility to let the “how” in achieving those goals unfold as you go.

Richenda: if you think the charity is missing an opportunity, then don’t be afraid to speak up. Be confident that what comes naturally to you, does not come naturally to the charity so pitch them ideas.

Gemma: RUOKday gave a lot of free reign, but they were able to use their professional experience to bring to the campaign. Gemma and Lisa will be getting involved again this year! At the same time, the campaign became much bigger than they expected and it was quite overwhelming for them as they felt a lot of responsbility in how big it became and how personal the stories were. It’s important to let the organisation know this so that the are able to provide more support in future (which RUOK will be providing in 2012).

Q4. What’s the best way for a blogger to connect with a brand?

Richenda: Twitter!

World Vision didn’t have a plan, they just wanted to build connections and work with bloggers to develop something that they thought would work. Can be hard for organisations who are used to doing things in a certain way and bloggers are so far ahead of a lot of Australian businesses and agencies. Bloggers should be empowered to bring their knowledge to the table BECAUSE THEY ARE THE EXPERTS can you tell I really agree with that statement?!?!

Traditional media does not cover social good. They do not care about that. Bloggers have the power to talk about these things -things that matter to us, to your family and children and to other people’s families and children.

Big emergencies get a lot of press coverage but the slow emergencies – famines and droughts etc do not get covered by traditional media. Bloggers have the power to share these stories and to make the “media giants” take notice.

Darren: sharing your story, something about your personal passion is very powerful.

Lisa’s work with Lifeline is all about her experience of calling Lifeline and while it’s very personal it’s her way of giving back to Lifeline and thanking them (can google Madam Bipolar + Lifeline). Lisa made the decision to blog about her story and recently put her name to it, because she beliefs that the stigma round mental health needs to be broken down. Increasingly people are putting their names to their mental health struggles – during RUOK? a number of footballers put their name to this and shared their stories in powerful ways.


Nikki Parkinson: Has supported courses that she is passionate about but finds she does get a lot of requests now to support causes. Do you think it’s a good idea to have a strategy around which courses you support and do that a bit better?

Lisa: She has chosen to write about mental health and ovarian cancer as that’s what works for her.
Richenda: If you find you can be passionate about all of them and there’s space for that then do all of them but that’s not normally the case. It’s more natural to write about the things/causes that you are passionate about that that connect with you.
Darren: You will dilute what you can do for an organisation if you do too much. Sometimes you will jump on board with things that come up, and it won’t be part of your strategy but just something you need to do.
Gemma: You need to be aware of your emotional capacity – for her RUOK days takes up so much emotional energy, it’s all that she is able to do.
Richenda: Don’t be afraid to say no, especially if you have decided to focus on just one or two. Charities are used to being told no!

Eden Riley: What would World Vision like out of today and interacting with bloggers?

Richenda: They have information for bloggers about some of the ways you can partner and would love to chat. Bloggers are welcome to ask questions, just chat. They would love for bloggers to also support the blogger ambassadors they are working with this year.

Blogger Q: How can you determine what is a “good” charity?

– Have a look at a website, and check their financials which should be on their sites
– In Australia look for ACFORD(spelling?) accreditation
– Ask the hard questions, don’t be afraid (e.g. does the money actually get there? How much does the CEO get paid?)

You never know how the stories you tell will impact a child, even if the story isn’t told well.

Donna from My Nappy Daze: Whats the best way for a blogger to help? Raise money, awareness, blog?

Richenda: Charities always need money but it also depends on organisation and the campaign goals and a lot of those do center around advocacy. You need to also think about what’s best for your readers to hear.

It’s important that if you are asking your audience to donate that you yourself donate and that you are able to speak to that experience.

Natalie from Mummy Smiles: If there’s a cost involved in a blogger working with a charity is it better for bloggers to seek corporate sponsorship or is that better to come from the org. Eg. for a trip, should the blogger seek sponsorship or should they work with the charity.

Richenda: Two of the WV ambassadors (Serena and John) have sought corporate sponsorship and are going overseas to tell stories of others making changes in their world. The benefit of this is that the corporate relationship is managed by the blogger and not the charity.


Meet Me At The Baby And Toddler Show…

This weekend the Baby & Toddler Show is coming to Melbourne. I am thrilled to be joining Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids and Kyla from Beyond The Bump as the Official Bloggers for the Show and am looking forward to visiting the show and exhibitors this weekend!

This will be the third Baby & Toddler Show I head along to and I’m really looking forward to it! I’m even more excited about the fact that I will be heading along sans kids, although I am sure they will be sad to miss the stage shows and Fisher Price playground this year. I don’t think I’ll be telling Bliss that B1 & B2 will be at the show for photo opportunities!! (Shhhh!!!)

For the parents some of the great resources available at the show include
– Talks on toddler behaviour
– Tips on learning to breastfeed and overcoming early challenges
– Pinky McKay talking about sleeping and settling your baby and toddler (I am keen to hear this one!!!)

Join Me For Brunch!
At 11am on Saturday I will be joining Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids, for a private brunch at the show! She’s inviting 6 of her readers, and I’m inviting 6 of my readers (no doubt there is some overlap out there too). Coffee and Cake will be provided. If you’d like to join me for brunch please:

Leave a comment on this post telling that you’d like to come to the Show (and please include your email address when you leave your comment so we can get in touch).

Important: The brunch is open to readers who live or will be in Melbourne this Saturday and are able to attend the brunch at the Melbourne Exhibition Center in South Warf. Ticket entry, coffee and cake is provided alongside a chat with me! (yes, I am laughing at myself as I type that!)

Are you planning on going to the show? Have you been before?



What Are You Wearing To #DPCon

Next Friday 150odd bloggers will gather together, from around the nation, in a hotel in Melbourne. We will network, some of us will be meeting for the first time and some for the first time in a while. We will hear from some fantastic bloggers, learn and share and be introduced into some brands too. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

One of the main topics of conversation about next Friday centers around what everyone is going to wear. I can appreciate this, last year the conference was on my birthday and I nabbed a last minute ticket and used my birthday as an excuse to get my hair done and buy a new outfit. I was nervous, that’s for sure.

What I very quickly realised when I arrived was that noone could give two hoots what I was wearing. I certainly can’t remember what anyone else was wearing! What I do remember is that the beautiful Sarah had made over 100 cupcakes in different flavors, though we’d never met, simply because it was my birthday and she is totally lovely. I remember meeting Tina Grey for the first time after chatting online for years. I remember meeting Veronica and Kim and feeling immediately welcomed by their genuine kindness and warmth. I remember meeting Kelly and her effusive enthusiasm and authenticity, traits I have come to increasingly admire over the past 12 months, and having the most fabulous lunchtime conversation with Cath.

Gosh it was fantastic to be in a room with other bloggers – people who “get it” – just fabulous.

I am really looking forward to the different events happening next place for that very same reason – catching up with so many beautiful women in person for a change! (Not to mention 2 nights in a hotel room, away from my beautiful but restless children overnight!)

What will I be wearing? Clothes. As much as I am loving a bit of fashion at the moment, there’s no part of me that is worried about “impressing” next Friday, this conference is just really not about that.

How about we make a deal – I promise not to show up in the nude if you promise the same?

Hands up if you stress about what you wear to events?
How do you deal with it?

p.s. Just before I went to publish this post I found Bianca’s latest blog post The Human Yo-Yo. If you’re feeling nervous about next week and how you look, please head over to her blog and hear her wise and honest words.