The anticipated workshop on monetization for bloggers, took place on Saturday 20th February at the Nailab. The session was made up of an able panel of PR practitioners and established bloggers.
We had Brian Mung’ei, the Digital Communication & Social Media Strategist, Safaricom Ltd; Naomi Mutua a Social Media Strategist, Ogilvy Public Relations; Rachel Muthoni, Travel Category, Kenyan Blog Awards Winner (2014); Nancie Mwai, fashion category, Kenyan Blog Awards Winner (2012,2013); Stephen Musyoka, a social media influencer and founder of Trinc Media and Naomi Wanjiru, our Head of Business Development at Bloggers Media Limited (BML).
The uniting thing that resulted in a full house of established and upcoming people in the digital industry was the ultimate need to make money from doing what they are passionate about. This being an era of influencers and brand advocates, the session provided lots of insight to navigating the industry.
The bloggers in the panel started by telling the audience their motivation to start blogging. For Rachael, she just loved travelling and a blog provided a space to share her travelling stories. “It was purely driven by passion,” she said.
Nancie Mwai also reiterated the fact that she was driven by her love for fashion and used her blog to share her fashion and style enthusiasm.
Stephen Musyoka advised the bloggers to develop good articles and not be in a hurry to make money. “Money will eventually come as you consistently put up good quality articles. It requires patience,” he said. He shared the Hero Hygiene Hub strategy for good content. “Content is king”, he added. Nancie reiterated that as a blogger, mediocrity will not get you where you want to be.
Naomi Mutua said that clients want to create awareness to a large audience. “Among the things we look for before engaging a blogger or influencer, is audience engagement”, she said. She elaborated that they look for comments, likes, retweets and real following on social media. “Corporates are looking for people who are believable”, she added.
Brian Mung’ei advised bloggers not to over quote their work. He encouraged bloggers to join together and send proposals of campaign ideas to brands. “Speaking in one voice mostly gets you what you ask for”, he said. “The future of blogging lies in mobile and video storytelling, you can explore these avenues”, he added.
The issue of niche came up during the workshop. Stephen Musyoka said that influencers and bloggers need to distinguish their niche, and perfect it. “Most brands look for consistency in a blogger’s or influencer’s messaging”, he said.
Some brands approach bloggers and offer them products for review as payment. Some brands say that writing about them would give bloggers enough exposure. The panelists were asked how they dealt with such requests.
Nancie Mwai said that it is not wrong for a blogger to ask for payment for a post even if a brand provides them with products. “You should not be paid in products or food”, she said. “However, there are some clients I have built a long working relationship that started with a free blog post. It all depends on the client’s approach to a blogger”, she added.
Stephen Musyoka reiterated that exposure cannot pay rent, but it’s important to build relationships with brands. “Do not burn bridges”, he advised. Sentiments that were echoed by Rachael. “There are trips that I have done which were fully paid by some brands”, she said.
The question of disclosures and disclaimers also came up. Different bloggers treat disclaimers and disclosures differently depending on their readers. Some felt that to be loyal to their readers, they mention if a post they have put up is sponsored by a brand. It is however not cast in stone. Some brands also require you to mention if they have sponsored a post.
Naomi Wanjiru gave pointers on what we look for before considering bloggers or influencers to work with BML in campaigns. Blogs have to be self-hosted and align with the brand we are working with. “Influencers have to have a minimum of 4000 followers on twitters”, she said.
Research continues to be an issue that crops up in most of our forums. Bloggers need to keep researching on the needs of their audience. For instance, some readers’ attention span is short and long blogposts do not work in their case.
This forum was definitely beneficial not only for the attendants but also online. The conversations on Twitter were under the hashtag #MoneyInBlogging. We look forward to organizing the next one.
You can connect with our panelists on Twitter: