Sunday August 5, 2012 0 commentsSomething significant has just happened during the first few days of August of 2012: it was called BlogHer '12. This gathering of women bloggers in New York City was one of the largest of its kind, with five thousand women bloggers (and a few men bloggers) gathered together in a conference setting, to empower themselves to become better bloggers but, more importantly, to learn how to get their voices listened to (not just heard) and acknowledged so they can truly make a positive difference in the important subjects they are passionate about.
Does this sound like you? Have you been hearing about blogs and blogging and been intrigued by the fact that YOUR opinion about a certain subject actually does matter and could attract an audience that might even end up buying your products and services? If you're an expert at what you do and have valuable advice to share and love to write, a blog is the perfect digital media for you to establish yourself as an expert in your subject or advance a cause you're passionate about. If you don't like to write and love to talk, then a video blog (vlog) is perfect for you.
It takes a lot of work to build a community of blog fans. Depending on what your subject matter is, it can take 5-7 years or more to get 20 million monthly unique visitors (like Mashable.com has built up to since it first launched in 2005) or "just" three years - like PickYourBrain.com to grow a community of fans who enjoy reading your blog. You have to be prepared to write (or video tape) your blog posts consistently: at least once a week and work your way up to two or three posts a week. Some people write daily (The Pioneer Woman is one my favorite bloggers.)
Usually, when you get that big, you have a team supporting you and your vision.
You also need to learn how to use social media to attract your tribe with your vibe™
Every blogger blogs because she's passionate about her topic or cause. Do YOU have a topic or cause that you love talking about and doing? Topics range from fashion to food to breast feeding to working at home to entrepreneurship to .... you name it, women are blogging about it and vlogging about it. Blogs are the most trusted social media channel for parenting advice and information.
Some of these bloggers that attended BlogHer12 are beginning bloggers, seeking the wisdom of experienced writers, and some have been blogging for years. They even have sponsors, like: Disney, Ford, Wells Fargo and many other companies, some non-profits, too.
What's the Big Deal About BlogHer 12?
Though there are numerous gatherings of bloggers around the world throughout the year, this one, in particular, was very important. Why? Consider the following:
- The conference is produced by BlogHer, which is a blogging network made up of 40 million women who blog each month. (Statistic: Nielsen Site Census, April 2012.)
- BlogHer, Inc., is "the premium cross-platform media network and publisher for women." BlogHer is "the largest audience of influential online women nationwide," says one of their media releases.
- Brands like Hillshire Farms take women bloggers seriously. "We have seen incredible engagement with the women who are digitally driving the conversation, allowing us to create a powerful dialogue with this important audience that directly reaches our consumers," said Jon Harris, Chief Communications Officer, The Hillshire Brands Company.
- BlogHer, Inc. pays its bloggers. "We paid over 4,250 bloggers 17 million dollars in revenue!" declared the co-founders of BlogHer, Elisa and Lisa, in their live-blogged closing remarks of BlogHer12. Find out how you can get paid to be syndicated by BlogHer.
- President Obama kicked off the conference by addressing the attendees via satellite."The fact that Sasha and Malia can go to places like BlogHer and find thousands of women who are writing about subjects from health to family and food and politics and careers, means a lot to me and Michelle," President Obama stated.
As I followed the #blogher12 hashtag in Twitter, off and on, (in between time spent with my family and time writing this post over the weekend) I caught whiffs of the "air" of BlogHer12 by reading Tweets written by attendees, like, @Cecily, who said things like this:
I had a Twitter conversation with @GoArmy about BlogHer12 after I responded to their Tweet:
Even though I was not physically there at the BlogHer 12 conference, I made a few new friends who kindly reached out to me as they saw my Tweets. Here is @HeiddiZ (we tweeted each other more but here's one of the Tweets):
And I reached out to an old friend who attended BlogHer12 and was a speaker, too: @latinaprpro, Ana Lydia Ochoa Monaco:
I asked @NancyCollamer what her biggest takeaway was and she Tweeted me this:
I have a feeling that these newly empowered five thousand women bloggers will inspire millions of more women bloggers with knowledge; creativity; technology; and advice. Yes, I know that's just my own guess and I have absolutely no scientific data to base my opinion on, other than my intuition and knack for spotting trends but I'm sayin' it anyway. This BlogHer12 gathering, at this point in herstory is going to bear fruit that will nurture and feed these bloggers and empower them with knowledge that will get them to their next levels. And they will pass that knowledge and inspiration along to others, too.
Be sure to sign up for BlogHer 2013 when the tickets become available September 1, 2012. Previous conferences have sold out four months ahead of time.
Why Did Five Thousand Women Bloggers Convene at BlogHer 12 and why do women blog?
"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart."
- Rumi, Sufi poet & mystic.
If you're reading this blog, then you already have a desire for YOUR work to be known.
If you're reading this blog, then you need to know how important, no... how CRITICAL it is for your voice to be heard and listened to. By writing a blog or recording videos in which you share your expertise, experience and creativity with your tribe, your important work, your passion, your cause will connect and impact with someone. Maybe you'll impact the lives of several hundred people, maybe several thousand or millions. But even if you end up changing the life of "only" one person for the better, then you are living your life purpose.
For those about to rock, er, blog, we salute you! Here's a blog post from BlogHer to help you get going. Good luck! You have a community of bloggers rooting for you. We got your back.