Can you really make a million dollars from blogging? Yes. It turns out that’s indeed possible, and participants at the 8th annual Blogging While Brown Conference, which took place June 19 & 20, 2015 in Austin, Texas, were sitting on the edge of their seats to find out how.
The schedule was packed with information on how to monetize platforms and grow audiences without subverting messages. Comcast/NBC Universal, AT&T, BlogHer, Shea Moisture and the John F. Knight Foundation returned as sponsors, while Kapor Center for Social Impact arranged a one-mile wellness walk. In addition, NBC News wanted to recruit content producers for NBCBlck, its new African American news portal. “The managing editor for NBCBlck explained how bloggers can contribute to NBCBlck and how they can create content partnerships between their blogs and the news hub,” explained BWB founder Gina McCauley.
If you couldn’t make it to BWB this year, don’t worry. While the sessions weren’t streamed live, McCauley pledged to record and upload every single session to BloggingWhileBrown.com.
McCauley took some time out to discuss schedule highlights, the new obstacles bloggers face, what her goals for the conference were, and how she’ll know if it was a success.
What did this year’s conference offer that was different from prior years?
In the past we had a lot more people who were curious about blogging. But now people are a lot more focused on business, and creating systems and processes so that they can scale their platforms in a sustainable way. For me, this year was much more focused on getting bloggers to adopt business models that are not advertising-based.
Why is that?
The 2015 BWB conference happened at an interesting time because many of the social media platforms have completely changed the rules of the game. We are responding to some of the most substantial changes in social media that I’ve seen happen in a single year. Facebook changed their algorithm. It’s pretty much pay to play now. Google changed their algorithm. It impacted people who weren’t mobile-ready. Pinterest eliminated affiliate links and also added a “buy” button. And Twitter is getting ready to roll out its own changes.
I think most of our attendees run single author platforms. So if they are going to leverage their platforms in the most effective and efficient way, advertising might not be the model for them because they might not have the traffic for that. But there are some tremendous opportunities to provide services to their audiences in ways other than advertising.
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