One of the panels during the Blogher conference in Chicago last month made me think more about the cooperation between magazines and bloggers. Blogger Marcus Troy called it a gift and a curse at the same time. Magazines NEED bloggers these days, they said. And I agree. But there is a mutually beneficial relationship for bloggers and magazines.
The panel discussion started with the question: how do you leverage your blog? Their answer was already obvious and in the US everybody knows this by hard: ‘Find your tribe and find brands that fit into that.’
Stylebloggers level up their game
In the panel were style bloggers Patrice Yursik from @Afrobella, Gabi Gregg from @Gabifresh, @NataliaSimmons from manouvellemode.com and last minute flown in by his sponsor Monster headphones was @MarcusTroy. These bloggers are branching out and leveling up their game. And they were talking about monetizing your blog, working with sponsors and were I will focus on in this blogpost: the cooperation with magazines.
Get sponsors yourself or join a network
Marcus Troy cut out the middle man. It was not on purpose, but he became partners with brands like Nike and Timberland. He wants brands to share his vision and the other way around. Monster headphones is his sponsor, and they found him through conversation (twitter!). Blogger Gabi choose not to do it herself like Marcus, so she has joined a network. Networks are a great way to get introduced to brands. She and Afrobella applaud networks like Sway group and Clever girls collective. I can totally agree with this as I am setting up the dutch bloggersnetwork Blogtoday and we have a lot of muttual beneficial benefits for bloggers AND magazines AND brands. I think it is a win-win situation if bloggers want to grow.
Bloggers and magazines need eachother
Marcus told about how he liked being in magazines: ‘Magazines are tangible, and you can show them to your mother.’ But as he went on: ‘We bloggers are doing the work now. It’s a give and a curse, because there’s pro’s and con’s. Mags are covering it up with saying things like ‘We are going to feature you!’ It’s smart what they are doing.’
The panel agreed: magazine are finally realizing that they need bloggers now. But watch out: some of them just show feeds of blogs. And bloggers are not getting paid for that, that’s why Gaby still likes to write for print, she has an Instyle column, for which she gets paid. The talk in the industry is now: top style bloggers in your magazine are selling! Publishers see that bloggers have gotten the digital strategy right, so they need bloggers to help them with their own. Gaby’s advice: ‘Keep your voice and keep your integrity at all times!’
Branded content blurs the blogosphere
Off course the blogosphere can get blurred a little: more and more bloggers take money for branded content, but magazines have done this for ages now. The difference is that it’s about a personality and not a magazines. So the brands HAVE TO FIT.
Afrobella has three words for bloggers who want to get brands to notice them: Mutual beneficial relationship! It has to be mutual! And the best advice they all give to the bloggers is:
Grow traffic through quality content, social media and networking! And don’t forget: finding your niche is the new game!
This is the cover of Dutch magazine VIVA that features beautyblogger Misslipgloss: