…to come to BlogPaws or to do anything else you want to do.
At one of our earliest conferences, the indomitable Lena West spoke and told an eager audience gathered in the general session room, faces lifted to the stage, all eyes on the woman of authority standing there, that it was okay to make money blogging. It was their ‘duty’, she said.
“How can you support that shelter that means so much to you, if you aren’t getting paid for the hard work you do in your blog?” she asked. In her best, “listen up” voice. She didn’t point, but it might have felt like she was pointing.
“You need to feed YOU first,” she admonished. “All of you put time and effort into your work on your blog. Some of you feel as if asking for payment is ‘bad’. This is a labor of love, designed to support pets and shelters, it’s not something you do to ‘make’ money.”
She paused. The silence in the room vibrated with hundreds of minds whispering, “She’s right, that’s me… I do feel bad asking for money.” Furtive glances were exchanged. Out of the silence, came a series of soft sighs.
“Well,” Lena shattered the random thoughts with her booming voice, “it’s time to stop thinking that way. It’s time to say, ‘I work hard on this blog. I write great content. I share fabulous pictures. And I deserve to be paid for it.’ And then, get paid. It’s time to pay yourself so you can stay in business and raise funds for the shelters that are so important to you! It’s time to get serious about your online work. Just think, how much money are you denying your favorite shelter, because you’re afraid to ask for money to blog? How much MORE could you donate, if you were paid to blog?”
This topic is nothing new. We’re still talking about it today. We’re still writing about it. Better minds than ours contemplate the answer, daily.
Because our conference is so close, and because it’s designed to help bloggers with the skills they need to be better at their craft, thereby to be paid more, I thought I’d share a few ideas from the BlogPaws Ambassadors, and our executive team. We believe in paying bloggers. We believe in your efforts and your talent. We believe that blogging is akin to being a journalist, and that as a freelance writer, you should set your own prices and create your own way. But, we also know it’s hard to get started.
How about some of these ideas… simple, easy ways to raise money, whether that’s to attend BlogPaws, attend Social Media Marketing, or some other conference. Or whether it’s to give more cash to your favorite shelter. If you have other ways to help your fellow bloggers raise funds, ways not listed here, do share in the comments. It’s only by working together and helping each other that we all serve to improve this new digital medium, all the better to achieve our individual goals.
From Ambassador Kimberly Dickerson, of Saving More Than Me:
- Use the round up feature that most banks offer now. If you use your debit card for an $8.50 purchase, the banks round your purchase up to $9 and then deposit that 50 cents into your savings account. A year’s worth of this makes for a nice chunk of change.
- Deposit coins from your wallet, purse, couch, etc., into a jar and then every 3 months, turn them into cash at your bank. Doing this every 3 months will let you know where you’re at savings wise.
- De-stash and de-clutter and sell on ebay or etsy or have a yard sale. Your unwanted stuff is someone else’s treasure and your ticket to BlogPaws.
- Offer pet walking or pet sitting services in your neighborhood. One or two jobs a month could finance gas or an airline ticket.
(I have done #3 for a local nonprofit I support. We raised over $500. It’s a good start to affording a conference or giving back to a shelter.)
From Ambassador Teri T, of Curlz and Swirlz
I like how the BlogPaws community forums and how supportive they are for both ‘Newbies’ and for room and ride shares and have been talking to other bloggers about using those resources to help them get to the conference this year. This might sound frivolous to some, but even when the conference was held within an hours drive of where I live, I still stayed at the hotel, because to me spending that money was worth the extra time I would have to spend with friends, networking and just soaking up the ‘Reeling From the Feeling’ energy that one gets at a BlogPaws conference. I have really never experienced any gathering (veterinary conferences, cat shows, even Pet Fashion Extravaganzas) that have had the same impact on me.
I have been very fortunate that BlogPaws has also supported me in my efforts as a blogger and writer and last year was invited to share the intro to Meet the Rescues with Carol Bryant, and that opportunity meant the world to me. And this year, being asked to be an Ambassador told me that yes, there are people out there reading my blog and seeing my potential and while in trying to keep up with Ambassador duties has my own blogging lagging a bit, I know that I am growing my following in other ways-Twitter, Facebook, Google + because of my association with BlogPaws.
So yes, connections, sponsorship and support help me get to BlogPaws conferences, too!
(BlogPaws wishes we could support all the excellent bloggers we work with, but since we can’t, we hope you’ll get some ideas from this post and others we’ve written, that will inspire you to find a way to be with us in May!)
From Aimee Beltran of Irresistible Pets
- Start a savings account and determine how much you need to invest each week.
- Build the cost of the conference into your business plan.
- Determine whether it will be cheaper to fly versus drive. Can you drive with another attendee to split costs?
- For the hotel, can you find a roommate to split costs with?
- Use an Ambassador promo code to save money on registration!
(If you don’t know the Ambassador promo code, just leave a note in the comments and we’ll make sure you get one!)
From Ambassador M.K. Clinton, of Barking from the Bayou:
How can you afford NOT to attend? File income tax early and use the refund! Perhaps get someone to sponsor the conference. Knowing how beneficial the conference is, I’d take out a small loan to fund it. It is such an investment in your success.
I saved M.K.’s advice for last because she said something important – conferences are an investment in YOU. It’s YOUR success on the line. Why do we go to workshops or take college classes or learn how to use spreadsheets? Because we want to be successful in our small business. Each of you is a small business. You operate a small business, though you are “only bloggers.” At BlogPaws, you don’t hear us say “only bloggers” because we have such respect and appreciation for all of you. If you hope to achieve the goals Lena set out back in those old days of BlogPaws, you MUST invest in yourself and your future.
We hope that investment is a trip to BlogPaws. I promise, you’ll be glad you put in the effort.
I will end with a fantastic post our own Felissa Elfenbein wrote, on Two Little Cavaliers: How to Create an Emergency Vet Fund… full of ideas on how to raise money for anything, even a BlogPaws Pet Blogger and Social Media Conference. So, you can walk the Red Carpet, like our COE (chief of everything) below…
post by BlogPaws CEO, Yvonne DiVita