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How to get to those blogger events, and common misconceptions about them.

How to get to those blogger events, and common misconceptions about them. This post is a trimmed down version of an article I wrote for my Mom Spark Media members.  I wanted to share some ideas here, too, because I felt it provided a nice follow-up to my “What is Your Mom Blogger Status?” post that I published a year and a half ago. (wow, has it really been that long?)

Since my last post, I’ve been to several events sponsored by brands. (Betty Crocker, EA Sports, Gatorade, Orlando Travel Board & eBay to name a few)  I have learned that invites can happen in several different ways, and these days, it is less about popularity. (aka high traffic numbers)

WHAT IS THE MAGIC FORMULA?

It’s who you know. I have attended several blogging conferences over the last couple of years, so I have met and worked with a LOT of bloggers and brands.  Since I have developed these relationships, I am often recommended for opportunities, which reinforces what I always say about the importance of making relationships with other bloggers and meeting brands at conferences.  Not only will you receive an awesome friend (many of my very best friends are bloggers) or future contact, but you may also receive a cool opportunity along the way, especially if they trust your work ethic.

It’s from doing something for free with a brand. Yup, it’s true.  I’ve done favors for brands in the past and scored a cool opp out of it.  Always value yourself and work, but don’t always assume that a favor won’t turn into something awesome.  Many times they do.  Brands often remember your generosity.

Sometimes it’s completely random or based on your blog niche. I’ve been invited to events by brands that I had zero relationship with, but they found me while researching blogs.  Sometimes, they are specifically looking for a niche, as well.  For example, if you’re invited to something like Betty Crocker, you’re more likely to get an invite if you post recipes, and so on.

Sometimes it’s your numbers. Yes, some brands are all about the blogger who has the biggest Twitter following or the most subscribers.  It’s true. They may consider this the best return on investment, and let’s face it, it is quite an investment to cover expenses for 20 bloggers or so.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

Contrary to popular belief, these events are not relaxing vacations. Yes, your travel and expenses are paid for, but you are offering feedback and consulting to brands, which is WORK.  Days are often long and packed full of meetings, round table-type discussions, feedback sessions, and learning a tremendous amount about a brand’s history and products. I thrive on learning about brands and business, so I find these events interesting, but it’s not for everyone.  Most people on the outside of these events only see the free food/hotel/flight, but there is so much more to it than that.

Saying that, there is often downtime that you can use to either spend time alone (how often do moms get to do that?) or with other bloggers.  With the eBay event, they scheduled a spa session for us ladies at the very end of the event so that we could finally relax.  It was lovely, but this is very rare at events.

Your normal schedule will be disturbed. Typically, blogger events are scheduled during the week, which puts any mom into a frenzy trying to schedule babysitters and after school pick up.  When I go out of town, it’s a major event, and not always easy. (especially being a SAHM)

You may be out some money. Some brands are fabulous at covering incidentals like babysitting fees, luggage fees, and shuttle fare, but this isn’t always the case.  In fact, you may find yourself actually paying out of pocket on incidentals, so make sure it’s worth it.  I always ask beforehand so I can make an educated decision.

So, there you have it!  If you have any questions and tips you would like to share, please leave a comment below.  In addition, if you are interested in a mom blogger network for support, blogging courses and opportunities, I recommend joining ours at  Mom Spark Media.  Good luck on getting that first invite! :)

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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

23 Responses to “How to get to those blogger events, and common misconceptions about them.”

  1. #
    Mom Spark — February 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m laughing at myself, because this is the trimmed down version.

    [Reply]

  2. #
    Krystel — February 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    This was really informative. Glad to no isnt
    all about the numbers

    [Reply]

  3. #
    Vera @ Lady and the Blog — February 4, 2011 at 7:47 am

    so true about not being a relaxing vacation — it’s just GO GO GO

    [Reply]

  4. #
    MommyB Knows Best — February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing the info!! Super helpful and I didn’t even think of the travelling events! Luckily I’ve been able to bring my girls to most local smaller events.

    [Reply]

  5. #
    niri — February 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I recall the time we spoke before ever being invited – how times have changed and so rapidly. You are on the button about there being so many reasons you get invited. One way that won’t help is whine about it. Things come in their own time – and yes it is not always so finance-free and and relaxing as it seems. I normally work harder, hanging later to get to know brands during the day and bloggers by night since IRL time is precious.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — February 4th, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

      Yes, I agree that complaining about not getting invited to events doesn’t help matters and can, in fact, hurt it. It’s amazing where you have gone in such a short time. You’re amazing. :)

      [Reply]

  6. #
    JamericanSpice — February 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Interesting. I figured as much.

    I can’t do the blogger events , plane hopping right now because of my SAHM duties.

    [Reply]

  7. #
    deidre — February 13, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Yes I agree, with blogging who you know seems to be as important as your numbers. But the most important thing is always being true to yourself! Great post.

    [Reply]

  8. #
    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) — February 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Great summary Amy.

    Yes, these trips can be lots of work and definitely as working moms (yes we may stay at home while we blog, but we’re still working) we have to weigh the pros and cons.

    And a great result of there being so many events and bloggers being busy and not being able to accept all the invites, is that the opportunities get shared around the blogosphere. I’m seeing a lot of variety amongst attendees and I think that’s good.

    [Reply]

  9. #
    Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy — February 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I am always so exhausted when I get home from these things that I swear I won’t do one again for months!!

    [Reply]

  10. #
    Tricia — April 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing very interesting and yes so many good points too, I have realized that doing things for free sometimes has gotten me some really great opps through the same pr rep

    [Reply]

  11. #
    barb g — June 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I know it sounds like you would be really busy & hard work but I still think it would
    be great to do it. I can only hope that someday I get invited to participate with some brand.
    Sounds like a fun time and afterall,who minds a little work? If I was at home I’d be working
    at the computer anyway. :)

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — September 9th, 2011 @ 8:32 am

      @barb g, Oh, it’s definitely worth doing! My point was that it isn’t all about the free meals, etc., it is real work. I absolutely love it!

      [Reply]

  12. #
    Mellisa @ Fun Saving Money — September 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Great article! I have been blogging for a little over 2 years now and would love to get more invites but I was never really sure how it worked. This past week I was actually invited to my first event which sadly I had to decline :( I am hoping for more opportunites as I grow more relationships and my blog gets a little bigger. It’s nice to have a fellow blogger from OK! I wish there were more conferences closer to here.

    Mellisa

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Maid In Australia — September 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Oh, I wish it were that easy in Australia. Here, unless you are an absolute top 10 blogger and/or have marketing backgrounds, it’s begging for sponsorship and only ever partial. I’m lucky to get enough to cover part of the flights, let alone anything else. But we are getting there.

    [Reply]

    • Carly replied: — January 25th, 2013 @ 10:04 am

      I agree,
      You don’t get invited in Aus unless you have achieved a top 10
      status with a newspaper or reputable media source.
      It’s sad because we try just as hard to get our material known and out there!
      Fingers crossed for the future!

      [Reply]

      • Mom Spark replied: — January 25th, 2013 @ 10:05 am

        Wow.

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