BlogHer is becoming a national leader for women bloggers.
There are many degrees or certificates one can aspire to have but blogging certainly isn’t one of them. It’s difficult to define what a professional blogger is…Is the title earned by content, earnings, following or publication? Regardless of opinion it’s proving to be serious business, and women have been the driving force behind it.
Jory Des Jardins (right), president of strategic alliances for BlogHer, remembers what it was like to attend blogging conferences nearly a decade ago. “There were bloggers and there were women bloggers, but it was largely seen as a male pursuit,” she recalls. So she teamed up with two other women to start BlogHer. At first it originated as a conference for female bloggers, but soon they launched one of the largest online networks to offer women a space in the ‘blogosphere,’ and Ms. Des Jardins credits women for bringing blogging into the mainstream.
BlogHer conducts an annual poll based on their users, and they’ve found that Gen X really gravitates toward blogging. She describes this generation as ‘working moms,’ maybe working on their blog from home or outside the home. The annual poll also revealed a younger generation of women are more conferrable with mobile blogging…but as technology continues to influence across generations that number may soon change. “It’s still a hobby or a pasttime for some people, but for people in particular that come to BlogHer, it has evolved into something beyond that,” Ms. Des Jardins explains.
There’s no credentials needed to be a professional blogger; it’s more about the platform you build for yourself and the authoritative voice you assume. And while many still find the idea of blogging as an unsteady work occupation, many women and men bloggers have been able to make a living off their platform. The company’s data revealed it has paid out more than $25 million to more than 5,000 bloggers hosted on their site from 2009 to 2012. Ad share revenue is one way to get paid, but some bloggers on BlogHer have been able to use their blog as a platform to promote themselves as thought leaders and be booked for speaking engagements, or as experts and consultants on any particular subject matter.
The core of BlogHer continues to be its annual conferences around the country, to continue to educate and inform women and men on the latest tech trends and tools. The most recent conference was held in Chicago July 25-27. Speakers included Facebook Chief Operating Officer and best-selling author Sheryl Sandberg, food writer Ree Drummond, YouTube producer Lisa Donovan and actress Queen Latifah.
But with increased technology and the increased online presence everyone has these days, where is the future go blogging going? According to Ms. Des Jardins, blogging will consist of a multi-platform experience, with even-more quality content as well as an increase use of social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter to promote that content. So while you’re checking your Facebook and Twitter feed, don’t forget to look out for TCW posts about our bloggers!
By Angelica Sanchez