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Blogging for money Define your Product

Blogging for money: Find your product and who you are in social media

Blogging for money Define your Product

You have been blogging for 2-3 years now and you are starting to feel the itch: Is this ever going to happen for me? Are you the top social media influencer you want to be? Is your phone ringing off the hook –yeah, outdated expression – because brands want you to represent them? In the end, are you making the money that helps to build the life you dreamt for yourself –and those you care about?

If any of your answers to these questions is NO, then you can start reading. We spoke about having an approach to build a business with your blogging ability instead of just blogging as a hobby or a way to express your passion.

Are you blogging for money or as a hobby? Let us know how we can help!

You can read:  Your blog a hobby or a business: Action plan to blogging for money

 

Let’s be clear: The first ingredient to be successful in social media is to have and show the passion

Influencers vs brand ambassadors - Courtesy of Zuberance and Convince & Convert

Influencers vs brand ambassadors – Courtesy of Zuberance and Convince & Convert

for the “thing” you do. I started LatinasinBusiness.us for one main reason: to leave my legacy as a Latina business owner to thousands of Latinas who are just at the gate, or struggling with their businesses, and help them avoid the obstacles, barriers and problems I encountered during my 25 years of being in the USA.

When I talk to someone just starting their business, or someone who is thinking of a business idea, so many suggestions come to mind that then –and only then- I realize I have come a long way.

It is not necessary that your passion make you money; however, if you want your passion to become your full-time activity and, unless you have won the lottery or belong to a wealthy family –yeah, I didn’t think so–, then you would like to have that income that rewards your passion coming in steadily. After all, we live in a society that leverages success with economic value. It is up to you to define what that equation means to you… but that is another story.

For now, let’s keep the focus on the topic today: defining who you are by defining your product.

If you are writing a blog, your first idea of product is your writing, right?

Well, let think a little: a product is, by definition, a tangible or intangible “thing” manufactured or refined for sale, meaning, someone has a need you are fulfilling with that “product.” So here are your options:

  1. What do you write about?

Writing about your morning, your dog, or the way rain is making you feel can be your passion but… yes, there’s always a but: if you want to make money out of it, then you need to “refine” the product. Maybe your “thing” is to write fiction –a novel, an essay, poetry or any other intangible that fulfills the intellectual or artistic pulse of your audience. Your task it then not only to become the best at what you do but also find someone who believes your product will make them money, and become your publisher. And voila, now you are a fiction writer and you defined your product.

  1. Is your knowledge your product?

You have been writing about a bunch of topics: lifestyle, fashion, education, Latino culture, makeup, a little here, a little there, bringing in followers, maybe local people who know you or your writing, but you are really aiming at having brands contact and hire you to represent them or speak on their behalf. However, is your writing really catering to someone’s need? The only way to find your niche is to become an expert at certain products you love and write about.
Stick to your point but… yes, again… with a strategy. Your expertise is your passion and your passion becomes your expertise. Is it makeup? Then aim at the products you really, really like! That eye shadow, or this moisturizer. Concentrate on a line of products, become a true expert and tell it like it is –followers or fans do not want to be lied to, they prefer the truth as the rest of us, mortals. Even brands like to hear about things they want to improve –if said in a friendly, expertly way.

Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin, social media guru, father of the concept Return on Relationships

Product reviewers can make a nice living by concentrating on a line of product or a series of related products. Cars, technology, shoes, knock-off purses, the devil is in the details: the more you know, the more you will become the sought-after expert in that particular type of product line. You have now become an “influencer,” as your opinion counts towards that knowledge people are looking for.
Build a relationship between the products you prefer and the brands that manufacture them, while building trust among your customers. Open yourself to questions and pledge to always tell the truth –even if that is not glamorous; become their best adviser/social media friend. As Ted Rubin says, success is now all about Return on Relationships (ROR).

  1. What is a brand you cannot live without?

You are a recent mom and you have discovered that only certain brand of products work for your baby’s sensitive skin; or your child has special needs and you want to tell the world about an organization that has helped you through these tough times. Any place you go, any person you talk to knows about your passion for that particular brand. You have now become a “brand ambassador” without even knowing it.
While influencers are people whose opinion count towards the knowledge or expertise they have about a certain product, service or line of products, brand ambassadors are those who engage customers and turn them into potential customers. Some people are both influencers and brand ambassadors, or go from one to the other, however, you can have influence over your target audience who follow you for your opinion but not necessarily buy the brands you suggest. Keep that in mind when you approach a brand.

Lorraine C. Ladish at Hispana Leadership Institute Conference in Dallas, TX

Lorraine C. Ladish, top Latina influencer, at Hispana Leadership Institute Conference in Dallas, TX

  1. Do you have tangible products to sell?
    What about selling your own product? Do you have a talent for the arts and crafts? Do you manufacture something of your invention? Or can turn some product you buy wholesale into a retail business?
    Many small businesses have started on E-Bay and many people just make a nice extra income by re-selling products on the side. Blogging about your product, your art, your interest can help you tremendously to turn those followers into buyers. Blog about the use and duration of the product, how you found the product and decided to manufacture or sell it. Tell stories about your family, friends or acquaintances and their experiences using the products. People not only like to know who you are but also get ideas on the products you build or sell that might help them make a decision about their own needs.
    We used to go to the store for shoes and have someone fit our shoes, tell us about the quality of the leather, have a nice, personal conversation about the shoes and how that color or this shape will go with this or that outfit. Have this same type of conversation with your customers online. In a world where everything tends to be impersonal, having a friend talking frankly about their needs and how to cater to them can go a long way.

 

Kathy Cano Murillo_summer_2009_crafty_chica1

Kathy Cano-Murillo, Craftychica.com

Keep thinking how to define your product, the basic starting point to then delineate your elevator pitch, and the rest of your business. Tangible or intangible, knowledge or expertise, you product needs to take your potential customer’s pain away. Defining your product would also help you know your role in the social media world, and devise a strategy to get there. We’ll talk about writing your elevator pitch next time.

Let me know if this article was helpful! We will keep posting on the blogging for money topic, just let us know what your questions or concerns are!

With Christie and Piera from Latino Mom Bloggers

Hispanicize 2015 reaching new heights in Latino events (photo gallery)

Welcome to Miami

Finally I arrived at Newark airport on Saturday night at around 8pm, despite my fear of cancellations after the Northeast snow storm on Friday. It was over, now back to reality.

During the week I did not have a lot of opportunity to think about the event itself; you just live it, inhale it, and enjoy it as much as you can. Needless to say, now that it has come to an end, tiredness sinks in and voila, you start recalling.

First, kudos to the Hispanicize 2015 team for a very professionally run conference! Managing an event this large and this long, moving people, hosting celebrities, finding venues, and having a Latino event running on time and on schedule for a week? That is almost a Superhero achievement!

I guess you need a grandiose mind –in a good sense- to imagine and then make such an experience tangible for hundreds of people who only attend the event to be pampered and indulged. Every little detail was taking care of, from device chargers to great food and fantastic entertainment, every day, all week.

Starting with the venue, the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, the place was not only large and comfortable enough but also serviced with excellence. (How did they perfectly cook those fillet mignons for at least 500 people, all served at the same time?)

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Sound, lights, technology, all worked seamlessly every time. You expect something to go wrong and that would be perfectly OK in such a large event but al least in what I was able to see or hear –I couldn’t clone myself to be in every session or every show-, I did not hear major complaints. And if problems were encountered or mistakes were made, a casual observer like me was left totally unaware.

Sessions and panel discussions deserve a separate paragraph. Although most sessions were well attended, I found that content was uneven and there was no way to know ahead of time. Maybe making attendees aware that discussion would be generic or for newbie bloggers could help –but I’m not sure if such warning is possible.

Discussions around monetization and working with brands, for instance, were pretty generic and lacked specificity. For new bloggers who are just starting, I would have preferred a little more guidance. Yes, you could pick something here and there but guidance to devise a strategy on working with agencies or brands would have been really helpful. After all, attendees were paying a lot of money to acquire solid knowledge, so brands should really make an effort to openly discuss those strategies.

Looking for Latinas in business, I attended a few panels and I found some discussions really interesting, such as the Public Roundtable with the Nation’s Most Powerful Latina Journalists moderated by Mercedes Soler, News anchor, CNN en español. They spoke about their trajectory as women and as Latinas in media, and how they broke glass ceiling and became a media professional in their own right. A very inspiring session of some of my favorite media Latinas –Maria Elena Salinas, Co-anchor, Noticiero Univision, Shirley Vazquez, Latina magazine Executive Editor, Cynthia Hudson, Sr VP CNN en español, and the friendly Myriam Marquez, Ex Editor at El Nuevo Herald, with whom I shared lunch right before the panel. Kudos to these magnificent ladies who opened doors for all of the rest!

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel 2

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel

Another excellent panel was the Uncap Your Happiness (presented by Coca-Cola) with Sonja Lyubormisky, University of California, Maria Celeste, Telemundo, Nataly Arias, Colombian National Team, Alba Adamo, Group Director of Hispanic Markets at Coca-Cola, and the extraordinary Nelly Galan, from The Adelante Movement. They all brought an insight of what it means to be happy and how each person can become the true maker of their own happiness.

My favorite time of each day? Latinnovators awards was a special moment when the conference stopped to play tribute to the big ones, those who have made it through hard work and persistence. If there is a value our Latino community should never leave behind is the care for others. We are a caring community, and the words of wisdom from Don Francisco, Arturo Guzman or Ciurana talking about their total commitment with their careers and their communities was not only inspiring but bello, muy bello!

Regrets? So sorry I missed Lori Ruff @loriruff, the Chief Brand Evangelist for ALPFA.org and LinkedIn Diva. I was really looking forward to meeting her!

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

A shout out to all my fabulous Latina Twitter friends who I finally met in person –they looked so familiar I swear it seemed I have known them forever: Elianne Ramos, the incredible and laureate @ergeekgoddess; Lynn Ponder, @ponderful –who won three, yes, three TECLA Awards–; Melanie La Bloguera, @melaniegonzalez; Elaine de Valle, @newschica, who won TECLA with Political Cortadito –and with whom we share some journalistic history–;  Cathy Cano-Murillo, @craftychica; Liza Monet Morales, @xoxoLiza; and Jeannette Kaplun, @jeannettekaplun.

The incredible Latina Mom Bloggers, @latinamombloggers, Piera Jolly, CEO and co-founder of Latina Mom Bloggers Network;  Cristy Clavijo-Kish and her twin daughters; and Angela Sustaita-Ruiz announced their new venture, DiMe Media Inc. to conduct customized digital campaigns and expand the relationship between bloggers and brands.

In my view, Hispanicize has raised the bar for every Latino event from now on; I would even dare to say, for every event period. It has reached the levels of excellence that all of us should aspire to achieve in our every day activity. Many generations of Latinos have worked very hard to get here, and Hispanicize is another proof that Latinos  we deserve the place we have earned on the national stage.

Click on any picture to see the photo gallery!

 

Kathy Cano Murillo_summer_2009_crafty_chica1

Kathy Cano-Murillo from selling candy to Crafty Chica

 

Kathy Cano-Murillo, CraftyChica.com

Kathy Cano-Murillo, CraftyChica.com

Can you make money doing what you love? Kathy Cano-Murillo is the living proof that success can come from your passion if you pair it with smart entrepreneurship.

Known as Crafty Chica, Kathy has brilliantly shaped her own life by pursuing her two creative paths, writing and crafts. Third-generation of a Mexican-American family, and born in Phoenix, AZ, Kathy has maintained the artistic traditions of her ancestry and developed them into powerful, colorful and contemporary designs.

“I have always been creative and entrepreneurial,” she told LIBizus. “In school, I used to buy colorful candies to resell during recess to other children. I have always liked to take something and turn it around into something beautiful.”

When asked what came first, her writing or her artistic side, Kathy remembered she worked for The Arizona Republic in the Features newsroom but before that, “I used to write since I was in 5th grade, telling stories for my schoolmates that would make them laugh. I loved that!” she said.

But her creative side was always present in the way she saw the world. “I noticed that there were very few contemporary Latino design artists and no competition in large stores such as Bloomingdale,” she recalls. Her creative juices started to flow.

While keeping her day job, in 2001, Kathy launched CraftyChica.com, a site that started as an online journal about juggling family, a full-time job as a newspaper reporter and a craft designer by night.

Get your Life by CraftyChica.com

Get your Life by CraftyChica.com

It became the inspiration of women who were looking for clever lifestyle ideas while keeping their family traditions. Kathy became known for her glittery “Mexi-boho” style, which use brilliant colors and voluptuous designs.

“I decided to change the stereotype of the ‘starving artist.’ We all have the power to change that belief system. I knew that as long as I had my creative art, I was never going to go broke, and would always find ways to make money,” she said.

Her business acumen is 90 percent self-taught. She launched her first website in 1995, wrote her own press releases, took pictures of her products and once she started blogging, her readers came pouring in. “I used to pick my own brain on what was next,” she said.

Designs by Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo

Designs by Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo

CraftyChica.com has evolved into a well-rounded lifestyle site that embraces books, shopping, fashion, business, movies, food, travel, beauty, tech, family life and more. Kathy has written books on crafts combined with the grace of her writing style, anchored on storytelling.

“I love bright colors, patterns, contrasts and try to be resourceful. Recycling and reusing materials come naturally to me,” she told LIBizus.

She believes her success is due to her discipline and organizational skills. “To-do lists are a great way to set goals and push you into taking action. To young Latinas who want to start their own business, I would recommend to set two or three goals to determine where you want to be, and then work backwards. Set a to-do list for each goal and keep moving!”

kathy-cano-murillo-working at her desk

Kathy Cano-Murillo working at her desk

Kathy is a national spokesperson for iLoveToCreate and a creative influencer for Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores. She also has a product line that is carried in Michaels stores.

She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, HGTV, DIY Network, Lifetime TV and other media. Her new passion is to encourage newbie artists and startup businesses by teaching classes and giving motivation and business presentations.  Kathy also writes fiction, has published two novels, and is working on her third one.

“I never expected all this to happen,” she said. “You have to stay positive in order to let the creative process evolve.”

Kathy Cano-Murillo will be talking at Hispanicize 2015. Don't miss her!

Kathy Cano-Murillo will be talking at Hispanicize 2015. Don’t miss her!