Professional bloggers gather for annual Build Your Blog Conference

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Bryan Pearson
Bloggers attend a gala at the conclusion of the conference. While enjoying a catered meal, award winners were announced. (Bryan Pearson)

One might think a blogging conference consists of exchanging recipes and Do-It-Yourself ideas, but the Build Your Blog Conference in Salt Lake City focused on helping bloggers make the most of their blogging businesses.

Bloggers from all over the country gathered at the conference on Friday, Feb. 20 to attend workshops and network with other bloggers. The even ended on Saturday, Feb. 21 with the Blogger of The Year Awards Gala.

One of the workshops by Bonnie Andrews, blogger of hobbytohot.com, taught bloggers to look at blogging differently. She started the class with a dance party initiated by a fellow blogger showing the importance of passion and owning what you do. Pretty soon the whole class jumped up and got their groove on.

Andrews has a background in marketing and started using her skills in blogging when she found herself struggling to pay the bills.She was able to double her revenue almost every two weeks until she was earning $4,000 a month with less than 10,000 page views.

“You don’t have to be big to make money,” Andrews said.

Andrews further compared affiliate marketing to matchmaking. Bloggers use affiliate links on their sites so advertisers can track when readers make purchases from the link on their blog. In return, the advertisers pay a portion of the profit to the blogger.

Andrews said that as a blogger you must know your audience so you can connect them with the right links, thus acting as a matchmaker.

“If you don’t make a connection for them, someone else will,” Andrews said.

She also discussed the stigma of making money through blogging saying many bloggers are uncomfortable selling products through their blog.

“Women are ashamed of making money,” Andrews said. She argued that she has to feed her family and used a comparison of buying groceries.

“You don’t go to the grocery store and get milk, bread and eggs and expect to walk out the door (without paying),” Andrews said.

She made a point to show that people need products or services and if a blogger fulfill those needs there is no shame in earning money from it.

Another class focused on eBooks and how Stephanie Cornais, from Mama and Baby Love, earned over $100,000 from writing a blog.

“I totally believe you have the ability to make six figures in a short amount of time,” Cornais said.

She originally started blogging as a creative outlet but turned her passion into a profitable eBook in three years. Cornais emphasized the importance of looking at blogging differently.

“If you want your blog to be a business, you have to treat it like one,” Cornais said.

The conference ended Saturday night with a Gala featuring the winners of the Blogger of the Year Award and a special presentation fromthe Tyler Robinson Foundation, a non-profit organization formed by Imagine Dragons.

“To finish this conference, we put together a celebration of blogs,” said Larry Adamson, CEO of the Blogger Network.

Daren Adams, formerly from KSL’s Studio 5, emceed the event. He spoke and sang about the importance of passion in all that you do.

“It’s not about the content, it’s about the passion,” Adams said. “Passion moves people. Passion motivates people.”

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