I found myself engrossed in a recent interview piece with Elisa Camahort Page about the upcoming 10 Year Anniversary BlogHer Conference. As a co-founder of BlogHer, Camahort Page has helped grow the world of women blogging from niche and fragmented, to comprehensive and collective. And the events the organization's hosted, have evolved into 'must be there' celebrations.
In years past the BlogHer has been host to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Martha Stewart, Queen Latifah, and this year, Kerry Washington, eBay CMO, Richelle Parham, and a keynote by Arianna Huffington.
Which got me thinking, with Arianna Huffington headlining the festivities, what might she have in store for this group of thinkers, writers, and influencers? "With Arianna, we know we'll hear a thoughtful vision that considers how to stay happy when hyper-connected," Camahort Page predicted in a recent blog post.
But I wanted to know more. Like the real, inside scoop.
Q: How exciting is it to have Arianna back at BlogHer since her first keynote in 2006? And what does she represent to your audience of women writers?
A: We are thrilled to have Arianna back. Back in 2006 both BlogHer and the Huffington Post were fledgling media companies. Even then she was talking about sleep and the need to balance our fervor and passion for what we're doing with self-care...so in a way, with both companies approaching the ten-year mark, we're coming full circle talking to Arianna, and talking again about how to manage the 24/7 nature of our lives.
Q: I saw a great content marketing tweet recently that said, "It's a mobile world, we just live in it." Do you think that's true and do you think Arianna might very well agree?
A: While I certainly hope we can ask Arianna herself about how the Huffington Post is adapting to the increasingly mobile world we live in, I know that we at BlogHer have found it a business imperative. Many many of the bloggers in our network now derive more than half their traffic from mobile visitors. That shift is real, and it's continuing. That affects how you design, how you create, how you monetize.
Q: Talk about the measurement and metrics of content. Has it gone from "nice to have" to "must have"? And what do you expect we'll hear about it from your speakers?
A: BlogHer is not the only company that has been at this for nearly ten years. And that means we all have years now, YEARS, of historical data. We can and do draw predictive insights from our historical data, and we tell our customers what they can expect from campaigns with us. We think anyone in this space should be able to do the same.
It's past time for us all to stop saying this is some kind of Wild West that is completely unpredictable. And this is trickling down to individual publishers too. If you're monetizing your site, then you have *customers*. And while, yes, they care about your reach...and growing your reach is a great goal...they care more about your results.
How are you sharing with your audience?
How do you distribute your great content?
How much does your audience engage with you and your content?
Do they act on it?
These are the questions we all need to answer, from the individual publisher to the traditional media outlet.
Q: BlogHer was created in order to carve out a space for women bloggers. How has BlogHer impacted what is seen as a male dominated space in the past 10 years?
A: I don't think people actually ask "Where are the women bloggers?" anymore, do you? But what is even more important to us is that we have helped the women (and men!) in our network contribute to their household incomes in meaningful ways during this volatile economic time. We have paid $36MM to nearly 6,000 bloggers and influencers over the past five years. And we are very proud of that!
Q:From Arianna to Kerry Washington, what makes for an inspiring BlogHer conference speaker?
A: We look for folks who are, dare I say, thriving in this new global communications environment. People who are making their mark. People who are leveraging new communications tools to do so. And people who can speak articulately about how and why they engage the way that they do, online and of, with their constituencies.