Recently I got formally introduced to the largest group of women. Even though they have been getting together since 2005 to share their opinions, experiences, friendship, and support, they welcomed my newbie blog with open arms. You may be close with BlogHer, and at the very least, you have heard from this vast community of women bloggers in some aspect.
"BlogHer's mission is to create opportunities for women online influencers to pursue education, exposure, community, and economic empowerment," says Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and COO of the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women in social media. "Not every member of our community is interested in each of those four things, but you can take what you like and leave the rest."
At first, BlogHer started out as community in the form of a conference to bring together the women who blog. It featured all the same topics as any other blogging or tech conference, but where all the speakers and experts happened to be women (and men who blog on topics that appeal to women).
"The feedback was so passionate about meeting in person that we knew we would continue to do events," Camahort Page says. "Another major piece of feedback from the community was that they wanted to find one another every day, so launching BlogHer.com, our web community was next. And then there was the segment of our community who was looking for a business model. So, launching the network followed very quickly. And since then we still do all of those things, but of course the landscape has changed significantly."
Since founding BlogHer in 2005 with co-founders Lisa Stone, CEO, and Jory Des Jardins, it has gone far beyond the blog into every kind of social tool, from a variety of conferences to apps to help navigate them. "The strong, consistent force is the power of the community we've built, a community that now reaches 92 million people each month across all their channels," Camahort Page says.
BlogHer solves a big problem for its two types of customers:
1. It helps content creators and influencers monetize their reach and their work to the tune of $25 million dollars paid to 5,000 network members over the past four years.
2. It helps brands and organizations get their word out to an increasingly disaggregated audience across the web, fine tuning it so that the right message gets to the right audience aligned with authentic, quality content, and delivered with measurable, guaranteed results.
"We have become recognized as a platform for product launches and thought leadership, which allows us to feature speakers like Sheryl Sandberg, Martha Stewart, and even President Obama himself at our annual conference," says Camahort Page.
BlogHer is the women's media company women would build themselves, and a company that makes money with women, not off them. "This space is dynamic, some would say volatile, so there are definitely still miles to go before we sleep," Camahort Page says. "The transition to mobile, the maximization of all the data we have on hand, expanding our content creation, both in content type and in distribution channel...there's a lot on our plate. We envision growing, expanding in all directions, becoming a household name for knowing what women say, do, think, and want."
In the meantime, it's not like BlogHer isn't continuing to make newsworthy leaps and bounds. For instance, the company's CEO, Stone, will be attending the Most Powerful Woman Summit next week to represent Camahort Page and Des Jardins. "It's a tremendous honor and validation to be selected for such an exclusive list," says Camahort Page. "We're in good company, not only this year, but looking at the long history of the women honored by the Most Powerful Women initiative."
Also, word in the blogosphere is that BlogHer is getting exclusive representation by Canadian premium digital media company, Crucial Interactive, which specializes in helping brands focus on engaging consumers online.
Social Startups is a weekly Social Media Today column written by Shay Moser about the newest and most innovative social companies. Look for the next installment next Wednesday morning. Logos by Jesse Wells.