Blogging 101 with Mediavine, Be Creative Co. and The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Blogging 101 with Mediavine, Be Creative Co. and The Elizabeth Dole Foundation


LIZ: Thank you, Fellows,
for joining us today. I appreciate this, especially
so close to the holidays. I know it can be
tough timing, but I think this is really good
timing, especially coming off of the DC trip. It’s always good to
see your faces again. But coming off the DC trip
and going into holidays with learning how to blog– Betsy came to me
with this idea, and I think it’s a great idea
and opportunity for her to share with you. We also have a guest with
us today, Amber Bracegirdle. I’ll go ahead and
introduce Betsy first for those of you who may not
be familiar with who she is. Betsy Eves is the founder of
Be Creative Consulting, LLC, an online marketing and
publication consulting firm based out of Washington, DC. She has been blogging
about desserts, travel, and military life for 10
years at The JavaCup Blog where she has successfully
grown from a hobby blog to a globally recognized
publisher and influencer. Betsy works full time as the
Wounded Hero Caregiver Program Director at Operation
Gratitude and is a Dole Fellow. And she’s a Dole Fellow
for DC, I should add. She lives in Northern Virginia
with her husband, two kids, and their brand-new
corgi puppy, which you have to show us that
puppy before this is over. BETSY EVES: Don’t worry, I will. LIZ: And then joining us
today is the wonderful Amber Bracegirdle who is the
co-founder of Mediavine, Managing Editor for
foodfanatic.com, co-host to the podcast
Theory of Content, and author behind
bluebonnetbaker.com. Her primary focus is at
Mediavine, a full service and management
company that allows content creators to build
content for their websites while Mediavine fully manages
their advertising efforts. She loves Tex-Mex, baking, and
her British husband, two boys, as well where they
live in San Antonio. So thank you, Amber, and thank
you, Betsy, for doing this. I will make one note– this
is an interactive call. Usually I mute all of you. But this one, we want you
to just mute yourselves if you’re not going
to be involved. That’s fine. Just avoid any background noise. But definitely feel free to
unmute and chime in when needed needed. All right. Go ahead and take it away. BETSY EVES: Thanks for that
awesome introduction, Liz. LIZ: Absolutely. BETSY EVES: Yeah. So I have been–
like Liz said, I’ve been blogging for 10 years. And every time I go up to
the Hill, I’m always like, I have so many things I want
to share with the world. And this last time,
I was thinking, so are all these other Fellows. All the other Fellows are going
to have all these things inside of them they want
to share, and I want to take what I
know about blogging and share that with you. And then I thought,
what better way to do that then
bring in who’s taught me all the things I know
about blogging and bring Amber from Mediavine in? So Mediavine, on my website,
The Java Cupcake Blog– they manage all of my
ads that run on my blog. But more than that, Mediavine
has created a place for me as a blogger to become part of
a community that supports one another, as well
as Mediavine also educates me as a blogger in
what the latest trends are and what I can do to make my
blog as successful as possible. So that’s why Amber is here. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE:
Hi, everybody. It’s wonderful to be here. And that was so
nice to hear, Betsy. It’s like– that’s everything
that we want Mediavine to be for everybody that we work
with, and to know that that’s happening, is just– I’m like the Grinch. My heart just grew three sizes. So yeah. Just to introduce myself, I’ve
been a blogger for just as long as Betsy has. My own personal website
sort of took a back seat about five years ago. You’ll notice that,
if you ever visit it, it hasn’t been
updated in two years. But I still run foodfanatic.com,
which is Mediavine’s website. We actually own three
websites ourselves, The Hollywood Gossip,
which you may have visited. It’s the biggest Hollywood
gossip website on the web. We also have TV Fanatic
and then Food Fanatic, which I still run to this day. And then our biggest
efforts are actually in helping content
creators to turn their passions into
a business that can help support their families. And as someone who
is the grandchild of two different service vets– both my grandfathers were
in the military, one Army, one Air Force. Oh, boy. But they instilled a lot of care
for the armed services in me throughout my life. And so I’m just so excited
to be here to help you guys because I would love to see
you be able to start a blog and have it become
a business, and it’s a business that can go with
you wherever you’re stationed. And so you don’t have
to give up something that you’ve put a lot of effort
and heart into every time you get stationed somewhere
new, which, to me, is just a wonderful thing. BETSY EVES: That’s great, Amber. Thank you. So we’re going to jump right in. So I’m going to share
my screen with you guys. We’ve put together a
presentation for you. It’s not just going to be us
talking at you the whole time. There will be some
stuff we share with you, but it’s going to be
interactive like Liz said. All right. I’ve shared my screen. Can everybody see
it, Liz, Amber? Yes. OK, good. All right. So let’s jump right in. So we’ve done our introductions,
and there’s me and Amber. You can see here, those are
all the places we’re at. So you’ll get a copy of
this slide deck afterwards. So don’t worry about having
to write everything down right now because
you’ll get it later. OK. So this is where I want to
know a little bit about you. What kind of blogs do you
read, or what kind of logs do you think are out there? What types are they? So just tell me what
kind of blogs you’ve read or what you know about blogs. LIZ: Well, I tuned
in because I need to know more because I don’t
even know what blogs to read. So that’s why I want to– SUBJECT 1: I went
because I don’t really know much about it. LIZ: I know I was
asked to write a blog, and I got really nervous because
I didn’t know what that meant. BETSY EVES: OK. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: You know,
I’m going to chime in here and say I bet there are
plenty of people here that have read a blog
and don’t realize that they’re reading a blog. If you’ve ever read an
article on Scary Mommy, you’re reading a blog. If you’ve ever read
anything on Huffington Post, that started as a blog. SUBJECT 2: Oh. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. BETSY EVES: So have you ever
made a recipe off of Pinterest, like you’ve gone to Pinterest
and found a craft or DIY? That’s most likely
a blog, as well, that you have
found on Pinterest. LIZ: Oh, yeah. BETSY EVES: So blogs come
in all shapes and forms. So to kind of break it
down kind of simply, I’ve kind of put the
different kind of blogs into three different categories. There are personal
blogs, meaning that’s where somebody shares
just for themselves, almost like a diary. And it’s just, like it says,
to reach a broader audience and to fulfill a personal goal. And then there’s corporate
and business blogs. And this is where, for example,
Operation Gratitude where I work, I will write for
Operation Gratitude’s blog. So it’s with Operation
Gratitude’s audience in mind. So I’m writing about
who we’re helping through our organization, and
I’m thinking about the donors when I’m writing,
and I’m thinking about potential volunteers, or
I’m thinking about caregivers who want to receive boxes. So if you think about a
company like The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, they would be
blogging to share your stories or to share the mission
of the organization. So businesses– a blog is a
great opportunity for them to control what the narrative
of their brand and their story and reach out to the audience
in a more personal way. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. And I mean, I’ll
chime in and say Mediavine has a blog, as
well, that all of the four co-founders write for as
well as our employees, and we even sometimes
get in our customers in for guest blogging. But the ultimate
goal is to reach either potential customers
or customers who are already with us but may not be
doing things the way that would make
them the most money. That’s why we write
things for our blog, to sort of point to a
place where they can read at their own leisure information
that would help them get to a new level of income or
a new level of blog traffic or whatever the case may be. BETSY EVES: Finally,
the third type that I’ve written a list
out here is influencer or– that’s what kind of I do. So I am a food blogger. That’s what I’ve been
doing for 10 years. And mine started out as a hobby,
but it turned into a moneymaker for me. And part of that is utilizing
my audience as kind of I can influence them
through my blog or through my social media. So I partner with
brands to– they pay me for sponsored posts. And then I use my content
to influence my readers. You’ll see a lot of influencers
on Instagram, for example. There’s a lot of influencers. Kim Kardashian is an influencer. She is paid a lot of money to
share through her social media the different products
that she uses. But blogs are also an
influence on society. I do a lot of work with
baking and kitchen brands. So I’ve worked with the
kitchen brand O-X-O, or OXO some people
like to call it, and they’ll send me product,
and I’ll use it and then talk about it in my blog. The best influencers are
the ones that are authentic and their voice
comes across as being true and real and believable. So I’m not going to blog
about workout equipment just because some Bowflex wants
to give me one because that doesn’t fit my brand. So an influencer
is only successful when their audience can
believe and buy into what they are trying to sell. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: 100%. BETSY EVES: Yeah. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. So I mean, we work
with influencers across the lifestyle spectrum,
so anything from food bloggers, like Betsy, to finance. Personal finance is
a huge blogging niche that people wouldn’t realize. I personally did not realize
until I went to a finance blogger conference and there
were more than 2,000 attendees. There’s parenting and diet,
like someone mentioned in the chat, diet blogs. If you’ve ever read Skinnytaste
is quite a popular diet blog. She is an influencer. She is a blog. She’s a real human that
started her blog 10 years ago, 15 years ago,
something like that. Her name’s Gina. But a lot of people
don’t realize that Skinnytaste is
actually a human and not this massive website. Steph, to answer
your question, she says, “I’ve wanted
to start a caregiver life blog for a while. Is that personal? I’d love for it to become
an income stream, too.” And to answer this
question, I think really it depends on how you go into it. A lot of people start their
blogs as a personal blog. I personally did that. I wanted a way to
document the recipes I was making from my grandmother
when I was living overseas. And it eventually turned
into a moneymaker for me the same way that Betsy’s did. I’m sure that Betsy did
the exact same thing– went into it as a personal thing that
turned into an income stream. But this is exactly
what we’re here to talk to you about because
these days, knowing that you can turn this into
a business, go into it thinking of yourself
as a brand and a business from the start. It doesn’t mean
you’re not authentic. It doesn’t mean you’re
not telling a true story. But if you think about it as
a business from the start, you are absolutely going to
be able to monetize long term and still share your story. BETSY EVES: Yeah. So that goes directly into
our next point, Steph. So thank you so much
for asking that. One of our fellow Fellows
that does that really well is Patti Katter. A lot of us know Patti. She was at the convening
with us a few weeks ago. But Patti blogs. She’s been blogging
for 10 years. But she also has branded herself
kind of as this influencer. So you can see on
the screen share that I’ve just posted a
picture of her Instagram, and she has branded
her Instagram as being kind of not just
Patti’s personal page, but this is Patti’s
official public page of her. So she’s a really good
example of a Fellow who is doing this already. She’s thought of herself
in the big picture and is presenting herself
that way across her blog and her social media. And one thing that I
really want to point out is that my brand has evolved
and changed over the years. And my brand has never
just been one thing. So you don’t have to get
yourself into this niche that’s so narrow and stay there. You can make your
brand as encompassing as you want it to be. People are going to always find
something within you that they can connect and believe in. Well, Amanda
comments in the chat. She says, she’s one in
5.5 million caregivers, and she doesn’t think she’s
interesting enough to blog. But the thing is that
even though there are 5 and 1/2 million
caregivers, Amanda, your individual story is
one that’s unique and is one that people will find aspects of
it that they can resonate with. And so there are
people out there that aren’t capable or don’t
have the means or the ability to share their story on a blog. But Amanda, you can,
and what you share is going to reach
somebody else who needs to hear that at that moment. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. Ask Betsy how many food
bloggers there are. BETSY EVES: I don’t even know. There are so many food bloggers. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE:
I mean, it’s– BETSY EVES: I’m not sure. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE:
People talk all the time about food blogging
being oversaturated. And the truth is that
every person is unique, and every person has
the ability to get an audience in front of them
that wants to know their story. If there were only so much
traffic to go around or only so many audience
members to go around, Betsy and myself would
not have any views because there’d be people
like the Pioneer Woman who we think are
getting all of them, but one person can
visit 20 blogs. So it really–
don’t stop yourself from putting yourself out there. If you have something
to say, it’s not going to be an
overnight thing, but absolutely you have the
ability to find an audience. BETSY EVES: Yeah. Colleen asks if she
should approach the blog as a brand with a business
plan and tie the social media platforms together, and
I’d say, yes, absolutely. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. BETSY EVES: Think
of it as business. If you seriously
want to write and you want to share your
story, then absolutely think of it as a business. And that kind of leads
into this next point that I want to talk about
with you guys is, what is the importance of blogging? And we talk about the stories
that we have to share. And that’s kind of
where it all starts. You have these things inside
of you that you want to share, but you don’t really
know how or know why. Well, sharing those stories
will build a community, right? And if you’re building
a brand within that, sharing those stories will
allow you to become an authority within that industry. And that’s what’s great for
businesses and companies, as well. Like, Amber talked
about how Mediavine’s blog shares kind of an
educational component. Well, that makes
them an authority and a leader within
their industry because they share those things. And you can do that, as well,
within the caregiver community. Sharing your story makes you
an authority on the subject. It’s also a great way to build
your professional network. I’ve met so many diverse
people through blogging. There are online blogging
communities that I’m a part of, and I’ve met Amber
through blogging, and this would not have
happened without my blog. So you can build
not only a personal, but your professional network. And then, finally,
what I think is unique with our community
is that blogging will allow us to create
some kind of social change. And you can see with what the
foundation has done already just in these last few
years of being in existence. Think about if we all
started sharing our stories on blogs what kind of an impact
that would make even more. So there is a real
opportunity here for us as Dole Fellows to
share our stories and really kind of continue
on the Hidden Heroes movement and create more social change. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. One point that I wanted to make
on this, Betsy, is everybody knows Joanna Gaines, right? SUBJECT 3: Yeah. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE:
Started as a guest blogger on a DIY blogs
website– she guest blogged one time for an
established DIY blog. And the HGTV saw it
and approached her, and that’s how that
brand was built. Now, imagine that– SUBJECT 3: I’m
watching this thing– AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: –with
the social change aspect. To me, it’s so exciting. It just gives me chills,
the idea of you guys creating these websites that
get the stories out there that make people really understand
the things that you’re going through. It’s impossible that
that wouldn’t somehow affect social change
in the same way that Chip and Joanna
Gaines doing things to lift up the city of Waco
has changed the city of Waco. And I can say that as a
Texan who has been there both before and after. There are ways to affect
social change no matter how you’re going at it. And so, to me, it’s just
super, super exciting. BETSY EVES: One of the kind
of things that I always tell people when they
think about blogging is that blogging
allows you to control the narrative of the
brand and your story. So if you don’t want somebody
else telling your story, blogging is the opportunity
for you to do it for yourself. I love this for
companies, as well. I think a lot of
companies and businesses lose the opportunity
on their blogs because they’re not blogging
to control the narrative of their brand and their story. So for example, through
Operation Gratitude, I’m really trying hard to
use the blog to really tell the caregiver story. And so it gives me the chance to
let people know or tell people what I want them to know
about Operation Gratitude. And you can do that the same
for your brand, as well. What is the narrative that
you want people to know about you and your brand? So here are a few little stats
from TechClient and HubSpot that I just wanted to show
you about the importance of blogging. If you have a blog as
a part of your website, you are 434% more likely to
be ranked on search engines if you don’t have a blog. That’s huge, right? That’s huge. And 67% of blogs or websites
that have blogs create more leads than those that don’t. And a lead could be anything
from a potential donor to a potential partner to
sponsored partnerships, really anything
that would generate you more income revenue, or even
partnerships or collaborations. That would be considered a lead. So blogging has been proven
to be beneficial to brands and businesses. So when thinking about
blogging, you really want to think about who your
audience is going to be, and I kind of put
this list together based on who I thought
our audience would be as caregivers– obviously other caregivers,
family and friends, but then there’s other nonprofit
organizations. Perhaps there’s
an org that you’ve been wanting to work with. So maybe you write about
them in one of your posts and your experiences with them. Maybe you’re trying to get
your local government to make some changes in your community. Well, you can use your
blog to write about that and hopefully connect
with that audience of your local lawmakers– same with other
community partners. And then if you turn your
blog into a non-profit, then you can get potential
donors through your blog, as well. So you have to be
thinking about, they could be my audience. And finally, media–
blogs are a great way to share your narrative
easily across the internet, and a lot of media outlets
will read those stories and potentially do stories
about you in the media. So you want to be thinking
about who your audience is when you are thinking about
what you want to write about. All right. So great. So we want to blog, right? We’re all excited about it. We have an idea. But now what? Like, OK, great,
what do we do next? OK. So this is going to be a really
high-level overview of what to do next. So I’m going to be sharing
resources at the end with you for you to continue to do more
reading up on it yourself, and then I’ll be available
to help you later with more specific questions. So these are the
four basic steps for starting a blog
in 2018, almost 2019. The first step is to choose
and set up a blogging platform, domain, and hosting. So a domain is the URL,
the www dot whatever. So for mine, it’s
javacupcake.com. The hosting is the
company that houses the actual website itself. So for example, I use
GoDaddy for my hosting, but there are a lot
of other options. And then the platform
is what you use to actually create your blog. So I use WordPress. And I know that
Amber and I talked about there are a lot
of options out there, but going forward WordPress
is really what we recommend. It’s the best for site
speed and for mobile and kind of all of
the things that you want to be looking at when
you’re creating a website. It’s just really the top
one out there right now. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Something
like 25% of the internet is on WordPress. So it really is the
best blogging software that you can use. Out of the box, it is
the most SEO friendly, Search Engine
Optimization friendly, which means you don’t have to
spend as much time figuring out what SEO means or what
it means to create your website in a way that
means Google picks it up or Bing picks it up, which,
to me, is invaluable. If your goal is to get eyeballs
looking at your website, WordPress is really
where it’s at. BETSY EVES: The next thing is
to- once you’re on a WordPress, you have to design your website. And themes are kind
of the blanket term for kind of the template
that is used to build what your website looks like. So there are lots
and lots and lots of places that build
websites, or you can get a lot of free
themes on the internet. And like I said,
I have resources at the end where I’ve given
you a few of our favorites that can help you with that. There are free options
and paid options. But the big thing that I want
you to come away with it, when you are building out
the design and the theme and a look of your website,
you have to make sure that it is mobile
friendly, which means it can be seen
across everybody’s device. So not only does it
look good on a desktop, but it needs to look good on
phones and tablets, as well. And that’s what mobile friendly
or being responsive is called. And then, also, it
needs to be a fast page. It needs to be optimized
for site speed. So that means– have you
ever been to a web page and it takes six or
seven seconds to load, and you’re like, I’m
over it already, right? So you need to be looking
for a theme that is built to be fast from the get-go. And like Amber said,
also, a theme that is built to make sure that it’s
got all the things that you need built into it so that when
somebody searches for something related to you on Google,
that you come up in search. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. And I know, just based
on the questions, people are like,
oh no, technology. There are definitely companies
that will help you with this. It starts with your hosting. Don’t be scared
or think that you have to block yourself out
of this because you’re not technology minded. As someone that works with
4,000 different bloggers, I will tell you that
people who understand how their website works and what
actually happens under the hood are in the very minute minority. Maybe 1% of our
bloggers understand what actually happens on
their website underneath all the technology. So there are companies that you
can hire to help you with this. Don’t be scared of
that part of it. It’s really about
figuring out what the $100 job versus
the $10 job is. If understanding the technology
is the $10 job, hire it out. So don’t worry about that. BETSY EVES: I’m not in that
1% that understands at all. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I know. BETSY EVES: OK. So the next step is to– once
you’ve got your website set up– and this is not going
to be a quick process. It’s going to take some time for
you to do the first two steps, and that’s OK. So once you’ve got
your website set up, you want to establish a content
and publishing calendar. So what that means is– I like to think of things
at a year at a time, and I know that kind
of seems like a lot. But as a food blogger,
kind of my yearly themes come along with
the seasons, right? So if a year doesn’t
work for you, then don’t think of things
as a year at a time. But I really suggest
that you think about working a few months in
advance so you’re not saying, oh, I haven’t posted
anything this week, I have nothing to write about. But if you know you’ve got
a schedule where you’re going to post once a
month, or once a week, or you want to
post every day, you can work forward and
start planning your topics and start planning out when
that is going to happen for you. So then you don’t become so
overwhelmed and bogged down with trying to get things
published right away. And then, finally, we’ve
talked about search a lot, but it’s super important to have
a plan in place for how you’re going to get after you’ve
published your stuff out to the world and searchable. And this is one of
those things where I would recommend having
somebody help you with it if this is one of those things
where you’re super not– like, we’re tech challenged. No. Well, go to the
Mediavine blog, law, which I have linked
at the end and, there are tons of things
that you can read about and how to get your blog
coming up in searches. So there’s lots of
information on the web, and we’ll point you in the right
direction to where to start. But it’s really
important that you have some kind of
a know-how and plan if you want to make a
business out of this to make your blog
optimized for search. OK. So here are a few
of the resources. There’s a larger
list at the end. And I’m not going to go into
all of these in great detail. I do want to note that
I mentioned briefly that I’m in a few online groups,
and they’re mostly on Facebook. So there are blogging groups
for all kinds of bloggers that you can join on Facebook. And I know that there’s
military influencers, as well. There’s actually a military
influencer conference, which will be in
Washington, DC next year. So there’s already a community
of military bloggers set up. So just find them on
Facebook and the internet and get plugged into them. OK. So and that kind of
goes into Amber’s– what Mediavine does
is kind of make what you have work harder for you. And so by setting up a
foundation for your blog, you’re going to make what you
have do all the work for you and work harder for you. So if you start
with these things, it’s going to be a
lot easier than what I did was started
as a hobby blog and trying to
figure it out later. So really think about
these four steps when you get started
and really take the time to get them set in place. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. Really what you’re
hearing from both Betsy and myself here is if we
could go back and tell our 10 years younger selves
how to go about this, this is what we
would do differently is we would start with these
things, these core values in mind, so that as we go
to write about the things we’re passionate
about, this stuff is stuff we don’t even
have to think about. It’s a lot harder to
do that in reverse and try and apply these
things to a website that already exists and content
that already exists. BETSY EVES: So if
you think about me– I’ve been food blogging. I’ve got over 1,000
recipes on my blog. And I only started doing these
optimization things maybe four years ago, maybe. So even think about
hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of blog
posts that I’d already written that I
have to go back now and still working on going
back and optimizing them. If I would have started
from the beginning, it would have been
a little easier. So Betty asked, “How much does
all of this cost to set up?” And it really just– it
depends on the hosting plan that you’ve purchased, which
is where your website lives. That can be anywhere from $10
a month to 40 or $100 a month depending on how
big the plan is– AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Or what
they’re doing for you, as well. Like, for example,
on the last slide, one of the people that we
listed was Agathon for hosting, and I think their smallest
package is, like, $60 a month. But they do everything for you. So as you’re talking about,
well, I want to do this, but I don’t have a technical
brain, having what’s called managed hosting by a
company like Agathon that will literally do
everything for you, and you say to
them, I want this, and they say, OK, it’s done,
that peace of mind, to me, is worth that $60 a
month, whereas you can go to a company like Bluehost,
which is, like, $4 a month, but the minute there’s a
problem with your website, they’re like, oh, you have to
pay us $250 for us to fix it. So it really comes down to what
you want to do as you start. Do you want to have a
partner that you can rely on, or do you just want to kind
of get everything going and then move to something
once you start making money? All of that is possible. You don’t have to stick with
the host that you start with. You can also even start with– I think it’s wordpress.com
that’s free, isn’t it? Or is it wordpress.org? I can never remember
which is which. BETSY EVES: I think .org. I don’t remember either. OK. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: There are
two WordPresses, and one of them is free. BETSY EVES: Amber, I’m going to
move on because we still have a lot of stuff to get through. OK. And I want to– OK. So quickly I’m going to go
through my blogging workflow just to give you an idea
of what I do as a blogger. So I choose a topic. I write and take photos. I think about search, post
it out on the internet, and then I distribute it across
all my social media platforms. So for every blog
post I write, that’s kind of my workflow for it. OK. So we’re going to talk
about storytelling, and this is going to relate
into once you actually get into the writing of your blog. OK. And Colleen, I see your question
about intellectual property, and we’ll get to
it at the end, OK? OK. So some of the most successful
companies in the world have profound
stories behind them that instill a bigger
sense of purpose and meaning into what they do. So when you see
these logos, you’ll see Nike, Dove, and even The
Elizabeth Dole Foundation. When I see the
Dove logo, I always think of those
commercials of the women in their underwear of
all different sizes, and I have an emotional
connection to that. When I think of Nike, I
think of their commercials, the “Just do it” commercials,
the inspirational stories they tell of their athletes. And when I think
of the Foundation, I think of these videos that
they’re putting together of all the caregivers
that really tell their stories, right? So these companies are
doing a really good job of tugging on our
heartstrings and telling stories in a really good way. And that’s what I
want you guys to be able to do through your blogs. So you can– see
on this next slide, I just kind of lay out a little
bit more of what I’ve said. It’s a really great
way to take your brand and add an emotional
component to it that really will connect to your audience. And I know that our lives are
one great big story, right? And our lives–
we could probably have a different story
for something that’s happened almost every day
of our lives as a caregiver. And so to be able to
turn that into a blog post through a story
is really what’s going to be really key
to becoming successful as a blogger. OK. So this next slide, I
want you to just– this was a recent quote that Senator
Elizabeth and Bob Dole put out about President Bush. So just take a
moment to read it. And I know we’ve all
probably read it before. It’s a great quote. I love it. “Let us remember to see
the humanity in each other and take time to
understand–” OK. We love it. Great. So the next slide– I want to show you. See if you can see the
difference between this one and the next slide. So somebody tell
me, visually, what do you notice between the
first and second slide? COLLEEN: There’s an
emotional connection because of the photograph. BETSY EVES: Perfect, Colleen. Yeah, that’s exactly right. So I’ll go back to the
other side real quick. And you can see, it’s
a block of text, right? And it’s not easy
for our eyes to read. OK. And then I’ll go back. And now you can see that I’ve
broken up the text a little bit into easier chunks to be
able to read that included a visual component to it. So Colleen, you’re
exactly right. The visual component of the
Doles and President Bush elicits that emotional response. And that’s what we want to
do with our storytelling. Your blog is more than
just words on a screen. It’s a story in
which to be told. Steph says, “The second
slide visually draws you in and you want to read
the text, not skim it.” That’s perfect. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Mm. Absolutely. That makes me very happy. BETSY EVES: Yes, exactly. Amber, can you talk a little
bit about forgetting everything you learned in English class? AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. So guys, when a lot of us– I mean, I’m almost 40. I know that it’s hard
for me as a person that was taught how to
write in English class to write for the web. Writing for the web
is very different. On devices, Apple
Google, Facebook, they’ve all done studies to see how
people read on their devices. And the truth is that they
don’t read like books. They skim. They pull out what they can. And so if there’s a
giant wall of text, like what was on
that first slide, it’s very hard for your
brain to comprehend it, to actually read it in the order
that it’s written and to comp– Betsy and I were talking
about this yesterday when we were going
through the slides. It took me, like, five tries
to read that first slide and actually take
in what it said, whereas the second
slide I know what it says in about 30
seconds, the 30 seconds it took me to read it. And the reason for that is
that the text is broken up into digestible chunks. I can scan it and
still get the meaning behind the text out of it. That is how we read
on our devices. And if you’ve ever
been on a website where the text takes
up the entire space of your mobile phone
screen, I think you will– and I’m sorry if
you can hear my baby monitor. My two-year-old’s home today. If you’ve ever had text that
takes up the entire screen, you really kind of check out. You don’t comprehend what
that person has written. And so writing for
the web is really kind of taking everything that
your English teacher taught you about spacing and paragraphs
and tossing it out the window. On the web, your paragraphs
should be no longer than one to two sentences, which is
just– for a lot of people, it’s like, wait, what? But really, the best way
to go about doing this is when you’re writing something
for the web, read what you’re writing out loud to yourself. And every time that you stop to
pause and breathe, hit Return. That will get you into
a routine of breaking up what you’re writing in
ways that, visually, a web reader can take in. BETSY EVES: Yeah. I love that. Like I said, I’m working
with Operation Gratitude. They’ve been blogging pretty
old school for a long time, and I’m trying to get
them to break that habit. But if you go look at
my blog, for example, you’ll see just that,
that it’s a whole bunch of tiny, little sentences
with pictures in it. That goes to our next point. Like you saw with the block
of text from the Doles versus with the photo,
photos are an important part of your storytelling,
and they need to be included within
your blog post. So there is a picture of my
brand-new little baby puppy dog corgi. His name is Donut. But if I were talking
about my family and how I just got a new dog
and included that photo in it, it would give you an
emotional response versus not having that photo at all. So you want to think
about, when you’re writing, to include
photos as much as you can into your writing. And Amber, how many
pictures should we be including in our blog posts? AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Well,
this quote comes right from the Mediavine blog. This post was actually written
by my co-founder, Eric, who’s kind of like my
pesky little brother. And so we always say include
lots of photos and the joke is as many as you possibly can. But really what we mean–
as many as your content will justify. So if you’re talking about going
to an event with the Foundation and you got all of these
great photos of people doing different things
and you want to talk about them throughout
your post, you’ll easily find ways to insert
them into what you’re doing. And it actually almost
helps you tell the story. So for example, when Betsy or
I write a food blogging post, I used to actually do
the step-by-step photos, and that would help
me write the post because as I was inputting
the photos into the post, I could write about
what was in the photo. And that’s exactly
how you can write about what’s happening
in your own life and being a caregiver
and things like that. If you’re documenting
your life on Instagram or even just taking pictures
of your family as you go along, there are things
that you can pull in that will give you
that that engagement and that feeling that Donut
gives me because, golly, I want a puppy. And that’s the exact sort of
thing that you’re going for. The old joke is a picture
is worth 1,000 words, and the thing that I want from
you is, as your ad management partner, would be
I want the picture and I want the 1,000 words. So that’s what you’re
going for here. BETSY EVES: OK. So we’re going to do a very
quick, because we’re almost out of time, little exercise. OK. And this is just
to get you started. And this is going
to be super quick. So like I told you
guys before, you’re going to be thinking about
your potential audiences. OK. And what I want
you to do is just take one minute to brainstorm
as many potential topics as you can for your blog. Now, you don’t have to
write about caregiving. This can be whatever you
want your blog to be about. But just start brainstorming
and writing down as many as you possibly can
right now, and we’ll go for about a minute,
and then we’ll come back. OK. So now I want to
hear from you guys. I want to hear what
some of your ideas are. So if you’re
interested in sharing, you can either write
them in the group chat or take yourself off mute and
share one or two of your ideas. So who would like to go first? COLLEEN: Hey, Betsy. It’s me, Colleen. BETSY EVES: Hi. COLLEEN: I would like
to write about love as a force for change and
for military caregiving and social justice. SUBJECT 4: I can hardly hear it. COLLEEN: Can you hear me OK? BETSY EVES: I love that. COLLEEN: OK. And using literature to help
with our mental health– so what we read and
what we take in– and then, of course, cycling. There has to be
something with cycling because I love to cycle,
but then also using my love language. Like, I love to– one of the things that
I love to do is cook. So this kind of fits in really
well with Mediavine and Betsy– but how I use that as a form
of bringing our family together and sharing through trials,
tribulations, and resiliency. BETSY EVES: Great. Those are all great
places to start going. That’s really great. Those are all perfect. COLLEEN: Great. Thanks. BETSY EVES: Yeah. And I love how all of those
are kind of diverse topics, but they all fit under
the brand of Colleen. COLLEEN: Absolutely. BETSY EVES: Yeah. So that’s how you can
establish yourself as a brand. You can write about a
lot of different things. But it’s all coming from
your point of view, which makes it your brand and unique. COLLEEN: And can I just ask
one question before everyone starts to share? Because I was thinking
about naming my blog Colleen Inspired
just so I could do all of those different
things under that. OK. BETSY EVES: I love it. COLLEEN: Great. OK. BETSY EVES: So in
the chat room– oh, bye, Jessica. Thanks for joining. Have a good day at work. So in the chat room,
we’ve got Steph saying, “Maintaining the
marriage, romantic relationship when you’re a caregiver.” Awesome. Amanda says, “Mindset,
how to approach obstacles in a healthy manner.” Steph also says, “How to
deal with well-meaning people that aren’t really helping.” And Elizabeth says, “How
veterans are adopting and raising grandchildren.” I love that. These are all
really great topics that the first thing
that comes to my mind is there are other
people out there that will want to read this. So we as a community
have so much to share based on our
personal experiences that I’m looking
at this list going, I want to read every
single one of those because I’m going to take
something out of it that I can use towards my life. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. And I mean, honestly,
that last one– like, I actually have a
friend in my life who just adopted
their grandchildren, and they’re not military,
but they would read it. BETSY EVES: Yeah. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right? BETSY EVES: Absolutely. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Because
there’s some themes there that are going to
be consistent whether you are military or not. BETSY EVES: Yeah. I love this. I love it. OK. So the next thing, real
quick, is take the one topic that you are resonating
with the most with your list that you wrote,
and I just want you to spend the next minute
free writing on that topic. So what free writing
means is I want you to just write
whatever comes to mind, whether your bullet pointing
out other things that you want to include in it or you
actually just start from the top and you start writing
it in paragraph style. I don’t care what it is. So we’re going to spend
one minute on the one topic that resonates with
you and just free write as much as you possibly can. And let me set my timer. And go ahead and start. OK. So now I’m only going to ask–
because we’re running short on time. I just want one of you. So if one of you
would like to share what you wrote about briefly,
I’d love to hear it, anybody. Jennifer, I see you smiling. Do you want to share? JENNIFER: Sure, I’ll share. BETSY EVES: OK. JENNIFER: So the two
sentences I wrote down was finances is not a fun
topic between spouses, but it’s a much needed
topic of discussion to plan for the what-if or retirement. BETSY EVES: Yeah. That’s a great hook. It brought me in already. I wanted to learn more. And yeah, I love it. So when I start thinking about
writing, I do this a lot. Like, when I’m trying to think
about different– because I do recipes. I don’t really write
about caregiving. But I start by just doing
this– is I write down stuff I’m thinking
about, or feeling, or things that I want
to make, and then I do what we just did and kind
of write a little bit more about it. So just doing a free
writing will allow you to kind of just start getting
the thoughts and ideas out without kind of worrying about
the formality of what a blog post should be written
like or should look like. So great job, Jennifer. That was amazing. JENNIFER: Thank you. BETSY EVES: Amanda, I’ll
share what you wrote. Amanda wrote, “Veteran widows. The general public
is so angry when it comes to veteran widows. They don’t automatically
start getting a check. They do not have
everything taken care of. The funeral is not
always paid for. So quit acting
like veteran widows have it made and
they are lucky.” So yeah. I love that you were able
to get your emotions out in this free writing. And I’m glad that you
shared that, Amanda, because sometimes our
emotions, when we’re writing, can be really, really
heightened, right? So if we’re able to do
some free writing first, we can take those emotions
that we got out of paper and really kind of sink them
into something that would be really great for a blog post. So it’s OK to share
your emotions. But at the same
time, we don’t want to come off as, one,
you’re complaining, but we do want to come off
as sharing our point of view in a constructive way. So free writing will allow
you to get your emotions out and then format
them in a way that’s going to be really
great for your readers. Great, you guys. Angela, raise your hand. Did you have a question, Angela? ANGELA: The one
thing that I thought that I would blog about– and I’ll just say real quick–
was marriage and relationships as a caregiver after 50 because
there’s a lot of things that you have to deal with when
you’re on the other side of the– just as well as any age. But when you get to a
certain point in your life, there are other
obstacles and things that you have to deal with, I
guess, from a sexual education point of view. BETSY EVES: Yeah. I love that, Angela. I mean, we’ve got such
a diverse group here that I can see a dozen
different blogs coming from a dozen different angles,
all with information that’s going to help not just our
community, like Amber said, but a lot of us will pass over
to other communities, as well. OK. So here’s the burning
question that I know you’re probably
all asking yourselves– how do you make
money from blogging? Right? I mean, yeah,
Jennifer, I see you. Yep. You’re like, yeah, tell me how. I want to know. Right? So my blog didn’t
start off making money. OK. So my blog started
off as a hobby blog, and I added some
Google Ads to it in the beginning when I
didn’t know any better. And honestly, it was
making pennies, right? And it wasn’t worth my time. But that’s why Amber
is here because Amber– OK, Amanda, I’m going to– Amanda said, “I don’t
want it to cost anything.” Well, if you reach the point
where your blog makes you $100 a month, then the
blog will pay for itself. So that’s the best
thing about it. When I started, even just the
smallest amount of revenue that I could make, it would
end up paying for itself. So it might cost you
something in the beginning, but if you do it like
this, in the end, it’s going to pay for itself. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. It’s going to pay for
itself and then some. I mean, the important thing is
you can’t invest and take this seriously without treating
it like a business, and businesses have to
spend money to make money. And I mean, even the IRS
expects that a business will not be profitable in its
first or second year based on what my accountant
told me when I started Bluebonnet Baker. I claimed a loss for the
first couple of years, and that’s because I bought
myself a new computer, I bought myself a
camera, things that were deductible to
the business expenses. And hosting is deductible. I mean, all the things
that you spend money on, you actually get to claim
them against your business tax return. BETSY EVES: Amber’s
going to go straight into the three different
ways you can make money. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. So obviously I work for a
display ad management company. We do display advertising. Betsy has provided a
visual explanation of what those are so you can see them. We’ve seen them on every website
from CNN to JavaCupcake to– I mean, you name it,
it’s got ads on it. There’s very few websites
that don’t have ads on it these days. Display advertising is
a passive way for you to earn money for
views of your content. A lot of people
think that ads have to be clicked on to make money. That’s not the case anymore. So long as you have eyes on
your ad, you’ll get paid for it. So the nice thing
is that you don’t have to be convincing someone
to buy something in order to make money from ads. You want to go to the
next slide, Betsy? BETSY EVES: Sure. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: OK. The next is
influencer marketing. We talked about being
an influencer, right? Like, Kim Kardashian
is an influencer. You think she’s talking about
that weight loss supplement out of the goodness of her heart? I’ve got some news for you. She’s getting paid
behind the scenes, and she’s supposed to
disclose that per the FTC, and I think they’ve actually
gotten in trouble for that recently. There’s nothing
wrong with getting paid to endorse a product
that you know and love. We see people like Sandra
Lee from the Food Network endorses stuff. If you are using a product in
your daily life and you love it and that company
comes to you and says, we would like to pay
you to talk about this in a concerted way, that’s
what influencer marketing is. So you’re not
necessarily getting paid to convince
people to buy stuff in a
transaction-per-transaction way. You’re getting paid
to give that brand access to your loyal
audience through blog posts, your email list, or
through social media. BETSY EVES: You
can see that photo on the slide it is
actually from my blog. And that was with the
kitchen brand OXO, and I was already going
to be making cookies, and so I partnered with them,
and they sent me the supplies and paid me, and
then I organically was able to put them
into my blog post. But now somebody that
comes to my website and sees that they want
to make these cookies, they’re going to know
that I used the OXO products to make it. But it’s coming off in
an organic kind of way. And I already love their
products, so I’m not– I’m organically putting it into
the content that I’m sharing. But I can see that happening
in the caregiver community, as well. Just Austin in a Facebook
group asked about technology that we’re using as
caregivers, and I can see technology
companies– actually, I’ve been approached by some
app technology companies. You’re writing about things that
are helping you in your life and an app company
comes to you and says, hey, would you like
to try our app, you could potentially create
a partnership with them. If you’re using it in your
life as a caregiver, that could be something
where you say, hey, I’d love to try it
out, but maybe we can turn this into
a partnership where we create a sponsored
partnership together. They pay you, and then you talk
about it across your platforms. And then we would
kind of organically work some of those things
into your world as a blogger. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. And Steph asks, “Do
you go to that company and ask or do they come to you?” And it actually
happens both ways, or you even have a
company like mine that sort of sits in between
and goes to a company like OXO and says, hey, we
have 4,000 bloggers that you can work with. Would you like to do a
sponsored campaign with us? And we handle all
the heavy lifting of matching them with
the right bloggers, and getting the content made,
and all of these things, and basically becoming
an agent for you. And so you’re not
doing any extra work to have to reach out to those
brands and stuff like that. We’re doing that for you. We take a small percentage
of what they’re paying you. And there’s actually
tons of companies that will do this for you. So there’s lots of ways
that you can do it, or you can approach
them yourselves. It’s just sometimes
the back and forth of that can be very
time consuming. So it can be a lot
easier to just get a company to do it for you. BETSY EVES: And finally, Amber. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Finally,
you’ve got affiliate marketing. So a lot of people– you’ll see
people talking about a product that they use, and
there’s hyperlink on the name of the product,
and when you click on it, it goes over to
Amazon, or you’ll see hosting stuff
or blogging tools. Basically any time you’re
endorsing a product through a trackable link, what
happens is if the reader, then, makes a purchase, you
get a small percentage of that purchase back. Amazon is actually one
of the most popular. Target, actually, also has an
affiliate marketing program, those kinds of places. And so even if they don’t buy
the product that you link to, the little what’s called cookie
stays with the person for I think it’s 24 hours. And so if they make
a purchase from, say, Amazon in those 24 hours, you
get a commission on the sale. And so affiliate
marketing, again, there’s a little more work than,
say, display advertising because you’re trying
to convince someone to buy something. But if you’ve kind of got a flow
set up, it’s not a lot of work to add affiliate marketing
to how you make money. BETSY EVES: I’ve seen
it’s successfully done with bloggers through Amazon. You can create an Amazon store
and list it on your website. So again, if there are
products that you’re using as a caregiver, you can
create an Amazon storefront and you can list those things on
your blog or website, as well. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. And it basically
becomes a resource page because you’re talking
about how you’re organically using it in your daily life. And then you’ve
got a resource page for people who are
in the same boat as you to be able to
find those things. BETSY EVES: And you can see
the example on the slide is that I have a friend that
owns a cupcake liner company, and she makes cupcake
liners and sprinkles. And I exclusively use her
stuff because I love it. But because that’s the
only product I use, I like to share that
with other people. So on my sidebar on my website,
that’s the only affiliate link that I have on my website. So every time
somebody clicks on it or I mention it in
one of my blog posts, then I get a small
commission from what they purchase of cupcake liners. And basically it pays for
my cupcake liner habit. But some people do
their Amazon stores and make a lot of
money off of it. It becomes a significant
income source. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. You can absolutely make
thousands of dollars a month, depending on
the size of your audience and stuff like that. So one thing we wanted to
talk about is audience. So display advertisers
and companies that use influencer
marketing want to reach a specific kind of consumer. Even in display
advertising, they want to reach a specific
kind of consumer. Lifestyle websites,
a caregiver website would reach the exact
kind of consumer that they want to
reach, which is usually women in the 25 to 45
range or millennials. Those are the audiences that
advertisers pay the most money for. So writing to an
audience that you know and love because
you are one of them is the best way to actually
turn your blog into a business and get brands and
advertisers paying you for access to those people
through these various means that we talked about. So when should you monetize? So this is going to
sound really weird. I’m an ad person sitting
in front of you saying, don’t put ads on your
site until it’s worth it. You only get one chance at a
first impression, and ads– I’m going to sit here
and say it– ads suck. My company,
personally, we believe that we make them suck less. But no matter what
you do, ads are going to cause a small amount
of loss in user experience. So until those ads are worth
it, worth it to the audience you’re trying to build
into a loyal following, don’t put ads on your site. But in sort of
congruence with that, your blog is a business even
if you’re not turning a profit. Please don’t think of it as
anything other than that. Don’t talk yourself
down from the fact that it’s a business if
you’re not earning money yet. Someone asked earlier, what
are the possible payouts for a business like this? And I can tell
you, as someone who works with bloggers
that are at the very smallest of our
joining threshold to millions and
millions of page views, it can be anywhere from 500
to $2 and 1/2 million a month. Guys, I’m not kidding you. That’s how small or
how big it can get. And it really–
you just have to go into it thinking like a business
and treating it like a business and knowing that if you
put the effort and the love out there to be authentic
and find your audience that resonates with you,
then you can do this. You do not have to have an LLC
to have a profit-driven blog, but it does help just in terms
of liability and filing taxes and stuff like that. But it’s not required by
any means to have an LLC. BETSY EVES: Yeah. Jeff, that’s a great question. So a lot of us that are
thinking about blogging also may naturally be good
public figures, right? So we naturally may
want to share our story. So for me, I do have an LLC
under Be Creative Consulting. That’s because I
do a lot of things So if you’re thinking
of yourself as a brand, you don’t just have
to stay to blogging. If you’re thinking of
yourself as a brand, maybe you’re going
to write a book, or maybe you’re going
to do public speaking, or maybe you’re going
to teach workshops, or maybe you’re going to
do community organizing within your community, or maybe
you’re going to do lobbying. And so all of those things
can fall under your brand. So if you are thinking in
that larger picture of wanting to become your own brand,
then I would suggest looking into being an LLC. And that’s something else
that I can talk to you offline is really not
difficult to do at all. There’s a small fee depending
on which state you live in. But if you are
seriously considering turning you into a brand and
doing all of these things, then I would suggest
becoming a formal business. You’ll get an employee
identification number with the IRS, and it won’t be
done underneath your Social Security number anymore. You’ll have your own business. And as caregivers and military
spouses and family members, as, well you know how
often you move and travel. Life changes. But if you’re your
own brand, then you’ll be self-employed from
the minute you start it. So if you say today
that you’re starting this as your own
brand, then this is day one of your new business. So I can say I’ve been
in blogging for 10 years. But I’ve been in my LLC
business as a business owner for the last two
years when I started my LLC. When my LLC started, I was
doing small consulting things on the side for
$100 here or there, but I still considered
myself a business. I’m still an offshore
business person. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. BETSY EVES: Yeah. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely worth
talking to an accountant about as to what they feel
is the easiest and most straightforward way. And you will
encounter accountants that have no idea what a blog
is or how you could possibly make money at it. And so ask around. Betsy may have some
recommendations. I know when I first
went to my accountant when I was living in New Jersey
and said, I have this LLC, and I have a website, and
he goes, you have a website. How do you make money from that? And I was making $1,000 a month
in various different aspects. I wasn’t just doing
advertising on my website. I was doing recipe
development for brands that lived on their websites. I was selling my photography,
all kinds of stuff. There are all sorts of avenues
that you can make money at this that don’t necessarily
have to do with the words that you’re putting on the page. So it’s just something to step
back and think about and think about the big picture. Are you good at taking pictures? Are you good at telling a story? Are you good at public speaking? Are you good at
teaching people stuff? I know one of the things
that I did in New Jersey– I actually taught
cooking classes. And I filed that
under my blog income because it directly
funneled into people getting to my website because they
were coming to my website to look for cooking classes. So there’s lots of
stuff that you can think about in terms of that. BETSY EVES: So that
pretty much wraps up. I’m sorry we ran over,
but it was really awful. I really wanted to get that free
write in blogging and that time for us to kind of talk
a little about what you’re thinking about, as well. But what we kind of
shared with you today is really, like I said, the
high-level overview of kind of blogging for starting
out blogging to, if you’ve already
got a blog, how you can make what you already
have work for you better. And I know we’ve answered
most of the question. I was just going to get to
that, Steph– thank you– to answer Colleen’s question
about intellectual property. Amber, do you want
to talk about that? AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yes. So a lot of people think that
because it’s on the internet it’s free. That is not the case. But I will say that the internet
works a little bit differently in terms of worrying about this. So if you, say, for
example, have a brand that wants to use your
intellectual property on their own website. So long as they’re giving
you credit and giving you a link back to your website,
that is actually equity that they are placing– an authority that they’re
placing on your website, and a lot of times it’s
worth it to do that. There are mechanisms
to get someone to pull down your intellectual
property that they’ve taken. But I will tell
you, as someone who has had a lot of
content taken, 98% of the time it’s not
worth your time to mess with it other than
asking them for a link back just because that
helps your website grow. We’ve actually had several
bloggers in our Facebook group that report going to
places on vacation and finding local
businesses that have used their photos
for menus and stuff. One went to Puerto
Rico on vacation, found a streetside
cart that she was like, wait, that’s my photo. Somebody else just
came back from Ireland, and a pub was using her
photos on their menu. When she called them
out on it, the owner said it was on the
internet, it’s free. And the thing is
it’s infuriating, but it’s not worth
your time to fight unless it’s something
like Kraft stole a photo of your melting cheese. Like, that’s not OK. That’s a company
that knows better. You can copyright words. It’s automatically
copyrighted, your photos, and your words are
automatically copyrighted. One thing that Betsy and I deal
with all the time– recipes are not able to be copyrighted. List of ingredients–
definitely not. Actual methods
are copyrightable. Photos are copyrightable. But if someone takes your recipe
and changes three ingredients and rewrites the recipe in their
own words, the actual method, there’s literally
nothing you can do. So this is one of those things
where the internet grew faster than the legislation
around it, and it’s not worth making yourself crazy. So if you’re starting this
out with that in mind, I would ask for you to maybe
take a step back and realize that it’s worth getting
your words out there and not worrying about
who’s going to take them. Especially in a
caregiver situation, I think it’s a lot harder. People are not going to take
that from you because obviously it’s pictures of your
family or it’s pictures of your experience at an event. I wouldn’t find people
taking that as much as like, say, Betsy and I run
into with recipe and craft blogs because there’s an
actual piece of collateral that they can take and use. And it could be their experience
or not their experience, but you wouldn’t
know the difference, whereas in a
caregiver blog, you’re going to know the difference. So that would be
my thought on that. BETSY EVES: Are there any other
questions that people have? No? I’m looking in the chat. Great. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE:
This is awesome. BETSY EVES: You guys all
asked really great questions. I just want to thank you for
all your great questions. And I hope that you guys
learned some stuff here. And find me on the internet,
and find Amber and Mediavine all across the internet. And you’ll see– I’ll send the
presentation to Liz, and she’ll make it
available to everybody. But in this presentation,
you’ll see on this slide, there’s links to
the Mediavine blog, and that will give you a
ton of information about how to make your blog
work better for you, everything from how to rank in
search to the kind of images and the words that– how to lay your posts out. All of that is laid out
in the Mediavine blog. And I will be here for
you to bounce ideas off of and to help you
through this process. And feel free to shoot
me messages on Facebook or send me an email, and
I’m here for you guys through this whole process. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Absolutely. And Colleen asked if it’s
OK to reach out to me. It absolutely is. My email is [email protected] Just know that I’m coming
back from a 10 days away, so I may not answer. I’m still digging my inbox out. I may not answer right away. But I will answer, I promise. LIZ: You both did
such a great job. Thank you so much for
sharing today with us. I know that there was
a lot of interest, and so I’ll take this and
share it on the Facebook group. Betsy, I’ll share
your slideshow. And so we’ll make sure
that everybody gets it. BETSY EVES: Thank you, Liz. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Awesome. LIZ: You did an awesome job. BETSY EVES: Fellows
for being here. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yay. LIZ: Absolutely. AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: All right. Thanks, everybody. LIZ: You’re welcome. And Betsy– it was Betsy’s idea. BETSY EVES: Good. LIZ: All right, guys. See you later. BETSY EVES: Bye, everybody.

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