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Friday, November 25, 2016

Blogmint Review- An easier way to monetize your social influence

Monetization has become an key aspect of blogging and other social media activities for most bloggers and influencers. Readers don't pay, so the bloggers or other influencers need to hunt for like minded brands who are interested in using the social media platform for their marketing campaigns and pay for the same. For small scale bloggers, connecting direct with major brands is difficult task. Even if one manages to establish contact with someone in the brand, reaching right decision maker, making a pitch and winning a deal and then following up to get payment is an effort intensive and time consuming task. Even for brands, identifying right set of influencers for an activity and getting things done is a complicated task, unless they have dedicated teams for the same. This is where agencies/platform like Blogmint add value, bridging the gap.

Most active Indian bloggers and influencers must be aware of Blogmint by now. If not do take a look. Blogmint is a platform where bloggers/influencers can work for brands and engage in mutually beneficial campaigns. Blogmint, which commenced operations about 2 years ago and at present claims to have close to 37k influencers and 900 brands under its umbrella, which is pretty impressive. I say pretty impressive, because I have seen several agencies taking birth, asking bloggers to sign up promising great campaigns and opportunities and never managing to win any decent clients. Brands look for large pool of influencers before offering a campaign while influencers want ready campaigns and money even before they sign up- it is a tricky chicken first or egg first situation for social media agencies to strike a balance and pull off successful deals. Blogmint has succeeded on this front and doing well, despite hard times in influencer marketing. (Start-ups are bleeding and economy is not doing that great- discretionary spending has come down and money spend on social media campaigns hasn’t been that good as it used to be an year or two ago – read more about this in my earlier post)

Blogmint has built a robust process and system for influencer-brand interaction. Bloggers, twitter influencers, vloggers etc can create a profile, update their social media details, list the categories they specialize in and even mention the amount they would charge for an activity.

When brands want to launch a campaign, they can shortlist a select set of influencers and invite them to participate in the campaign, or float an open campaign and let any interested blogger/influencer apply, along with their price quote. Essentially it is a balancing act between demand and supply. Quote too high and you will not get selected, quote too low and you might lose potential earnings. While brands always declare an amount they deem fit for the campaign (or the budget they  have allocated) influencers can try their luck quoting different amount. Usually there is always someone else willing to work for less, so the higher you quote, lesser will be your chances of winning, unless of course you have a significant popularity/traffic/follower-ship to justify the high numbers and brands see value in paying more to you than getting say 3 other influencers for one third the amount each.

Unlike other blogger communities in India- notably Indiblogger and Blogadda which focus considerably on blogger engagement and interaction along with a fair bit of commercial campaigns, Blogmint is a pure play commercial platform, focused on connecting brands and influencers by running social media campaigns and identifying right influencers for right campaigns.

Good things about Blog Mint
1. Standard process and transparency: Most of the activities are done on the platform with fair amount of transparency. You can see all open campaigns, you can apply or ignore as per your preference/what is relevant, you can quote a different amount than what is stated and you can see if you are selected or not.
2. Platform for all kinds of Influencers- not just blogger. If you have a strong twitter/FB or youtube presence and not much on blog, you can still sign up and make the most of twitter/FB/youtube focused campaigns.
3. Easy access to opportunities- Blogmint simplifies this process by working as coordinator between the brands and influencers. For this they take a 20% cut from the offered amount. You can focus on what you do best- blogging and let Blogmint take care of finding brands suitable for you and following up on payments.
4. Timely payments.
5. Continuous innovations- The platform is evolving over time based on the data, experience and feedbacks. Now influencers are categorized Gold/Silver etc for easy shortlisting.
6. Good support system: If you have any issues and concerns

On the other side, there is good amount of hand holding and review process involved.

My Personal Experience
I have been active on BlogMint since its early days. But I have not done too many campaigns- May be a dozen  or so in past 2 years, averaging once in 2 months partly because I was busy and didn't apply to most campaigns and partly because you may not get selected to every campaign you apply for. Most notable for me is the Honda Jazz launch at Buddh International Circuit. I'm not the most rated influencer there- have a score of 74 while top rated influencers have a score of 90+. on Blogmint. It is good to be active on Blogmint. Sometimes you just have to wait for right opportunity to come by.

Some tips while trying to monetize your content.
0. Complete your profile and link all accounts
For maximum reach, visibility and impact, do not leave anything incomplete.

1. Do not apply blindly to every campaign. 
If you apply for topics that are not even remotely close to your blog's theme, either brands won't be selecting you or your readers will get upset on being dumped unrelated commercial content on them.

2. Quote a price sensibly 
It should be high enough to be worth your time and efforts, at the same time it should be competitive enough for brands to see a value. Read this earlier post of mine, to assess how to arrive at a right number.

I have seen many twitter campaigns offering just Rs 10 per tweet which many would dismiss as too low but I guess there are people who feel it is a good deal. Pure Demand-Supply balance-There is always someone willing to do the same work cheaper. I don’t want to comment more. Sometimes when the objective is to trend, quantity matters more than quality- which I can say is a drawback of Social Media. But then there will be many high value campaigns as well, these will see stiff competition as everyone applies for them and getting selected depends on the rate you quoted and quality/reach of your blog.

3. Though readers/followers do not pay, you exist because of them. So do not mislead your readers in an attempt to please brands. 

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