Monday, July 8, 2013

iBLOG9 Summit: Experts and Bloggers Unite

May 31, 2013
Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law

Attending the iBlog Summit is a whole new experience to me.  I do have a personal blogsite but I never really place a really serious touch to it except that I am more like using it to express my insights, and quite like my very own online diary. So therefore, coming to this event I am very excited knowing that I might meet people behind the blogs that I follow. I came here, exactly with a mindset that I need to build network, possibly get CVs of those who are interested to work for us (Writers and Sr. Graphic Artist) and basically get an insight on what are the profiles of the bloggers here in the Philippines.

I came in early, around 8:30am and this gave me the privilege of at least scouting people. I got my registration kit, food stub and raffle stub (which really got me excited, because I feel I will have a moment to win a prize). Upon entering the Malcolm Theater, there aren’t many people yet; few people who are rather seated a row apart which got me thinking that a lot came here alone. 

Around 9am, seats are occupied, groups of people came in. Probably these people know one another by their blog sites or have met in small blogging forums/meet ups.  The summit started with the introduction – each blogger/participant is given an opportunity to tell something about themselves, their blog site and what is the nature or subject of their blog sites (food, travel, beauty, tech, business and finance and etc.). 

The first speaker was late so we started with the second speaker – Ben Francia.

Ben Francia started blogging through business and content marketing. He basically helps small and medium businesses in terms of marketing needs. He is also a life coach and currently has his own consultancy with 7 staff. I was able to talk to Ben during the break, and came to know that we have a common friend who was a former colleague in an advertising company.  His topic is interesting in the sense that it focuses on the blogging as an effective content marketing tool for business and he highlights the efficacy of the blogging as follows:

1.       Communicates without selling
2.       Non Interruptions
3.       Provides Value
4.       Rewarded with Customer Loyalty and
5.       Trust

He also mentioned that a good content marketing should cover the following:

1.       Provide answers and solutions
2.       To be personal
3.       Tell your story
4.       Use videos
5.       Be remarkable

Understanding the Blogger’s Psyche is also a topic to note. Jonel Uy is the speaker for this topic. Jonel is about to launch bloggers circle website (focuses on digital marketing) wherein he will have a pool of bloggers to basically work for him in specific projects/PR needs.  Based on his talk, he summarized the key behaviors of bloggers:

1.       Bloggers are opinionated.
2.       Bloggers are critics.
3.       Bloggers are passionate.
4.       Bloggers are a varied lot.
5.       Bloggers are people too.

Generally, his talk is short but sweet and cited that bloggers do blog – because of a trending topic, paid marketing/PR sponsorship or lastly because it is their passion.

Third speaker was Jeoff Salas, a part time teacher and digital marketing consultant. His topic focuses more on how usually bloggers are tapped for marketing /PR Stuff, how much would you expect to pay bloggers for a project and also how the “blog posts” effectiveness are measured. In a nutshell, he discussed that typically bloggers are paid from the range of Php 5k and above per project.  However, the price is basically also dependent on several factors:

1. Statistics: based on viewership , these can be obtained through Social Baker, Google Analytics, Alexa Page Rank,
2.  Number of posts / followers / testimonials/ awards/citations that could justify credibility of the blogger.

Jonha Revesencio’s topic is well suited for PR/Specialists who may want to tap bloggers to write about startup companies, SMEs, etc.  She was able to point out quality keys in getting bloggers as influencers:

1.       Tap into their specific readership / specific demographics.
2.       Third Party Credibility
3.       There are countless ways you can work with them.

How to reach out to bloggers:
1.       Tailor your message
2.       Don’t copy paste
3.       Keep it short
4.       Be honest
5.       Be polite
6.       Be accurate

She also mentioned specific websites where to tap specific bloggers:
1.       PitchPigeon – specific to tech bloggers.
2.       Presspassme – directory of journalists
3.       Buzzstream-  link building and digital PR Tools

As the summit ends, the last speaker is Ms. Janette Toral – whom a lot of bloggers considers as “The mother of all bloggers” since she basically started the advocacy in uniting all bloggers, took initiative in setting up digital boot camps in order to educate bloggers or future bloggers.

Ms. Janette Toral is also the mind behind the E-commerce boot camp in the Philippines, founder of DigitalFilipino, manages blog network and also one of the key people in setting up a certification program in Ateneo De Manila - Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program.

The summit ends with a raffle and as I predicted – I really had a moment. I won a shirt but apart from winning the shirt, the valuable experience of being with topnotch bloggers – those who are experts in blogging industry of the Philippines. Gaining new friends, and expanding network.  I was able to speak with at least 3 speakers – Ben Francia, Joeff Salas and Joney Uy. 

The profiles of the bloggers who have attended the summit today are basically full time employees who do blogging on the side. Very few are full time bloggers and they are maintaining 2 to 3 blogs for their business.  Some of the bloggers are actually writers before who are converted to bloggers.

On the whole, iBlog summit is a very good experience for me not just for what my purpose really is in attending this summit but more of learning from the experts, gaining new friends and at the same the motivation to pursue blogging. Not only for my own personal use but also to share my own insights, for a better cause/purpose.

my iblog experience - memorabilias

see I was there - jotting down notes _ pony tail

credits to iblog 9 photo album c/o official fb page of iblog

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