What is a Wedding Blogger?
What is a wedding blogger? I am used to hearing this question from people outside of the wedding industry. It always surprises me a little when professionals within the wedding industry ask me this. A few weeks ago I was introduced to a wedding vendor (by another vendor) and got the question, “So what exactly do you do?” There is a lot that goes into answering this question, so I thought why not answer it here? I’m going to discuss an overall view of the business side, the importance of wedding blogs, and how to find a wedding blog that fits for you. There are tons of varying definitions out there, but this is from my perspective. This post is for the brides, future wedding bloggers, and of course the wedding professionals.
"A wedding blogger is a person who is inspired by all the amazing things about weddings, and wants to share that inspiration with others." - JLM Creative Photography
Defining the Wedding Blogger
Wedding blogs started around the year 2006 and 2007 (from what I could find). While it wasn’t that long ago, it is still long enough to have a significant online presence and something anyone dealing with weddings should be aware of. Did you know that 78%, or 1.63 million couples use the internet to plan their wedding with wedding websites as the second most used source at 76% (The Wedding Report)? Yup, that’s right. The majority of brides are researching their vendors and wedding ideas online before they ever pick up a phone or send an email. And why wouldn’t it be this way? I don’t think a single day passes where I don’t see a young child playing games on their parent’s iphone or ipad. The society we live in has become so technologically and internet dominant that the new brides coming into the scene are more tech savvy than the ones before them.
So how do wedding bloggers fit into all of this? Many of you are very familiar with print media. A client pays a magazine to run a print ad about their business. Wedding blogs are viewed as online printing publications. Depending on the focus of the blog, many times it can reach far more readers and eyes than magazines do. A wedding blogger provides a blog/website for brides to help them plan their wedding. No matter what stage of the planning process the bride is in, she can find useful information. From advice columns, giveaways, DIY tutorials, preferred vendors, online shops, inspiration, honeymoon ideas, and money-saving tips. There is something for everyone.
"I believe that a a wedding blogger is a person who shares information and images in order to give current brides inspiration for their wedding day, but with that said, a lot of people could be wedding bloggers. But I believe that the best wedding bloggers are people who have had a wedding and have some personal insight into the wedding industry (and additionally have excellent taste) because you want the person to be giving you wedding inspiration to have that personal insight and experience from their own wedding." - Matt and Jentry: Photographers
As with any business there are daily, monthly, and yearly tasks. From the outside a lot of people perceive a blogger as someone who just sits behind the computer screen regurgitating a simple post a day with little else to do. But let’s be honest, unless you yourself are doing the job at hand, no one has any idea of all the tasks that go into any profession. Tasks may vary from blogger to blogger, but here is a brief synopsis of the tasks I do:
Content – Create content for 5 blog posts a day for an entire year. That is a total of 260 unique blogs posts I have to come up with each year to keep readers engaged. Blogging is a hard job and takes a lot of focus and commitment to keep it consistent. There are many bloggers that post 7 days a week and often 2 posts or more a day. I find these wedding bloggers to possess super human qualities.
Submissions - I review submissions from wedding vendors and either accept or decline them depending on if they are a fit for my readers. Once accepted there is culling, resizing, drafting up, contacting brides for testimonials, linking to all vendors involved, tracking down vendor links, and publishing.
Networking – A good chunk of my time is spent networking at local wedding events and through social media. It is my responsibility to make sure I am on top of the latest wedding trends, connecting with brides, connecting with vendors, networking with other bloggers, and connecting with potential clients.
Social Media – It is my job to market my blog to gain more viewership and readers for our clients. Social media consists of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Google+, and many more. It's also a way to connect with other bloggers and industry professionals that fit your brand/readership.
Accounting – This is the not so fun part of the job. Keeping my books up to date is a long and tedious process that most business owners can sympathize with.
Emails – I answer a lot of emails. I can receive anywhere from 20-100 emails a day. Emails are a very important part of the business, because it is how people connect with you. It's also where I receive advertising inquiries and blog submissions.
Styled Shoots – I’ll admit, this is one of my favorites. Although it can be a lot of work, styled shoots are the best! I love bringing vendors together and creating fun ideas. It is a wonderful way to be creative, advertise for our vendors, and network.
"A wedding blogger is someone that is current with the trends of all weddings." - Jeramie Lu Photography
Is an online company as much as a brick and mortar company? Absolutely not! But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t a significant amount of cost involved. A brief overview of my taxes this past year gives some insight to the areas where money is spent each year: (educational classes, branding, website, marketing material, graphic design, office supplies, website hosting, domain name, networking groups, associations, SEO, styled shoots, blog software, and monthly subscriptions to traffic tracking and newsletter services). This doesn’t include the day-to-day costs of gas, lunch/coffee meetings, and of course the cost in time to keep everything running.
So how does a wedding blogger make money for all the cost and hopefully turn a little profit too? Since we all have a family and bills to pay, our main goal is to create an income for ourselves. Well, we charge a fee to advertise for vendors on our blogs. In return, our job is to advertise and market your company to the extensive social network we have taken the time to build. Not just the social network, but the network our readers trust. Our readers get to know us through our writing and look to us for advice. For this reason many of us are careful with what vendors we bring into our vendor guides. I’ve had numerous occasions where a bride has emailed me asking if I have worked with or heard of a vendor she is thinking of hiring. Sometimes there is something that she is unsure about, or sometimes she is looking for a good reference. My little piece of advice… even if you are not interested in advertising on a wedding blog, connecting with and showing a supportive attitude towards bloggers will ALWAYS benefit you in the end. What if you are the vendor a bride is asking about?
Finding the Right Blog(s) for You
Whether you are a bride planning your wedding or a vendor looking to network, finding the right blog for you is very important. Each wedding blogger has their own style and voice they bring to their blog. Wedding blogs can sometimes differ in the services they offer, the location they focus on, and their target audience. You want to find the blogs that match your style and taste. Maybe you are a budget conscious bride, a DIY bride, or an elite bride? There are blogs out there for you! Perhaps you are a vendor that wants to target a local audience, an international audience, or a type of bride? There are blogs out there for you! As a bride, finding the right blog is going to make your wedding planning process so much easier! As a vendor, finding the right blog to advertise and connect with is going to bring you the clients you desire.
"A wedding blogger is someone who compiles wedding inspiration & tips from various resources and creates wedding related content of their own for the benefit of the greater internet wedding audience." - Take the Cake Events
I hope this post brings into perspective a little bit more on what a wedding blogger is and how they contribute to the wedding industry. If you would like to add any feedback or have any questions, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below! Or take a look at some of my favorite wedding bloggers. Perhaps they are the right blog for you!
Every Last Detail / Le Magnifique / Fab You Bliss / Mountainside Bride / Glamour and Grace Weddings / Modernly Wed / Floridian Weddings / Bridal Musings / Burnett's Boards / The Budget Savvy Bride / Heart Loves Weddings / Bayside Bride / Style Unveiled / Uschi and Kay / Storyboard Wedding / Borrowed and Bleu / One Fab Day / Pretty Pear Bride / Rubies and Ribbon / Fly Away Bride
Would love to hear what some of your favorite wedding blogs are! Share them below in the comments!