September 9, 2015 3:52 pm
Every blogger dreams about monetizing their blog, so that they can blog full-time. We love helping bloggers and influencers monetize their social platforms. Webfluential can be just one of the multiple revenue streams that keeps a blog going.
But everyone has to start somewhere. It takes time and work to make your blog a success. So we thought we would inspire you with an inspirational story of a blog that made it big, after almost falling flat on it’s face.
The Chive: A Photoblog with an audience that cares
How many blogs are started because they want to become a multimillion dollar company. When John and Leo Resig started The Chive, they had no idea that they would be creating a company that would soon have 50 employees and a charity division created with the sole purpose of raising money for charitable causes.
The Chive employees are not your average employees
It all started by simply driving traffic
John was an actor (he had a recurring role in True Blood) and Leo was an office manager at a movie-poster design company. This is where Leo first discovered how profitable digital media could be: “The Travel Channel would spend like $2 million on digital ads,” he says. “I thought, Wow, there is a lot of money to be had here. How do we get it?”
theCHIVE founders Jon and Leo Resig
Their first blog was a Perez Hilton copy celebrity gossip site charmingly called “Derober”. Driving traffic to your blog can be tricky, but the Resig brother’s created a bunch of online pranks that would get them coverage on Fox News, E! Online and The Huffington Post. The prank was simple: Photoshopping of a receipt with Donald Trump’s signature and claim that he left the waiter a $10 000 tip.
The Donald Trump receipt prank earned Derober 15 million visitors, but because of their inexperience in digital media they had almost no advertising on the site and the prank only earned them $153. Viral pranks were not going to lead to a solid income so John and Leo set out to generate a constant stream of traffic to their site, against which they can sell ads. This is when their experimentation around driving traffic to their site began.
The first channel John would use to market their content was Digg, the link-voting platform that eventually led to the creation of Reddit. If your content could get enough votes and land a spot on the front page of Digg, you could potentially drive 120 million views a day. He studied Digg and started sharing content from Hollywood Reporter, IGN and other entertainment websites, rather than self-promoting Derober content. After sharing content for a month he would contact IGN and the other publications that he had been driving traffic to, asking them if they experienced a traffic spike over the last month. Once they confirmed the spike in website traffic, John would explain that he was responsible for the spike, and that he could continue doing it if they paid him. Pay him they did.
The Chive is born
Soon (Septermber 28th, 2008 to be exact) John and Leo abandoned Derober to start The Chive. The site’s success grew quickly because of Leo’s previous Digg connections. In no time TMZ, College Humor and Cracked were linking to The Chive content. The Resigs also started The Berry to cater more to their female audience, and The Brigade as a military themed offshoot. They hired other Resign family members to help them edit all the sites.
The Chive offices are not your average offices
Their initial success is also coincidentally the thing that almost killed The Chive. The Chive was getting tons of traffic to their themed photo posts, but this also meant that they were incurring a massive hosting bill, $16 000. They had an offer that would save the company and get them out of their debt, but it would also mean that they would have to offer up 51% of their company.
In a last ditch effort to keep The Chive afloat they printed 200 t-shirts at the local t-shirt store down the road from their cramped three bedroom office that was also their home. They put the t-shirts up for sale and thought they would sell in maybe a couple of months. The 200 initial t-shirts sold out within minutes. They printed another 200 t-shirts and these also sold out within minutes.
Not only does The Chive love beer, they also sell beer
Not only did this save The Chive, and keep the business 100% family owned, but it also created the strong connection between The Chive and it’s audience. The audience saved the company by buying the t-shirts. Thus the “Chivers”, as The Chive’s audience is affectionately known, unbeknownst to them also opened up a new revenue stream for The Chive. Merchandise now earns The Chive more than four times what they earn on advertising revenue. A substantial amount when you consider that The Chive makes more than $50 million annually.
This close bond with the “Chivers” has also lead to The Chive raising millions for various charitable causes. Not only is The Chive giving back to the community, they are making their audience part of the process.
The team behind Chive Charities
What can we learn from The Chive?
- Even when it feels like you are about to fail, you have to keep going. You never know when those 200 t-shirts might sell out. But if you give up, you will never know.
- You need more than just one revenue stream. Ad sponsored content to your revenue streams by signing up as a Webfluential influencer.
- If you are authentic with your audience, they will support you through thick and thin. They trust you and you should trust them, and keep nurturing that connection with great content and by listening to your audience.
- The influence an influencer has over it’s audience can not only be used for marketing purposes like advertising, but also to sell your own or a brand’s products.
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August 18, 2015 12:14 pm
What does the league, reach, relevance and resonance scores on your Webfluential Influencer Profile mean? It’s a question that it a lot of our influencers and marketers have asked.
It’s time we explain Influencer Scores in more detail
This post will be the first in a series of posts that explain the core elements of Webfluential’s Influencers scores: league, reach, relevance and resonance.
Understanding influence is both an art and a science. As we’re in the business of suggesting the right influencers for a particular brand and campaign objective, we had to look into the maths behind each influencer’s content. Not an easy task, and certainly not something we expect you to find incredibly interesting, but we want to share our thinking nonetheless.
What is league?
League is a score that ranges from 1 – 5. Influencers with higher reach when compared to other Webfluential influencers end up in higher leagues. Influencers with lower reach potential, but an ability to be highly engaging, are generally league 4 or 5. It’s important to remember that our scores are calculated based on data we compile from all the influencers on the Webfluential platform.
Is a higher or lower league score better?
If Lady Gaga was signed up to Webfluential as a Twitter influencer she would most likely be put into league 1 because she has the potential to reach a massive audience with her almost 50 million strong Twitter following. She doesn’t have the time (or perhaps inclination) to have engaging conversations with each of her little Monsters. But an influencer in League 4 or 5 probably is interested in the conversation, and does more than raise awareness, but can actually influence an engagement or conversion to a sale.
Will I get more jobs for having a specific league score?
No. Each campaign has it’s own specific objectives and marketers will look for influencers that will help them reach those objectives.
Some campaigns are about generating traffic, so influencers that can best drive traffic will suit the campaign objective. Getting people to talk about a brand might be the objective for another campaign, then influencers that generate a lot of engagement will be included in the campaign. Typically the platform suggests a mix of influencers across all Leagues for a specific campaign.
What is the purpose of having a league score?
We want to find the right influencers to help marketers meet the objectives of their Influencer Marketing campaign and with our platform we make the process as easy as possible. League score helps us and marketers find the right influencers to meet the campaign goals. Just because you’re not in League 1 doesn’t mean you aren’t in the Premier League. What is of far more importance is your resonance and relevance, which we will discuss in two upcoming posts.
How to check your league position?
Log in to Webfluential by clicking here and looking at the scoring of your channels on the Dashboard. An important thing to check is that your channels are still authorised to link to Webfluential. Go to the “My Profile” section and click on the “Test Token” button (shown in the image below) for each of your channels.
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July 17, 2015 11:35 am
We are always looking for innovative ways to ensure you get opportunities for new work. Our team has created some great additions to how we share potential job offers and keep you up-to-date. Sit back, relax and let us do the work with marketers on your behalf.
We include our qualifying influencers on shortlists for briefs that we share with marketers daily. Now you will know when we do this.
We’ve launched a toolway to show you you’ve been shortlisted (hooray).
E-Mail notifications keeping you up-to-date
Earlier this week we launched our Influencer notification E-mail system. Now you will receive an E-mail notifying you every time we have included you on a shortlist that we have sent to to a marketer.
Such a simple solution, to address a few communication gaps.
These E-mails are not job offers. It’s just a way we can keep the communication with our influencers open. Now you can see that we are showing your Influencer Profile to marketers and we are constantly trying to find you jobs.
The marketers and the brands will then review the influencers we have included in our suggested shortlist, and pick the best influencers to work with. Once the marketer has signed off on the influencers they want to work with, we will send the job offer to the selected influencers.
It’s also because we have influencers’ best interests at heart
The notifications also serve as a way for you to protect your own interests. Now that you know you have been included on a shortlist that’s been sent to a marketer, you will be aware that the brand will be looking at your profile. If the same brand approaches you to do the job at a lower price (or for freebies) than the price you have set on your Webfluential profile, you will be able to make the informed decision.
We like helping Webfluential influencers be informed.
The better informed our influencers are, the more likely they will get paid the price they have chosen to charge for their work. Because nobody should work for less than they are worth.
The fee that we charge on campaigns is to cover the work involved with pitching our influencers to brands. The fee is also because we take the payment risk, we fill out vendor documents, we manage VAT and other taxes and we also follow up on payments. What’s in your best interest is also in our best interest.
It’s a slap in the face if a brand goes directly to you after we have done so much work to get you the job.
That way you know that we are actively trying to get you jobs by showing you to marketers, and you can make sure that you get paid the price that you have decided to work for.
In some cases we might offer you a job at a price lower than the prices you have set as brands often request volume discounts. Then it is down to you to decide if you are willing to accept the job at the price offered. We want you to be in control of the jobs you accept.
Keeping the communication open
We built this system because we have your best interest as a Webfluential Influencer at heart. To show you we are working for you, and keep you informed as much as we can. We also realize that some influencers might not want to receive these notifications and we are working on a way for you to turn them off.
Remember to check out our post on why you might not be getting Webfluential jobs, to help iron out the small issues that might be keeping jobs out of your inbox.
What do you think?
We love hearing from our Influencers. Please leave any comments or questions below. Or you can tweet us at @webfluenti_al, or find us on Facebook.
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