In which I get out of my comfort zone, try my hand at running a blogger campaign, and I discover that I like it.
Last year, I wrote a book. In this book, I emphatically stated that I am a freelance writer. I write, and do very little else.
Of course, no sooner did I publish that philosophy than I began receiving inquiries into some of the other things I might be willing to do. Apparently, no one read my book, because I kept getting requests to do things that were outside the realm of writing.
I turned down a lot of work.
Over the summer I was involved into an interesting conversation that revolved around the changing nature of freelancing. At first I was defensive about my position — and what really was a sacred cow to me. After some thought, though, I decided that I might need to make a few changes after all.
It would be nice to be able to just sit here and write all day, but that’s not the way of the Internet, and it’s not the way things are going in the future.
So, when I was offered the opportunity to run a small blogger campaign, I decided to stop saying no.
Running a Blogger Campaign
In September, I organized and ran a blogger campaign with State Farm. It was more fun than I thought it would be. I recruited bloggers, and verified that they had blogged about the appropriate topic, as well as fulfilled the promotion part of the campaign. I helped identify a hashtag to use for the Twitter portion, and I am also in charge of making sure each of bloggers get paid.
Running a blogger campaign requires organization skills, and you have to factor in what you are going to pay the bloggers, as well as what makes sense for you to be paid for your time and effort. One of the things to remember as you set up these campaigns is that if you miscalculate, you might not have as much left for you. I ended up under-promising and over-delivering, and I didn’t ask for quite enough to make I what I wanted to get out of it. But I know better for next time, and I really can’t complain because it was still a good gig.
Another issue I ran into was the fact that I didn’t consider that the check from State Farm would be too big for me to deposit using mobile check deposit. (I wrote about it on Planting Money Seeds.) Long story short, I had to open a business account and deposit the check. And that was fun because my business is a Utah business, not a Pennsylvania business, and then there was this ridiculously long hold on the funds.
I’m working on getting the bloggers paid as quickly as possible, though, and this is something that I hope will move smoother if I run another blogger campaign, especially since I won’t have the issue with the funds on hold.
I did rather enjoy doing it, though. It was fun to connect with other bloggers in this way, and because I could choose (to a certain extent; State Farm had some specific bloggers in mind) who I worked with, I knew that everyone would do what they were supposed to do. One of my biggest fears when it comes to managing people (and one of the reasons I am reluctant to scale up by adding more writers) is that I don’t want to mess with making sure they are on top of things.
With a blogger campaign, I just work with people I know will do their thing, and I know I don’t have to permanently manage them. Actually, I don’t really have to manage them at all; just verify and document that the terms were fulfilled. This appeals to me.
I had a good experience, and it’s something I’d be open to doing again.
What do you think? What are some of the ways you’ve considered expanding your freelance business?