I follow the hashtag #BWE10 on Twitter to keep my finger on the pulse of what people are saying about BlogWorld. Sadly, it seems like a number of people are making the decision not to come because they don’t have the money for it.
I understand that completely. I’m not someone with deep pockets, and a trip across the country isn’t cheap. It’s not a matter of whether or not a ticket to BlogWorld is worth the money. Although the upfront price may look expensive at first, you’re getting a ton of value for the cost of a ticket. I think you all realize that. The problem is, no matter how good of a deal something is, if you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money.
If you’d like to go to BlogWorld, even if you think you don’t have the cash, I’d like to help you brainstorm some ideas to pay for the trip. I recommend booking your BlogWorld hotel room right now. Go on, I’ll wait. Your card isn’t charged until October, and you can cancel for free before then if you honestly don’t have the money in the end. You don’t want to get stuck without a discounted room if you decide you can go at the last minute. Booking a hotel room, even though you can cancel if you change your mind, makes things see more official, so it’s a motivator to actually make money to go.
OK, let’s get into the meat of this post. How can you go about paying for this trip? Here are some fab tips – and not a single one involves taking off your clothing, joining a pyramid scheme, or
- Sign up on shareasale.com‘s* site to be a part of the BlogWorld affiliate program and start encouraging your friends and readers to attend BlogWorld. You’ll make $30+ for every person who attends through your affiliate link, and it’s something you can easily promote not only on your website, but also on your social networks.
- Contact companies directly to ask for sponsorship. I’ve seen some people tweeting about wanting a sponsor, but not having much luck. You have to man up and contact companies directly. Look for companies that aren’t attending BlogWorld and come up with a comprehensive sponsorship package. Maybe you’ll wear their t-shirt for one day in exchange for paying one night of the hotel room or maybe you’ll hand out their business cards with your own in exchange for buying the actual ticket. Give companies options to fit any budget. Don’t forget to approach local business that have an online presence.
- Sell some ad space on your blog specific for BlogWorld sponsorship. Again, this involves cold-calling companies directly, which can be uncomfortable, but is much more successful than simply posting a notice on your blog. Note that you expect more traffic than normal as you’re blogging about BlogWorld and again, have multiple price points for different budgets.
- Offer some blogging services to companies to help cover costs. For example, you could approach local businesses in your area and offer to set up free WordPress sites with their theme of choice for them for a set amount of money. Or, you could help a company optimize their site for search engine traffic. Or, you could help a company edit their stylesheet to customize a theme. Draw on your own skills. Note that you’re raising money to get to BlogWorld. People are more likely to jump on board if they’re part of a cause of some sort.
- Put a tip jar on your blog. I’ve never had a ton of success with these, but if you mention specifically that you’re trying to raise money to attend BlogWorld, some of your readers might donate. Make sure to add some affiliate links as well and note that they can also tip simply by buying a product they were going to purchase anyway, since you’ll get a cut of the money. Amazon is a great affiliate program for this, since they have so many items people buy anyway.
- Create an information product, like an ebook or video series, to sell on your blog. You can go all-out and do a huge project, but if you simply don’t have the time, create something small and sell it for $10 – $20. If just 100 people buy your $20 product, that’s $2000 to put toward your trip, which is almost enough to pay for it completely, depending on your travel costs.
- Find bloggers in your area and arrange a carpool. This isn’t really relevant if you are flying, not driving, but for bloggers who live within driving distance of Las Vegas, spliting the cost of gas/parking for a van or SUV between six or so people can really cut your costs.
I know, I know – a lot of you are looking at this list and thinking, “this doesn’t help, I’m doing these things already and still don’t have the money to go!” Don’t worry! I’m compiling a list of other ways you can cut costs in your daily life to save up money for this trip. This list was blogging-specific, but never fear. I am the Queen of Pinching Pennies, and I have some cool tricks to share with you.
Keep in mind that all of the tips in this post (and my next post) can be used not just for BlogWorld, but for any trip you want to take, even a vacation.
*Disclosure: That’s an affiliate link.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. As the Queen of Pinching Pennies, she thinks she needs a crown and a cape. Or at least a tiara.