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BlogWorld Exclusive: Interview with the Team Behind Business2Blogger

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One question on the minds of many bloggers just starting out is “How do I work with brands?“. They want to know how to contact them, what to ask for, how to work with them and a number of other questions enter their minds.

How can a blogger work with a brand? One of the easiest and possibly best ways when starting out, is by signing up with a business who connects bloggers and brands. I’ve worked with several of these types of businesess and I am excited to share one with you today.

It’s called Business2Blogger and the team behind it is phenomenal. They are fun, professional and know what they’re doing.

The other day they announced a new set-up for Business2Blogger called their “Job Board”. I contacted them to see if I could ask a few questions about their new job board, as well as what it’s been like working with bloggers and businesses, and they said “Sure!”.

The team consists of Jay CooneyShauna Callaghan and Holly Homer, who are not only close friends and live in the same Dallas, TX suburb, but are also business partners. You can find out more about them on their About page. Just hover over their pictures for a brief bio.

Julie: Give me a little background on why, when and how Business2Blogger was started.
Holly: I had been blogging for over a year and started to get some email requests from PR/businesses to write about them on my blog. My blog is a personal journal-type blog {yes, I write a mom blog} and so the majority of the offers were never anything I would normally write. If it was something I thought would fit on one of my friend’s blogs, I would pass it on. As I got more and more offers and I was sending them on to more and more people, I said, “Someone HAS to organize this!” and the idea for Business 2 Blogger was born. I was in an aisle at Target on the phone with Shauna when the domain name came to us and she went immediately and bought it. When we talked Jay into joining us, we hoped we were the people to do the organizing.

Julie: What are some of your goals when it comes to B2B? Goals for both businesses and bloggers.
Jay: We want Businesses to have the ability to find the right Bloggers to work with based on criteria that is important to them. And in the process, eliminate the need for Googling and cold-emailing Bloggers who may or may not even be a right fit for a certain Business. In addition, since many Businesses are new to social media promotion, we find ourselves routinely teaching Businesses how to work with Bloggers, and vice versa. Likewise for Bloggers, we want to create interesting and beneficial connections between Bloggers and Brands, and eliminate the frustrating process of courting companies to work with. Business 2 Blogger brings the two sides together effortlessly, saving time and money for both.

Julie: From the emails and blog posts I have read, you and the B2B team have quite the personalities. It seems like everyone has a lot of fun and loves what they do. Is that an important aspect when it comes to the success of B2B?
Shauna: “Quite the personalities” might be a bit of an understatement. We are a handful (especially Jay). I can say that because Jay & Holly are two of my closest friends. We have a ton of fun working together & trying to build an internet empire! We probably laugh more than we are productive most days, but some pretty amazing stuff seems to come out of the laughter.

Julie: B2B made an announcement about your new “Job Board”. Can you give me a little more information about this and why you are switching to this platform instead of sending emails to your bloggers?
Shauna: The job board provides a better platform for connecting business & blogger. We want this “matchmaking” process to be easy & affordable for businesses that are trying to find bloggers to work with. We will still be sending weekly emails to our list of 6500+ bloggers to notify them of our featured jobs & any news or updates! (So Jay’s email antics will not be going away)

Julie: Do you believe spreading the word through blogging is advertising dollars well spent for businesses? Have the businesses you worked with seen results? There’s the whole question of ROI when it comes to social media marketing.
Holly: I do think it is money well-spent…if it is well-spent. That is the problem. Because this is a new space and people are trying to figure out what works, there are some “experts” out there that are taking advantage of the ignorance. This does not have to be an expensive space. Much of it can be DIY! It doesn’t cost anything to tweet or start a FB page. There are hours and hours of social media education on YouTube for the taking. I can’t think of any other area of advertising where you can get so much exposure for FREE. We really had all this in mind when we built B2B. We wanted to be priced so using our services was a no-brainer and accessible to even the start-up businesses.

Julie: Some PR firms have complained about the difficulty in working with bloggers (they are demanding, don’t deliver on what they said they would, etc.). Has this been your experience or has it mostly been positive?
Jay: Our experience has been extremely positive with both sides. Although, we can see that for some, it only takes one frustrating experience with one Blogger (or Business) to leave a bad taste for social media in general. Holly, Shauna and I routinely say that we are matchmakers, and bringing a Blogger and a Brand together is much like starting a long-distance relationship. Both sides have to be realistic, and communicate their expectations and progress. Some will do it better than others, but overall we have found the vast majority of Bloggers and Businesses to be genuine, hard working, honest, and well-intended.

Julie: Are there any lessons you’ve learned along the way when it comes to running a business like B2B?
Jay: Oh, you bet. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to make sure you listen to your customers. We’ve tried to be as transparent as possible for the past two years, and we are the first people to admit when we’re coming up short. And each time we’ve listened to our customers, they have directed us in ways we didn’t know we should be headed. We learned very quickly to listen, and not be offended by criticism, and our customers have led us to a much more creative and productive place.

Julie: I know that some of the team are also bloggers themselves. Is that true for the entire B2B team?
Shauna: Yes, we are all either actively blogging or come from a blogging background. The 3 of us actually connected to through our blogs and surprisingly lived in the same small Dallas suburb. The phrase “it’s a small world” came to life in a big way. Our blogging “experience” is important because we have always have the Blogger’s best interest at heart & want to do right by both parties. It also helps us provide businesses with more insight into what Bloggers expect and want from them.

Julie: What advice would you give bloggers who are just starting out and are wanting to develop a successful blog?
Jay: Write honestly, and consistently. Respond to your commenters. I believe blogging to be about being yourself, and making connections with your readers. Write in your own voice, and from the heart. Holly is an extremely successful Blogger because her voice and her life come through loud and clear. Shauna has been successful in her blog design business because she makes a personal connection with her clients, and it shows in her writing and design. And me? Well, you’d have to ask both my followers what keeps them around. Most likely they can’t figure out how to delete me from their RSS feed. Whatever. They’re mine.

Holly: A “successful” blog has a different look to everyone. One of the things that can be very helpful is to sit down and figure out what YOUR successful blog looks like and then consciously work toward that goal with everything you write, tweet, and post to FB. When you thoughtfully work in this way, your voice becomes your brand and everything around your blog feels authentically you.

Julie: What advice would you give businesses when it comes to working with bloggers and social media in general?
Jay: Communicate. OVER-Communicate. Be very clear about what you are looking for, and when you need it accomplished. Have realistic expectations, and be open to what your Bloggers suggest. The majority of them live and breathe social media, and they are great sources of information regarding what will be most impactful within their circle of influence.

A special thank you to the Business2Blogger team for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure and visit their site Business2Blogger.com. Here is where you can find their businesses and/or blogs:

Jay Cooney
Shauna Callaghan
Holly Homer


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  • Koala Bear Writer

    I just discovered B2B recently – I actually went looking for them because I had two businesses approach me about advertising and I felt completely out of my league in responding to their requests. I was happy to find a business like B2B that would help me navigate with businesses so that we both get what we want out of the relationship. 🙂 Thanks for the interview – it was neat to learn more about the team behind B2B and what they’re doing with the website. 🙂

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