*Two days after writing this post, BlogHer rolled out a completely new design. Sigh. Anyway, some of this is still relevant though the screenshots will be a bit off.*
It took me almost an entire year to figure out the BlogHer site. No offense to the lovely ladies who run it, but with so much going on, it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. I thought perhaps I needed a degree in BlogHer navigation. Despite the fact that I am a blog teacher/design by trade, I struggled to figure it all out.
For example, when I went to try and submit posts for syndication, the link was so difficult to find, I swore I’d write instructions so I wouldn’t forget.
Each time I found some new nugget on this enormous site, I wrote down how I got there- and then it dawned on me, for as helpful and awesome as BlogHer is, maybe an outsider’s perspective on navigating the site is exactly what is needed! A couple of my blogging friends asked about how to get around on the site, and so I’m going to blog my notes in case you too find yourself lost in the sea of BlogHer pages.
1. Let’s start simple. How do I find my profile?
I made the mistake of signing in the first time with my wordpress account. While it seemed the more flexible of the options, I would advise signing up with a straight name and email. Write everything down! When you land on the BlogHer website, the signin/join button is on the top right in a light blue box.
2. How do I update it?
Once you’ve logged in, the same box will now have the word profile. You can click on that and then you’ll see another menu (in grey). Click on the one that says edit my profile and then you can edit all your information, add a picture, add your websites and social media profiles.
3. Where the heck are the opportunities that BlogHer offers for influencing, ads, and syndication?
Good question! First you have to login. Once you’ve done that, you need to click the profile button. THEN (and only then) does a submenu appear. This submenu has a dashboard, a place to view your opportunities, your publishing ad network, etc. The options are grey in color and separated with lines. You want to go to the My Opportunities option.
4. So if I want to submit a blog post for syndication or featuring, where do I do it?
If you have a post already on your blog, here’s how you pitch it to blogHer. Click on MY OPPORTUNITIES after you’ve followed step 3. When you first get to this page, you’ll see information about becoming a social media influencer (more on that later). Scroll down until you see the heading that says Write for BlogHer. Click it!
You’ll come to a page that explains what they are looking for. A couple things to note: Blogher sometimes FEATURES your existing blog post by putting a teaser on the homepage. Other times, they pay you to SYNDICATE the post. This means that your blog post will be FULL TEXT on the Blogher site and you’ll receive compensation. This may or may not be an original piece.
So after you’ve read the guidelines, you are looking for a link that says “enter your pitch using our syndication form”. Click it!
4. If I have a blog, why would I use BlogHer’s blogging feature?
Once you have an account with blogher, you can opt to write blog posts right on their site! Sometimes blogher will feature your work, giving you a traffic boost to your profile. If you have a link to your blog in the piece, it’s also another way to showcase your work. But ultimately, blogher blogging is a way to grow with the BlogHer community, get to know people that are outside your regular audience, and maybe get some exposure. You don’t have to do it often, but it is a good idea to try it out!
To write a blog post, login, and then in that little blue box, you’ll see a link that says, “Create a blog post.” Simple as that!
5. What’s this Social Media Influencer Stuff?
Remember in step 4 when I had you scroll through to the bottom? All that stuff you scrolled through was part of the application process for Social Media Influencers. The concept is simple. You have an audience, and brands want to reach people. If you sign up, periodically you will receive emails that ask you to tweet or promote something 5 or 6 times over the course of a week. You’ll be compensated for your work and the company will specify what words they’d like you to mention. It’s an easy way to make a little extra money.
6. The BlogHer publishing network confuses me. Help!
I’ll keep this short and simple. You must have a blog on self-hosted WordPress and/or Blogger. You need to have a blog that fits the criteria in terms of content (most of us do unless you have a private password protected blog that’s less than 90 days old and you talk about adult content all day long).
If you meet the requirements, know that you will have to place a long and narrow ad on the side of your blog above the fold. This means that the ad has to be visible BEFORE people scroll. If you are on a gigantic high-res screen you might think “hey no problem!” but it needs to be above the fold on most screens and devices. If that’s not for you, don’t sign up.
If it is, you can fill out the form by going to your profile, and then clicking on My Opportunities. Scroll past the influencing part until you see the information about the Publishing network.
Fill out the application and then you’ll have to wait a while. There’s a long list of bloggers who want to be part of it.
7. If I get accepted, then what?
You’ll get an email asking you to fax some paperwork. Then you’ll get another email with instructions. Read them carefully. You’ll getcode to put in a text/html widget on your sidebar, and when you want to make changes, check revenue, or adjust what types of ads show, you’ll have to come to the Blogher site, login, click on your profile, and click on My BlogHer Publishing Network.
8. The landing page of BlogHer is so confusing. If I’m featured, where?
When you first land on the homepage, the slider at the top usually features posts that are on BlogHer in full. These bloggers either wrote an original BlogHer piece or they allowed their blog post to be syndicated.
The What’s New area has recent featured posts from several different categories. That changes throughout the day. These may be featured blog posts that a blogger submitted in the pitch form. If you click on these articles, you’ll see a teaser and then a link. These are not paid.
If the full post is on the BlogHer site, this means that it was a blogher blog post that got featured. Cool huh?
The Most Popular on Blogher sidebar area pulls posts with the most comments. So if you are featured, ask your friends to come over and leave a comment.
9. Is BlogHer an enormous company without a lot of help and support?
NO! I’ve found the BlogHer people to be extremely reliable, prompt, and easy to reach. I’ve needed them for password snafus, questions on advertising, plus stuff regarding BlogHer 13. If you have any issues, contact them. They work for us and do a damn good job of it.
WHEN IN DOUBT…
If you are looking for information about opportunities or your account, the best thing to do is to login, click on your profile, and then navigate the grey texted submenu that appears under the main blue bar. You’ll find mostly everything you need right there!