sponsorship on final fashion
So you may have noticed my fancy new second sidebar on the far right, constructed with geeky help from geekigirl. This is a place for me to try some new things out. Since January, I have been putting a lot more effort into the blog. It has been bringing me a lot of new energy and traffic and opportunities – a lot of work but totally worth it.
More recently, I surveyed all of you for your thoughts on the blog – you can still take the survey if you feel like contributing your opinions and ideas. I have been trying to come up with a way for the blog to support itself more directly – and more consistently – than indirectly supporting my business as a fashion illustrator.
From Google Analytics, I know that there are many of you as far as I am concerned – there is usually about 400 unique visitors daily – but as far as advertisers are concerned, those numbers are insignificant. Final Fashion is just a tiny slice of a giant fashion blog demographic – and from an advertising point of view, not particularly useful. You are all too smart to click on advertising, and for the most part you are not consumers; you are creators.
The survey results confirmed it – Final Fashion readers are amazing. Many of you work in the fashion industry or the media, have your own businesses, are going to school, or have your own fashion blogs, and you are all characterized by a sense of curiousity and creativity – and influence. All of you are the greatest reason for me to put my best efforts into the site.
I have discovered that when I do put energy into the site, it comes back to me in surprising ways. The fact that I can make a living doing what I love is a credit to all of the good people I have met through this site. You are all an incredibly supportive community and deserve better than Adsense. So now that I am trying to come up with a way to use that second sidebar, I’ve decided to try something different.
Sponsorship. This word implies a lot more than just advertising. Here’s the deal:
- Developing Final Fashion has helped me build a network and a small business, and I feel that this energy can also benefit other, like-minded businesses in the same way.
- Many of my readers are also entrepreneurs who are looking for inexpensive ways to promote what they are doing to the people who matter, and many of them don’t have the time to develop a blog to this level of engagement. Final Fashion needs a sponsorship program that is flexible enough for bootstrapping entrepreneurs like myself to get in on it.
- Sponsorship will also be tied in with what I do – all of the sponsor badges will be custom-illustrated by myself. That’s right – if you’re into being a sponsor, you’ll get your own custom illustration to use online for a very reasonable rate.
- I want to know my sponsors personally – I would like them to be a part of my working life and be a part of the blog. Sponsors will be selected as carefully as I select my clients. That sponsorship is going to affect blog content is a given – so I would like to take it further and really open up the blog to those who are willing to invest in it. Sponsors will get one post a month, in the same spirit as all of my posts – candid, personal and direct. Up front, sponsors will also get some preferential treatment when it comes to referrals and posts – quid pro quo. Sponsors will also be expected to put some of their own effort and ideas into the site to get the most out of the program.
- When explaining what I am trying to do with sponsorship on Final Fashion, I want people to think of it more like PR than advertising – just more direct, more authentic… and cheaper.
Any time you try something for the first time, it is a risk. This whole sponsorship deal might work out the way I envision it, or it may turn into something different. I feel incredibly lucky that Fashion Crimes has agreed to be a test case for sponsorship. They are a Queen Street West institution full of pretty dresses, a great client – and gutsy enough to take a risk on an untested idea here. My main contact there, manager Crystal Rickard, has agreed to let me take the lid off of the inaugural sponsorship so everyone can get a chance to see what it is and how it works out.
If you have any questions or suggestions for the sponsorship program, please drop me a comment here. If you want to see the sponsorship rate card and ask questions about how it works, please email me here.