I have been thinking about forming a business like Sway Group for over two years now, but had always hesitated. There were so many great reasons NOT to launch my own company. It is scary to leave a secure, high-level job as an executive. I loved the company where I worked (Edelman), I loved my co-workers. I was never quite sure the business would take off. But, then, something started to change within the industry.
Bloggers started talking (a LOT) about the fact that their revenue wasn't matching their influence and reach. Those who were talking about it weren't small potatoes either. These were highly influential media entities who had few options for revenue beyond advertising. And, except for a few notable exceptions, advertising is not making money for bloggers. I talked to one blogger who had just received a monthly ad revenue check for $67. Her page views were nearly 300,000 that month. $67 is not going to pay anyone's bills.
From an agency perspective, I was also seeing frustrations. It takes endless hours and enormous amounts of fee to research an effective blogger program. For each individual campaign, agency teams need to find bloggers, vet them, determine their social media footprint, craft a custom email, communicate with the blogger, monitor for the post and then write a wrap-up report. At the end of the day, it can be an enormously frustrating and time-consuming exercise.
Given the multitude of issues on both sides of the equation, it became increasingly clear to me that there was a dire need for a middle(wo)man. And with that, Sway Group was born.
I'm simplifying the agency/blogger relationship dramatically here, and hope to expand more on what we do and why we do it in the weeks to come, but I think the above gives a pretty good snapshot of the purpose of Sway Group. I'd love to hear your questions and comments, and I will be more than happy to address all of them in future posts.