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Hello there, dearest readers. Welcome to my personal hell… the question which has my mind spinning in circles all the time: as a UK wedding blog owner and wedding business owner (separately) I know the answer is Yes. Wedding blog advertising works.

Wedding photography by Rob and Sarah Gillespie

Photo credit: Rob and Sarah Gillespie. Click to see the full wedding feature

However…

Here it comes! Hot on the heels of that resounding ‘Yes’, comes the qualifier: sometimes. And if you get it right. And that’s infinitely harder to define and explain and share – much as I’d like to share the secrets of wedding blog advertising with suppliers on a daily basis, it simply ain’t that simple.

Wedding blog advertising works if you push it!

If you decide to advertise on a wedding blog, you can’t just send your ad and leave it at that. You have to make your blog advertising an active part of your wedding business promotion.

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Wedding suppliers – new and old (I know most of the ‘oldies’ so I hope you won’t be offended… hee!) I need your help! And I’m offering free advertising on English Wedding Blog.

Free advertising on English Wedding Blog

wedding blog photo by Natasha Thompson

Good morning folks and folkesses out there in wedding land, I hope you’re all well and sparkly and have your suncream on for later. What a fantastic week we’re having! I’ve been feeling inspired, not only by the sunshine but also by some of the wonderful people I have around me. One of whom (thanks Adam) mentioned something in an email about blogs, and advertising, which got me thinking about how blogs are growing and in some cases becoming very much like print wedding magazines.

I don’t think it’s cool to have too many advertisers or sponsors on a blog. I also don’t think it’s cool to run a blog as a business without real enthusiasm and passion behind it. What we do shouldn’t be all about money. Blogs’ initial appeal came from their independence, and from being able to promote and support independent wedding businesses and not just those who could afford advertising space. While most wedding blogs now earn money, there must be ways to continue that support for indie businesses, right?

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Hello! I have another video blog for wedding suppliers today: how (and why) to get featured on a wedding blog. Once again, ‘scuse the face – but I hope you find the advice really useful. Enjoy the movie – there’s a quick recap in words below the clip for you to cut out and keep as well.

getting your designs featured on wedding blogs from Claire Gould on Vimeo.

As a wedding stationer, jewellery or cake designer you might not have considered submitting your designs to be featured on wedding blogs. This short video explains the benefits of sponsored blog features, and looks at the differences between wedding blog advertising and the printed wedding magazines.

Getting featured on wedding blogs: why and how you can do it!

  1. Readership. Wedding blogs are big these days – far bigger than the magazines. Spend twenty minutes collecting as many media packs for blogs and wedding magazines as you can, and then compare the stats!
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I’m in a simple mood: no fancy words, just “what it says on the tin”.

I’ve reduced the price of sponsoring English Wedding, so any wedding business who’d like to get your ad on the sidebar over there —–>…

…as well as getting your own English Wedding Showcase page into the bargain, now’s the time to do it.

English Wedding Showcase

Because I had a birthday, because it’s May and I love May, because I’m happy and because I want the English Wedding Showcase to have a real buzz to it – I’ve slashed sponsorship rates by half.

Info is at www.English-Wedding-Showcase.com.

The offer lasts for all of this month.

As blog sponsorship goes, the Showcase here is pretty special – it needs YOU to help me give it a kick up the bum and get it moving.

Claire xxx

 

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I’ve just had an email from Brides Magazine about a special issue where they’ll be showcasing the very best in wedding stationery and calligraphy. They seemed very keen for me to advertise…

Wedding magazines are all about the money

Wedding magazines are all about the money: mine and yours.

It almost had me tempted – only it got my back up a little. The email – not exclusively to me of course, but to all the calligraphers they could find – had FAR TOO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS and A LOT OF BOLD in it. As persuasive techniques go, that one won’t work on me in a million years!

And the prices… I only wish there wasn’t a big disclaimer at the bottom of their email. Confidential; must not be disclosed etc. I’m not surprised. Until I saw that, I was annoyed enough to copy and paste the whole thing on this blog for brides and grooms to see! I really think you should know how much money is involved in the advertising pages of these mags.

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Your Manchester Wedding magazineThis naughty wedding blogger has a confession to make: I broke my own rule and took out a press ad for my wedding calligraphy business today. So – does anyone need a second-hand soapbox? I’ll have to stop blogging about how I never advertise in the wedding press!

However… the guys from Your Manchester Wedding magazine persuaded me. In November I’d spoken to Natasha from their advertising team. I’d told her – and she’d taken some very detailed notes which Conan* read back to me today – their mag was “very advertising heavy” and I’d asked a bag of awkward questions about circulation and distribution of the mag. We had a long chat and I remember taking copious notes at the time but I didn’t want to advertise.

Your Manchester Wedding MagazineSince that call though, I’ve had the mag in my orders folder and flicked through it regularly. It’s had my attention for a lot longer than any of the national wedding magazines have ever grabbed me – and if even I’m still reading a wedding mag four months later, it can’t be bad!

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This follows on from yesterday’s article about my wedding advertising test.

How to test your wedding business advert

Before committing to any advertising spend, think carefully about how best to advertise your wedding business. Read the advice about wedding market segments and targets first. Choose a medium that your potential customers will see, one they trust.

Where to place your wedding advert

Wedding magazines have media packs which you can ask to see, and should show you a circulation figure at the very least. Personally I always ask how many copies are sold and how many are given away (and are not read with the same enthusiasm!)

Ask about their readership demographics. Do certain months’ issues sell more copies than others? The more information a magazine can give you about their readers, the more they’ve thought about their advertisers’ needs – which is important.

Wedding advertising online

Whether you set up a Google AdWords campaign or pay for a banner advert with a popular wedding website, online advertising has the benefit of being flexible if you need it to be.

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Advertising in the wedding industry is very competitive, with the national and local press competing for your advertising spend like magpies in your swarovski collection.

Don’t be persuaded by phone calls from local glossy wedding magazines unless you’ve done your research. Don’t spend for advertising space in national wedding magazines unless you know it’s right for your business. And always test your adverts’ success: if they don’t work, try something else!

Today: how I tested ads for my own wedding business
Tomorrow: how to test your wedding business ad

I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by David from UK wedding planning & advice website Wedding Chaos after writing my article about the demise of the wedding directory back in the summer.

David suggested we tested advertising on the Wedding Chaos website – one of the top UK planning sites with 5 million page views a year and a forward-thinking advertising programme. He had a page – for Wedding Poems and Readings – which would fit my calligraphy business, and there was space there for an advertising slot or two.