11 Dec 2014, Posted by admin in Packages, No Comments. Tagged 365 Cincinnati, 365 Cincy, Alana Frew, blogger, Bridgett Raffenberg, Cincinnati, Matt Evans, Pinterest, Things to do
A local blogger has found success writing about things to do every day of the year.
Story by Alana Frew and Matt Evans; photo provided
Bridgett Raffenberg was bored.
Over the years, the Springfield Township woman had been a teacher, an online marketing consultant and a stay-at-home mom. Now she and her husband were about to become empty nesters, and she was looking for a new challenge.
So, in April 2010, she started a blog that focuses on finding things to do. Thus, 365Cincinnati.com began.
The blog was meant to be a shared adventure with friends and family, but its popularity quickly grew beyond that circle. In the first few weeks, the number of likes on its Facebook page doubled every day.
At 45, in the midst of starting a new chapter in her life, Raffenberg found herself with a blog going viral.
Four years later, the blog’s success persists, and now 365Cincinnati.com attracts about 2,000 views a day. Raffenberg said it is one of the most pinned sites on Pinterest.
“I actually emailed Pinterest back because I had a hard time believing (it was so popular),” Raffenberg said.
Raffenberg got the idea for the blog from a webinar about social media. The webinar talked about posting things-to-do each day on a blog as a way to lure visitors to a real estate website.
The concept resonated with Raffenberg, who had a cooking blog for friends and family and had experience in online marketing.
Raffenberg believes the blog has done well because she stuck to her goal of actually doing something new each day.
Her mission is not to review every place that she visits, but to show off places where she had a good experience. If she goes somewhere and doesn’t like it, she doesn’t write about it. For her, it’s not necessary to be negative.
“I’m a suggester, not a reviewer,” said Raffenberg.
The blog is a full-time commitment for Raffenberg as she generally spends around 40 hours a week updating it and four social media sites.
“I did not intend for it to be a career,” Raffenberg said. “This was more just for fun, and I’m still trying to keep that feeling.”
365Cincinnati makes money off of advertising, and Raffenberg recently opened an online shop that she hopes will improve her revenues. The site has partnered with local Cincinnati businesses to sell merchandise ranging from clothes to home decor. The shop also has “experience” packages that offer local goods and gift certificates to tours and events.
Although she declined to reveal her income from the blog, Raffenberg said it’s not enough to live off of.
Salaries for bloggers are somewhat unclear. According to an article from Social Media Today, 14 percent of bloggers make a salary off of blogging, and the average annual earnings among those bloggers is $24,086. Some fashion bloggers make six figures, according to a Women’s Wear Daily report.
Raffenberg can no longer keep up with the pace of going somewhere new every single day, but she still aims to complete her original mission by going to as many new places as she can and telling people about them.
The blog has become a great way for Raffenberg, a self-proclaimed introvert, to make new connections with people and lots of new friends.
“My favorite things are the people I’ve met, people I never in a million years would have made contact with,” Raffenberg said.