BlogHer 2010 is in NYC, on August 6-7. As soon as it was announced, many bloggers started seeking sponsorship, since it can often be difficult to afford a trip with no sponsors. However, time is on your side, so start budgeting and planning now so you can make it to BlogHer, whether or not you have a sponsor!
Step 1: Know exactly what it will cost
The first step to saving money is to know exactly how much money you’ll need. So, spend a little time now creating your BlogHer 2010 budget. First, you’ll need tickets. If you buy them before the end of February 2010, you can save $100 – so definitely make that a goal. Keep in mind there is a small fee to purchase tickets.
Next, you’ll need a hotel room. The hotel rooms at the hotel cost $199 per night plus tax (a huge bargain in NYC!). Consider having a roommate, which will decrease the costs significantly. Even if you think it may be weird having a roommate – it’s really not! Believe it or not, I think having a roommate enhances the experience! You’ll want to reserve the hotel in advance, but keep in mind they will take a one-night deposit.
Now on to transportation. NYC is a great destination to travel to because there are so many options – two airports, train stations, and bus terminals. Think carefully about your options. If you do need to fly, visit Bing Travel and set up a fare alert. I got my $205 Boston to Chicago BlogHer flight using Farecast (Bing’s predecessor) when most flights were around $350 the week before.
You may think that’s it for your BlogHer budget, but don’t forget some of the small expenses that can add up, such as ground transportation to and from the airport, food, bag fees (I paid for an oversized bag on the way back from BlogHer), child care (if necessary), and parking at your local airport.
Step 2: Develop a plan
Now that you know exactly (or approximately) how much you’ll need, divide that number by the number of weeks left. That’s how long you have to save (keeping in mind that some costs are due up front). Here are some options for saving money for BlogHer – to be successful, you may want to combine some earning more with some spending less.
The “Earn More” Plan
One option that you have is to increase your earnings so that you can put additional money into savings. There are a variety of ways to increase your income; here’s a few choices:
- Do you have ads on your website? Consider adding some if you don’t have any, or more if you only have a few. Don’t, however, saturate your blog with ads. A few programs to consider are TextLinkAds, Google Adsense, Chitika, and Kontera. Only choose ads that you feel comfortable displaying on your blog.
- Do a clean sweep of your entire home and see if there are any items you can sell online, or at a yard sale. Remember to consider clothing, accessories, and household items, as well as technology products that your family is no longer using.
- Consider an at home business where you don’t have to pay too much money upfront. I’ve recently joined Southern Living at Home, and there are many other at home companies to choose from.
- Take on additional work in your field of interest… the options are endless.
- Remember, you have almost a year to save most of this money!
The “Spend Less” Plan
Under the spend less plan, you should review your family and personal budget to see if there are any opportunities to cut out expenses in the short or long term. If you don’t clip coupons, consider doing so to save additional money.
Put aside any money you save.
Step 3: Save
I’d recommend that you open a no-minimum savings account to put your accumulated savings in. I have one at ING Direct that I like because it doesn’t cost anything, and while it’s easy to get money out of the account, it isn’t TOO easy.
This should provide you with the basics for saving for BlogHer. If you do end up getting a sponsor, that’s great – and all of the money you’ve saved can go toward another goal!
I want to thank Mel, A Dramatic Mommy for suggesting that I write this post!