Why does Sway Group Exist?

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.

Who is Sway?

In addition to the lovely ladies featured on our bios pages, there are some other people without whom Sway Group wouldn’t be possible. These are the bloggers of course! As we set out to create this agency, we realized early on that the scope needed to be somewhat limited. Since the Sway Group model is a brand new one, it was virtually impossible to determine how much (wo)man power and resources would be required per blogger. So, I made a few key decisions; Sway Group would launch with just mom bloggers, and we would limit the number of bloggers to 25. We will be adding additional verticals (dads, foodies, etc.) in the very near future.

And so, the phone calls and face-to-face meetings began. We ended up with 25 of the most amazing women I know, and I don’t think it will shock anyone when I say that I’m pretty damn proud (read: blown away) by the talent here. As Laura Mayes (one of the bloggers) noted to me on the phone, this list is kind of like the Justice League of mom bloggers. (I must insert the standard disclaimer here that most of these women write about so much more than parenting. Many of them hardly write about parenting at all. That said, they are all moms, and they are all fabulous.)

In alphabetical order (of their Twitter handles), these are the ladies of Sway: