story by Kim Souza
Writing has long been a passion for Jasmine Banks who began blogging in 2001 while attending John Brown University.
But this savvy, creative soul has turned that passion into business as a social influencer with Collective Bias, a social shopper media/marketing firm based in Bentonville.
Banks is one of 1,400 active bloggers across the country that comprise the “Social Fabric” for Collective Bias. These are not just bored mommies looking to rant, but professional women and men who have already established a loyal following by the time Collective Bias signs them on.
She and other bloggers work exclusively helping to craft and share branding messages for Collective Bias customers. The goal is to influence shopper behavior and ultimately drive more sales for the product.
Banks recently worked with Harp’s Foods in a project to demonstrate the power of social media.
As a consumer who prefers organic product Banks was a perfect fit for the “Smart Chicken” promotion. Her work involved shopping for the product, evaluating costs and then preparing a kid-friendly recipe which was all shared via her blog posts.
Banks has also worked with Mars Candy on a Halloween promotion as well as an eat healthy campaign with Wal-Mart.
“I love the work I am doing with the Social Fabric. My views are my own, uncensored and genuine and I only take the products that I am interested in working with. If I try a product and I don’t like it, then I say so in the blog post,” Banks said.
As a mom of three young children, and a graduate student at JBU, Banks said the at-home blogging job is a perfect fit.
While she’s an active mom, marathon runner and roller derby player, Banks says the writing is her passion and an outlet for emotions, sometimes raw but always authentic. She has chronicled dark subjects such as abuse, homelessness and the angst of being a child of a drug dealing parent.
She also revels in the joy of motherhood and has worked on social events such as Champions for Kids and Colgate smiles.
For the past six months, Banks has taken on a larger role with Collective Bias as the event planner for the company’s SoFabCon – a three-day professional conference for company bloggers and the at-large blogging community. The conference starts Friday (May 3).
Banks said nearly 300 bloggers and 80 brands have signed up for the event.
“One of major perks I have discovered as a blogger for Collective Bias is the opportunity for ongoing education that’s offered through the firm’s online classes. We can sign up to get hands- on training in photography and lots of other areas. Lastly, the intimate relationships I am building with brand representatives are huge and who knows when those relationships will lead to other jobs opportunities,” Banks said.
While Banks is close to completing her masters in degree in counseling, she said there are a host of opportunities in blogging still worth exploring.
Research by Marketing Charts last year, notes: “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%.”
The report also notes that companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.
Industry experts say writing/editing content for a corporate blog can range between $500-$3,000 a month – assuming one to two posts a week at this rate. Ghostwriting blog posts can draw between $75 and $200 per blog, depending on the subject and length.