Founded in 2005, BlogHer is the leading women’s blogging community and ad network. Elisa Camahort Page, Jory des Jardins, and Lisa Stone joined hands to launch a company which aimed at popularizing blogs written by women. The site offers women an opportunity to get their voices heard and for those who opt for the ad network, a chance to earn income. The company’s website says that it doesn’t seek to “serve women” but rather creates opportunities for women to help themselves.
BlogHer began in 2005 as a conference, was well received, and grew to become a 300-person conference. The conference, which aims to “mobilize, educate, inspire and empower”, has seen tremendous growth: attendance was 300 in 2005 and 1,000 in 2007. Some of the sponsors include Dove, AOL, General Motors, Google, and Yahoo!. In August, BlogHer had its first ‘Reach Out’ tour, which visited six cities in one-day conferences to cover the highlights of the annual conference.
The company then launched a group blog that quickly expanded to become a large community for women bloggers. In 2007, the company launched BlogHers Act, a political blogging network. As of July 2008, the BlogHer community had more than 26,000 members with over 15,000 blogs, organized by topic. In addition, the site has more than 60 editors who write daily guides on the “hottest blogs” on topics that cover everything from news to technology, from food to health. The site has more than 2,200 blogs and according to Nielsen Site Census, attracts 8 million unique women every month. According to Compete, the site gets 598,368 unique visitors monthly and 1,168,702 visits monthly. However, in its advertising press kit, the company claims that according to Nielsen Site Census, the site garners 50 million page views a month. The median age of the visitors is 25-41 years, and 58% of the visitors are bloggers themselves.
In 2006, the site launched an ad network for bloggers. Bloggers can choose to allow BlogHer to provide graphic media advertising on their blogs. The blogs need to be over 90 days old, active and should meet the BlogHer editorial standards. The blogger can choose an ad size that works best with her layout and also specify if there are any organizations or industries that are not to be advertised on the blog. Though the blogs retain their URLs, traffic, and communities, they are required to publish according to editorial guidelines. The site runs double-digit CPMs, the average being between $10 and $12. However, ads targeted at the Parenting network are priced at a premium. Out of this, 60% goes to the blogger for over 1 million impressions and 50% for under 1 million impressions.
At those rates, we’re probably looking at a monthly revenue run rate of $250k-$350k, although this is not confirmed by the company.
In July 2008, the company entered into a strategic partnership with iVillage. Under the partnership, iVillage will have access to BlogHer’s network of blogs and promotional opportunities across its audience. The deal includes a Series B investment. The company has raised $8.5 million so far: a $3.5 million Series A from Venrock and $5 million from the Series B from Peacock Equity and Venrock.
BlogHer is likely an iVillage acquisition down the line.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2008