How to Get Published on a Wedding Blog – feat. Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting

December 7, 2021

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Are you curious about what it actually takes to get published on a wedding blog? If so, you’re in for a treat with today’s episode! 

Meet Meghan Ely. Meghan is the owner of OFD Consulting where she combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of public relations to empower her clients to take their businesses to new heights.

Meghan is a long-time industry speaker and writer, she is a WeddingPro educator with The Knot + WeddingWire, as well as a regular contributor to a variety of industry publications.  Meghan represents clients globally and has earned them coverage with the New York Times, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Forbes, Good Morning America and, among other outlets.

Listen in as Meghan uncovers everything from the content wedding blogs are looking for to how to craft a compelling pitch that will get you published. Plus, hear her take on the current trends and hot trends to be on the lookout for in the wedding industry.

Let’s be friends! Find us on Instagram @bizbirthdaybash.

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How did you first get involved in the wedding industry?

Meghan [3:38] 

You know, it just is something I’ve always been so into. My background in PR I went to school for it. It’s a longer story about how I got involved in that, but I wish I had a cooler story for how I got my cert, but really I was naturally gravitating towards it. When I was in college. It was just something that seemed fun.

You see the magazines and all that. And I thought I was literally driving to the grocery store one night. This is a true story. It’s. That’s a boring one, but so I’ll keep it short. But I was driving to the grocery store. I thought, you know, I’m a relatively happy person that seems like a relatively like joyful industry I should consider.

I don’t know. Like I kind of feel like I should try that out. And so I started in college like suddenly from junior year on all of my assignments were wedding based. Like I would just like, I would just insert it into everything and I just kind of test the waters, even like my senior projects and stuff.

And I don’t know, I just kinda fell into it. And when I got out of school, I did a year of AmeriCorps. So I worked in the inner city schools in Richmond, Virginia. I moved in. Went to school in Virginia and then decided to enrichment after a brief tenure in Oregon. And during that time, when you do a mayor query, you’re not doing it for the money.

So oftentimes you take a second job. And I dove in working at an estate, it was in a historical state, about a hundred acres. And I got my start believe in it. I did birthdays. 

So I did birthdays and weddings and holiday parties, but I really got started doing like eight weddings a weekend. No, no, no four weddings.We get eight birthdays a weekend. And that kind of got in the throws in it. And I got to tell you, it was one of those thankless jobs where you’re moving tables around and all the things, but I loved it. I loved every second of it. So I transitioned to that spent a bunch of years doing that, but I always had a love for PR and knew I would combine the two someday.

And so entered the recession of 2008, 2009. I had taken a job elsewhere that I thought would be a great fit. Turns out it was not the right fit, which is a very. PC way of saying it and decided to start my wedding. Yeah, I would, I would need wine to have, to be able to tell that full story, but, um, there made the decision to start really diving back into my first love of PR, but by representing wedding and special event pros.

So it was really kind of don’t they say something like the road behind you doesn’t seem straight until you look behind, you know, it just seems like I was all over the place, but it really did lead me to the right spot.

What kind of content are wedding blogs looking for?

Meghan [9:20] 

So I would love the chance to divide this into two if you don’t mind. So I’m going to talk about being published on wedding blogs for real weddings, and then also being published in wedding blogs and sites such as like a or the cert wedding, but like on the article side, because I, I think that is really great entry point, especially for stationers.

So on the real wedding site. So we have to meet people where we’re at right now. I mean, at the time of this recording, of course, Raider is still in the pandemic, but a little bit different than where we were, but, but we’re there. And so we are looking for a few things, the more generic answer that kind of evergreen, which doesn’t really change is when it comes to.

They are looking for fresh and inspiring full-stop because if you think about it, wedding bloggers, editors make their money on, of course, in part the traffic that comes, they need to attract people to the site. How do they do that? They don’t do it by doing the same old, same old, same old, same old, right.

They have to do something new and different and exciting and exclusive things that they haven’t seen elsewhere. So if someone says, oh, it was a part of this really great, like blush palette with gold, you’re like, oh Lord, that’s been around for like years, you know? Or if someone, you know, months after the Pantone color comes out, which by the way, side note, not a fan, but that’s just me, the yellow, I was a fan in 2010, but I’m not a fan.

Now he come months later, like that’s, that’s not fresh and inspiring. So I want to really instill that kind of phrase into people’s minds when it comes to us. It’s kind of be evergreen, always answer when it comes to where we’re at right now. Of course. If you’re looking to be a part of submitting an event, they do want to know the safety precautions.

A lot of the editors are now asking for, yeah, we want to see your intimate weddings. We want to know what you did to keep people safe. In fact, within OFD, we I’d end on average. Honestly, we’re always working on 50 to 60 different real wedding submissions through the OT collective. And without we have, as you can imagine, hopefully a well-oiled machine after doing almost a thousand of them.

And we, we have recently adjusted it to ask couples, like, what are you doing to get, because that’s what the editors want, but I’d also be remiss if we didn’t say, in addition to freshmen, inspiring different, unique color, palettes, unique themes, things like that in the stories during the pandemic, they are also looking for it.

And this is wonderful in the last year and a half, there’s been a real push towards diversity, which is frankly long overdue. And so a lot of these top tier places that you’re hearing about or the steward they’ve made a public declaration, you know, has a public declaration. You can find on Instagram, it says we will feature 50%.

BIPOC couples. There is a commitment to inclusivity that we didn’t see before. So they’re also making sure they’re making way for all different kinds of couples. So that’s on that side of things. So they’re looking for current events typically in the last three to six months. Oh. And know, we’ll get into inspiration shoots in a bit, but it does go also to the point of we’re looking for fresh, timely, inspiring.

Now let’s, if I may, I’m going to flip it a little bit and talk about something that I feel very strongly about. There is an abundance of articles out there coming out every day and all the major things. And we’re not just talking bridal guide, the not wedding wear, but we’re also talking about, you know, the refinery 20 nines and some of these domino where they have, when in content that comes out with some regularity, these guys, you have to remember most of these writers whose beat their specialties in the wedding space.

Like that’s one of the things they focus on. Most of them have not been in the wedding industry. Do they have an interest? Yes. Do they know the intricacies? Probably not. They don’t know what we all know. So they’re looking for timely article ideas that make sense right now. That’s what they’re looking for.

How can we be a guiding light to get our, get people here now? Yeah. There’s some evergreen stuff. Like, you know how to save on, save on your stationery, which I know some people probably don’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole, but how can you save while still being stylish or what are the must haves? Um, one of the big things during the pandemic.

Oh my gosh. I mean, there were a million articles about this. What sort of stationery options. So I have, when I have to reschedule, when I’m sending out a new date, what’s a creative way to do that. Right. And then these days, I would say it again at the time it was recording. A lot of shortages are happening more on the floral and catering side, but that’s the stuff I’m pitching right now.

I mean, I’ve worked on 17 floral articles in the last month, 17 of them three, which we pitched directly to them saying, there’s a floral shortage and we need to talk about how can you still be stylish if you can’t get your beloved pennies? You know what I mean? Like, how do you do that? Like, is silk really the answer or not like dispel the myths.

And so that’s what people are looking for. So for your stationery listeners, you know, really thinking about the moment we’re in right now, like what’s the evergreen stuff that inky new linkage couples need to know, but on the other side of it, what’s happening right now that with some urgency that people need to be mindful of.

If you don’t have anyone professionally representing you, what do you need to have put together in your pitch?

Meghan [17:07] 

Absolutely. So what you need is to the best of your ability, a type-A brain, cause here’s the thing, PR is not brain surgery. Like this makes me a bad salesperson, I guess, but whatever I like, you can be empowered to do your own PR. You don’t have to bring someone you can get started with. Everyone starts somewhere and they can start on their own.

And so it starts with, I know this is kind of kumbaya, but you got to go back to what your goals are. I mean, I don’t want anyone to even think about reaching out to an editor until they really say, why am I doing this? Because none of us have unlimited amounts of time. If I could squeeze more than 24 hours out in a day, I would, I would love to know the secret to that.

But for now we can’t. So we’re going to put time into representing ourselves, which is going to take a sizable effort. You want to make sure you understand the, why are you looking for that gravitas? It says as seen in, are you looking to get links to your site? Like just better understand that. And I know that’s kind of like a bit, a little academic, but I always feel bad when people come to me like, well, I’ve been really trying to get on TV.

I’m like wire, like what is TV? What is the local morning show going to do to you? When, like who’s watching that, you know what I mean? So like get into the crux of it from there. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m big on block scheduling. Like I’m big on, I just need a repeatable task, whether it’s getting on my bike or whether it’s pitching editors.

Yeah. You’ve got to have that, especially in the world we are in right now. So. Give me 30, 30 minutes a week. That’s what I’m asking or give yourself 30 minutes a week. What you want to do is start small, come up with three or four places in start, really kind of hunting down. What’s going to make the most sense for you.

Now there’s two purchases to this. If you are someone doing stationery in a local market and you primarily focus on local lifestyle, look at the local wedding, whatever makes sense for you guys, you know, w wherever you are. And what you’re gonna want to do is consider writing introductory emails. I, it sounds very basic, but it works very well.

Go to the, over this 30 minutes a week, just start paying attention. Seeing who writes about the weddings, who writes about events, who writes about in the lifestyle section. Party things, you know what I mean? Like having a dinner bar, like we’re just stationery plays a role if it does, I’m kind of making that up, but just expand your mind on that certain landing on the Raiders, who might be in a position to really benefit knowing you, because you’re going to get into that mindset.

You know, one of the first things we talked about with like, we’re kind of the bottom of the, of the room here and people that have to get out of that mindset, like that’s, that’s step one and to say, well, I could be of service here and reach out to them. Hello, name, hope this finds you. Well, I’ve been following your work over at I’ll use an example, local Richmond magazine and see on occasion that you cover events.

And I just want to take a moment to introduce myself as I am a stationer or, you know, insert. And I’ve been doing this for 10 years in the market, and I’d love to introduce myself as, as an expert, give them two to three lines, dazzle that, you know, tell them who you are. We’re winning. Most well, you know, clubhouse, you know, whatever, do whatever you want, whatever your thing is.

And then just wrap up and tell them how you can make life easy on them. In addition, I belong locally to niece with Eyelea national study of black wedding and event pros. I belong to these and I can also connect you with other people. That’s it. I know that sounds basic, but it actually works. So if you’re looking local, you do that.

Now, if you’re on the other side and you’re like, well, I don’t have a lot of options locally. And I respect that. Especially on the stationery side, then picks three national outlets and really dig into the stationery side of things or. Discipline here, right? Maybe we have a rogue florist listening today.

Find the writers who repeatedly write about stationery and simply introduce yourself. You’d be surprised that these writers genuinely have a lot of them. I can’t speak for them, but anecdotally, based on working with them literally every day of my life, a lot of them really could use some more resources.

People who are reliable, consistent, give good [00:21:00] quotes. I joke that I would not be in business. If there were more people out there who would take the time to build these relationships, but you know, 30 minutes a week, just, just start doing that on your own. You could also, I don’t know if you all have heard of HARO, but help a reporter out is also free service where you can sign up and get emails three times a day, Monday through Friday, where there’s press leads.

You can pitch. So there’s a few different things you can do, but the good news is the opportunities are out there. It’s whether or not you want to prioritize putting yourself out there.

What do you view as the current trends in the wedding industry? Anything our audience should anticipate as the next “hot thing” and prepare for?

Meghan [45:07}

For a long time, we were just sitting pretty on the same trends. And of course Pantone comes out, which I have. It’s not even a love hate.

I just don’t like the Pantone colors of the year, because I don’t agree with them. And I’m not like some big, you know, fashionable, like, what is this? I thought maybe Pantone would rescue us this year. And then it was yellow and gray. And I was like, forget it. Like, you didn’t even try this year. Even try, we make an effort, I will take living coral any day over the, well, I wish the yellow had not been so pale.

If it had been more of a mustard, like, I’d be like, okay, I get that. But anyways, so what are we seeing now? We’re finally seeing people get away from what it is that they’re doing. We’re seeing Boulder pallets, which I welcome. Like, let’s, let’s go different. Um, some of the things that we’re seeing. Okay. I have a theory.

I’m going to tell you, have you guys heard the term grand millennial? Yes. Okay. So what you do is you look to the interior design, right? You look to interior design, you look at architecture and you kind of think it’s coming down the pipeline. So grand millennials, the idea of people, millennials who have some disposable income, um, probably don’t have kids yet because people, kids don’t have.

I mean, it’s been from my experience, you start to lose the disposable income cause it goes to the kids, but these guys are sending it’s fussier. It’s almost what you would have seen in your grandma’s house, but somehow works. It’s, I’m making it so hard on a podcast. Cause I’m making, I’m not making a case for it, but look up green millennial.

And I see that, that fussiness, like that is going to make its way into the wedding world. I’m convinced of that. And I’m pretty good at guessing how things will trickle in and we’re seeing it all over the interior design world. 

One of the newer trends we’re seeing too, because you’ve heard about Hagy and all those, I probably didn’t saying that correctly. What that is. It’s almost a combination. Scandinavian Hagy sense of comfort and some minimalism. And then it’s also compared to it’s. Oh gosh, it’s that Japanese aesthetic that we’ve, I’m sure wabi-sabi people have talked about where it’s more raw materials that aren’t perfect as well. So I think it’s going to be from a stationery standpoint.

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