Pole Dancing Bloggers Association.
Pole Dance Community interview of Pole Dancing Bloggers Association Board Members:
Founder & Co-President: Valentina D’Amico of Pole Dance Italy, the first Italian Pole Dance Blog. (Pictured bottom right)
Co-President & Editor in Chief: Sheena LaShay of The North Pole. (Pictured left, below left and below right)
Social Media & Communications Director: Lori “Lolorashel” Myers of Confessions of a Twirly Girl.
How did you start pole dancing?
SLY: I started pole dancing at a studio in NY because of an online deal I saw.
VD: It all happened by chance. One of my friends, who was in my city on holiday, showed me a pole dancing video and I immediately wanted to give it a try.
LM: I first heard some girls from S Factor on the radio in San Francisco. I went for one class, but it was too far away to sign up for regular classes. A little over a year later, my friend received an e-mail about a studio opening up closer to my home. My first class at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness was in December 2009 and I haven’t stopped since!
How long have you been pole dancing?
SLY: I started pole dancing in July of 2010. I’m coming up on my 4 year anniversary.
VD: I started in July 2010, as well as Sheena.
LM: I started in December of 2009, so a little over four years.
Why did you decide to set-up pdbloggers?
VD: I opened the group on FB in 2012 because as soon as I opened the blog in Italy, I met many other bloggers, such as Lori and Sheena, and others through Twitter. They truly inspired me and were very helpful and open to collaboration. So I thought why not get in touch with all the other bloggers around the world and collaborate all together. That’s how PDBA was born.
SLY: We privately existed for a year before going public then we evolved. We created a website, a social presence and more. In addition to collaborating with other bloggers, we wanted to use our network to educate and improve the pole industry and produce projects with others outside our industry.
LM: I was asked by Sheena and Valentina to join as a board member. I was extremely honored and excited to be included. Rather than treat each other as competitors, we recognize that our energy is better spent helping each other become better writers and polers. There’s enough room in the world for each of us to blog about our unique perspectives and I love that I have found other people who also believe that.
How many bloggers do you have on the site?
SLY: The more accurate question is, “how many members do we have in our blogger media network?” We have over 150+ bloggers connected in our network with various levels of commitments. What we have is a collective of content creators who partner with brands & companies on any kind of creative campaign…not limited to blogging. It’s also important to note that EVERY member has their own independent website or blog with their own audience and social reach.
What are the benefits of pdbloggers to the wider community?
SLY: The benefit of the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association to the wider community of pole is that our organization is helping to develop better content creators. When someone googles a specific topic related to pole dancing, with the help of our network, that person will find a pole blogger with quality content that resonates.
Another benefit of the PDBA is that we are creating standards of business practices. The pole industry is fairly small compared to different industries and we are using our expertise in marketing, branding, communications, negotiations and more to strategize and educate businesses and brands on how to work with content creators.
Lastly, a benefit of our creative agency to the wider community of health, fitness, wellness and those living an active lifestyle is that we provide a collective of bloggers with customized campaigns for content marketing on a scaled level. We have a vetted and diverse network of pole influencers that we tap to amplify the message of a brand in numerous ways. We can produce and manage social media campaigns, blog tours, twitter parties, and live events…such as the launch of a new product. We can provide a brand with relatable bloggers as brand ambassadors that consumers resonate with.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own pole dancing blog?
SLY: My main piece of advice, especially for pole dancing blogs is to really think about branding and messaging. It is time for us as polers to move beyond pink, purple, glittery websites. We need to create better designed sites that still communicate our messaging, even if one of your brand colors is pink! You can promote fitness, dance, sexy, sensual, even eroticism in a way that isn’t assaulting to the viewers gaze.
LM: I feel like you need to think about your long term goals before choosing your platform. I use Blogger. It is a Google product and links well with YouTube, Google+, etc. However, if you would like to incorporate your blog into your website at some point, I understand Wordpress is a better choice. Once you pick your poison, just start writing and let your voice be heard. That being said, be wary of spelling and grammar usage. Although I am often very casual with my written words (as I am fairly casual when speaking and want to make sure “my voice” is coming across in my writing), I cannot stand when blogs contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors.
VD: Sheena and Lori gave great suggestions. Platform, branding, etc. are really important. I would add that you should always try out new things, enjoy writing and write for yourself first. Put your heart into what you do and be ready to work hard. Sometimes blogging is very difficult.
Do you think the pole dancing industry is still growing?
SLY: If the pole dance industry is not growing that means its dead. So yes, our industry is always growing in numerous ways, every day.
LM: I believe the pole dancing industry is still in its infancy. There are so many directions in which the industry can go, and we are still figuring it all out. I am excited to watch it grow and, hopefully, be part of pole history!
VD: What I’ve learned from all the bloggers in PDBA is that the situation around the world is mostly the same. People don’t know exactly what pole dance is, there are many prejudices but we are definitely growing. We are really part of the history of this sport.
Other Board Members include Nina Reed of Nina Reed and Angela of Ascending Slowly. The Executive Committee includes Jillian of Pole Geek, Michelle of Heart and Pole, Chwenny of Chwennyland and AdAstra of Flexines.
You can find PDBA