I spent this past weekend at Bloggy Bootcamp – a blogging conference that travels to different cities. I love that idea!! That is why I started the PSMM Workshops for local bloggers. It is hard to find time to travel to conferences, to say nothing of the expense. I’m all about making the information accessible, and that is what the SITS Girls do with Bloggy Bootcamp. It was awesome, and while I knew most of the info that was presented, there is always something to learn.
Bloggy Bootcamp is known as a beginner’s conference, but I feel that they did a great job at making it applicable for all levels of blogging. What I loved about it was how they packed so many sessions and so much information into just one day. It was intense, but so much more doable than the typical 2- and 3-day conferences. As a 6-year blogging veteran, here is my list of takeaways. Much of this I knew, but it is great to be reminded. No matter where you are in your blogging career, it is always helpful to re-evaluate what you’re doing and refocus your efforts and priorities.
Top 10 Takeaways from Bloggy Bootcamp Philly #BBCPhilly
1. Content is still king. No matter WHAT you do as far as promoting yourself, pitching your services, SEO optimization and being involved on the numerous social media platforms available to us these days, it is all worthless unless you are creating killer content.
2. Work with Intention. I loved the session on Top Ten Tips for Blogging Success by the adorable Laurie Turk from Tip Junkie. I wrote down a whole page of notes on things I want to implement from her talk. She encouraged us to set office hours, limit the times during the day that we check emails, how much we are making and how much we are spending on our blogs so we can evaluate if the time we are spending is worthwhile. I am HUGELY guilty of wasting a lot of time checking email throughout the day, as well as Facebook and Twitter. I really need to focus on time management and working with intention.
3. Know when to say yes and when to say no. This is nothing new, but I do need to be reminded from time to time that if an opportunity isn’t going to bring me traffic, recognition, money, or experience, then I just need to say NO. I am famous for trying to do it all and spreading myself too thin. In the past year, I have let go of some projects that I really loved to make time to focus on my top priorities, and I have to say, it is incredibly freeing. At one point during the day, I tweeted this: Whatever you do, make sure it matches you and your personality. That is so important to remember when opportunities start pouring in. I have said no to SO many things that would have made me some very nice spending money, but they would have required me to promote products or services that go against my beliefs. It is painful at the time, but your credibility and is worth way more than any sum of money. Eventually the right opportunities WILL come along if you’re patient and stay true to yourself.
4. Video is a huge draw for brands. Colleen’s presentation on YouTube was great. I know that brands like video and will pay a lot for it, so I have been trying to ramp up my YouTube channel recently. She gave us some great tips as far as lighting and placement (don’t be a talking head – I have to work on that!), how to share videos across platforms and how to tag and describe videos so they rank on YouTube. For a great recap of Colleen’s presentation, visit Secrets to Web Success.
5. You gotta show up. I am always saying this, and it is SO true. No matter what you do online, it is showing up in real life that cements those online relationships and creates new opportunities.
6. Get on Google+. Google+ has enormous SEO implications, and everyone with a blog who wants to grow their platform should be taking advantage of it. Be watching for a PSMM Workshop on Google+ this fall!
7. Optimizing your blog posts for SEO will increase your traffic significantly. I have been doing this and trying to go back and optimize some of my highly trafficked older posts and it has really helped a lot. It is worth taking the time to learn the basics of SEO and applying it to your blog.
8. Expand your platform beyond your blog. Most women making money in the blogosphere are making most of their money as event planners, brand spokespersons, social media consultants and with other platforms that extend beyond the blog. The blog is the platform for these opportunities, but isn’t usually the #1 money maker. This is certainly true for me. Figure out what it is you like to do, and then use your experience from blogging to create those opportunities.
9. Know who you are and know your audience. When Laurie Turk realized that people considered her blog a craft blog, and she started focusing on being a craft blog, her traffic quadrupled. Know what it is people are coming for and then meet their needs. If you are solving a problem or providing a needed service, then you will find success.
10. Be a positive influence in the blogging community, and have a tribe. I loved the focus throughout the day on supporting one another. When one blogger succeeds, we all succeed. Or, in the words of Henry Ford, “If everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself.” This is my passion, to see women working together to bring everyone up. The importance of having a “tribe” or a support network cannot be understated.
Many of our Philly Social Media Moms were present at Bloggy Bootcamp this weekend. This is just a small group of us. We started four years ago with 10 of us, and now there are over 150. There is nothing like knowing 150 smart, strong, beautiful women got your back. Love these ladies!
Thinking of starting a blog? Read So You Want To Start A Blog . . .
And for more blogging advice and tips, see How Do You Make Money On Your Blog.
View all my Blogging posts.