Hey everyone! Yesterday I recapped my experience of the weekend at BlogFest so if you didn’t get a chance make sure you check that out. As I was sitting on the bus on the way to the Beverly Hills bike tour I started writing in the notes on my phone the biggest thing I learned during Blog Fest so I could blog about it. Then I found out Debbie, Tiffany & Natalie were hosting a link-up with Truitt Family Foods on the top takeaways from BlogFest. How perfect!
Now first off I want to be completely honest about my experience. While I had a lot of fun at Blog Fest and thoroughly enjoyed networking and meeting new bloggers, the conference was not all I hoped it would be. I went there with high expectations of learning all the things about blogging that I don’t yet understand. Like how to maximize on Pinterest through group boards and pinning at the right time, what plugins work well for WordPress & make my life easier, how to balance personal content vs ever note style content and finding out what your reader prefers, etc.
I hoped that each presentation would be filled with concrete information and take home messages. Instead, I found the information to be very generalized and with no time for question and answer portions I kept finding myself asking, “Okay, but how?”
However, I want to mention that the organization of the conference was great, the Sweat Pink ladies worked their butt off to put this together and I fully appreciate their efforts as well as the efforts of all of the presenters. Plus I certainly didn’t leave without any knowledge. I came home with some great ideas & some new motivation for building my blog which ultimately was the goal.
So what are the top ten things that I did learn?
1. No Index Posts
The SEO presentation was actually fantastic at the conference. The biggest takeaway I got from the presentation was to “no-index” posts that don’t perform well on your blog or are fluff pieces. This will help with your google rankings. This can be done through advanced SEO settings or in the Yoast plugin if you have it (which apparently you really should).
2. Use consistent themes/fonts for Pinterest Images
I actually learned this not from the Pinterest presentation but from my roommate, Beth. She suggested making your pinnable images have a consistent theme – colouring, fonts, etc. Not only does this make it a lot easier when creating your graphics it also builds a brand on Pinterest and makes your stuff recognizable.
3. Twitter Lists
If you don’t use lists on Twitter you should! Twitter gets crowded when you’re following a lot of people so lists help you see the content you really want to see.
What I learned from the Twitter presentation was to also use Lists as a way of others recognizing you. Say for example you create a list called “Companies I Love”. If you add the companies that you love into that list, they are notified. This might make them recognize you as a potential person to work with in the future.
Lists are also a great way to find other people to follow in your niche. If you get added to a list, see who else is in the list and see if there are any connections to be made.
4. Repurpose Content
As bloggers we spend a lot of time creating our content so make sure it gets seen by repurposing it on multiple platforms. For example, if you create a blog post about a recipe then create a great long pinnable image to add to Pinterest. Add a picture of the recipe to Intagram and tell people to check out your blog for the full recipe. Tweet a picture of the recipe with a link to your blog. Basically, get the recipe out there!
5. Periscope is the next big thing
Periscope was mentioned a lot during the conference. Never heard of it? It’s okay, neither had I. It’s a live video streaming platform. It’s similar to snapchat in that the videos disappear within 24 hours after posting. When you view the video live you can send the person messages, ask questions and give them hearts if you like the content.
Although it’s such a new platform it seems like it’s going to be the next big thing. I for one am really excited by it! I have so many ideas how I can use Periscope. Make sure you follow me to see what I get up to on there! (username:PrettyLilGrub)
If you’re interested to learn more about it I highly recommend listening to Chalene Johnson’s podcast.
6. Foster brand relationships
“Brands have better things to worry about than you.” Such a true message from Kathleen. Therefore, if you want to continue to work with a brand after a campaign it’s important you show them why they should care about you. Followup with them with an email describing what reach your post got, the engagement, the comments you received, etc.
Remember, the partnership has to be mutually beneficial. And if you’re just in it for free products, the company will see through it. Companies want to work with bloggers who are passionate about their products.
7. Think about who you are writing for
If you want to build your blog & increase your engagement you have to write with intention. Think about who you are writing your content for and what goal you are trying to achieve through your writing.
I find I struggle with this due to my multiple different interests and it’s certainly something I will be considering in the next while.
8. How to take a better running selfie
The running selfie has eluded me time and time again. I always end up with me looking at the camera, looking like I’m walking or just plain looking terrible. But a trick I learned again not from a session but just from talking with Jamie, was to video yourself while running. Then screenshot the best shot of the video. Such a genius idea! This really works for all selfies rather than using a self timer.
9. Include the “how” in a presentation
I do a lot of group education and the fact that a lot of the presentations were lacking on the concrete advice really made me think about my own presentations. Do I include the how? Do I tell people to eat in moderation or do I give concrete examples and explanations on how to do this? It’s something I will definitely always keep in mind creating presentations for now on.
10. Bloggers are the best!
Honestly I’ve said it 100 times but I’ll say it again. I love all the people I met at BlogFest and that I continue to meet through blogging. I learnt so much just talking with each person at BlogFest and forming those connections made the trip completely worthwhile.