Sunday, September 16, 2012

10 things I learned about blogging from the Central Florida Bloggers Conference

Stepping away from pet talk for a bit...

Saturday I attended my first bloggers conference. There was a lot of information to absorb, a lot of questions to consider about where I want my blog to go. I came home feeling like my head was going to explode (and this is hopefully just a precursor to Barkworld Expo!).

So here are 10 things I took away from the Central Florida Bloggers Conference in Orlando. I hope my fellow bloggers from all walks of life, whether they walk on two or four legs, learn something from this.
  1. Be everywhere. Get your name and your content out there in as many platforms as you can. That advice comes from the keynote speaker and Disney expert, Lou Mongello. Which leads to a question for me: is this blog my hobby, just something I do on the side, or a precursor to something bigger?
  2. Know your value. This is something I learned in the session on building media kits. If you want to network successfully, people need to know, and you need to know who you are, what you are doing, who you are reaching and how you can help others. It's the only way you'll grow. Otherwise you'll just reach an audience of readers who are just out there. Which brings me to the next point....
  3. Engage. I gotta talk more to my readers, and to my Facebook fans, and to my Twitter followers. More importantly, I need to get them to talk about themselves. This needs to be more than my stories and opinions. This can be a forum. To do that, though, I also need to reach out to others.
  4. Socialize. This is something I don't do enough of, as evidenced by my 12 Facebook followers. I asked my friends to join my Facebook page yesterday and only three of them did! Socializing and engaging outside of my circles are essential to building an audience.
  5. Think outside the box. And this goes to engaging and socializing. I came to BlogCon because I realized I couldn't just reach other pet bloggers, but now I need to reach out to more than bloggers in general. So who else might benefit from reading my blog? It's something I need to think about, but two words kept coming up yesterday: real estate.
    Time for a cute doggy intermission:
  6. People are watching. I've had a small group of people reading my blog since I started in March. I don't know who the majority of you are. I have only three email subscribers (though to be fair I don't think that gadget works right). I know who some of you are because you are either very dedicated, or you hopped over from a blog hop and you stop by often. But many people are reading this blog and I don't know who they are. So I need to be on my toes. I need to get better with catching grammar mistakes, smarter with my content, and come up with better ideas. And do more things.
  7. You can never have too many likes. Not too many people liking my Facebook or Twitter pages, but me liking too many. If nothing else, it's a way to reach out to people to create ideas, create content, create partnerships.
  8. Treat fans like friends. People aren't just readers. They are potential friends. I need to do a better job of engaging you guys. If for no other reason that if you are happy with me, you will share me and my blog with your friends, and we can build a bigger community.
  9. Write more. I don't write enough. If I write three to four posts a week, it's amazing. It's not enough. Not every post has to be an epic. Not everything I do has to be well-researched and documented. Sometimes it can be a picture of Lulu rolling in the grass. As long as it's good. And there needs to be more.
  10. Be positive. So up above I did lament a few things, and complained about my 12 Facebook fans and how no one seems to want to comment on my blog. That's all ok. I have a habit of wanting the results without thinking about the process. There's an upside to everything: I'm a blogger. Who'd a thunk it? I did this blog just to see if I could keep up with it, and I'm having a blast, and I'm meeting lots of interesting people. This is fun.

14 comments :

  1. Good points. I was at the BlogCon too and I came away with the same thoughts you did. Be like Lou: never give up!

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    1. Glad to hear people came with the same thoughts! If you have anything you want help with, feel free to drop a comment.

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  2. Dunno if I agree with #9. I think fewer posts are fine, as long as they're consistent (I.e., every M/W/F or whatever). I follow some folks that post daily no matter what and the content starts to get stale.

    I agree with all the others. Thanks for the sweet summary!

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    1. Well I'm not really consistent, and like I said, if I do 3-4 posts, it's a big week. Even consistency would be a big plus for me.

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  3. Fantastic! I like nice simple lists and in all honesty was feeling overwhelmed by all of the info.

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    1. Glad I can help! If you ever need any info for the blog, let me know.

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  4. Hi Christie,
    very well stated. Thanks for putting this out there. It was also my first bloggers conference and my head was burning afterwords, but it was well worth it!
    Never lose your passion!!!

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  5. All valid points...and...I know you are a part of the BlogPaws community...go into their archives and look up other blog posts that are geared to helping you be a better blogger (they have tons and they are in your NICHE).......AND....be SURE TO ATTEND the ALL TIME BEST CONFERENCE this May...BLOGPAWS!

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    1. I will try to make BlogPaws. But it looks more likely that iIwill be at BarkWorld next month!

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  6. Great take aways! I have some of the same blogging issues as you. I found a local blogging group in my area and am excited to attend their conference in 2 weeks. I'm changing things up with my blogging and between the networking and sessions think it's just the boost I need.

    If you go to BarkWorld I hope you do a similar post!

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  7. Lots of great info in your post – when I started my blog, I didn’t know there were any kind of blogger conferences and now you tell me your state even had one. The only way I would likely get to any blogging conference is if it were right here in my hometown since transportation is a HUGE issue for me – can’t drive due to a disability so I rely on great informative posts like yours to get the latest info. Even tho I have been blogging for 3 – 4 years, I’m still trying to learn that for me, the most important thing is that I HAVE to go at MY pace, which can be really hectic sometimes or it could be at a standstill. What with working all week then sometimes running errands immediately after work, pardon the pun - some days I am just too dog-tired to blog. There are days I may just read and not even comment – my fingers feel like lead. Early on I learned that to grow your blog - give the readers what they want to read and with two Beagles who could be anything from comical to rambunctious to downright lazy, that was easy. I started out doing the blogging but then I found Blogville where many of the pets ”do” the blogging and when I did do the blogging, it was often about the Beaglebratz – Team Beaglebratz began to grow and flourish, maybe not a lot but it is good for me and we are still slowly but steadily growing. And like you, when I started blogging, I just wanted to see what would happen, could I stay with it - I had no idea of the fun I could have with it, the people I would get to know from all over the world and their pets too - I just wish I had more time to do it. Sorry for the long comment - bad habit sometimes. Next comment will be from Shiloh'n Shasta.
    Kim

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  8. Great post Christie! Thank you for the info! ~Lyvonne

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  9. Great advice. Thanks for sharing the info!

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