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.
- 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?
- 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....
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.