Yesterday was the first of what we hope to be the annual Blog Better Boston conference. Amy of Stylish Year and Alana of Good Girl Gone Blog put on an amazing event – by far the best conference I have ever been to! Want to see some of the reactions and hear other’s opinions? Just check out the Twitter hashtag #BBBos By 9am we were the top trending tag in Boston! How sweet is that?!
The conference was held at Google’s offices in Cambridge. The location was perfect. It allowed for large panel discussions as well as small breakout workshops catered the the needs of various types of bloggers. And there certainly were a wide variety of bloggers there – fashion bloggers, foodies, mommy bloggers, lifestyle writers, Boston bloggers.
The panels and workshops were spaced out really well. Each panel lasted 45 minutes, giving the speakers 35 minutes to speak and then 10 minutes for questions from the audience. Between each session there were about 30 minutes to mix and mingle. To me it was the perfect mix of panels and breaks so that you felt like you were getting a lot out of the conference without being overwhelmed with content. Panels included things like Blogging Basics, Working with Brands, Monetizing Your Blog, Social Media Platforms; and the one I spoke on – Building a Community. Break-out sessions discussed Google Analytics, Food Photography, Photo Editing, Design Hacks and WordPress Tips.
This was my first time speaking at a conference and I have to say it was so enjoyable! I loved having the chance to talk about Building a Community through your blog, since for me this is something that is an intricate part of ModlyChic and my blogging experience. I have loved building Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday and watching it change and evolve over the months. I have loved growing the Boston Bloggers community and working to plan regular networking events so as to bring bloggers together to talk shop. My fellow panelists, Renee of Eat Live Blog and Krista of Skinny Scoop were so fun. Our moderator, Adri from Google Places, was great at steering the conversation and keeping the panel moving along. (For those of you wondering… I got my haircut by the amazing Anthony of Anthony David Salon. I won’t go to anyone else in the Boston area and I HIGHLY recommend him!)
And as if that was not enough. The Boston Bloggers team of myself and AV of Long Distance Loving were lucky enough to host the after party at Think Tank! Drinks on Google, appetizers on Think Tank and all around fun festivities. Thank you to everyone who made it out to the party. We hope to see a number of you at the next Boston Bloggers mixer at Lansdowne on April 4th. (Hopefully I’ll be loading pictures from the after party to the Boston Bloggers Facebook page later today.)
Here are my take-away points from the panels:
- Sometimes tweeting about a brand is more powerful than writing about it. More people should realize that.
- According to Mary Jane from Shoeline: When working with a brand we don’t care about your blog name. We care about your content.
- Katie of Paper Fashion highly recommends working with an agency to handle all contracts, payments, invoices.
- It doesn’t matter how big you are. if you do what you do well it will show. Be true to what you do.
- At the end of the day you know when you sold out. At some point you need to make a decision about who to work with.
- When you are an ambassador for a company you should be able to shout it from the mountain tops.
- Working with a brand should be something that is an equal partnership. It should not be a one-sided deal.
- Working with brands is not about pimping a product it is about working with the feeling the brand captures.
- In blogging there are ups and downs. That’s life. Roll with it.
- My blog should be a complete representation of me.
- To avoid writers block, keep a list in your phone of topics that come to you throughout the week.
- People aren’t just going to find your blog and comment. You need to put time and effort into that.
- To protect your material use Copyscape. It will scan to see who has stolen your content.
- Blogging is an investment. Not just in your time but your money.
- For your blog pay attention to what works to drive traffic and engage readers and focus on that. It’s the 80/20 rule.
- Don’t think of it as monetizing your blog. It should be monetizing your brand.
- As a blogger you aren’t just blogging. You are an entrepreneur. It’s a way to showcase you and what you’re doing.
- Great blogging tool = Crazyegg. It heat maps your blog so you can learn where readers are clicking.
Here are the things that I said that others tweeted during the Building Community panel…
- Important to prioritize your blog community involvement (such as reading blogs).
- Fostering friendships & being genuine are the most important things for building a community.
- Sign off on blog post, like when you sign off on an email. Make it personal.
- Be authentic. Add to the conversation.
- Leave thoughtful blog comments, not just “Hey come follow me” comments.
- Building community is a lot like building friendships.
Check out the notes Katie PhD. took of my panel! Amazing, right?!