Monday, September 30, 2013

Learning & Mingling at Blog Elevated


Ari & Connie Badge

Blog Elevated was ah-mazing! I met so many fantastical people and learned so much from them. I'm not a big part of the in crowd in Houston's blogging scene so meeting all these people was huge for me! I knew some of the people there- ah, who am I kidding?! I didn't know anyone personally but I was stalking them prior to attending the conference LOL! I did know Connie from Momma of Dos. I met her last year at a different conference and we've stayed in touch since. Online friendships are major in my life. I mean.. I've been online since '97 and some of my online friendships are over a decade long. This is why attending conferences is a big deal, not just for an excessive amount of learning but because the friendships you make can last a lifetime!

Ari BE Board Ari & Eric
Untitled Untitled
Thursday Runway Strawberries
Untitled John Saddington
Thursday Cake Thursday Food Table
Group Pi Untitled
Karen Untitled
Book CupCakes
Photos taken with my iPhone 5 & Nikon D60. Click to enlarge. More here.

First session was the creator of Pressgram, John Saddington & he was great! Here's what I learned -> The internet is a strange and welcoming place. Share your interests on your blog and open a new window to readers. Scratch your own itch and solve your own problems first. There is always a market for itch scratchers and it doesn't have to be something huge just tangible.

Next up was the Brands and PR Panel which was super helpful. It was nice to hear what the PR folks at different brands want from us bloggers. Here's what I learned -> Sometimes it's better to go after the marketing dept instead of the PR dept. The marketing dept has a bigger budget & the PR has the goodies. Google is your friend when searching for PR folks. Stay true and don't sell out for goodies. Always be professional and run your brand like a business. Do research on the brand you want to pitch to. No doesn't mean no forever and don't take it personal.

Angela England talked about publishing your dreams. She said dreams are just wishes unless you verbalize it. That is something I probably will never forget.

What I learned from Katie Laird -> Think like a marketer. What can you do to help that particular brand. What do you have to offer aside from a 'blog'. If you found a brand you want to work with, do your homework. Treat it like an interview and do some research on the company. Learn who they are and what they are about. Don't put product review on the subject line, chances are you'll get pushed to the bottom. Be funny or quirky with it.

Eric T. Tung had fantastical info on social media networking -> Automate whatever you can. Schedule all sorts of posts if you can. Consider installing Share this or Add this to your blog. You want at least 5 share links including email. Use something catchy when sending out tweets for new blog posts. Try to always use a URL shortener.

Photography/ Props & Photowalk was taught by Rachel Matthews. She was awesome and I enjoyed the stories she told about her house and family. She taught me -> You can't fake natural light. Search for a room with a great light source. Photography is all about light. Use reflectors or filters to help. Shutter release and tripod are super helpful when taking pictures for your blog. Always and forever say no to the flash on your camera. Shoot all sorts of angles and always shoot in RAW.

Rae Hoffman taught the SEO class which was interesting. Learned lots that I wasn't aware of -> Make a privacy and disclaimer page. There are three types of content. The kind you want to write, the kind others want to find and the kind that makes you money. Try to intertwine the three. SEMrush helps you find good keywords, ideas and opportunities.

I enjoyed all the speakers and the information I learned. I especially liked Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks talk. She wrote a book called The Beauty of Different that I bought over a year ago. I literally went waaaaay out of my way to find it at a Barnes and Nobles. I recommend it to any and everyone. I also left it at home the day she spoke Lol! She was kind enough to take pictures with me AND she signed a paper for me so I could put it in my book. What I learned -> Write about what you're passionate about. Create a blogging schedule and stick to it. If another blog inspires you, mention it in your blog and don't forget to link back. Strive for your best. Don't tolerate meanness on your blog. It's your blog so control it. Karen started a tumblr called Where Bloggers Blog. It's pretty neat to me to see where everyone blogs. Desk, bed, couch, floor, whatever works for ya.

I had an ah-mazing time at Blog Elevated 2013 and I hope to attend next years conference as well. You should to. Check out the 2013 agenda here and don't forget to 'Like' the Blog Elevated FB page for next years updates. Thank you Lisa and Bobbie for making this awesome event happen and bringing us all together. See ya'll next year!!

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