Last week I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Boston. Run by the SITS Girls, it was 24 hours full of intense learning and schmoozing with some of my favorite bloggers like the gals behind Mommy Niri, Mommy Shorts, Squashed Mom, Sensible Cents, Random Handprints, Cozi and so many others. I also met a lot of new bloggers and made fabulous connections.
At the conference, I learned new blogging concepts and lessons that I hope to put into action on my personal blog and here on the Ruckus blog. There were sessions about branding, content, pitches, legalities, photos, monetization and social good. It was an inspiring, awesome day, and the ladies behind SITS, Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci were wonderful hosts. They are both really, really knowledgeable about SEO, and every chance they got between speakers, they gave us insight and action items. They wanted to make sue that we all left the conference with not only big ideas, but also strategies.
Here are some of my key takeaways:
- Amy Bradley Hole at Better Branding kicked off the day talking about branding. She said that to be a really successful blogger you must understand your guiding principles, the purpose of your site, and what makes you unique – and then stick to it.
- Erica Voll of Mommy Fabulous talked about how content is key to getting noticed. She talked about crafting killer content for your blog. One of her suggestions was pop over to Google Trends and see what’s hot on the search engines. Another one is to use lists, reiterating that Google loves “top 10’s”.
- Carol Schiller of Cozi gave a superb presentation called “6 Essential Things Every Blogger Must Know about Monetizing a Blog, or How to Write Pitches that Don’t Suck”. She provided terrific information about what makes a good pitch and what a blogger can offer a band. She said that if you’re pitching a brand to go to a conference, set yourself up as the expert
- The more pictures, the better your photography gets, according to Lindsey at Modchik. She shared a few free sites (Flickr Commons, StockXchng, Google Images), as well as a couple of paid sites (iStock Photo, Big Stock Photo) and reminded us to ask permission to use images we find on the web.
- Katja Presnal from Skimbaco, a longtime hero of mine, gave some powerful tips on working with brands, said that every action you take should build your brand. She is proof that anyone can take his or her passion to the next level.
Finally, my friend Mommy Niri gave powerful advice on using our social media voice to get involved. She reminded us that we are powerful and can make the world we live in a better place to live in. She is proof that there is so much more to blogging than we realize and we need to believe in the power of our words to make a difference.
I highly recommend Bloggy Boot Camp. If it’s coming to or near your town, you should go. You can’t beat the price. It is by far the cheapest of the blogging conferences that I’ve been to or thought about attending. It’s well-organized. It was jam packed with session after session, but each session had me thirsty for more. I never once felt inundated or over-whelmed. I felt nourished, empowered…everything you want from a blogging conference.
Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this blog post. I paid my own way to Bloggy Boot Camp.