Don’t you just love the name? Doesn’t this sum up what we — I — need as a blogger? I need someone to tell me what I am doing wrong. I need the confidence to get what I want. I need to mix and mingle with others who are doing what I am doing.
In short, the Baltimore #BloggyBootCamp, was all that and a bag of chips. I know, I know, couldn’t I have use a colloquialism from this century, but it’s all I got!
My takeaway from the Baltimore #BloggyBootCamp — in no particular order:
- Driving to the #BloggyBootCamp with Jen and Melissa was all sorts of awesome. It was early. We need coffee in a major way by the time we got there, but the fellowship and camaraderie was amazing. It’s funny how you can communicate with someone for months without meeting, but meet them and realize just how much you like them!
- Tiffany and Heather of SITS are amazing women. Heather was home with sick children. Tiffany kept us entertained, engaged, and quiet with her “clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if…” We’re bloggers and we need to listen once in a while!
- And listen we did to a series of presentations and discussions.
- Tara (who was a last minute stand in for someone else) gave a detailed and informative presentation on a topic I find hazy and mystifying. SEO. Search Engine Optimization. Tara broke down the process step-by-step. I was gratified to see that I am giving my posts SEO-friendly titles, but need to work on searching for key words. I use tags extensively, but have not known that I need to look at keywords so that people searching for a topic can find my blog.
- Amy talked about what your blog should look like. I transferred my blog to WP and by transferred I mean I had mucho help from a great friend! I’m #notatechie, so unless I want to see an error message on my screen where my blog should be, I don’t mess with my blog! Amy talked extensively about networks to join, how to reach out to PR, dealing with a bad PR pitch, creating a media kit and About Me page, and so much more.
- Tiffany and Kat and Jill discussed topics ranging from Building Your Blog and Brand to using twitter and Facebook to joining AND participating in communities to building a comment tribe. All good stuff. So much to digest. Letting it sink in.
- Contracts — Do you use one for all work you do for payment? I do now, but on one occasion did not. I can’t go in to details right now, but I very much regret not having a contract. Good tip: Put a clause in your contract that allows for added assignments and duties. Make sure that you don’t do extra work for free.
- Cool, empowering, and must-do takeaway from Baltimore #BloggyBootCamp. It is O.K. to do reviews for free, if you love the product or if you want to establish yourself with the brand or with the PR person. BUT, don’t get sucked in to the “I blog for free vortex” where ” you are “staying up until 1 a.m.” writing post after post. I am not sure who this would be referring to…chirp, chirp…
- Time and again speakers said “It is O.K. to say No” to a pitch. Why is it so hard for me to say No? I say No to my kids and my husband and my parents, but when I get a pitch I invariably say YES. I need to do some soul searching to see why I always say YES even if I should say NO.
- The FTC portion of the program was presented by Justice Fergie. I know very little about FTC policies. Justice Fergie took us through the disclosure process step-by-step. I know that I need a disclosure statement. I have added one to every post for months. I now know that I am doing what I need to do.
Since I am new to blogging — I’ll hang on to this title for dear life — the best part of conferences is taking away some new-found nugget or procedure to make my blog better or my life easier.
The second best part is the people I get to meet. Some I tweet with, some I meet for the first time. New friends or old. Meeting virtual friends in real life is a treat. The Baltimore #BloggyBootCamp had built-in table network breaks, a luncheon, and an afternoon extended networking break. Even with the smaller group, it is impossible to meet everyone, but I did have conversations with:
- Erin and The Grasshoppa (I don’t remember her first name!) and Angie and Michele and Jayme and Melinda and Lynn and Trina and Kristin and Jael and Holly and a few more (I’m sorry if I left anyone out!).
More SITS Girls Boot Camps coming up:
- San Francisco
Signup for a #BloggyBootCamp near you. You won’t regret it!