For those of you that blog, you know that blogging seriously is more than a hobby, it’s a business. And if you don’t blog…it takes more work than you can imagine to pop in a few photos and add 500 words or so! When I started this site in December of 2012, I had no idea what it would turn out to be. A mom blog? A sports blog? And some days I’m still not sure, but after a lot of tweaking, reading, and learning…I’m ready to get a bit more serious about what mommy in SPORTS is…and will be. That lead me to attend FLBlogCon14.
I heard about this particular conference from a friend and blog guru of sorts, Katy Widrick, one of the event planners. It was staged in my home town of Orlando, and on the weekend of my birthday, so it was the perfect time to head north for some Disney fun and learning. This years theme was Gotta Get Blogging, and I was thoroughly impressed with the schedule of breakout classes and caliber of speakers. Everything from Branding, Photography help, The 15 Commandments of Video, TV Tools, Content Creation on the Go, You Tube Tricks….you get the picture! I couldn’t make it to every class, but luckily we can access all the slides of the presentations on FLBlogCon’s website.
I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things I did learn at FLBlogCon14 to help anyone new to blogging, and encourage others to check out this supportive group.
DON’T LET YOURSELF BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF
This was the message preached by keynote speaker Ted Murphy, founder of IZEA. He said,
I get offended when sponsors want bloggers to write about their products for free. Your voice is valuable and you deserve to be paid for it. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of!”
Can I get a hallelujah from the choir? This is a lesson that can help everyone, not just bloggers. It is so important to know your worth and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t work for free! Your time is just as valuable and important as everyone else’s. When in doubt you can always respond, “I’m happy to work with you – what’s your budget?”
SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR BFF
I loved this point on one of the slides in the Branding class. 72% of people are on some sort of social media, and this is a huge market that several businesses, brands and blogs alienate. Sunshine Baker, a Social Media and Communications Consultant said, “you are running a business and promoting your properties, so set aside a budget for social media.”
KNOW YOUR READER
This is a key point that’s so basic, I’m not sure why I haven’t identified this yet. But know who your reader is and write for them. Seems simple huh?
NEW APPS AND TOOLS
I was introduced to two apps that I love at FLBlogCon14, Snapseed for photo editing and iWatermark. Try them! As you know, gorgeous photos are essential to a successful site.
I also loved a presentation by Jen Cook of WUCF in Orlando. She shared some great sites to add pizzazz to blogs: Storify.com curates content, Quickmaps.com, and piktochart.com for those cute info graphics you see.
GET OUT THERE AND MEET PEOPLE!
Whether it’s events,or social media or blog conferences, it really is so helpful to step out from behind your computer and meet others like yourself. I wasn’t able to stay for the whole day at FLBlogCon14, but even in a short time there, I was able to meet a lot of people and get some great tips. I even stayed after some of the classes to get one-on-one recommendations from industry leaders. And if you do go to a conference, have your business cards and media kits handy!
A huge thanks to Bess who runs FLBlogCon14 and her entire planning team, including Katy Widrick for encouraging me to come. It was an excellent day of learning that gave me a new perspective on what blogging can be and beyond. It was inspirational, motivational, and most importantly fun. The only downside was I missed the cupcakes…damn! Does Gigi’s deliver?
Love this! I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to my blog, but this is great advice!!!
I don’t think any of us do Lauren, it’s a process! You are killing it though, I love reading your tips for busy moms!
Love this recap and what great pics!!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Loved this so much! I haven’t been to a blogging conference yet. They don’t happen as much up here in Canada as they do down in the United States.
I especially love: “Don’t let yourself get taken advantage of”.
I wade through dozens of emails every day that say try this product and write a review for free. We’ll share on our social media. Ummmm, no thank you. Of course I would bend the rules if someone was offering me a free Macbook or the RAV4 I’ve been dreaming of for the past 5 years! LOL
Love these tips and I’m totally pinning this.
Thanks for sharing.
Great tips. I attended my first conference this year, Hispanicize, and you really do learn so much. I agree, get out there. Unfortunately, you and I tend to miss each other, but I know we will “meet” one day soon! Oh and I am definitely going to Fl BlogCon next year!
Great advice! I get grumpy when I get pitched to promote a product for free, I have worked hard to create my blog, my audience and my voice and I don’t want to be taken advantage of either!
I am so glad you had a good time. I am going to have to look into those apps you suggested.
Such great takeaways from the conference. Love the branding tip about social media (I missed that session!). And your headshots are so cute. I hope to meet you soon at a conference or somewhere else!
you too Diana!
Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah says
So glad you got this chance! I can’t wait to hear all the details.
So great to meet you and look forward to keeping in touch! I loved your recap.
Thank you -nice meeting you too!
Totally cute pics!! I love blog conferences…they are so inspiring!
Looks like you had an AMAZING time – and I couldn’t agree more with that keynote speaker ;)!
I’m a little jealous that you got to meet Katy in person too LOL – I’ll have to come down to Florida next year when I’m a big time blogger haha!
You are already big time but we talked about you and how you are crushing it!
I love your first point. I’m always hesitant to ask for money, but it’s true: if you’re promoting something for someone, why shouldn’t that be expected? And I love the way you phrase it “Do you have a budget?” It makes your point without being pushy.
I’ve got to get to a blog conference!
I love the tip about not getting taking advantage of – I used to say yes to everything. Now I will, if it’s family or friends, for sure, but not really anything else. Not for free. I have very little time to do the things I get paid for!
And the parenting.
That’s awesome! What a great event – I need to keep my eyes and ears open and see if I can find something like this in the Chicagoland area.
I have yet to really convert my blog into a business. I freelance as a virtual assistant and copywriter…but it’s separate from my blog. My blog is truly my space, my place, and I think I’m reluctant to monetize because I don’t want to lose the focus of my posts. Maybe some day, after I’ve published (YEA RITE) a book, I can use the blog to generate some income.
Your headshots are so pretty, btw!