Ladies let me be honest with you, if you are serious about turning your blog from a hobby into a business then I highly recommend you make the investment and attend a Bloggy Boot Camp. I don’t care if you have 1 follower or 1 million followers, I guarantee you’ll learn something that will make you a better blogger.
Oh and by the way…the investment is a tax write off!
This post is not going to be a full blown recap of all the weekend activities because you personally need to attend a Boot Camp in order to fully appreciate it. I will however, provide a brief synopsis on what I took away from each of the presenters and then suggest you find and follow them on their Social Media Networks.
I arrived at the hotel around 1:30 Friday afternoon and after retrieving my badge from the Registration table I participated in the @LGUS #MomConfessions photo booth. This was a fun way to break the ice and meet new bloggers as well as reconnect with others.
The first session began a little after 2:00 p.m. with Angela Smith, Danielle Smith and Allison Talamantez, an awesome trio of panelist who answered questions posed to them by SITSGirls founder Tiffany Romero. We learned more on how to work with brands as well as what they are looking for when partnering with bloggers.
The session was very informative and timely and it gave us an opportunity to hear the information first hand. Angela Smith is the Senior Brand Manager, Home Appliances Division of LGUS.
Assigned numbers were printed on our name badges and with each break we moved to another table giving us an opportunity to meet even more bloggers. It was an excellent way to expand the SITSGirls circle and a chance to exchange more of our business cards, because you know most of us brought more than 100!
The afternoon program continued with a presentation from Tiffany and Francesca Banducci, on the Art of the Sponsored Post. My ears perked up during this portion as they spoke about the importance of having a professional and impactful blog. Tiffany and Francesca discussed first impressions of the “About Me” page, the use of large images, hashtags, Media Kits, bit links, deadlines, reviews, sponsored posts and why “Content is King“. Didn’t I tell you this Boot Camp was well worth the investment, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
After a short break, Courtney Slazinik gave photography tips and techniques emphasizing that your best photo(s) can increase audience viewership or even go viral on the internet. She definitely has some beautiful photos and because of that, has worked with various agencies and magazines throughout her blogging career.
“Working Smarter Not Harder” is the end game and this motivational presentation was tag-teamed by Tiffany and Danielle.
Closing Remarks before the LG Cocktail Reception were given by Angela, then the hors-doeuvres, drinks and laughter began. It was the perfect ending to Day 1 of the SITSGirls Bloggy Boot Camp.
The sponsors of Bloggy Boot Camp were @LGUS and @MirassouWinery and both had display setups with small takeaways. Angela and Dave each gave informative and entertaining presentations, not only the history of their companies but also of their enthusiasm for working with bloggers.
Breakfast began at 8:15 am and our guest speaker was Nell Merlino, President and Founder of Count Me In and creator of “Take Your Daughters To Work”. If you are old enough to remember the sitcom “Maude”, then you will understand it when I say that Nell is just as determined, strong, outgoing and entertaining as she was. A wonderful woman who gave an exceptional presentation on making your blog and yourself New, Better and Different.
‘”EMPOWERMENT IS SELF DETERMNATION”
Our next speaker was LC Johnson, of Colored Girls Confidential. LC talked about various income streams, being audience specific, investing time upfront and constantly driving traffic to your blog. LC is a highly energetic speaker who kept our attention from the beginning to the end with her true life stories and colloquialisms.
“WHERE YOU PUT YOUR ATTENTION IS WHERE YOU GET YOUR RESULTS”
The only male member in attendance was Hudson Crier, he along with his wife Emily presented the Business of Blogging. Topics covered were Branding, Research, Finance, Operations and Networks, all very important aspects for any blogger. Specific emphasis was also placed on analytics and SEO.
Social Media Strategy was presented by Cynthia Wheeler who shared her journey of transforming from being a “mom blogger” into a Social Media Ninja! Cyn provided tips and techniques on becoming a Social Media Consultant, various pay rates as well as the importance of a good web design.
Lunch was another opportunity to sit and chat with fellow bloggers, and I used some of the time to pick the brains of a few “experts“…ladies you know who you are!
After a delicious meal we literally jumped right back into it, including doing the “Hokey Pokey” led by Angele LaFond of Shoebox Be Gone! By the time Angele finished her presentation on social media and the tax laws including which blogging expenses were tax deductible, I was literally doing another dance called – “hey, I didn’t know that”, mixed in with a little, “say what!”
The afternoon steam rolled with another tag team presentation on Building Traffic Through Amplification using the 5 major social media platforms followed by Freelance Writing and Beyond with Sarah Maizes discussing how to build an online portfolio and credentials; then finally a Power Down session with Tiffany and Danielle who emphasized the importance of not having your blog overtake your life.
Remember to spend time with your family, have regular sex with your husband and always take care of yourself!
Bloggy Boot Camp was my first conference and not only did I have fun networking with other bloggers but I also left with the motivation and determination to become more focused so that I can turn my blog into a successful business.
Of course the delicious foods and the Wine Tasting Party helped to make it a perfect weekend in the “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection”
Thanks to the SITSGirls Bloggy Boot Camp I’m now ready to take my blog to the next level and soon you will see some changes and then…get ready to watch me in prime time on You Tube as I forge into the wonderful world of vlogging!
I am so thankful that I invested in myself and suggest you do the same!