Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I Learned at Blog Podium: "Blogs+Media"

On Friday, I attended Blog Podium. This was the first of a series of conferences created by Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators and Lindsay Stephenson of Little House Blog. The topic of this first Blog Podium was "Blogs + Media" and the panel was made up by a fantastic line-up of women!

Left to right: Leigh-Ann Allair Perrault, Jennifer Flores, Kimberley Seldon. Photo by Jason Hudson
Left to right: Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Margot Austin. Photo by Jason Hudson

The conversation was awesome! I tweeted throughout and took notes like a fiend! I was the sponge and they were the water. I was there to learn and learn. I. did.

From my notes, I focussed on the messages that were repeated by most members of the panel. So I present you with my:

1.     Have a clear and authentic message I.e.: be original and have a distinct voice. People want to read blogs that are 60% content and 40% entertainment. 

2.     Focus on having a beautiful, well-edited blog. I.e.: Do not use your flash for photos, create posts that are less than 500 words, and break up the text with photos... photos that are properly credited!

3.    Consistency! Be consistent with your brand and the regularity of your posts (minimum of 3 posts per week is ideal) 

4.     Create an editorial calendar!

5.     Social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook) and guest posts are a great way to get exposure 

I had never heard of an editorial calendar, so I looked it up - it's supposedly a very efficient way of controlling content publication. I'm all for efficiency and have had issues in the past with coming up with post ideas. Using an editorial calendar, everything would already be planned out. So I spent a couple of hours finding a good template and then altered it a bit to suit my needs. Then amalgamated all the notes I have for post ideas (in emails, on my phone, written on paper) and organized them into the calendar (for the most part). Then thought "OH EM GEE. Why have I not been doing this ALL ALONG?!" Well... I didn't even know such an idea existed until very recently. That's probably why. But now I know, there's no going back! Up until now, my blogging has been spontaneous. I draft a post and usually publish it that same day, so I don't have any backup posts on the ready. I'll work a bit over the next couple of weeks to create more content (drafts for publishing) to add to my calendar. I'm so excited! I haven't been this inspired or felt this motivated in a long time. 

Does anyone else have any great blogging tips? Do you like my condensed list? Are YOU going to start an editorial calendar now? Seriously... do it! Do it now! You can thank me later :)

Here's what went down at my very first blogger meetup: The Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup 2011

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