Tips to Make You a Better Blogger
conferences are a great place to pick up blogging tips
I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever blogging conference put on by New Media Manitoba and the Women’s Enterprise Centre in Winnipeg. It was a full-day event with amazing speakers, excellent networking opportunities, great food, and an environment that was conducive to learning and creativity.
I attended the University of Winnipeg back in the 1970’s and being in Convocation Hall was inspiring — because of the words of inspiration being shared by the experienced bloggers who had come to enlighten us and because of the heritage architecture of this institution of higher learning (Wesley Hall in which Convocation Hall is located officially opened in 1896 and resembles the tower of a castle.)
The keynote speaker was Catherine Connors, who is not only a highly regarded “Mommy Blogger” but also editor-in-chief of babble.com, a site owned by the Disney Corporation. The key blogging tips Catherine shared are:
- Blogging can be a successful business if you write what you love and love what you write. Sincerity in what you say and passion for what you write will give your blog authenticity and help attract an audience.
- Blogging is a personal platform. Storytelling is what’s key in building your audience. Being interconnected and engaging in dialogue with them will keep them coming back.
- You need to be unique and establish your own brand. You are that brand and must market yourself 24/7 in order to be successful.
- Monetizing your blog need not cheapen it. Socrates had patrons. Why can’t you? Think of advertisers and sponsors as your patrons, but never forget your brand. Be sure to match the advertisers and sponsors with your personal brand.
- Even a small but engaged audience can attract advertisers. They key phrase businesses are thinking about these days when deciding whether to advertise on a site is “PPAT” — i.e. are people talking about this? If they are, through FB comments, sharing the link to your site, or linking back to it, it proves you are engaging with your audience and that your words aren’t just going out into cyberspace unheard.
We even did some exercises to keep our brains sharp and focused.
Other presenters at the conference shared equally valuable tips:
- Artist and designer, Kal Barteski suggested we put our advertisers or sponsors in a column to the side of the blog so that they don’t clutter up our posts.
- Photographer and blogger, Elan Morgan told us that people will stay longer on your blog if you include photos in your posts because, “People can feel your photos more than they can feel your words.”
- Erica Glasier, blogger and PR professional gave us the 15 qualities of a “rockstar blogger.” She said that platforms such as Tumblr are ideal for short-form blogging and that you should insert photos and use the hashtag #longreads if your post is long and full of text.
- Susan, Hurrell, is an online marketing specialist who helps businesses realize the importance of blogging. She reminded us that those of us in the Boomer Generation have grown up protecting our intellectual property, whereas The GenX and younger individuals have grown up with online sharing and it therefore comes easier for them. You must give your content away in today’s world to reach an audience.
- Cendrine Marrouat, author of “The Little Big E-Book on Blogging” suggested that guest blogging is a terrific way to extend your reach, but that it’s important to guest blog on sites that have similar content to yours so that the audiences match and the blog’s readers will want to read more of your writing by following your blog.
- Matthew Shepherd, an SEO specialist was kind enough to use my chocolate travel blog as a case study and recommended some of the changes you now see on that site and behind the scenes in the coding of the blog. I highly recommend the professional services of Matthew or others in that field to help you improve the visibility and searchability of your blog so that it will receive a higher ranking from Google.
There were other great speakers as well, but I’m already breaking the rules of keeping the posts under 500 words, so we’ll have to leave it at that.
Do you have what it takes to be a bloguru?
I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did, and strongly suggest you attend a blogging conference the next time you have the opportunity. If you have other tips you’d like to share, please do. And a special salute to Sandra Altner, CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre, who inspired me to become a “bloguru” by really becoming a guru of the art of blogging. Love that term!