Savvy Blogging Summit Recap: Part 2

by Kay Lynn

The sessions at the Savvy Blogging Summit July 8-10th were incredible.  I learned so much that I want to apply to this blog that it’s taken this long to start to figure out where to begin.  You might notice gradual changes in the next few months as I get through the list.

Last week’s recap included information on the conference, structure and networking. Now, let’s get to the content which I’ve organized by instructor.

Opening Keynote, Building Community and Effective Monetization

J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly fame, shared lessons that helped him get to be one of the biggest and most successful personal finance blogs.  If someone with over a million page views a month and 80,000 subscribers speaks, you should listen!


I was lucky enough to sit next to J.D. during dinner and found him to be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet (and no I didn’t elbow anyone out of the way for that seat).  The key points for me from the opening talk were:

  • Be yourself on the blog
  • Tell stories to engage readers
  • Assume no one reads your blog and at the same time assume everyone does
  • Improve continuously
  • There’s room for everyone is t he blog world
  • Have fun

Building Community

 It’s important to leverage existing relationships when building a community.  JD remembered what I told him about the Yakezie Challenge the night before and asked me to share it with the rest of the group.  I was glad to be on the right path in terms of this topic.

Another important point from the session was to be careful in responding to negative comments.  Let other readers do that as it usually makes the writer look bad.  Remember a blog is “not a democracy; it’s a benevolent dictatorship”.

Effective Monetization

JD started off with a quote by David Ogilvy, “Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things”.  There is nothing wrong with trying to make some money in exchange for providing free content and a lot of hard work.

The most important point to me was to understand your post popular posts and work on effectively monetizing them.   Also the path to earnings is:

Story ? Content ? Links ? Traffic ? Money

You should have heard the buzz with the slide displaying blog earnings from 10 large blogs.  It showed a wide disparity in ad earnings which were dependent on the monetization strategy of each owner.

Design, Reader Usablity and Coding

This area is where I struggle the most it seems as what you see is what I’ve built.    Joy Miller from 5 J’s Design had me furiously writing down notes.

Here’s my to do list just from this session:

  • Evaluate site load time
  • Use alt and title tags for images
  • Create a custom 404 page
  • Make header link to home page
  • Publish a start here page
  • Add seach form (Done: see the pretty Lijit search box)

Bloggers and the News Media

Valerie Hoff is a news anchor at 11 Alive in Atlanta and did a news report for her summit recap.  Her tips on a positive media interaction include:

  • Stay on message
  • Do homework on the person interviewing you
  • Trust your instincts

A fun part of the session was doing mock interviews with Valerie.  She said I did well but I definitely noticed 2-3 things to be aware of next time (thinking positively here).


I’ll include takeaways from the PR, SEO and Photography sessions in the next post.  Is there anything here that you can use with your blog or business?

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Kevin July 21, 2010 at 6:52 am

I need to work on getting a start here page. I know that will have an impact on keeping readers looking through my blog. I’m looking forward to the next post about the summit.

Little House July 21, 2010 at 9:17 am

Thanks for sharing this useful info. I realize I need to customize my 404 page and create a start page. However, I did monetize my most popular post this weekend when my traffic soared due to a Yahoo video interview on a topic I’ve posted on before. I’m not sure if I chose the right avenue to monetize it (Google Adsense), but it was all I could think of! Thanks again!

Bucksome July 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Little House, that’s great. Another way to monetize popular posts is with affiliate links. For example a post on savings account might link to Ing Direct with an affiliate code.

My Personal Finance Journey July 21, 2010 at 10:50 am

Do you all know of any other personal finance blogging seminars coming up? It would be cool to attend one at some point!

Bucksome July 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm

There’s a website,, that has a schedule of blog conferences. There are so many that it’s hard to pick! I find it interesting that women put on and attend these so much more than men.

My Personal Finance Journey July 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Awesome conference schedule find there Bucksome! Thanks for sharing!

laura@mtp July 22, 2010 at 1:59 am

Thank you for the info on the summit; I need to get going on your list too; I never even thought of a start this like an about page?

Bucksome July 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Not the about page, but rather a splash page guiding new readers to your best stories and introducing them to the site.

Jackie July 22, 2010 at 5:35 am

I think telling a story is great advice. It’s one of the things I’ve been working on, so I’m glad to hear it was useful for others.

Of course, I’m curious about the earnings slide too. Can you share what the range of earnings was?

Bucksome July 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Jackie, I didn’t write it down but tomorrow’s post will share how you can buy the presentation recording.

kt- lifedividend July 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

that guy gets a million pageloads? wow that is above impressive but for the number of articles in that blog, he deserves it. I am not that good of a writer but a million? wow

Bucksome July 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm

It was pretty impressive. Read tomorrow’s post to find out how to download his keynote talk for free.

My Personal Finance Journey July 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Hey Bucksome! Thanks again for writing this post and sharing the ideas. I just added a “Start Here” page to my site today.

Bucksome July 27, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Wow! You’re ahead of me and I heard this first hand. Very impressive!

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