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
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”.
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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