Happy Wednesday gals. I’m in Lancaster PA for Turkey Hill meetings tomorrow, but I wanted to quickly recap the blogging tips I picked up at Thrive Creative this past weekend.
I have to say, I had no idea what to expect from my first “blog conference” but the time and money spent ended up being so worth it! As helpful as technology is with podcasts, etc. to educate bloggers, this weekend made me realize there’s no replacement for good old-fashioned, in person connections.
In Friday’s post, I shared my 5 goals for Thrive. I thought it would be fun to recap these and quickly share the top things I took away from each.
- Branding. The biggest takeaway: I need to be able to finish the sentence “people come to my blog for…”. I know answering this will be related to my mission and goals but it’s also just a little different. My mission shares what I seek to provide; this sentence is a gut-check for whether I am actually providing that value in a way you can’t get anywhere else.
- Networking. This was my favorite part! I roomed with my good friend Nelli who is a wardrobe stylist in Houston. Nelli has a crazy talent for putting pieces together in creative ways; her career is built on dressing women for their unique body types and making them feel beautiful in their own skin. This trip deepened our friendship (and my abs still hurt from how hard we laughed Saturday night!). I also got to meet Dede Raad from Dressupbuttercup. I reached out to Dede when I started blogging and she took time to give me some of the best feedback I’ve ever gotten. We’ve kept in touch and getting to finally meet was so much fun! Dede is every bit as kind, fun and real as I thought she would be. I also got to finally meet several sweet Texas bloggers I’d “met” prior on Instagram.The two biggest things I learned from other bloggers:
- Tell your readers a story by posting your daily life, outfits, etc in real time with an iPhone. People love to know the real you. Don’t post photos from a trip you took three weeks ago- that’s old content and people want to know what you’re doing now. –Dede
- Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. In a world where social media is full of highlights, sharing what you are going through can be incredibly refreshing to you raudience and will help them relate better to you. –Nelli
- Increase blog traffic. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) I was surprised to find I knew a lot more than I thought. One interesting piece was the important of a secure https site as Google ranks your content higher for this. I had made the switch a few months back for other reasons, but it helps make sense now why my traffic from Google searches have increased so much. Another thing I learned was having two internal links (links to your other posts) in every blog post is important for SEO. The last thing I learned is that I NEED to up my Pinterest Right now I pin photos from my blog posts without “resizing” them to the preferred Pinterest dimensions and without adding a written heading to contextualize what the pin is. I learned that there’s a template on Canva that makes this super easy. While I get a lot more traffic currently from search engines than Pinterest, I was surprised that for most other bloggers it’s the other way around.
- Monetization. Dede and Emily from Champagne and Chanel talked about monetization through affiliate links. The two biggest take-aways:
- Instagram stories’ “swipe up” feature is helpful to link items you’re wearing or talking about. I knew this already, but the new piece I learned is to link those “swipe ups” to an “Instagram stories” tab on my blog and not to a link of the single product. This makes it much more likely the purchase will be made from your link, since shoppers often screenshot a swipe up to shop later. If you link to just an item, they may search for that item rather than use your exact link, in which case you would not get the commission.
- Consistency builds trust. It’s hard to post a photo on Instagram every day or churn out a blog post 2-3 times a week, but whatever your schedule, set it and stick to it! Readers will learn they can come to your page for new content at those times. Not only does this get people in the habit of coming back, it builds trust and trust is a critical compenent to whether or not people feel comfortable purchasing an item you recommend.
- Instagram strategy. The biggest takeaway here was that while Instagram is an important component of blogging, I need to focus on growing my blog. As saturated as blogging may be, Instagram is far more saturated and much less straightforward a platform to achieve growth, for many different reasons. Another, smaller tip I learned: mix up your Instagram hashtags. Using the same hashtags over and over will get them marked as spam and they won’t be visible any longer. Easy tip: create 8 different sets of unique hashtags in the “notes” on your phone and rotate through them.
I know this post isn’t relevant for those of you who don’t have blogs and I hate that. But thank you for letting me dedicate tonight to sharing what I learned; I received so much positive feedback on my “blogging tips” series and my hope is that this is just as helpful.
On that note, I’m off to bed here! It’ll be another 15 hour day tomorrow (starting with my team breakfast at 6:45am and ending with landing in Charlotte at 9:30pm tomorrow night) and I’m already behind on this whole getting enough sleep thing. 😉
PS Sorry the pictures are such TERRIBLE quality! I took them with my phone and didn’t have a chance to edit.