Ten Takeaways from Bloggy Bootcamp

I like lists. Have you noticed? My dad was an engineer, a  perfectionist, and a chronic list-maker. I especially like lists of ten. No, I’m not a fan of David Letterman, but there’s something whole and complete about a list with ten items on it. Writing my lists of ten on Tuesdays (or Monday nights) just seems to work well for me. So this week I’m listing some of the most significant tips and observations I got from my day at Bloggy Bootcamp. 

Here's @tipjunkie at #bloggybootcamp! on Twitpic
Only photo of Bloggy Bootcamp I took. 🙁

1. If your goal is to get more comments on your blog post, publish it in the evening when people are generally more conversational. If you goal is strictly pageviews, publish it in the morning.  – Laurie Turk aka TipJunkie.

2. Telling people to bring business cards and exchange them with everyone at your table is not a great idea. People then hide behind their business cards a bit, using them as a crutch in place of the usual handshake, eye contact, smile and introduce yourself method. It is useless for me to sit down at a table and have ten people throw their business card at me all at once. Which leads me to the next point.

3. Bloggers with current or previous careers in the business sector have a serious advantage when it comes to monetizing. Especially those who have either owned a business or have direct sales experience. We aren’t afraid to value ourselves and ask for what we’re worth. We know how to make connections face to face. We aren’t afraid to say no to “less than” opportunities.

4. Speaking of which, everyone has a price at which they will gladly “sell out”. Have an idea what that price is and don’t sell out for less.

5. When writing a blog post, ask yourself if it fits your audience and your goals. If it doesn’t, don’t write it. – Kerri Jackson Case aka @kerrijack

6. Every misspelled word reduces your perceived IQ by 25 points. Same goes for misused words and bad grammar. I never thought I’d be so grateful that my dad was a grammar nazi.

7. When pitching to work with a brand, don’t forget to mention your offline assets. Such as, I’m very active in pretty big church. I’m a member of the PTA and my child’s class photographer. I’ve been the team parent in our soccer league and I belong to multiple photography meetup groups. That kind of thing is often just as valuable as your online influence.  – Tiffany Romero aka @sitsgirls

8. You only have one life story, don’t give it away for free, even for exposure. Think about what is unique to your story, what experience you have that someone else could benefit from. (Jessica Bern aka @bernthis) This made me think about my experience of being sued by my former employer a few weeks before the birth of my first baby. It’s definitely a unique and highly dramatic story with a happy ending, but one I’m not sure how to tell just yet, especially without getting myself sued again.

Top Ten {Tuesday}9. Some people are much nicer in person than they may seem online. For me, Jessica Gottlieb is one of those. In the past her penchant for controversy has rubbed me the wrong way. But her measured response to the Corn Refiners Association fiasco had already started to change my mind about her, and hanging out with her at the hotel bar on Friday night was actually great.

10. Pam and Ellie are seriously awesome roommates, and I cannot wait for our trip to New Orleans for Mom 2.0 Summit. Give it up for fashion bloggers who know how to find great eats. Dinner at Z Tejas with Karen Bantuveris (aka @VSpotMom) on Friday, my first dinner at Chuy’s on Saturday, and breakfast (gingerbread and blueberry pancakes!) at Kerbey Lane were incredible.

What key tip or observation have you learned from a conference recently? Please share in the comments!

Bloggy Boot Camp in Austin Texas

Blog Conference Attendee

I am so excited to be headed to a small blogging conference in Austin this weekend called Bloggy Boot Camp. The conference is on a road tour of sorts, with Bloggy Boot Camps held in various cities around the country this year and last. The savvy bloggers behind Bloggy Boot Camp are the founders of an online community called The SITS Girls, which stands for The Secret Is In The Sauce. The topics from city to city are pretty similar, but the speaker lineups vary. So I’m looking forward to talking about personal branding and blog monetization, community building and online privacy with such well known bloggers as Laurie Turk and Jessica Gottlieb.

But in addition to all this blog business, I get to have a girls weekend with my Houston fashionista gal pals, Pam and Ellie. Not to mention all the other fabulous women I will meet, many of whom I already know from Twitter. There will be wine. There will be much laughter. There will be cameras a plenty.

I haven’t decided yet whether or not to bring my laptop, but I’m leaning towards it. I got fabulous new business cards from Moo using various photos all centered around a water theme. I love that you can get a whole pack of cards each with a unique photo on them from Moo. People absolutely love my Moo minicards that advertise my photography business, but these are the first I’ve created specifically for my blog. I learned the hard way at Mom 2.0 Summit that blog business cards are a must for any blogging conference. My experience there is, of course, what has inspired me to want to attend Bloggy Boot Camp and other similar meetups. I met such amazingly talented women there. Much like Photocamp Houston did in 2008, Mom 2.0 Summit radically enhanced my Twitter experience. I’m sure Bloggy Boot Camp this weekend will be no different.

So I will have my bag packed and waiting on the curb Friday afternoon when Ellie swings by to pick me up for our Austin road trip. Woohoo!