BlogPodium 2014 was a huge success! But we’ll let our attendees tell you all about it in their own words:
Did we miss your recap post? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added!
From the entire team at BlogPodium, thank you.
BlogPodium 2014 was our best yet, and we have all of you to thank. We explored the many roads to blogging success, taking real-life inspiration from our keynote speakers and seminar leaders; talked about the fundamentals of blogging from affiliate marketing to SEO; got our hands dirty with crafts and power tool DIYs; and networked with over 25 premier lifestyle brands. And at the end of one very full day, 300 attendees from across Canada and the US left with their minds and notebooks full.
We’d love to know what you thought of this year’s event. Please check your inbox for a link to to the 2014 BlogPodium survey, or contact us if you haven’t received it.
Thank you for your support. We can’t wait to see what future editions of BlogPodium have in store.
So how do you make your tutorial stand out from the rest, earn exposure and perhaps even go viral? While there is not a silver bullet, there are a few guidelines one can keep in mind when trying to create that standout DIY post that will influence your reader to come back for more.
Whether you are teaching someone how to change a light bulb or install wooden floors, tutorials are designed to make a sometimes difficult task appear easier as you guide your readers through potentially complicated steps. In today’s world – where we have such a vast number of options to select from – tutorials may not appeal to people if not presented and organized correctly.
We all have different learning styles. Tutorials that align with our learning style will likely be well received and the information contain within retained. Conversely, if the styles conflict, we will likely struggle and potentially pass it up.
Being the visual bunch we are, this is probably one the most important elements of your tutorial and that is because humans are naturally attracted to things that are pretty and visually attractive. Similarly, in our industry, to increase the probability of a tutorial being ‘pinned’ or shared on FB, it has to have a ‘pretty factor’. There are obviously other factors that will determine what will get pinned and shared but that is an entirely other post.
We all know putting together a tutorial takes a lot longer than following the tutorial, so I would encourage you to evaluate the input/output and not waste too much time and effort on something if you feel it will potentially not return your time’s worth.
We have all come across tutorials that could be great, save for poor quality photos which unfortunately do not translate in ‘pinnable’ images.
Presentation matters as you are trying to achieve not only a complete and helpful tutorial, but one which is visually appealing. Taking ‘good’ photos does not necessarily translate into having to purchase an expensive camera, It does however mean you will have to get to know your camera and use your resources in order to take the best photos you can. I am a true believer that your camera is but a tool and not the most important aspect of a photo.
For a tutorial to flow in an organized manner, it has to make sense to someone who is doing the task for the very first time. Do your outlined steps follow the correct order? Did one step lead to the next or did you skip a step because you deemed it unnecessary? Remember that you want to write the tutorial as if you’ve never done the task before and a step that you might not deem to be important may confuse the reader if skipped. Use sound judgement to make this call as not every detail of the tutorial is always necessary. A helpful tip is to write down each step as you go along as this will help you with the directions later on.
As the expert, you are familiar with the terminology and process but do not lose sight of the objective of trying to make a task that is potentially difficult, easier for someone. While undoubtedly tempted to use a technical term, using simple layman’s is the way to go. As an example, I know the word gouache is used to described opaque watercolors for illustrations, but it is not necessarily a word that someone who is not familiar with watercolor may know. A good tip is to get to know your audience so that you will be able to communicate in terms which are both familiar to you and your readers.
Keep it Fresh
You can follow every single suggestion and have a perfectly written and photographed tutorial, but if the information you are providing is not worth knowing, people will tune out and not consider it worthy of their time.
The good news is that your readers want to hear from you, so infuse the tutorial with YOU. If it is something that has been done before, make it your own. Change it so to show your personality or speak about your own experience. What worked for you? What didn’t? What you did differently to overcome the obstacles? etc.
Remember that you are the expert and people have arrived at your site to learn from you. Take advantage of this opportunity and capture them with your witty personality or your story telling abilities. In short, use what makes you unique to your advantage and have fun!
Catch-up with Lucy at BlogPodium during her session, How to Create Stand-out DIYs. Do you want to create amazing DIY’s that get noticed? In this session, you will learn how utilizing a simple yet cohesive 3-prong approach of proper staging, fundamental photography and ‘reader friendly’ tutorials will not only provide your site credibility, but serve to: maximize your ‘pins’ and increase page views; attract new readers; generate potential business opportunities; and provide exposure to possible magazine features. In addition, the session will touch upon how to utilize social media and other networks to market your site and amplify your content.
What would you buy with $100 Etsy dollars? Some decorative pillows? Perhaps some one of a kind artwork? Maybe even a terrarium or two. With Etsy the possibilities are endless!
If you’re attending BlogPodium this weekend, you are in luck. Etsy Canada will have a fabulous booth in the exhibit hall where you’ll have the chance to snap a pic to win! Follow these simple steps and you could win 1 of 3 $100 Etsy.com gift cards!
Click here for full contest rules.
Happy September! I can’t quite believe BlogPodium is less than a week away – I am SO excited!
As we finalize all the nitty gritty details, I am struck by what a huge event this has become. With the help of some amazing and engaged sponsors, talented and inspiring speakers, and keen and motivated attendees, I think we are about to experience the best BlogPodium yet.
Let me just give you an overview of this year’s conference, including all the amazing bonus opportunities, and I think you will see what I mean.
The Conference Content
This year’s sessions are loaded with blogging professionals providing intense, impactful, and useable information. We will be covering:
Visit the online agenda to see the listing of seminars, speakers and to create your own personalized schedule.
Each year we strive to bring brands right to the bloggers, searching for companies that understand the work that goes in to blogging and are open to innovative ideas and mutually-beneficial long-term relationships. This year our sponsors are the cream of the crop, and they’re primed and ready to make new connections, contributions, and collaborations. We’ve collected them all for one day – now you just have to seize the opportunities!
The purchase of a BlogPodium ticket also provides you the opportunity to enter into a bunch of amazing contests, courtesy of our fantastic sponsors:
Drop by the exhibitor booths for details on how to enter. Chances are you won’t be leaving BlogPodium empty handed as many of our sponsors will be running contests throughout the day. A $1000 Barrymore Furniture gift card, RYOBI power tools, Dyson products, and Etsy $100 gift cards are just some of the amazing prizes that you could win.
These are all the sprinkles on top of our cupcake of a conference! There are so many fun extras at this year’s conference – consider them value-added to your ticket!
The BlogPodium team and I like to challenge ourselves to packing our one-day conference with as much information, opportunity, conversation, goodies, hands-on fun, and inspiration as humanly possible. We want you dizzy at the prospect of all the offerings, we want you to leave feeling MORE than satisfied with the investment you have made in yourself and your blog by attending BlogPodium, and we want to see you excited and INSPIRED!
See you very soon!
Yours in blogging,
Jen & the BlogPodium Team
P.S. Left your ticket purchase to the last minute? It’s your last chance to grab one and enjoy all the benefits this year’s conference has on offer.
Entrepreneur, family man, philanthropist, & tv personality, Bryan Baeumler is one of a handful of celebrities that seems to be doing it all and succeeding across the board. So when my husband Kes and I recently had the chance to chat with Bryan as a lead up to his appearance at BlogPodium, we made sure to get some insight into his many roads to success. Bryan really has a fantastic personality so it’s no surprise that what was supposed to be a 15 minute interview, turned into a candid 35 minute chat on life, business, DIY and everything in between. Here are a few of the highlights or our top 5 ‘Baeumler-isms’ as we like to call, them for achieving success:
Those are just a few of the nuggets of gold Bryan left us with. For the full interview you can head over to our blog at thedreamhouseproject.ca and give it a read.
And don’t forget to stop by the DRIcore booth at BlogPodium from 1:15-2:45pm where Bryan will be on hand to answer whatever questions you still have left!
By now were all getting quite proficient in Instagram use; it has quickly become one of the coolest social media outlets. It is extremely awesome for us creative visual folk who perhaps don’t speak that well in words but can style a photo like no-ones business, have a unique eye for the rare, and want to share their beauty with the world with just the click of a button, and maybe a filter or two. Visit Fynes Designs if you want to know what Instagram Apps I use the most.
Have you used Instagram yet to share a contest with your followers? It super fun and really easy to execute. Follow these simple steps to host your own Instagram contest.
WIN this (your cool prize here) one for you, one for your friend! How to win: 1.) Follow me 2.) Like this post 3.) Tag a friend, one per line. Winner announced 01/01/14
Giveaway time! (Your cool prize here) up for grabs! Regram this pic, follow @yournamehere and tag #awesomehashtaghere Contest ends 01/01/14
Now go forth and host a fun giveaway for your followers and hopefully gain some new!
If you’re looking for some insta love look me up @vfynes, I’d love to see what catches your eye!
As door-openers to brands, PR people can be great partners for bloggers. Here are 10 tips on how to make the most of the relationship.
When I started my PR career many (too many) years ago, we were the ones doing the pitching. We’d reach out with story ideas to media on behalf of our clients promoting ways for brands and products to be favourably received and seen.
But with dwindling resources in the traditional media world and a digital revolution that has led to the influence of social media and talented bloggers like you, it’s all changed.
Of course, we still work with media, but increasingly, PR people are the ones being pitched by bloggers interested in collaborating with the brands we represent.
So, what’s the best way to get in front of PR professionals and their clients? Our team came up with this Top Ten list for your consideration. Happy pitching and good luck.
(PHOTO SOURCE: “Pick Me – Stock Trading” by OTA Photos. Creative Commons. https://www.flickr.
Hear more from Cynthia during her BlogPodium session, Do’s and Don’ts of Making your Blog Irresistible to Brands. When brands look at all the talented bloggers out there, what sets you apart? As door-openers to brands, PR people can be great partners for bloggers. In this workshop, learn from a seasoned communications specialist who evaluates blogger partnerships on behalf of some pretty cool brands. Learn the do’s and don’ts of making you and your blog stand out.
In June, I attended the Altitude Summit, a conference full of blog inspiration, tips and advice. I won’t lie, sometimes being surrounded by so much info can be paralyzing. But attending conferences, like BlogPodium, with like minded creatives is really important to helping you, your blog and your network grow. Being at a conference reminded me that even after a year of blogging and many networking events I still need to work on my elevator pitch. Do you know what that is? Basically you meet a billion new people at these events and you have about 1 minute or less (an elevator ride) to share what your blog is about in a nutshell. It’s way harder than it sounds! Think about it. How would you describe your blog in one sentence and still try and be memorable and unique?
This is what I’ve been saying, which is NOT a great pitch:
THEM: “Hi! So what’s your blog about?”
ME: “It’s a lifestyle blog, so a bit of everything, you know, home decor, food, DIY, style, design.”
Ummm hello! It’s one sentence but can I be anymore generic and uninspiring? Here’s my new one:
THEM: “Hi! So what’s your blog about?”
ME: “It’s a lifestyle blog called The Sweet Escape and I share creative projects & inspiration to help people escape the every day.”
Ok, so it’s still a work in progress but better. And of course you can always expand when someone asks you for more detail.
Here’s a great example I heard at the conference this week:
OLD: “My blog is for the working, style cautious, creative mom who enjoys time for both herself and her family”
NEW: “I blog about cool things I like other than my kids.”
I love it. So to the point and the pitch makes it clear that it’s not a mom-specific blog (which is fine if that’s your audience).
So take this time leading up to BlogPodium to work on your elevator pitch. You and me both. Here are some helpful tips:
Good luck and I look forward to hearing what you came up with in September!
Connect with Melissa during BlogPodium during her roundtable session, Your First Year of Blogging: How To Get Noticed. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. So you decided to take the plunge and start a blog. The first year is full of growing pains and a big learning curve…and google analytics that move slower than a molasses. Join Melissa, creator of the lifestyle blog The Sweet Escape and hear her tips, mistakes to avoid and advice on how to get noticed your first year of blogging. Melissa brought her blog from the unknown abyss to a healthy social media following, monetization and growing list of accomplishments in a year. We never stop growing but it’s always good to get a great start.
While design and lifestyle blogging is arguably one of the funnest online realms to partake in, it’s still a lot of work. Between each post’s prep, creation and promotion, a single article can end up taking hours of your time. What’s the point of doing all that work if it’s not getting to new readers? One of the most important aspects of your website is SEO. It’s one of the only effective ways to expand the reach of your blog to people outside your existing network.
The downside? It takes time!
It’s likely that you’re not always going to have time to incorporate every SEO tactic in every blog post, but you do always need at least a little SEO in there somewhere. So what are the most important aspects of SEO to utilize in each and every post?
Keyword research is the heart of SEO. If you don’t know what people are searching for, you can’t direct your content towards your demographic. Do your keyword research and use that information to optimize your keyword hot-spots. Areas like title tags, metas, and H1’s should always include keywords.
Use Your Image ALT Tags
The image name is a great place to utilize keywords, but did you know that your image ALT tags are just as important to Google as the title itself? Adding extra information in the ALT text of your pictures gives you a bigger opportunity to reach a larger audience because you’re targeting people who are searching for a variety of applicable things, not just one keyword or topic. As a majority of your traffic will likely come from image searches, this is the easiest way to improve your SEO.
Be Aware of Your Keyword Density
When writing content with SEO in mind, you’re essentially writing for two different things: Your audience and search engines (like Google and Bing). Using too many keywords can make your content sound spammy to readers, but not using enough will leave you overlooked by Google. Always check your keyword density before publishing posts to ensure you’re targeting both entities!
Always, Always, Always Include A META!
You know when you Google something and there’s a small description about the website, the blog post, or the whatever-it-is-that-Google-is-showing-you that shows up under the headline? That’s your Meta! It’s 160-characters of keyword-rich information that will make readers want to click on your blog more than someone else’s. If you don’t write your own Meta, then Google often chooses 160-characters from anywhere on that page that they deem appropriate (which is kind of a risky thing to leave up to an Internet robot!). Make sure you include a Meta so you have the power to decide how you appear to the masses.
Not On The Front Page? Don’t Sweat It
Being in the top spot of Google used to be the main goal in writing SEO, but new updates are forcing a change in that mentality. Thanks to things like G-Mail, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, Google now has a good idea of what each individual user is looking for. Just because you’re not showing up on the front page of your Google doesn’t mean you’re not showing up on the front page of potential readers!
SEO is always evolving. What would have gotten you to the top of Google four years ago may be what gets you blacklisted today (I’m looking at you, keyword stuffing). Staying onto of the ever-changing SEO trends is the only thing that will keep your site visible online.
Image Credit: Glitter Guide
Connect with Nicki at BlogPodium during her Essential SEO workshop. Networking is an invaluable skill for any entrepreneur, but it can only get you so far in the online world. In order for your brand to expand on both a national and global scale, you need to be easily accessible on search engines, and developing a firm grasp on the ever-evolving SEO concepts is the only way to do it! In this seminar, you’ll learn what SEO is, how to apply it to your website, why keywords are the most important part of your blogs, and insightful tips and strategies on how to get your website to the coveted #1 spot on Google.