Throughout the weekend I learned many things. Like wearing makeup when it is 104 degrees is dumb, and that fruity, pretty drinks are always delicious. But beyond learning that avocado soup is delicious and the homes on Swiss Avenue are dreamy, I actually learned some great tips about blogging, social, media, and various other topics at The Hundred Event.
1.Don't be a jack of all trades and a master of none. This pertains to more than just blogging. I think we are all guilty of this because, as women, we seem to always be go-go-go. I am going to (try!) start scheduling out time to get things done. I need to use the hours in my day more wisely and not try to do a million things halfway.
I also took this as, your blog doesn't have to dip it's toe in the community pool. Just because other bloggers are diying this, and wearing that, and cooking delicious dishes doesn't mean you need to be a diy/fashion/cooking blogger. For me, personally, I love the one day a week I show off fashion, but my true passion is interior design and diy. My goal is to start focusing more on what I love and mapping out my posts so I can be more consistent with my diy/home decor posts.
2.It is illegal to promote your blog on your personal Facebook page. (insert giant gasps here) If Facebook finds out that you make money, are running a business, or even receive gifts from a company in order to promote your brand, it is illegal and they could shut your personal Facebook page down...forever. Facebook has no appeals process, so basically you are out of luck if this happens to you. I would suggest making a page specifically for your blog and encouraging your friends to 'like' that page.
PS: If you make no money, do no sponsored posts, and receive no free items from your blog, you should be okay to share on your personal page, but it wouldn't hurt to stay on the safe side.
3. Twitter should be a conversation, not a megaphone. Guilty as charged. I use twitter purely for stalking celebrities and reading celebrity gossip. I read blogs all day and my instagram is full of bloggers, so I feel like this is my one social media outlet where I am not bombarded with the same things I am looking at on my blogroll and instagram.
I use twitter as a megaphone because all you will find on my twitter page is myinstagram pictures. We were encouraged to be more of a conversation on twitter, rather than shouting out things that are already posted elsewhere i.e. on instagram and Facebook. This is a goal of mine. Less megaphoning, more conversations.
4. Use searchable terms when pinning pictures to Pinterest. Instead of pinning something and captioning it "love this," describe what you are pinning with terms that people may search for.
Don't just say this - "love this! going to need this in my house asap!"
Say this - "Love this frame wall! Beautiful square, white frames from Ikea mounted above a wooden sofa table. All the frames, lamps, and accessories are neutral and work perfectly. The wicker basket is perfect for holding comfy blankets and pillows."
The searchable terms in the second description could be: frame wall, frames, Ikea, sofa table, lamps, neutrals, wicker basket, etc.
5. Always write a recap email to a sponsor or company who sent you something thanking them for the item and ensuring they are happy with your post and how you portrayed their product. I never do this, and I need to start. When you get something, you say thanks initially, post about it, and never look back. It is much more polite and will make you look better if you follow up with the company and make sure they are happy with the outcome. After all, they did give you something for free, so the least you could do is make sure they liked what you wrote. It is also a great way to get feedback for future sponsored posts.
6. Don't shot-gun post. Meaning, don't read something, or scour pinterest for hours, get an idea from said article or pin, then whip up a post and publish it. An unauthentic vibe may come across and you may say things that aren't your own and come off as a copy cat. Instead, if you read something that moves you and you want to write about it, write it, but save the post for another day when you can go back to it and make sure your opinions are still the same. I am definitely guilty of this which leads me back to number one and how I need to get better at scheduling time to write instead of rushing to get posts up.
7. You need good pictures on your blog, period. I think we all start out pretty rough in the picture department, but if you look at your favorite blogs, I bet most of them have great pictures. Pretty pictures appeal to everyone and this point was stressed in every session I was in.
8. Nowadays, everyone has a blog, so what sets you apart? Mommy blogs, fashion blogs, cooking blogs, travel blogs. Blogs are the thing, so why do people want to read yours? This is tough as a blogger because, let's be real, no idea is original. And for those who claimed you came up with an original idea, I commend you. It is okay to use others as inspiration, but there is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. The speakers this weekend were all well known for something they did that was out of the ordinary. It only takes one idea for it to catch on, it is just finding that idea that is hard.
9. Be confident. If you don't think your blog is awesome, no one else will either. If someones asks you if you blog and you say, "Ya, I do, but it kinda sucks," do you think they are going to be racing to the nearest iphone to check it out? No. If someones says, "Oh, you blog?" and you say, "Ya! It is really fun and I kinda think it is pretty cool. You should check it out!" don't you think they are more likely to go stalk you? Yes, it is sorta embarrassing and makes you want to crawl into a hole, but so many people do it now, so what the heck? Own it.
10. Have no regrets. Now if you post a picture of something inappropriate, you might regret that. Or if you shot-gun a post and publish it without thinking of all the angles of the viewers, you might regret that. But, most importantly, you shouldn't regret blogging. You should not regret being who you are, or admitting your flaws. Anyone whose life on their blog looks perfect probably is struggling in another area. If I would have regretted starting a blog, I wouldn't have some of my closest friends. I wouldn't have just had an amazing weekend meeting some ladies who I have looked up to for so long. Yes, sometimes I may offend people, I may say something dumb, and I may wear something hideous, but it's whatever. It is who I am and I have learned (long ago! thanks high school!) that there is no way I am ever going to please everyone. My mom always said, "Sarah, just kill 'em with kindness," and that has gotten me through my many moments of regret.
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