Monday, April 7, 2014

Bloggy Bootcamp St. Louis

Danielle Elliott Smith
As writers and authors we know how terribly important it is that we build our platform prior to publishing our book. Myhousehistory.net became a reality in 2008 as I was writing my book about researching house history. I like to keep up to speed with all the changes to blogging and social media by attending workshops on the topics. So on Saturday I headed out to St. Charles to attend Bloggy Bootcamp. Organized by the SITS Girls, Bloggy Bootcamp is a one day blogging and social media conference for women. I attended this event the first time it was held in St. Louis two years ago, and picked up many new tips and met some amazing bloggers. That was also the first time I was introduced to Mirassou wines as they were a conference sponsor and hosted a wine tasting at the end of the meeting. As a self-proclaimed wussie wine drinker, I was ecstatic to find the Moscato wine by Mirassou. It is my go-to wine for everything, and I have introduced many of my family and friends to it. My husband is a fan of the other Mirassou wines as well.
Mirassou Moscato

When I went to the conference in  2012, I was definitely the oldest woman in the room. A lot of blogging space and attention is given to the mommy bloggers, and while I am a mom I was definitely not anywhere near the same stage of motherhood as the other women in the room. I am an empty nester, but not yet a grandmommy blogger either. But that didn't stop me from getting to know some truly interesting gals with whom I still interact today. You can read a recap of my first Bloggy Bootcamp here.

As I was driving to St. Charles I had the 70's station on in the car, and it occurred to me that I was listening to music older than most of the ladies I would soon be meeting. That is pretty humbling. But what I noticed immediately upon arrival is that there were a dozen or so older bloggers attending this year. (And I was not the oldest!) In fact, this was a pretty diverse group, including two males. I think it made for a richer conference, with folks commenting from many different perspectives.

Here are my top ten takeaways from Bloggy Bootcamp 2014

1. By the year 2018, 80% of the content we consume will be video. Guess I better get busy on the tutorials I keep saying I am going to make.

2. Google fonts are viewable across all platforms, so use those fonts in your blog posts and websites.

3. eBay.com has free tutorials on taking better pictures. Who knew?

4. If Plan A fails, remember that there are 25 more letters.

5. If you want to some day represent brands, start writing about the brands you love and that matter to you.

6. Look at blogs that are successful and see what they are doing right.

7. Facebook is about being relevant in the moment. Share content other than your own as Facebook loves this.

8. Check out picmonkey.com as a free photo editing site.

9. Call yourself a social influencer, not a blogger.

10. And my favorite? If it is not a "Hell yeah!" then it is a no. We need to be okay with telling people no. Amen.

If you are a blogger or involved in social media at all, I would highly encourage you to check out local or regional conferences. They are a great way to learn new skills and network with other like minded individuals.

Danielle Elliott Smith & me



6 comments:

Christine Lockamy said...

It was really wonderful to meet you! I pulled out your business card when I got to your page. Those things were more useful than I thought they would be. Great recap! Its only been three days since BBC but I needed a refresher on some of those main points! =]

Kim Wolterman said...

It was great to meet you as well Christine! I am so happy we will be able to stay in touch!

Dana - http://chocolateandsunshine.com said...

Kim,
Glad we were able to meet at our luncheon with Debbie and Tara. You live 1/2 hour away from me so we will definitely need to stay in touch.
This was a great re-cap of our exciting day at BBC STL. I also wrote about the day and it's so much fun to read how we each perceived the event. I'm pinning this now!

Kim Wolterman said...

Dana, I enjoyed our lunch conversation as well. I will head over to your blog and check out your recap!

Nicole said...

It was great to meet you and learn about your book and blog! I purposely sat at a lunch table with women older than me and I'm so glad I did, because I met Sarah from My Smart Puppy. She gave such wonderful advice for my next book and about my little dog. The other ladies at the table gave me a different perspective on blogging. I loved it!

I know many mommy bloggers, but I think to gain experience and knowledge, it's important to connect with people doing things different than yourself.

Kim Wolterman said...

I enjoyed meeting you as well Nicole. I agree with your comments, and appreciated the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of bloggers with all their points of view.