I was scheduled to speak at 3:10pm about how to use StumbleUpon to get traffic and I was so excited! I was also really looking forward to hugging the necks of some of my blog friends I have never met. But boy howdy was I sleepy. Sirius XM radio kept me going. So did adrenaline.
I arrived after it started – stupid traffic! But I still got to hug the necks of my friends! Kristi from Live and Love Out Loud – she is amazing. Such a warm and friendly person. Did you know she is from Hawaii but now lives in a small Missouri town? I really feel bad for her every winter….
And someone else I got to meet – Emi from The Cloth Diaper Report! This was a very happy reunion. I first started to blog about cloth diapering and she was one of the blogs I first subscribed to when I entered cloth diaper giveaways. She’s such a lovely girl. I wish we lived closer, I know we’d be fast friends.
The sessions were fabulous too. SITS Girls have an audience of new/beginning bloggers so this conference was organized to meet their needs. Laurie gave a wonderfully inspiring presentation about passion and drive to become successful. Then we heard about design tips from the SITS site designer. Biggest thing she kept saying – keep your sidebars clean, your design cohesive and make sure people can find where to contact you.
They split conference into two tracks – business of blogging and writer’s workshop. I was in the business track since I don’t have time to really write. That will happen someday.
In the business track we also heard from and SEO professional about search engine optimization. It was shared at the beginner level – lots of wonderful information was shared. I took away a few tidbits:
- Categories are more important than tags for search engines
- Google Plus is starting to affect search engine rankings
- Don’t use the same exact anchor text for every single link
- Do NOT use “click here” for anchor text
Then Tiffany Romero shared her wisdom and knowledge – the biggest takeaway being for bloggers to switch to WordPress. Everyone was so excited and had lots of questions for her. She was so gracious and answered all of them. Other topics she discussed where –
- how many people should join in a partnership? (no more than 2).
- Should I get my URL? (resounding YES and DO IT NOW)
- Fake it till you make it!
Then we took a break and – eeek!! – it was my turn to speak! I zoomed (way too fast) through StumbleUpon and Pinterest tips. There were lots of questions I helped answer. The point I kept trying to emphasize was – use beautiful images in your posts and they will attract more traffic.
The last session of the day was seriously my favorite. The gorgeous and talented Danielle Smith gave a very educational presentation about vlogging. Her vlogging tips were so spot on. Of course they were – she just got back from the ACM awards red carpet! This girl knows her stuff.
My takeaways from Danielle:
- Get involved in the YouTube community. Comment, respond via video!
- Use the correct tags on YouTube to increase searchability
- People are searching for videos now more than ever
- Do not let the camera shake when you are vlogging.
What a huge and fun weekend! I totally recommend Bloggy Boot Camps! And now, excuse me while I nap.