|Kendi of Kendi Everyday Blog|
Kendi gave us lots of great advice, and what's best is she's just so nice and humble with all of her success. The biggest thing that stuck with me from Kendi's Speech, was not comparing yourself to other bloggers. Comparing is human nature, but you'll never be able to 100% mimick someone else's path. You're path is your path, and no one can do your path better than you. She quoted one of her favorite sayings, "Comparison is a thief of Joy." How true is that statement? How can one ever be happy if they are constantly comparing themselves to what others have and what others are doing in their lives? She also reminded us that taking risks and failure are almost synonomous. When you take a risk, you risk failing at that endeavor. She left a full-time high paying job for a blog that paid only half of 1 paycheck she made at the job she left, it took time, but now Kendi has her own online boutique, saying she's always wanted to own her own store ever since being a kid. The age-old saying, "The greater the risk, the greater the reward," is definitely something to remember. She reminded us that blogging is not our purpose, and that we need to live our lives bigger than our blogs.
PANEL ONE - Think Local, Go National
|Left to Right: Matt (Launch787.com), Charmie (RaeCosmetics.com), Jessie (StyleandPepperBlog.com), and Camille (CamilleStyles.com)|
The biggest takeaway from this panel, was though we may not think of ourselves as writers in the true since of the word as in a reporter or journalist, we really are. We are storytelling with a purpose, and after-all that's what Journalism is about, right? So the panelists gave us tips on how to improve on our blog posts, not to give up our personal style and voice, but to look at it from a reporters' perspective. Make sure you spell-check, make sure your links work, have your facts and information straight...things like that. Cheryl Bemis of FashionablyAustin.com stressed the importance of just not blogging about anything, don't settle for mediocrity. Pam (Over50feeling40.blogspot.com) the moderator mentioned that it's important to know your audience when writing your blog posts. Your goal as a blogger should be to become a trusted source. A resource for your readers to go to to read something unique and of value. Being consistent in your layout and postings is very important also. Pam also has Journalism 101 for blogging and Journalism 101 for Bloggers Conducting Interviews that she wrote on her blog. Because Pam is also a Journalism teacher outside of having her blog! I can't wait to get the time to read these documents!
|Left to Right: Cheryl Bemis (FashionablyAustin.com), Jessica (Refinery29.com), Caroline (LuckyMagazine.com) & Ann (CultofPretty.com & Holierthannow.com)|
Around Panel three, I decided that I wanted to record segments of the panel discussions and share them with you! The panelists and their moderator gave us great tips on what they've learned from being a blogger from a few months, to a few years.
- When you start blogging you should learn how to monetize your blog right away, even if you aren't going to do it right then, still knowing helps. Don't feel guilty for wanting to make money from your blog. Your blog is work, just like any other job
- You will have blogger burnout - take steps back and remember the reasons for why you started the blog in the first place
- Be open to trial & error
- Important to have offline communities with other bloggers
- It's okay to have writer's block
- They recommend not deleting old posts that they go back and laugh at or say "What the heck was I writing?" Blogging is an evolution, so it's fun to be able to go back and see how far you've come! Everyone started off somewhere.
- They talked about how to handle difficult situations with a reader or commentor, and you have to realize that you can't please everyone
- It's very easy to get stressed out about your blog, but your blog is not supposed to be a stressful place. You should enjoy getting to sit down and write a post, etc. If it's getting stressful you need to reevaluate.
- They recommend owning your own url, because the .com is more professional than a .blogspot.com/.tumblr.com/.wordpress.com
- Be safe, smart, and use common sense when blogging when you are away (travel, vacation, out at an event)
- Consider sending drafts of sponsored posts to the vendors to have them check it out and okay it
|L to R: J (JsEverydayFashion.com), Jen (Jenloveskev.com), Elizabeth (Delightfully-Tacky.com), & Kyla (BlueCollarCatwalk.com)|
|Molly (SmartPrettyandawkward.com) was the Moderator|
PANEL FOUR - Blog Balance: Why Your Blog is Not Your Life
Here's another video clip for you:
In this panel, these bloggers have decided at least for the time being to not blog full-time though having lots of success. They really like what they do in their full-time lives. This was definitely an interesting take for me, because I usually meet bloggers that are looking to eventually quit whatever job they are in, to blog full time, so I was highly intrigued.
- They recommend turning away from technology and social media every now and then. Give full attention to your friends and family when on outings, don't be checking your phone...etc.
- They live by scheduled posts (I do too! I would never be able to do a new blog post every night!) and recommend generating your content at least a week a head of time.
- Learn to say no to collaborations and events, you can't go to everything
- Compensation comes in more forms than money
- It's hard not to feel guilty about not being able to reply to every comment or read other blogs, but they say they are more active on their twitter and facebooks with their readers.
- Their top picks for interacting with their fans were instagram, facebook, twitter, youtube & disqus
|L to R: Diya (Diyainherstilettos.com), Veronika (TickTockVintage.blogspot.com), Julie (Orchidgrey.blogspot.com), Kristina (PrettyShinySparkly.com)|
CAPSTONE PANEL: Dream Big
Each of these panelists talked to us about dreaming big, and not necessarily with just our blogs, but with small ventures and business plans, because you never know where they may take you. And you have to allow for failure, because not everything is going to work out as planned!
|L to R: Jean (NMDaily.com & NeimanMarcus.com), Naomi (TeenVogue.com), Amber (rewardStyle.com), & Tara (moderator & buyosphere.com)|
Whew! I sure learned a lot at this conference, and I haven't even shared all my notes with you! This post would be way to long! But let's just say if you are able to attend this event next year, you definitely need to come!