Home From Bloggy Boot Camp!

by Amber Stiles on May 21, 2012

Bloggy Boot Camp
This past weekend I took a trip to Philadelphia to attend a blogging conference, Bloggy Boot Camp. Depending on which part of my life you live on….this will either make complete sense or you’ll be left wondering why in the world?!?  You see, I take this little space of mine seriously, and if you’ve noticed (I hope you have) I’ve been sprucing up the joint.  It wasn’t just for fun.  All that hard work was for one main reason; to turn this website into a revenue generating machine.  HA, ok, maybe not that serious – but money is awesome.

Boot camp was fantastic.  It was chock full of info that my brain is still digesting.  It was planned by the most amazing women who welcomed us all (new and old) with warm hellos and drink tickets.  HEY NOW!  Tiffany and Francesca threw a reception that  eased us all into the weekend and helped us warm up to each other before the real work began.  I’m thrilled I was able to come  a day early and attend.

My Bloggy Boot Camp Notebook

Expert not Diva

I’m trying to wrap my head around all the things I learned this weekend and am so happy I’m an excellent note taker.  I treat these sessions like school and I was a top notch student (Ringing my own very loud bell…and happy to do it).  There were hundreds of tips that I could list for you here, but I’m going to explain my take on the ones that spoke to me:

Track What’s Important To You ~ via Tip Junkie

Right now I’m focused on hits, page views, and bounce rate.  I used to be concerned with the number of comments on the page but feedback comes from so many different sources; be it email, Facebook, Twitter, or on the post page, it’s hard to use blog comments as a hard number to track your standing in the blogging world.

Have One Main Goal ~ via Tip Junkie

I first started out as your pretty standard “mommy blogger”.  When I changed names and spaces I wanted to be a nondescript personal blogger so I could do whatever I wanted.  That doesn’t work for me.  I need a point to focus on.  Right now I think I’m leaning towards my family’s multicultural make-up.  I have a different view on things than many because of it.  Merging outside cultures is hard but so much fun I really want to look at developing that more fully.

Never Second Guess a Fun Idea ~ via Tip Junkie

I have this really really fun and out there idea to do a recap of the conference, set to music, with me rewording a very popular song….and singing it on video.  I’m not sure how to get that done, or if I can put myself out there like that…but if I do I promise to suck it up and post it regardless of how freaked I am to look like a fool.  Blogging is fun right?  Thanks to @ClassyMommy for making me want to Vlog again.

There Are Countless Ways To Make Money Blogging (or 18) ~via Tip Junkie

The ones that clicked with me were traffic related (ads), writing an e-book (free one first, then paid), creating tribe collaborations (throwing live and online events with other, bigger, bloggers), pitching for conference sponsorship (repping a brand), and working in local social media (working with local businesses on their online accounts).

SEO Means Google Love ~via Dali Burgado

SEO means your content is accessible to your readers and to the search engines.  Juicy titles with “long tail” key word phrases mean more to Google than funny titles and make your readers laugh.  If you’re looking for organic search engine hits you want this!  Yost SEO plug-in is the best for WordPress and I already had it install…booya!  Reviving old posts with a little SEO magic and linking to old posts in your current keyword rich posts will make you stand out to Google.  A little keyword research in your subject area goes a long way in telling you what people are searching for.

Grow Your Audience ~ via Sharon Mom of 6

Improve your blog internally with a good layout and easy navigation, then seek opportunities externally by guest posting and using link ups.  Repeat this by looking internally at SEO and analytics then again externally to decide where to put your efforts (Do you get more feed back on FB or Twitter?  Should you consider cross posting content?).

In the days, weeks, even months to come you might notice a bit of a shift here as a plant my feet firmly into my niche and get my bearings if it’s one I hadn’t expected.  Do not be alarmed my friends, it’s still me *pinky swear*

In the meantime, I really need to sort through my business card collecting and reach out to all these lovely ladies!

Comments make me smile!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Andie May 22, 2012 at 3:56 am

You may have just convinced me to sign up for Las Vegas….

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Amber Stiles May 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

OOH that one is going to be FUN! Do go if you can. And then make sure you tell me all about it :-)

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Sharon at Momof6 May 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Amber- this is a really great recap of what you took away from #BBC!

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Amber Stiles May 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Thanks Sharon. Your final talk inspired me to get home and get to work. The whole conference was awesome. I feel like I learned so much…and much of it was really user friendly. Thank you again for closing out the day with really usable tips and hard numbers.

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Zoey @ Good Googs May 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I’m so glad you went and had a great time!

I learnt so much at my last conference too. Particularly about SEO. It’s always something that I’d ignored as not really that important and taking too much time. But a few tweaks post-conference and suddenly just a few posts are getting massive amounts of traffic. And it’s passive traffic. Traffic I didn’t even have to work for, really.

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Amber Stiles May 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I’ve been playing with SEO ever since I really started looking at where my Google traffic was coming from. Most of my hits are from search engine results so I know I can do a lot more with that. And you said it perfectly – PASSIVE. That’s where it speaks to me. It’s really not that hard to plug in some keywords and make sure my plug-in is happy before I publish :-)

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Sarahviz May 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

It was lovely to meet you so many times in the elevator!

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Amber Stiles May 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

HAHAHA we ran into each other so many times it was getting comical. Happy to have met you in a quiet space though :-) Hope your trip home was uneventful.

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Diane May 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

Wasn’t it so much fun? I had such a blast. And…never turn down a free drink ticket. ;)

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Amber Stiles May 24, 2012 at 1:39 am

I’m so thrilled that I went. Like with everything else in life lately, I was trying to come up with ideas on why I should stay home right up until the last hour. It was great to meet you! Hope to do it again with all you lovely ladies. Where in PA are you anyway?

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Amber Stiles May 24, 2012 at 2:03 am

ooof I just realized you used to live in PA :-)

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Jamie @ Roubinek Reality May 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I can not WAIT for BBC to come to Dallas!! I’m so so interested in the SEO stuff. I’m going to check out Yost. I don’t have that yet. Sounds like I need to make a little investment in Dali Burgado. I know I could get a lot more exposure if I just step up my SEO a little.

p.s. I would LOVE to make some $ on my blog, too.

And, also, I saw your picture on another blogger’s BBC Philly recap and I was like, “Hey, I know Amber!” ;) Loved it!

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Amber Stiles June 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

When’s the Dallas BBC? You’re going to have so much fun. I went not knowing anyone who was attending and fell in love with so many interesting and smart women. Enjoy!

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Laura June 15, 2012 at 1:20 am

This is so helpful, and makes me realize I have SO. MUCH. TO. LEARN.

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Just One Boomer (Suzanne) August 19, 2012 at 5:19 am

Bummer. I have a blog. I live in Philadelphia. (No, I like blogging and living in Philly, the “bummer” relates to the next sentence.) Unfortunately, I finally found the Philly Blogger Boot Camp JUST NOW–i.e. way too late. Did any locals decide to continue to meet informally?

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