Last month I attend the SNAP conference in Salt Lake City. Since I usually get a lot of questions from other bloggers, after I attend a blogger event, like…. “did you like it?” , “should I go?” “what did you learn?” I thought I’d type up a little mini recap for you complete with 10 things I learned at SNAP.
Let me first say, after going for the last 2 years, I must say that I love SNAP. It’s amazingly easy going, but totally jam packed with GOOD information. The classes were all top notch, and I wish I could have attended them all. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed and very friendly. There was not a feeling of “celebrity” or “exclusiveness”. Just a big bunch of mostly women wanting to learn to make their blog a little better. Don’t get me wrong, there were MANY MANY bloggers there who’s pageviews are in the millions per month, but they were all very normal and approachable.
I also really liked how accessible all of the sponsors were. Many people go to blog conferences to meet companies to work with on their blog. If you are going to do this, you’ve got to make sure it’s a good fit and having so many in one spot is a good way to see if there is anyone you’d like to work with.
Each blog conference I go to I learn a little something different. I think everyone picks up a different bit of each information even though they are all in the same class.
Last year at SNAP I learned that I needed to move to WordPress. At the Sewing Summit I learned how important it is to network with other bloggers and at Alt I learned the value in a beautifully styled tutorial (still working on that one *wink*).
There has not been one blog event that I’ve been to that “solved” all of my “blogging problems”. It’s just been little bits over time, and I’ve still got a list of things “to do and to learn” when it comes to my blog.
So here goes, here are the 10 things I learned at SNAP.
1- It IS important to network with bloggers offline. I really underestimated how important this was 2 years ago. When I was leaving this year for SNAP my husband said “well, will you know anyone there?” I quickly said “yes” and surprised myself a bit. I was so excited to go and be able to chat in real life with some of the many people that I’ve gotten to know in my 6 years of blogging. I truly count them as friends, and would not have met any of them without my blog. Any one of them would be welcome to come sit in my polka dot chair and craft the day away with me…
2- Not every sponsor is a good fit for your blog. If you want to start working with companies as sponsors (i.e. you write for their blog, or they provide you product to create with). Make sure it’s a good fit. Try to narrow your focus and go after those companies.
3- There is a LOT of stuff you don’t see. Okay I don’t mean this in a “she had skeletons in her closet” salacious post. I mean, you only see the “GOOD” on the blog, and by that, I don’t mean “perfect happy family good”, I mean BUSINESS related good. You may see a blogger that just got a stellar job to write for one of your dream websites, but what you don’t see the 100 people that turned them down before that. All bloggers deal with rejection. They just don’t blog about it because, well that wouldn’t be very classy would it? How would you like posts that say “well company XYZ just turned me down”….. see. So when you see something good happen to another blogger, don’t be jealous, and realize there were a lot of steps that they had to take to get them to that point.
with Cindy and Jina from Riley Blake
— now for some “techy” stuff
4- Name your photos what your project is. Don’t call your photos DCS1234.jpg. Call them purse-tutorial-jpg, and cute-purse.jpg and purse-sewing-pattern.jpg. It will help your SEO on google. Also don’t name them Purse1.jpg, purse2.jpb etc… maximize your search by using combinations of what you’re writing about.
5- If you’re using Instagram for your business (or your blog) keep your photos consistent and don’t overshare. A good rule of thumb is no more than 4 photos a day. Also use instagram as your “behind the scenes” for your blog. Post photos of projects in progress. People like to look at pretty pictures too! So use some apps to pretty them up. My personal favorite is PicTapGo.
6- If you want to print your Instagram photos, don’t print your sized down Instagram photo, print the full size photo that you imported into instagram. This is another reason to do most of your editing before you load the photo into instagram.
7- Vertical images do better on Pinterest than horizontal ones. Because of the way pinterest is laid out, vertical images are larger and therefore show up more in the pinterest stream. Best times to pin to pinterest? 7-11 AM and PM Eastern Time.
8- Most everyone wants to quit at some point. If you’re feeling discouraged and want to quit, you’re not alone. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort and sometimes the payoff is not what you wanted. Quitting may be right for you, but if it is think it over for a while, don’t make a rash decision.
9- Lightroom is THE BOMB! Thanks so much to the Crafting Chicks for their Lightroom class. I downloaded it the same day I got home and it has changed my entire workflow! So much easier.
10- Just GO to a blog conference. I wanted to go for a long time but was always to scared to jump in and go. Last year Char from Crap I’ve Made talked me into going to SNAP and I’m so glad that she did. People are friendly, the information presented really IS WORTH IT.