I just got back from an incredible trip to the SNAP! Conference for bloggers and companies who want to work with bloggers. It’s like an annual town hall meeting for the blogging community.
Attending SNAP! showed me there's still so much I don’t know about blogging, despite my years of experience as a craft blogger — like how to fine-tune my blog’s features, how to use social media more effectively, and how to earn more money working with company brands.
If you're a blogger and you’ve never attended SNAP! ... I say DO it, no matter what your level of blogging experience or number of followers. As the landscape of social media and technology continues to evolve, we all need a great place like SNAP! to learn the “best of the best” for improving our craft and blogging businesses.
Here are the top 10 things I learned from SNAP!
1. You are not alone. Bloggers and followings come in all shapes and sizes. We're all passionate about something — crafts, home décor, party planning — and we all can learn more to succeed in turning our passion into a business.
2. Don’t spend hours worrying about SEO. Use a keyword in your post title and then use variations of it naturally within your post. Post good content and search engines will rank you appropriately.
3. You CAN make money with your blog. Ad networks, brand ambassadorships, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts are some of the ways of working with brands to post valuable content for your readers that you also get paid for. Find out if the companies whose products you use have an affiliate or ambassador program you can apply for.
4. Companies want to work with bloggers. Their #1 reason to come to SNAP! was to talk to us, so it was easier than you might think to connect with lots of brands.
5. It's all about networking. We each got a special binder for organizing all the business cards we collected for easier follow-up. Strike up conversations anywhere and everywhere. Sit with people you don’t know, because you never know what connection may come of it!
6. Every blogger starts with 0 followers. Ask bloggers with larger followings to share some of their favorite tips to help you grow your blog. Don’t be intimidated — most of the bloggers I spoke to were very helpful and forthcoming with information.
7. Use storytelling in your blog posts. Your personality makes your blog more relatable and it’s a great way to work in a sponsored product review. Storytelling can also help you grow your blog following more quickly.
8. Work well in advance. Get the bulk of your content developed and photographed several months ahead if you can. This gives you plenty of time to edit and fine-tune your story once you start writing each blog post.
9. Take time for the tech side of things. Learn how to use the tools to update your blog and measure your stats so you know which posts and pages are the most popular, what keywords bring you the most traffic, and other valuable information that helps you develop future content.
10. Set measurable goals. How many followers do you want? How many visits per month do you want? Where do you need the most click-throughs? Track and monitor your progress regularly on a spreadsheet or with Google Analytics.
I came home with a very long to-do list … but the best value I got from SNAP! Conference wasn’t what I learned in the seminars — it was the networking. Connecting with brands and other bloggers was so great! I not only made new business contacts, but I also made new friends.Click here to check out 100 more things I learned at SNAP!