Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bloggy Boot Camp ... Lessons Learned

As I mentioned a few days ago, I attended Bloggy Boot Camp in Seattle (hosted by the SITS Girls) last weekend, and had a bit of an unexpected reaction...
But as I also mentioned, I came away with some helpful blogging tips - as well as a whole lot of life inspiration.

I'm going to start with (my version of) the top five blog-specific tips ...

1) Step back and be critical of your own writing - and/or ask for opinions from those you really trust.
2) De-clutter!  Don't let flashing lights, buttons, and other randomness distract from your CONTENT.  Try to "Spring clean" at least twice a year (check!).
3) No auto-play music, folks!  (I know, I know ... I did this at first, too - but if you are an avid blog reader - you know it really is kind of distracting - and sometimes startling when you forget you have the volume WAY up and someone's music comes BLARING over your computer when you have a sleeping toddler upstairs.  ...Yep, it's happened!)
4) Your writing should sound the same as your speaking voice.  (Love this one!)
5) Use GREAT pictures.  But not too many of them! :)~

(** I also learned that 1) I am completely CLUELESS when it comes to Twitter, 2) I need to learn what the heck a media kit is, and 3) I need to learn a whole lot more about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).... but that's probably just my problem! :)~

Now, getting on to the LIFE lessons I took away from the conference ...

1) Immerse yourself with people whose voices you identify with (this obviously pertains to blogging, too - but I thought it was just a good lesson for life, in general!)
2) Be who you are .... and be it every day.  (A-MEN!)
3) Define your priorities, identify what makes you happy, and cut out the "to-do's" that cause emotional clutter.
4) Learn to say no ... but always be gracious, first and foremost.  (Love this a lot!)
5) Remember why you started blogging ... what was your "first love"?  What is your passion to share?

Pretty great stuff, huh!?

So.  ALL of that has been swirling around in this blonde brain o' mine for the past few days, trying to sort itself out.
And as I admitted earlier in the week, I've been a bit overwhelmed and kinda even discouraged.
Well, first of all, I'm here to tell you ... if you ever feel like getting some SERIOUS encouragement from the best readers in the world, just throw a personal pity party on your blog like I did ....
It will help.
I'm kidding.  (well, half-kidding)
(I really hope it didn't sound like I was trying to throw a pity party!)
And I need to apologize for making it sound like my blog was going to {POOF!} vanish into thin air, never to be written on again.
I truly have no intention of giving up blogging .... I think I am just struggling to find my niche in blogland - and you were just the poor, unfortunate saps who got stuck in my state of confusion.

But then I remembered THIS post I wrote a few months back, near the beginning of my blog journey.  It is probably one of my very favorite posts - and it totally sums up WHY I BLOG.

This blog is about making connections, sharing ideas, spreading inspiration, and capturing MY LIFE (complete with the cutest Little Lucy Lu on the planet) ... and I like it that way.  :-)

And now ... let's lighten things back up tomorrow with Fun-day Friday, shall we!?
But just to warn you -- I'm switchin' it up a bit.  (Well... just going back to what I originally envisioned for Fun-day Friday.)  But don't worry ... it'll still be FUN!!! :-)


  1. :)

    What?? I can't blare my Funky Cold Medina every time someone visits my page?? Huh.....:)

  2. Thanks for sharing all of that great info! And by the way...I know I just found you recently, but I'm glad I did....and I'm glad you are here in blogland to remind us of the little things :)

  3. I think it's important to just keep doing what you're doing. Blogs are about sharing and blogs are followed because someone connects with you on a personal level. I think we all struggle to find our niche if we have varied interests. Honestly though, does anyone have just one focus these days. We are all multitasking.

  4. Great tips and ideas----I am so so so not a blogging professional so it is interesting to hear what "they" have to say! And great advice for life---like the kind of stuff I should think about every day! Thank you for another wonderful post! You are just great!

  5. I've been scared half to death by music on a blog when I least expected it haha. I've learned to keep my volume turned off unless I really need it.

    Thank you for sharing this. I am just starting my blog out and have no clue what to put in it haha.

  6. You did not sound like you were throwing a pity party, at all Bec! I love what you took from the conference and I loved reading about it! Like I said before, I love your blog and it has inspired me! Have a great weekend!

  7. I think everyone becomes discouraged! I've just made a goal to make it at least one year. That's usually my goal for everything. Try to make it one year! I think your blog is great. And not everyone has to have a niche! thanks for stopping by the S&R hop again this weekend. Don't forget, tonight at 10 PM EST, we have our brand new "Show us your Town Hop". Link up any fun things you've been doing with your daughter locally!


Thank you for your comments!
I love EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. :-)