BlogHer Food was full of mind-blowing information, especially for someone like me who really doesn’t get the business-end of things. I’m eager to learn, though. I want to know how to work with all the brands I love, I want to monetize through ad networks, I want to increase my reach and understand the analytics behind all of the social media I use each and every day. There is SO much to learn that it can get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there are seasoned bloggers willing to help — and for them, I am so grateful!
There were three main things I took away from the conference:
1) I must make the switch from Blogger to WordPress. So within the next couple months, expect a huge blog overhaul. It’ll take time and effort, but I’m willing to do it. With all the great plugins and opportunities that WordPress allows for, it will benefit me immensely. Things will be hard at first, but then they will get much, much easier.
2) I need to purchase a camera. Dianna put it perfectly when she told me she knows my food is good and the recipes are thorough, but the quality of the photos just does not do me any justice. So I’ve started looking into some beginner-friendly cameras. Not sure if I want to just get a simple point-and-shoot or if I want to aim a little higher. The Canon 3TI was recommended to me by a few people. Any other suggestions? I also plan on enrolling in a photography course in order to learn as much as possible — composition, lighting, it’s all foreign to me and I need to change that!
3) I must dedicate more time to Pinterest. Of all the sessions I attended, the one on building a Pinterest community was the most informative and helpful I love Pinterest and am addicted to pinning, but I didn’t realize how much more I could be doing with it and how important the analytics are. I need to start paying more attention to this platform, and making the most of it. One of the best Pinterest tips I got was on how to create “steam” in a photo — dip a tampon in water and heat it up in the microwave. What?! I can’t wait to try this one.
- Posting text-only posts on Facebook will result in a higher reach than when you include a photo.
- Treat writing as a “Fitness Routine” and give yourself writing assignments everyday to develop creative thinking.
- Keep your blog “sticky.” Make your readers stay on your site by including links to other posts in the likes of a Top 10, Featured Recipe, or “If You Like This Recipe, Then You’ll Like These…”
- Pinterest Captions are essential and must include strong, searchable words. Hashtags aren’t always necessary and shouldn’t exceed more than 2 or 3.
- Always Pin from the original site instead of simply repinning someone’s image.
- Join Group Boards on Pinterest and be active.
- Ahaology or Viraltag are good sites for scheduling pins so you can spread them out through the day.
- The best times to pin are 2-4pm, after 8pm and after 11pm, also on Saturday mornings and during football games (that made me laugh).
- It’s okay to negotiate with brands when talking $$$ for posts. Figure out what goes into the post — writing, recipe development, photography, etc. — and be honest about what you think you deserve. Follow up down the road to see how your post benefited them, and suggest future partnerships.