It’s not easy being a blogger. You spend the bulk of your creative time alone pondering the keyboard trying to figure out what to write, how to articulate it and the best way to break through the noise of various social media platforms. It was why I was so excited when Lizza Monet Morales reached out to me to offer a scholarship to attend the 2014 Lifestyle Blogger Conference at LA Mart – Maker City LA (DTLA). I’d heard about it last year (since I follow Lizza) but I just couldn’t afford the fee to attend. But with the patronage of Lizza and LLABC I was able to spend two glorious days with my peers!
Being with the other bloggers made me feel like the Velveteen Rabbit who with the love of his little boy became real! I’m a REAL Blogger whose opinions and thoughts are valued by my followers but I’m not generating the income I want. I’m ‘blogging wrong’! I know it sounds funny to write it out like that but I am! I’m a visual person who enjoys shooting film and video so my blog always takes a backseat to my other creative endeavors. I’m like a child who sees a shiny object and gets distracted. I get distracted with my tweaking of my videos (they are my babies!) to make them perfect. I want to tell the stories from my viewpoint that are compelling, interesting and ‘me’ in all my quirky geeky POV. I distribute them mainly on my own YouTube channel and as a CNN iReporter (it’s exhilarating when my coverage is broadcast on CNN and friends/family email or call to tell me that they saw me on TV I get focused on that ‘reward’ like Pavlov’s dogs but not on the TRUE reward to be valued for my creative endeavors with money).
So from the first moment meeting the other bloggers listening to their frustrations and successes I thought for the next two days “Hey that’s happened to me” or “Hey I WISH that would happen to me!” I didn’t feel alone in front of my computer.
I’ve learned a lot from the many talented panelists and other attendees. Let me break it down to the points that really touched me and will make me a better blogger utilizing various platforms to put the ‘Business’ in my Blogging!
- Be NICE kindness is a virtue that makes you someone people WANT to work with and will seek out! Daniel R. Musto @danielrmusto
- You have to ask and not be a wallflower! xoxoLizza gave me the confidence to talk with attendees AND her about collaborating on my geek centric POV project. She gave me the confidence to ‘ask’ and not fear ‘no’!
- The Networking for Bloggers panel was so right that you have to reach out to ask about guesting on blogs that fit your brand. As well as reaching out to those blogs that parallel your interest to expose your writing to a new audience. If you don’t connect and link with other blogs, social media accounts and brands you won’t increase your traffic and reach! @cassiebetts, MoxxeeMedia, @MichelleEmails and Alyssa Curran @LyssaCurran and my girl Lizza Monet Morales xoxoLizza Panel Moderator
- Don’t underestimate the effective use of Pinterest for image outreach! Claudia Havi Goffan @TargetLatino
- Look at failure as a learning experience as good as an MBA from Yale and that you HAVE to accept help from those whose experience fills in the gap of your lack of knowledge/experience to be a business success! Patricia Velasquez @wayuuprincess
- Find a tax professional that’s adept with the special needs of a social media professional blogger that will be able to advise you the best way to maximize your tax deductions! Paul and Lee http://www.coupledumb.com/
- You have to protect your intellectual property and rights with a contract since your brand is your business and you have to treat it that way! Rosa Elena Sahugun www.abogadarosaelenasahagun.com
- Be true to your brand and use that as the core for all your endeavors from volunteering to the creation of new revenue streams. Marie Denee @MarieDenee, Norah Salazar @norah_s & Marian Bacol-Uba @marianthefoodie
- KNOW your audience!!! Use your analytics to see what they are interested in reading; what gets traction and the most effective platform for your content! John Urquiza www.thegeniusofwater.us & Calvin Lee @mayhemstudios
- Hold yourself to a standard and your audience will trust you as well as prospective partners/brands that will want to reach them. If you are willing to sell your voice for money eventually no one will listen. @Mamavation Leah Segedie @bookieboo, Teresa Garza @teresagarza, Mariluz Gonzalez @VesperPR & Luz Rivas @DIYgirls @LuzRivas
I realize that I don’t have to go it alone and that I need to reach out to my community to network, celebrate success, and cry over failures! It’s time that I reach out to collaborate, to find mentors, for ME to mentor and the friendship of fellow bloggers. I want to thank Lizza, the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective and SoCal Lady Bloggers for welcoming me to the conference this weekend. I came to learn, to think and face my personal fears of failure but realize that failure teaches and I’m ready to learn! If you weren’t able to attend the Lifestyle Blogger Conference this year make sure you follow Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective and SoCal Lady Bloggers to keep up to date. I STRONGLY recommend that you network by following all of the panelists whose wealth of knowledge is invaluable!
What do you think makes a good blog? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me! I’d love to connect!
Till next time …