What I learned at CFlBlogCon 2012

This weekend I ventured with my fellow Tampa Lady Bloggers out to Orlando for the Central Florida Blogger Conference! (#CFLBlogCon)! Myself, Caroline, Beka, and Jess met up with Xio from Parkesdale Farms in Plant City to caravan it on up to Orlando for the day early Saturday morning. Uh oh, Long run day?! Don’t worry, I got this 😉
We arrived at the Orlando Science Center around 9am and were ready to learn, learn, learn! The venue was very cool with lots of exhibits and science-y things; perfect for my right brained self right?
(this is the Cliff’s notes version of what I took away, so get ready!)
A preliminary bathroom break was in order before we were able to focus of course
 let’s get this party started!
Literally, a party. A flash mob opened up in the middle of the keynote speech!
I learned a lot, – I’ll share some of what I learned (way too much to post!) shortly, but was very excited to meet many of my blogger buds in real life! (horray social media!) 
Like, Steph, for example – we’re SO doing yoga soon! 
 And Callie from theWannabeAthlete (here with her mom) who taught us about media kits
The beginning of the day I had these takeaways:
Via Lou Mongello (WDW Radio Guru):
  • Do what you love and work hard at it to gain the most out of it: blog frequently and about your passion
  • be professional at all times: you never know who’s ‘watching’
  • BE YOUrself!
Via Callie from the WannabeAthlete (local mom & fit chick!):
  • create a Media Kit, as it’s your online resume + what to include in it 
  • Be clear about what you can give to a brand and what you offer
Via Julie from the Little Kitchen (foodie & kitchen pro):
  • eventually work to not just take freebies – monetize your blog by focusing on your pitch; don’t work for free
  • you can pitch to brands and companies by building lasting relationships
  • think about what you offer/what is your value?
  • slot time for blogging (batch blogging, which is what I do, is ideal!)
Via Jackie (momjovi), Michelle (crazyrunninglegs), and Christine (cookthestory) during a social media presentation:
  • use the social media tools you have available (wait till you see what I got!)
  • Tweetdeck or Hootsuite help organize lists and make it easier to see followers and people you follow in order
Social media law overview ettiquette:
  • copyrights and how to abide my social media law
  • get a domain name – eventually – to house your blog 
Thank goodness for the Recharge room full of snacks, like these awesome strawberry cookies that Xio brought!

and Nawgan energy drink – which really kept me awake and focused & handing out my business cards 😉
After a snack I learned a ton more, of course:
Via Rachelle aka @travelblggr at thetravelbite.com – Twitter overview:
  • Twitter has SO many advantages and tools to help create a following
  • be honest, spell right, watch the ton of your tweets
  • be aware of why you’re doing what you do; build relationships with those you look up to
  • be your own niche
  • treat your fans like friends! Duh!
  • Afternoon tidbits:
  • Rep Yo Hood! I mean, get out in your local area and discover what your readers might be interested to learn about (food, events, etc.)
  • Via Justice Mitchelltelling a story:
  • tell a story that is intriguing and easy to retell
  •  Vlog…and Vlog often! order of attention getters: watch, listen, read
  • A day of social media overload definitely called for us to bring out the big guns, aka a power strip we found. If sharing one of these isn’t intimate, I don’t know what is.
    Lunch was provided by Bahama Breeze, and was yum! Thanks Bahama Breeze!
    Chicken, salad, sweet potatoes, paella oh my!
    The organizers of CFLBlogCon really did an AWESOME job with feeding us and making sure we had plenty of great content to learn and takeaway! There were great breakouts and speakers galore! After lunch, even, there was a yoga break I decided to take advantage of since I have a mild case of ‘can’t sit still very long’ and thought it might center my Chi..or something.
    3 weeks from giving birth, Katy Widrick was in the yoga session and such a sweetheart! She did great helping put this together & being a trooper when that flash mob took her thunder ;)!
    Bess Auer did a fantastic job making sure we were all where we needed to be at all times and was the master organizer!
    Bloggers who yoga
    I really enjoyed out Fit Bloggers breakout session where I got to meet a few more peeps I’d seen online and we all chatted about our blogs and upcoming races, etc.!
    top: Julie from PBFingers, Carissa from Fit2Flex, Rach from Runnerstales, me, Caroline
    Bottom: Paula from EatWatchRun, Steph, and Tekeya (our yoga instructor from break)
    Representin’ FitFluential Ambassadors!
    Yelp Orlando put on a kick-butt after party with food, music, [drinks], and prize giveaways!
    Fit chicks love them some Yelp!
    Remember about a 2 months ago, I wrote this post about United Arts of Central Florida?
    Well, we had the opportunity to “Blog for Good” and help write posts to support 1 of 6 non-profit organizations working with the conference as they were each raffling off gift baskets for charity
    I decided to write for United Arts because….well, I love art & they’re a great organization that supports performing, contemporary and all sorts of art in the Central Florida/Orlando area! I know the importance of using the right side of your brain to expand on your mind’s many possibilities!
    Each organization gave away a giftcard for the post they liked the most, I was surprised to win that! Then, Bess announced the winner of the iPad. The elusive iPad. One iPad was going to one of us bloggers who wrote a post out of all who wrote for “Blogging for Good.” I’d prayed and prayed and hoped and wished to win this iPad. My laptop broke about 8 months ago -blue screen of death 🙁 – and our P.C. sometimes isn’t the brightest crayon in the box.
    I won MY PRECIOUS!
    I literally did what one tweet called “a touchdown dance” when I heard my name…clearly…and was super stoked to win a 64GB iPad 3! The rest of the night included a death-grip around my new baby, and more noshing before we were all set to trek it back to our side of the state. As much as I wanted to play with Thomas, yes I named the iPad too, I knew when I got home (over an hour drive back from Orlando) I had to get to bed to be up Sunday to run. Say WHaT!?
    Sreepy Kat
    Sunday’s workout: 10 mi long run at long run pace
    Thomas got a CUTE new case from Marshall’s…a Steven Madden case…for only $14.99! Hello frugal shopper!
    There WILL be a blog post soon that will be Vlogged from this puppy once I figure it out – Workshop tomorrow morning at 9 😉 CFLBlogcon was an awesome experience and I look forward to more conferences and to applying all I’ve learned from yesterday. Thomas and I bid you ‘see you later’!
    What other blog questions should I tackle? How was your weekend?

    HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

    All author posts
    • Reply
      September 16, 2012, 8:32 pm

      Aw looks so awesome sad I missed it. Congrats on the iPad. I couldn’t live w/o mines now.

      • Reply
        September 16, 2012, 9:10 pm

        Thanks! I need tutoring 😉

    • Reply
      September 16, 2012, 8:52 pm

      Looks like a great day. It really makes me regret not going. Will you share with me what to put in your media kit. It’s something I’ve heard so much about but really haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and create. Thank you so much!

      And awesome 10 miler this morning. You’re going to kill this race. What’s your goal time?

      • Reply
        September 16, 2012, 9:11 pm

        Emailed ya 😉

      • Reply
        September 17, 2012, 12:45 am

        I was going to ask the same thing!!! can I maybe get a forward on that one:) pretty pretty please with cherries on top

    • Reply
      September 16, 2012, 9:01 pm

      Great recap! I don’t when I’m going to be able to do mine. Hopefully soon! Great to spend the day with you 🙂 Congrats again on the iPad! Bazinga!!!!!

      • Reply
        September 16, 2012, 9:11 pm

        Hubs went to the gym so I had some quiet time 😉 and didn’t want a nap??? Thanks! Thomas says hi 😉

    • Reply
      September 16, 2012, 9:46 pm

      Love your recap. It was such a great day. You must be flying high with that new iPad. And running this morning? You are a rockstar!

    • Reply
      September 17, 2012, 2:42 am

      This event looked awesome! It seemed like you walked away with a lot {EVEN AN iPAD! So cool} of knowledge in the bloggin world in just one day! Thanks for the post!

    • Reply
      September 17, 2012, 3:13 am

      Love it! Keep posting those tips :-). It looks like you had an incredible time!

      • Reply
        September 17, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply
      September 17, 2012, 5:41 pm

      You are hilarious! It was nice to spend the day with all the wonderful TBLB! When’s the next one? Sign me up!

      • Reply
        September 17, 2012, 9:48 pm

        Right what a great day! Glad to ride in your awesome decaled vehicle too! 😉 xo

    • Reply
      September 17, 2012, 6:00 pm

      So much fun!!! Great recap too. I’m hoping to get mine up tonight!

    • Reply
      September 17, 2012, 6:38 pm

      We had a fantastic time! Great day fo shizzle! Glad the Marshall’s idea worked out for you. Nice cover!! 🙂

    • Reply
      September 23, 2012, 7:17 pm

      What a great recap! Thanks for including me and I hope you gained some good useable knowledge from it. I did want to clarify, I didn’t exactly say stop accepting stuff for free. If you want to get paid though, you need to ask for it and be specific what you can do for them and how they would benefit from your services. I definitely still work with some brands for free and I’m okay with that.

      • Reply
        September 24, 2012, 4:52 pm

        I meant to put that and I can see how that could be twisted around; I’ve updated my content 🙂 Thanks for the comments~

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