What I learned at FLBlogCon 2013!

As a new blogger, about 2 months into the scene, I ventured to Orlando to attend CFLBlogCon 2012 as my first bloggers conference!
I took away a LOT as I hadn’t really delved into the blog world that much and BOY what a difference a year can make! So, when I heard that CFLBlogCon dropped the C [for central] and would become FLBlogCon for 2013 I knew I had to come for a 2nd year in a row!To my surprise, the event also SOLD OUT!
 
Jess B. and Xi drove with me to Orlando Saturday morning so that we could go together – Full Sail University was our destination! [by the way, I knew I could adjust my long run for Sunday long as I could come back in time Saturday night 😉 ] I was pretty excited to check out the facilities at Full Sail because, as a part graphic artist, I know that this school was up there are the cream-of-the-crop when it came to new and innovative classes and technology!

I was excited, too, to see Meghan again and get to meet and hang out with Amanda [in real life] as she’d just moved closer to my part of the Sunshine State!

 

Here’s the lowdown aka my “Kat’s Cliff notes” of the day’s takeaways!
 
Opening Keynote speaker – Senior VP of the Orlando Magic & Motivational Speaker: Pat Williams
 
 
Facts about Pat: Has 19 children (14 adopted from foreign countries), has done 58 marathons, 13 were Bostons, he was part of 1995 Orlando NBA Magic Finals team
He was diagnosed with cancer, multiple myeloma, in 2011
When your biggest talent intersects with your biggest passion you’ll be fulfilled
Here’s how to find the sweet spot a.k.a. success:
1)What you think about all day is what you’ll become and do – think the right kind of thoughts
2) Read books..and read to fill your brain – an hour a day at least -(REAL books)
3) Say the right kind of words – think before you speak, those words are leaving an imprint forever
4) Be specific in goal setting low to mid to high range goals. You’ll start to die if you have no goals…review, revise, give yourself deadlines. Have self discipline – doing what has to be done when it has to be done, the best it can be done, that way every time you do it – You are Responsible!
5) Pick the right kinds of friends. Surround yourself with positivity and not those who are negative and tend to rub off on others that way.
6) Take your pain, setbacks and turn them into strengths. Don’t waste periods of difficulty (what he learned from his cancer diagnosis when he asked the Lord “What did I do wrong?”)
7) Go the second mile, do twice what’s expected of you in every situation – you’ve got to outwork people. Have no sense of entitlement. Two of the most important words you should use are “what else” (What else can I do?)
8) Never give up! All of the famous people who did huge things should have never been heard about but pushed through their difficulties (Walt Disney – wrote 2 books about him) “sticktoitivity” – hang in there and persevere
9) Character counts in every aspect of life -honesty, integrity, humility, integrity, be aware of the influence you have,courage.
10) Live your life by the faith phenomenon – flying, eating out, starting your car – we live my faith every day. Let God take care of that control on life because it is good!
(He even thanked me for my smile after his speech, such an inspiration!)
 
Session 1
 
 
I’ve been able to chat with Katy off and on since last year’s CFLBlogCon and tweak my own Media Kit. I wanted to take this session to grab notes for this post and share what I’ve learned from her myself. Trust me, media kits are important!
 
What is a Media Kit? Analytics, resume, one stop branding shop, stand out! Bring it!
Why? Make money, become experts, enhance or establish brand
What Info should you have on it: full name, website, brief description, social media, analytics/stats, contact info (Should be written in third person)
Design tips? photo or logo, clean and classy, representative, typo free, third person – resonate and be memorable
Optional info to include: rates/sizes, testimonials, proof of performance, logos, cover letter, Fans/page views/visitors/clicks/followers
Bad v good branding: “Prices are firm” vs “prices are flexible depending”, “Will and won’t do things” vs. “being open to all ideas”
Good branding: “this blogger brings passion” etc vs “working with us will increase their stats”
Bad: to whom it may concern
Use Google marketing or advertising director to get name info of brands you’d like to interact with
Can upload to blog with or without numbers or say it’s available upon request
Can add to Slideshare, Linked in, can add link in email signature to media kit
Session 2
 

 

Jeanette is one of the top Fashion Bloggers in the country, working with Walmart and Old Navy. I’ve seen her blog for some time and know that she’s worked hard [once laid off from her day-to-day job] to create a business out of her blog.

Tactics and myths – she learned most of what she’s remembered from Missy Ward

Affiliate marketing: 80% of her income and can fluctuate for others- amazon associates (links to page in toolbar) share a sale, commission junction, Shopstyle (pay per click)
Banner ads: 5% of her income but can fluctuate for others, Izea / google Adsense, direct sales, CPM $1 for every thousand impressions? Good starting point
Direct sponsorships: paid content on the blog, set an hourly rate, provide full disclosure req by FCC, paid spokesperson
Freelance: journalismjobs.com, babble
Free items: sell on eBay or Craigslist
Paid content: E-books, YouTube, PDF with content
Pinchofyum.com see how others earn money and monetize
Myths – it’s impossible/yucky, take care of yourself and you can help others more, it’s not lucrative, it alters your content, it’s passive, it’s expensive, it’s that simple
 

Session 3 – Julie Deily: Taking my Blog full-time

Julie was also someone who experienced a lay off from her office job and wanted to work to create a business out of her blog. She had tips based on what she learned in her own situation to share with others. One of the top food bloggers in the country, she’s been very successful with this also.

 What works for me: networking, create a tribe or circle of trust, ask for what you want, always negotiate, exceed their expectations

In business and life, you don’t get what you deserve you get what you negotiate
Be innovative/avoid copycats or sameys, return to why you started in the first place,remote others more than yourself, be humble and professional, make sure your site is easy to navigate and there’s a way to contact you

 

Full time blogger friend advise: Always go with your gut and know that it’s ok to say no, try not to listen to others and focus on how you feel
Don’t: put your eggs in one basket, not diversify your abilities, believe there’s a pattern for success, invest in the wrong people, bash pitches or companies publicly
Key takeaways: pave your own way, don’t be jealous be inspired, be the best you that you can be, it’s all about building relationships
Find 5 ways that will define your success individually and change once those are achieved
Remember to get a life!
Session 4 Jason headsesdotcom (Sadler)

Jason started out by wanting to get paid to wear t shirts for a living in 2009 – everyone thought he was crazy!

People asked why should I pay you? – it’s Fun and cheap) and he started out with a price of $1 each day and each day the price increased (i.e. day 300 was $300)
He’s worked with: Starbucks, cruises, innovative business just being himself
What can hurt if you don’t: Just  ask!
Even when wanted to lose weight to get fit and had a company sponsor that – You can have various companies work with you don’t just think they won’t look at you because you don’t do X
Recently sold his last name space in an auction, for a year
Being paid for doing things you don’t enjoy = selling out

Tips for staying creative without selling out!

1)Be different!
2) Build an audience! 100 true fans better than 10000 eyeballs
3) Be interesting, banner ads and billboards suck, what unique sponsor opportunity can you offer
4) Value proposition: always think from their perspective, would YOU pay for it?
5) Under promise and over deliver – opposite is Groupon
How to put it all into action (a plan without action is a pizza without cheese)
1) What do you control? Are you an artist, musician, foodie, crazy about…
2) Find your niche-  what makes you stand out – how to not get stuck in one place: customers service which means interacting and responding, always commenting and tweeting back to others
3) Build your list – website and email marketing first, everything else later (mail chimp)
4) Create content and syndicate the hell out of it, don’t auto publish
5) Sell that sh*# – Show people how awesome you are after the hard work of pitching etc
(and example was Angry birds  – Rovio tried after 51 apps to be successful – never give up!)
Be different and work hard! You don’t get what you don’t ask for
Session 5  Clayton Pritchard

 

Where to start: What IS Google +? A social layer to connect all google products together
It’s growing!
First: Create and update a profile – optimize it and set up google + authorship
Optimize your posts with keywords (they show up in google search results SEO)
Use keywords specific to your blog or business, * make them bold, add three relevant hashtags, use image or link preview
Finding your audience: Find others with your google + search
Use Ripples to see connections of others, Join like communities
Hangouts on air – can use to teach, on air broadcasts to the world, can do q/a, live streamed, panel, weekly monthly review, guest interview, presentation

Yes, these were my choppy notes. I think in sentence fragments easier than full sentences sometimes 😉 While these are my takeaways, you can find the FULL slides from these and all of the other presentations HERE

Main lessons:
* Be YOURSELF
* Least you can do is ask
* Don’t compare yourself to OTHERS
* ENGAGE!
* Do what  makes YOU happy!

Did you attend FLBlogCon?

What information do you look to learn at blogging conferences?

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!

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43 Comments
  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 11:42 am

    MAN this conference looked amazing on social media (twitter and facebook) and Im loving all the FFA recaps. too.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 11:51 am

    Amazing what is available to help bloggers. We are such novices, and do it for fun!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:16 pm

    “When your biggest talent intersects with your biggest passion you’ll be fulfilled.” <– LOVE this quotation!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Thanks so much for recapping this- lots of great info! I really love that quote you shared from Pat about the intersection of your passion and talents, so true!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Great recap and it was awesome to see you again!

    • Reply
      September 25, 2013, 1:18 pm

      Thanks Carissa – you too! Sorry I skipped the sun yoga 😉

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Really interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:39 pm

    WOW – sounds like a great time! I will have to look into the schedule for next year!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:48 pm

    This is all such great information! Thank you so much for sharing :)))

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 12:54 pm

    WOW! This sounds like an amazing conference!!! You learned a ton!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 1:17 pm

    We har a great day! Thanks for carpooling. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Wow! So many things you learned and are now sharing with us! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Nice recap! Thanks for the full report on it. Perhaps I can make it next year. Miss your face!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 2:32 pm

    Great stuff! Glad you enjoyed and took lots of notes on the sessions I couldn’t attend.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 5:32 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been writing online since 2008 but have never attended any conferences in this area. I was just thinking about doing so in the future. Being in Florida, this is great!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 5:38 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been writing online since 2008 but have never attended any conferences in this area. I was just thinking about doing so in the future. Being in Florida, this is great!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Awesome Recap Kat! It looks like you learned a lot. Thank you so much for listing all this great information. Are you going to make any changes to apply the information you attained?

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 6:53 pm

    Thanks for the recap. I enjoyed how you captured the events in photos. I was looking for your Share buttons to share your post on Twitter. You may want to consider adding share buttons to your blog.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 6:55 pm

    I found your share button. Ignore that last comment 🙂 Sharing to Twitter now.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 7:55 pm

    Awesome recap! Embarrassed to say I’ve been blogging 4+ yrs and havent been to a conf. Ouch!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 7:58 pm

    You have such amazing photos! I love your recap 🙂 and it was awesome being able to meet you at the conference

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Such a great recap.. maybe one day I will get to one of these but for now, I like reading about them! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013, 11:26 pm

    I really wanted to go, but had plans that weekend. I am hoping to hit it up next year. Your recap and notes are awesome!! I have learned a lot from this post. Thanks for sharing Kat. <3

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013, 1:17 am

    I was totally IG stalking this event this weekend and way jealous we don’t have one in SC.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013, 2:40 am

    I feel like I was sitting right next to you, taking notes and listening too all of these speakers!!! 😀 I cannot wait until I ACTUALLY AM ABLE TO attend one of these blogging events!!!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013, 3:38 am

    I was supposed to go, but my best friend came in town to visit from Seattle! That was the only weekend that worked for her :- Sounds like it was beneficial. Maybe next year!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013, 2:30 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013, 2:45 pm

    Great recap post! I learned a ton of things just by this recap. I really plan on attending this conference next year, I really want to get some professional intake and learn more about blogging and what can help me make it better!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2013, 12:18 am

    One day I’m going to get around to attending one of these. There is just so much information! Sounds like you got a lot out of it.

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