I love conferences. As a public speaker, that’s kind of a given, but I love attending conferences, too. I am particularly excited about attending blogger conferences, especially when it’s a family event. And to get micro specific here, I love it even more when they happen to be at one of my favorite places in Texas.
Of course, there are many blogger conferences and too little time. In choosing a conference to attend, I carefully consider what I will get in exchange for my investment:
- who’s attending
- who is speaking
- what topics will be covered
and much more…
A few years ago, I decided to invest in going to AdventureCon, a blogger conference at SeaWorld and Aquatica, in San Antonio, in my current home Texas. I really didn’t know what to expect and my mind was blown. I learn so much every time I go and I spend time with some of my favorite people at the conference, and enjoy some of my favorite creatures at the parks.
AdventureCon is an invitation-only event, and this year, I boldly drove to San Antonio to attend as part of the SeaWorld and Aquatica Wildside Blogger program, and I also got to teach on the topic of “How To Turn Your Blog Into A Book.” Besides the usual conference swag, your ticket to AdventureCon includes perks, fast passes, and meal cards, plus incredible behind the scene and VIP access to the best SeaWorld attractions.
Though it feels like a giant family fun gathering, AdventureCon is a SERIOUS business event, and I took plenty of notes to share with you. Are you ready for some expert advice to rock your blog, get found, and make more money? I can see you nod!
Make More Money Blogging
Jamie Dorobek compiled many ways to make money as a blogger… she called it “makin’ bacon blogging“… ahem… I’m sure she meant vegan bacon. LOL Here are the top 21, after I added a few of my own:
- Ad networks
- Affiliate Networks
- Third-party networks and brand sponsored posts
- Twitter parties
- Instagram Takeovers
- Online classes and e-courses
- Writing an eBook
- Selling a product
- Selling a service
- Monetizing YouTube
- Hosting a Podcast
- Recipe testing and photographing
- Starting a blog event/ conference / workshop
- Freelance blogging, writing, or doing social media for other small businesses
- Working as a virtual assistant
- Becoming a project or campaign manager
- Publishing a book
- Membership site
- Coaching or mentoring others
- Public speaking
- Periscope takeovers
Search Engine Optimization or The Art of Getting Found
There are two ways to get found on a search engine: through paid results or organic results. Organic results are not only more trusted, but the right price: free! Kori Ashton (whom I had met at WordCamp San Antonio) presented on the three main ways to increase the odds of getting found online.
First, content is king, so here are 10 ways to make your content STRONG, in a way that your readers can tell EXACTLY what you do when they read your content:
- Use keywords on your title / headline
- Clean URLs are a must: yourlink.com/needs-to-be-good
- Header tags (H1, H2,H3, etc.)
- Keyword rich content (add your keywords as many times as it makes sense)
- Insert wonderful images with correct ALT tags and titles. BONUS tip: use dashes to name your pictures, not underscores.
- When using anchor text [link text], highlight key terms
- Use bullet points in the body of your post
- Avoid broken links, they hurt your SEO (and may I add? your credibility!)
- Invest in a Secure Server License (SSL)
- Use page descriptions (meta tags) to optimize your Google Snippet Preview
Besides strong content, as bloggers, we need FRESH content for two main reasons: your returning customer wants to find something new, and Google will know you’re still in business to the extent that you are consistent. You can:
- blog often
- add a new video
- add a new press release
The second element to take into consideration is the User Experience (UX). These are 7 best practices that help convert:
- Make sure your website is Mobile-friendly (responsive design) both in mobile version or desktop version
- Your website or blog must be easy to navigate
- Have a clear call to action on each post
- Your website must be fast loading
- The images on your posts and site must be Search Engine Optimized. Use high quality photos and avoid small icons.
- The text is easy to read [not too small or crazy fonts]
- Add clickable phone numbers
The 3rd component of a great SEO strategy involves SOCIAL MEDIA. Did you know that Google looks at: traffic, shares, likes, retweets, followers, subscribers, comments, views, pins, check-ins, and more? So start crafting your social media strategy. 🙂
Monetizing Starts With WHY
The third super charged session of AdventureCon featured Sergeant Merrell, who shared very juicy tips and how-to’s of YouTube, because he rocks that game, and… let’s face it, YouTube is HOT. It was my second time learning from him and I was impressed again.
I selected 5 potent tips that will work for videos, blog posts, or pretty much anything you decide to do to monetize your passions.
- The most powerful aspect of your brand is WHY you do what you do. Don’t be afraid to talk about your why because you may offend someone.
- Find an intersection between what you do well, what you want to do, and what you can get paid to do, focus on that, and do it consistently.
- When finding your niche, don’t forget psychographics – VALS (values, attitudes, and lifestyles).
- You have about 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention… use them wisely!
- Subscribers are more important than views [or visitors ;)] – It’s all about engagement, audience retention, and social lift.
This is a lot… I know, and there’s a lot more to come! I usually come out of AdventureCon with loads of notes to keep me taking action for months to come. Good thing we get to play a lot, make strategic (more like divine) connections, and enjoy SeaWorld with our family. Stay tuned and subscribe, so you don’t miss out!
What were the top 3 favorite tips? Which one tip will you implement this week? Do you have any tips of your own to share with your blogger friends? I am looking forward to your comments!