The Savvy Blogging Summit was a journey into a parallel world. I walk away wondering how the world of niche internet marketing, its rules, guidelines, lessons and monetization are so vastly different than the world of professional bloggers. How can I spend an equal amount of time on the internet, building websites, writing content and in social media and come away with starkly different insight into what works?
And the answer lies in the similarity among the differences. . . CONTENT, COMMUNITY and COMMITMENT TO QUALITY
So I thought I’d share some of the nuggets I gained from the Savvy Bloggers themselves.
Lessons from Amy Clark
Amy Clark is the dream of a professional blogger. There are others, of course, but who wouldn’t love all the media respect and attention that is cleverly highlighted on her Twitter background image? Her ability to connect with people through the written word has landed her spots on Martha Stewart, CBS and the New York Times (among others). Unlike the millions of media dollars that have made Nicholas Sparks a success, Amy Clark’s rise has been organic and driven by intuitively written content.
So I paid attention when she spoke because success breeds success. The trail she blazes leaves clues as to what’s respected, revered and admired by those around her. Her session covered freelance writing, sponsored posts, being a brand ambassador, spokeperson roles, media kits and some lessons on how to charge for what you do.
For me the nugget wasn’t the stats, facts or numbers. It was her insight into what a company looks for in a representative before they even contact you. I believe she said “Act like a spokesperson” now if you want to ever be a spokesperson later. Companies want stellar examples when they choose people to represent them. They want someone who’s active in the social media sphere. They’ll shy away if their able to find times you’ve made your compromising moments public. I’d paraphrase and say be a squeaky clean expert who’s created a community of trust.
Amy Clark is a professional in every sense.
Nuggets from Maria Bailey of MomTalkRadio
I was amazed at how many things Maria Bailey is involved with. There are so many things that you’d be silly to wonder why companies hire her. And that itself is the lesson.
Maria made it clear that companies value what you do, what you’ve done online and off. So don’t hide it. And don’t make them guess what you’re special interests happen to be. If you’re a triathlete – you’ll do more harm to yourself not putting that out there than if you let people know. That may be the one thing that rings true with someone considering you.
While I don’t focus my content on “moms” as a specific target, I thought Maria’s insights into what motivates them to be interesting. She listed 5 motivators
- Saving Time
- Finding Value
- Family, Health and Safety
- Child Enrichment
If you haven’t studied these for your audience, how can you expect to connect with them on the emotional level that turns into reader loyalty, community and connection?
Graphic Design Fundamentals of Joy Miller
I was excited to attend Joy’s presentation on graphic design because it’s one of the skills I’m not spectacular with. I will admit that my desire to dive right into Illustrator techniques left me disappointed within the first 5 minutes. BUT that disappointment was driven by a lack of patience and understanding of what I really to needed to know first. (Thus describes every husband who leaves the instruction manual in the box before starting to drill holes and screw things together)
Not having had a design class before, I’d say what little work I’d done was based on images I’d seen and tried to emulate. Joy Miller broke down everything I like about design into 5 easy-to-learn steps that can be applied anytime you do graphic design work. Prior to this seminar, I hadn’t considered there were design “themes” that could be identified, labeled and applied to other projects- so I’m quite happy to have learned that.
Despite Joy Miller’s teaching, I’m not confident I’ll be able to produce the kinds of beautiful works she produced as mere examples. I think I’ll be able to make much better headers, buttons, and graphic images – but I’m not positive they’ll ever look like hers. Joy Miller’s got a flair for design and creativity that I’m not sure is able to be taught.
Nevertheless, I learned what I needed to learn and am thankful that we didn’t dive directly into Illustrator. It turns out I didn’t need to learn what “this button” and “that button” do – I needed solid fundamentals that don’t come in software tutorials. (Perhaps that’s the reason I make 86 runs to Home Depot on the weekends. . . if only I’d taken the time to learn the fundmentals first).
P.S. The Savvy Blogging Summit was a successful event for me. Similar to the NAMS Workshop in Atlanta, there is an aire of goodwill and knowledge here. This conference is not a pitch-fest, not cluttered with products to buy – rather it’s a weekend of collective devotion to the better good. Don’t be on the fence, register for next year’s early!
P.P.S. I’ll be detailing more of the marketing insights I gained from the Summit in my Weekly Notes below.