10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

by Heligirl on August 22, 2010

in Blogging,Daily Ramblings

Bloggy Boot Camp in San Francisco, hosted by the SITS Girls, was an amazing crash course as well as next steps preparation for both the beginner and experienced blogger. A day-long conference designed for less than 100 participants, Boot Camp was packed with valuable tidbits we could all use. Here’s a peek:

1. When vlogging, keep it short. Comedienne Jessica Bern, author of Bern This, told us the golden rule of vlogging (video blogging) is to be short, short, short. Under 3 minutes for sure. And an added extra tip was to put the time in the title of your post. For instance, “How to argue effectively with your cat – in 76 seconds.” Did I mention she was seriously funny?”

2. Use a blog tracking program, such as Google Analytics, StatCounter or Sitemeter. Better yet, use all three. These programs not only help you track your visits, but also look at who’s visiting to get an idea of your audience. Added bonus, they give you information on IP addresses of your visitors, which you can track at www.ip-details.com. Did someone leave a nasty comment or do you have a troll? IP tracking can pinpoint the exact street address of where the person commented. Julie at Angry Julie Monday sat down and showed me how to do this, tracking one of her own visitors to the point where a pin showed up on a Google map of a Texas town’s neighborhood.

3. You get what you give. This seemed to be the theme throughout with all the speakers, but Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club went into depth in her presentation on using social media for maximum exposure. Engaging others on Twitter and Facebook and always responding to someone who mentions you are biggies. When you’re recognizing others, they recognize you. Pass it on. Here’s a link to her presentation.

4. You can monetize your blog and still be genuine and avoid being viewed as a sellout. Just be authentic, Ciaran Blumenfeld from momfluential.com told us. We’re all consumers. We all tell our friends about our favorite products. Doing so can attract a brand that may offer to pay you to talk about them even more. Simply choose brands you’re passionate about and tell your story with them. Bonus tip, make yourself familiar with FTC rules regarding solicited reviews.

5. Increase the chances brands notice you by getting and staying active on Twitter. When you mention a brand, hashtag and ask your Tweeps to RT. Do the same for your Tweeps.

6. Do not autotweet your blog posts. It may save time, but someone visiting your Twitter stream who sees this, especially a brand, will not be impressed. Instead, write your own unique tweet each time you post. Twitter is a conversation, not one sided – you posting link after link. Bonus, doing it yourself lets you put hashtags in too!

7. If you want folks to retweet you, your original tweet needs to leave 12-15 extra characters.

8. If you decide to register and trademark your name, blog title, etc. it’s your job to police it. Not doing so can lead to you losing the trademark, warned attorney Linsey Krolik. The citizen media law project is a good source for legal information regarding your blog and copyrights.

9. Buy domains of your children’s names now. By the time they’re old enough to be looking for professional employment, everyone will have a website with their names to promote themselves. Grabbing their names now and making that small investment to keep them is a nice investment for their future. (I was so psyched that I was able to grab both my kids’ names as .coms!)

10. Be realistic. Our hosts, SITS Girl Tiffany, reminded us throughout the day and again at the end to not attempt to try to do everything we learned that day at once. There was a lot of information and advice shared all day, and maybe it isn’t all for each of us. The trick is to choose what we want to do and do it, one stop at a time. Trying to do it all will stress us out and completely defeat the purpose. Blogging should be fun, not stressful. Unless you’re raking it in. In that case, then by all means, stress about it like a real job. You’re getting paid for it.

    The SITS Girls are having plenty more Boot Camps and have already set dates and locations for next year. I’ll definitely be attending the Seattle stop in 2011 and highly recommend this intimate and valuable event, both for the information and great new friends you’ll make.


    Cheryl August 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Great summation! Sorry I missed the conference!

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks Cheryl. You were missed my girl. I was so hoping to see you there. I’m all signed up for BlogHer 2011 so perhaps we’ll meet then. 🙂

    Hanan August 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for the recap of Bloggy Bootcamp! Great notes!

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    You’re welcome. It was so awesome. This was only ten great points.

    Melissa {adventuroo} August 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What awesome tips, girl! Short, sweet and to the point. I love the idea of buying our kids’ domains– never considered that before!
    Melissa {adventuroo} recently posted: Joy in the Ordinary- the Every Day and Folding Clothes with Milk Stains

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I know, it never occurred to me either. The minute we got back to our room I bought both kids (was through the roof excited that they were available) and one for me should I need to host a professional resume website.

    MainlineMom August 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Great tips!! I never would have thought of #9 but it’s great! I can’t wait for Bloggy Boot Camp in ATX!
    MainlineMom recently posted: Christ-centered Yoga

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    You are going to have so much fun. Just make sure to say “Hi” to Erika from Alabaster Cow while you’re there for me! 🙂

    Poppy August 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I would have never thought to snatch up my kids names as a .com, thanks for passing that along. Sounds like a great conference.

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    You’re so welcome. I highly recommend these conferences for everyone. Not only is the information valuable, but meeting all those great ladies in the intimate setting was priceless.

    Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points August 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Was great to meet you too!

    Excellent summation.

    Also good to remember? Where you set down your business card holder.

    Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Nope. Wouldn’t do that.

    Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points recently posted: People Made Real

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Oh man, I’m sorry you lost that. I was vastly surprised that I left with everything I brought. I thought for sure with all the shuffling I’d end up back home with some vital piece missing, like my power cord. 🙂
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    LeeAnn August 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing what you learned! I definitely agree with #2…ip tracking proved to be invaluable to me last week. And great, now I’m going to have to figure out how to stop auto-posting my tweets. 😉

    I just wanted to let you know that I wrote about your blog on Mama’s Little Nestwork tonight. http://www.mamaslittlenestwork.com/2010/08/22/whats-your-favorite-blog/ Just in case you start to wonder what people are talking about when they come over to visit. 🙂
    LeeAnn recently posted: Im Falling Behind On Life

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

    You know what, I wrote that IP tracking piece JUST FOR YOU! As soon as they mentioned it I grabbed Julie and asked for help with the intention of getting you the info. Maybe posting a little something yourself about how you learned to do that and how enlightening it is will perhaps get a message across?

    And thanks so much for the great shout out. I didn’t know about Mama’s Little Nestwork. Coolness!
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Helene August 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I missed the conference!!! It would’ve been fun to meet you! It sounds like you learned a lot of helpful tips…thanks for sharing them!
    Helene recently posted: Mommy- hold my balls

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

    It was a lot of fun, even a bit overwhelming at times, but very valuable. San Francisco is definitely a very expensive place. I’d not have gone if I didn’t have access to free airfare. We were so beat we (my buddy Jenny and I who shared a room) ordered pizza, milk, cookies and dessert in our room and with all the taxes and crap paid $80!! The piece if advice I didn’t mention was – attend in a cheaper city.
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) August 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these! I would have loved to go, hopefully next year. I really appreciate you passing these along:) And, wow, never even thought about having to grab a web domain for my kids!
    Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) recently posted: How Much Sleep is Enough

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Neither did I. That one was a golden nugget. 🙂
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Holly L August 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Jen

    I am so glad we got to meet at Slide. There are so many people (I have since discovered) that I did not meet. I love your tips…I think I needed a refresher! I have got to work on those tweets.
    Holly L recently posted: Something Old- Something New- Grab the Crew- and the Gorilla Glue!-CLOSED

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:54 am

    It was great meeting you too Holly! You guys were a hoot. I hope you’ll come to Seattle for the Boot Camp here next year.
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Alana Morales August 23, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Great recap!! I’d love to know what your thoughts were on the goal setting portion of the presentation.

    Off to mark off when they come to Denver… 🙂

    nic August 23, 2010 at 6:31 am

    So are you going to be renting out rooms at Casa de Heligirl?? haha.

    That sounds like so much fun, thanks for posting! I am setting a mid-year resolution to make it to some of these conferences next year.
    nic recently posted: A Birthday for Bug

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:55 am

    They are worth it, for the information, the networking, the insight and the ideas. I’ve already bought my ticket for BlogHer 2011 and will attend our Seattle Boot Camp. I hope you can go to a few.
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 23, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Casa de Heligirl? Ha, ha, ha. Backyard de Heligirl is about all that’s open for anyone these days. Kids have taken over the space so bad Hubby has his computer in the kitchen.
    Heligirl recently posted: 10 Tips from Bloggy Boot Camp 2010

    Colleen August 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for all the great information. I wish at some point I could attend these things but it is not something yet I feel comfortable spending my money on. It is nice that I can get a little bit out of it with your great posts!
    Colleen recently posted: Monday Muse Aug 23rd

    Tiffany {SITS GIRLS} August 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

    First of all, it was SO GREAT to meet you.

    You offered some great insight to the group and I am so glad you walked away with valuable information!

    I look forward to speaking with you soon- I’ll need your local expertise for Seattle!
    Tiffany {SITS GIRLS} recently posted: The Double Dipped Life

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Great finally meeting you too Tiffany. I’m slowly digging out after getting home. I’ll be in touch soon. 🙂

    Everyday Kathy August 23, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Great post!!! I created a little Bloggy Boot Camp Post Link-Up opportunity and highlighted your post over at Everyday Mommy. Stop on by when you get a chance!
    Everyday Kathy recently posted: Bloggy Boot Camp A bacony inquiry to end the week

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks so much! I’ll stop by and comment more there. 🙂

    Katie August 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Great tips! There is a Bloggy Boot Camp coming to Atlanta, and I can’t wait to attend. Also looking forward to attending the webinar tomorrow – no storms in Seattle please 🙂
    Katie recently posted: Energy or Fatigue Which Will The Day Bring

    Anonymous August 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    well written blog. I’m glad that I could find more info on this. thanks

    julie August 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I had wished we were able to connect at a table-Great recap from the conference. Great points all of them. It was great to be in the conference with all the women.

    Twitter: Heligirl
    August 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Julie. Me too. It felt like I saw a lot of the same people twice, but not others at all. This could easily have been two days and we’d have gotten every bit of great stuff out of it.

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