The Minnesota Blogger Conference always provides an air of inspiration and excitement. The 2016 conference was held at Concordia University, and bloggers from all over the region filtered in early on a Saturday morning to grab coffee and start chatting with friends, some old and some new. We spent the day buzzing in and out of sessions, comparing notes, and tweeting up a storm. By the end of the day, the message I was hearing loud and clear was to experiment and explore.
Keynote speaker Jennifer Kane could not have been a better choice to energize us with her talk, “How to become a fierce and fearless blogger.” Taking notes from Beyonce’s Lemonade, Jennifer challenged us to blog with authority, interest and authenticity, and to look at our writing as a way to provide wisdom, purpose and truth. People look to us as the authority on whatever we choose to write about, and we need to have confidence in the wisdom that we share on our chosen topics. She reminded us that it’s ok to try something new and fail at it because “it’s a bigger failure to not try at all.” I think we all live with fear in our lives to some extent; do we really want to look back and wish we hadn’t been afraid to try something?
Donna Hup of the North Iowa Bloggers spoke about “Why local is important,” which was right up my alley since I love writing about the Twin Cities. She’s helped build a strong community of bloggers in her area who provide support for each other by way of cross-promoting, cheerleading, collaborating, and more. A group of us who call ourselves the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers have developed something similar, and I appreciate having like-minded friends to bounce ideas off of, introduce each other to great work, and who understand the ups and downs of writing about theater. Another great resource is the Twin Cities Blogger & Creative Collective Facebook group.
Donna enthusiastically offered ideas on how to get out there to start networking, as listed in the photo above. I highly recommend attending a Social Media Breakfast, and of course I continually write about community. I really like the idea of finding others to collaborate with, and it’s the perfect opportunity to see how others’ perspectives differ from your own and to cross-promote blogs.
Erica Hanna has a strong voice when it comes to anything to do with video (she’s won Emmys for her work with Puke Rainbows so she’s quite legit), and she didn’t disappoint with “Live video: kick butt and stand out.” You’ll see a link below for her own recap. One of the many excellent points Erica made is that with video, you always control the tone and delivery. Your tone of voice doesn’t always translate well through text alone, so video is a great way to add more depth to your message. She recommends using live video for all sorts of things: give a tour, interview someone, repurpose one of your favorite blog posts. Like Erica’s slide above says, “If you can have a conversation, you are qualified to do a live video.” If you’re nervous, recruit a friend to jump on and engage with you if it might help you feel more comfortable. Just start doing it and see where it takes you.
Jason Rehmus of Sweating Commas is a friend of mine IRL, and while I was already aware of how he automates his website, his talk “Automation for humans” stirred up a plethora of thoughts on cross-sharing among platforms. All too often on twitter, I see that dreaded fb.com link which means an account has autoposted from Facebook to Twitter. These days, if I click those links, I end up with this most of the time:
Or I’ll scope out a new follower on twitter and see that all of their posts are instagram.com links. A podcast I had tweeted about retweeted me, and they autoposted to from Twitter to Facebook which caused a broken link to end up on Facebook (I had linked directly to the episode download in my tweet which was then useless on Facebook). To reiterate what I wrote in my 5 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Stories post, “People follow you for a reason, and you owe it to them to provide original content.” The examples above prove why this is so important.
Jason brought up the site IFTTT (If This Then That), which allows users to creates “recipes” for all sorts of things, but in this instance he gave examples for cross-sharing in a more palatable manner. Long story short, the site can help improve the experience your followers will have with your content by doing things like causing Instagram pictures to show up in a tweet, or share from Facebook to Twitter only if the text falls within the 140 character guidelines of Twitter, etc. The possibilities are truly endless.
I have more thoughts to share, but this is the Cliff’s Notes version and I’ll try to write a follow-up post (no promises!). Until then, I’ll work on experimenting with new ways to share my content as well as explore the options available in regards to creating content.
In the meantime, check out recaps of BlogCon in the links below. Also, check out this article about Jen Jamar and Mykl Roventine, the power couple behind some of my favorite social media events in town, like BlogCon and Social Media Breakfast. We’re very lucky to have them in our community!
Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Gathering Moss? — What Stirs Your Soul
4 Tips for Gutsy Blogging — Resounding You
The Times, They Are A Changin’ — Crayon Girl Linz
Live Video Platform: Kick Butt and Stand Out — Puke Rainbows
That One Time at the Minnesota Blogger Conference — NK The Marketer
5 Ways to Create Work You Love — Karla Mae
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