I attended this conference last year at the San Diego stop and was ready to be assaulted with more valuable information during this intense one day event.
Bloggy Boot Camp Las Vegas
The next to last stop on the tour was in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel & Casino. I’m not a fan of the casino environment – no windows, smoke and lots of noisy machines but thankfully other than the lack of windows the rest of it was not apparent in the meeting rooms.
It was a great opportunity to learn a lot (yes even after three plus years of blogging), connect with online friends and make new connections.
Boot Camp Participants
A blogger I found years ago online is Jane Gassner from Mid Life Bloggers and even though I had already booked a room I was happy to cancel when she was looking for a roommate. We didn’t spend much time in our room but it was fun getting to know each other more.
Participants move around during the morning and lunch sessions per assigned seating. This meant we all met a lot of talented people with a wide range of experience and expertise. I was thrilled to sit next to my longtime (by blog standards) friend Danielle Liss. She’s moved on from The Frugal Lawyer and is experiencing extreme success with Fitfluential.com.
Jane and I reconnected with two bloggers we met earlier in the day during the enjoyable cocktail party hosted by Mirassou Winery. No matter which fine you preferred, and it was Cabernet Sauvignon for me, they were enjoyable.
These are three ladies I hope to meet up with again.
Top 5 Takeaways
For bloggers who are interested in the conference content here are my top five takeaways from the day. I plan to start putting these in place over the next few months.
1. Utilize the Footer. Cynthia Wheeler from NW Designs shared so many tips about blog design that I will be following up on for the next year, but my first priority is cleaning up the footers on my sites. It’s not just me, this is the most neglected area on blogs and it shouldn’t be used as a “dumping ground” but rather the direction for where readers should go next. I’ll be adding more navigation and links of value.
2. Always Expect a Payoff. Laurie Turk from Tip Junkie had a wealth of information with her presentation on top 10 tips for blogging success. It was hard to pare it down to one but I selected this one because it’s my personal weak spot. Everything I do should result in traffic, recognition, money and/or experience.
3. Treat PR Reps Like You want to be Treated. It wasn’t stated exactly like that but the tips from Tiffany, Laurie and Gigi Ross from Kludgy Mom can be summed up that way. Always respond politely and kindly; don’t worry about the wrong or misspelled name. Suggest someone else that may be a better fit if you don’t want the opportunity. Keep that PR rep in your favor because you never know what other brands they are or will be working with next.
4. Write Posts and Share Photos At Event or Right After. I am so bad at this which is why this advice from Trina Finton from Gaming Angels grabbed me. It’s also why I’m posting this only 1 day after returning home. Even though I am using a lot of the gadgets and apps Trina recommended I learned a lot of little things like linking back to posts from Pinterest.
5. If You Don’t Say “Hell Yeah”, Than It’s a No. We all get opportunities that might not be that exciting but it’s hard to say no. I’m going to make a sign with this sentence from Danielle Smith from Extraordinary Mommy and post it by my desk. I have a habit of obligating myself to things that I really don’t want to do.
Be on the lookout for next year’s Bloggy Boot Camp schedule soon and make plans to attend one. The value of the information learned is easily 10 times the registration price!