30 January 2012

BlogPodium: The Rundown!

Apologies for not posting on Friday, peeps.  I fully intended to come home from BlogPodium and the Interior Design Show, distill the day into a witty and informative posting, add the best of my photos and post it up to the web before nightfall.  I knew, however, when I fell asleep on the train home before I hit the first stop on my run that I might be in trouble; I barely made it to 8pm before I was down for the count!  So you know what they say: "best laid plans" ....

I wasn't sure what to expect of BlogPodium and even though I was super-excited to attend (which, if you follow my Twitter feed, you'll know I'm not exaggerating when I say "super") I was also incredibly nervous.  The prospect of being in the same room with such an accomplished group of women and men was intimidating.  How was my little blog going to fit in?  Would I be laughed right out of the room?

My anxieties couldn't have been further from my actual experience: BlogPodium was awesome.  The panel, dubbed the "media mavens," was witty, engaging, thoughtful, hilarious and most of all, incredibly generous with their experience and expertise.  Conversation was lively and ranged widely over and around the core topic (blogs + media), and I took away pages and pages of notes.  What stood out after a few days of mulling it over were these key messages:

  1. Create a "brand": Take a strong view within your blog, with an original voice.
  2. Develop brand consistency: Stay on point and remain true to your message.
  3. Be authentic: Post original material that is personal to you, and showcase your own work. Show yourself!
The course of the discussion made me a little uncomfortable: I've never consciously considered what my brand might be, so I'm not even sure I have one.  And if I'm not even sure I have a brand, how do I ensure my posts remain consistent with it?  Who am I within the context of the blogosphere, and how do I make my presence original, distinctive and personal?

Ah, I don't know.  Yet.  But I am going to spend the next few weeks figuring some things out, which means you may see some changes come about in the next little while within the blogs layout and in the content.  I'll keep you abreast of any radical shifts and as always, feedback is more than welcome: it's appreciated!

A few more take-aways from the symposium that I'll also keep in mind:

  • Edit, edit, edit! Spelling and grammatical errors do not a successful blog make, nor does overly-verbose writing. These are elements that are simple to correct, and as I struggle with all three to varying degrees (especially the wordiness!), I'll definitely be working on them.
  • (Net)Work it, baby! Collaborate with other bloggers to build your own. Add blogs to your blog roll, trade sponsorship and target guests post (either guest on another blog or have someone be a guest on yours). Along with other blogs that appeal to your personal interests, be sure to network with blogs/bloggers that align with the content of yours. Chances are if folks enjoy a blog that's similar to yours, they'll enjoy yours as well. Like prospers with like.
  • Develop mad photography skillz! Taking excellent photos is key to keeping existing readers, attracting new ones and, if that's your eventual goal, getting yourself noticed by traditional media outlets. Get yourself a camera and learn to use it well; post original and creative photos, preferably showcasing your own work, to your blog and to other media outlets like Pinterest. And always, always watermark your pics.
  • Credit, credit, credit! I am always diligent about citing my source for any photo I use in my postings that isn't mine, but I am not diligent at all around tracking down the original source if I happen to use one that's already been re-purposed on another site. It's never my intent to cheat someone out of the credit they deserve, and going forward I'm committed to making a more concentrated effort to get to ground zero on the artists whose work I'm borrowing and ensure they receive proper recognition.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to attend and Money Pit Love will only benefit from having been there.  It was also amazing to meet so many great people, and put real faces to online friends.  I definitely made some love matches among the participants ~ you know who you are! ~ and I'm excited to see what's in store (and reconnect with new friends!) at the next event in May.

Thank you to the creative geniuses behind the BlogPodium series: Lindsay Stephenson of Aubrey + Lindsay's Little House Blog, Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators and Shannon Fitzpatrick of Hoopla Event Design & Styling.  Your inaugural event was an amazing success, and I'm looking forward to being a part of the community that you're building.  Congratulations!

Tune in tomorrow for Inspiration Gallery #14, and on Wednesday for the photo rundown of my favourite elements of IDS12.  Ciao for now!