A few weeks ago I attended the B Connected Conference in Ottawa. It was my first blogging conference and while I thought I knew some stuff about blogging going in to the conference I discovered that after two days I really didn’t know very much at all.
I was a little overwhelmed by all of the information. Fortunately I took lots of notes. A good indication of how much I was learning is how few tweets I sent out during the conference. I was too busy taking notes for myself to share the info with people following along.
I started implementing some of the things I learned right away and others remained in my conference notes awaiting discovery. This week I finally made the time to go through those notes and convert them into a to do list. There are 35 items on my list…
I am not going to lay them all out for you, but you will start to see changes – some of which you may have already noticed.
Accomplished to date
- Changed how I use Google Analytics, including setting goals and activating the search tracking. David Bird provided us with great practical information that was easy to put into action.
- Shifted my thinking on what I write about. My blog tagline “Make your mark where you stand” is a line from the Matt Andersen song that inspired my blog name. Until now it hasn’t actually been a guide for what I write. Since the conference you may have noticed me taking a stronger position on certain topics. This will continue and grow. In the past two years I have taken positions on some topics, although I have held back on some of my opinions lest I offend too many potential readers. That has changed. Now I am going to take my tagline seriously and make my mark where I stand. That doesn’t mean that I am turning into a columnist. It just means that when I have a point to make it will be stronger and clearer.
- I revisited my Pinterest page, which was more or less dormant. It has a little more on it and will soon become more active once I have cleared a few more big projects off my list. I had set it up without really understanding how to use the site. Thanks to Chantal Bechervaise I now know how Pinterest works. I have been thinking about how I can use this platform and can now see how to make it useful and constructive.
- I have linked my various social platforms, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram together in more ways and will continue to look for opportunities to further knit them together.
- Dino Dogan from Triberr reminded me of something I set out to do originally and lost track of as I tried to fit in more writing. He reminded us to be generous in our sharing of other people’s content. I have been making an effort to share more Canadian and Dad blogger content through my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some days are better than others depending what I have going on, but I am reading more content by other writers and trying to share at least two of the pieces I read per day. Hopefully they are useful and interesting to the people who follow me on those platforms. It is certainly making me smarter to read more content by other writers.
- Dino also talked about working with traditional media and since the conference I have been interviewed about the new Ontario Sex-Ed Curriculum in the Ottawa Sun and next week am scheduled to do a bit on morning TV in Ottawa. More on that to come. I have the details, but these things can get bumped by events so I’ll wait until the day before to let people know the details. I also added a page in my about me section where I can post links to media coverage and guest posts I write on other sites.
- I signed up as a contributor on Kids in the Capital and will be contributing at least one post per month to that site. My first was on talking with your kids about sexual health and it has been published. In fact that is the post that lead to the upcoming TV appearance. The fact that my first post there has resulted in a TV appearance make it a little intimidating to write the next one since it will likely not result in that kind of response.
- I’ve started a big project of going through my old posts – nearly 200 of them to clean up the back-end, properly name the images and remove photos that I scraped from the internet early on before I realized that was a bad thing to do. I’m also cleaning up how I have tagged and categorized those posts since I have added categories as I wrote more posts. I have Jen Pinarski to thank for this particular project as a result of her session on search engine optimization.
- I met so many great people and learned about blogs I wasn’t previously aware of. When I saw someone post in our community association site on facebook that they weren’t aware of bloggers in Ottawa I decided to put together a list of Ottawa area bloggers. It has turned into a bigger list and project that I expected. I have discovered that there are even more local bloggers out there than I realized so it is going to be an ongoing project to update the list on a regular basis as I discover more people. It is a great way to learn about who is out there and what they are writing about. I am going to need to re-categorize the list because there are so many more that I expected and the original categories are getting unwieldy.
- I achieved the second of my Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2015. I set a goal for myself to start bringing in some money through this blog. I learned at the conference that I am not just a blogger. I am also an influencer – at least to four or five people out there. I signed up for a campaign through an agency and a couple of weeks ago received my first pay for writing a tweet. Opportunities are starting to come for sponsored posts on my blog. These opportunities won’t always make sense for me and I am not going to endorse anything that I don’t like or believe in. I am however excited that I am starting to get paid for writing. I didn’t set any specific financial goal for my blog for this year when I set my BHAGs for 2015 so my first paycheque means I get to tick that box less than six months into the year and set a new goal for the rest of the year.
Much more to come as I work through my remaining 31 items (some of the above didn’t make the list of 35 because they were already done when I made the list).
It is always worth taking the opportunity to learn more about topics that interest you and that you are passionate about. If you are a blogger, I highly recommend the B Connected Conference.