Today I'm at the Problogger Conference in Melbourne, Australia where over 300 bloggers have gathered to listen, learn, and share blogging tips.
We'll also be meeting, greeting and taking copious notes.
I'll be sharing my notes here live from the event so, even if you're not here in person, you can still get all the hot blogging tips instantly and share a bit of the excitement.
Let's get to it.
How to Monetize Your Blog with Advertising – with Sonia Simone, Sally Bagshaw and Lucy Feagins
Editorial content strategy comes from magazines who plan months in advance. As publishers we bloggers need to start thinking about that too.
LF – Started blogging with no strategy at The Design Files and consider your readers. Don't assume your reader is just like you, they may be much more diverse.
Create a reader survey, this is useful for approaching advertisers too. You can find out gender, age of readers. She posts daily on weekdays and it helps to know who will be reading the post.
Twitter is another great way to interact with your readers and find out more about them.
LF – Didn't ask readers how often they wanted to read content but she found they loved Weds when she showed photos or a local home. Good to have a regular program for content. Doesn't push the email newsletter, more interested in getting visitors to the site.
SS – Offer people RSS, email and Twitter subscriptions, different ways of following your blog.
On Copyblogger they publish a Podcast every Friday.
Be consistent on your site and write consistently about those topics if you want to rank well with the search engines. Target certain key word phrases that are things people want to read about.
Hit your main topics regularly.
SB – Know what people are looking for and consider special events – back to school for mum readers, the Olympics for sports readers. Give yourself time to plan and seed those topics in your posts. Follow the seasons, for example.
SS – If you have a launch coming up think about how you can get people in the mood. Often finds it tough to think what to write about but planning solves that problem.
LF – Recommends set days for set content, making sure your emails and posts go out on the same day or time so readers can look forward to them. But she prefers to be spontaneous and only plans a week in advance. Be flexible when new things pop up.
SB – What about taking guest posts?
LF – Has one guest blog a week with a strict brief keeping the tone the same.
SS – Gets a lot of guest post submissions at Copyblogger. Works with a core of people regularly because it takes a lot of work to get a writer used to the style. All posts will link back to cornerstone content. They do look at new stuff but work 8-12 weeks in advance. They receive more good posts than they can use.
Uses the WP-Editorial calendar.
Wants more nuts and blots posts. The how tos rather than the inspiration. Some for beginners, some for more advanced readers to create a balance. Workd 2-3 weeks in advance.
If they have a relationship with someone they will help them with product launches.
Keep everything cohesive, link back to your older posts. She edits posts and adds bits. Beware that your guest posts don't contradict your messages.
SB – How does Lucy measure what's working and what's not?
LF – Uses Google Analytics so she knows Wed is the most popular day when she showcases homes. Friday second most popular (not sure what she posts then.)
Surveys twice a year tied to giveaway everyone who does the survey goes into the draw. 500 responses would be fine but she can get up to 2,000 responses.
SS – The Copyblogger products are designed to solve specific problems. That also helps them connect with new readers. Seem to be especially interested in new bloggers.
How do you know what went wrong with a post that flopped? How do you know when to give up.
SS – A lousy headline is the cause if it's a good post and Copyblogger will change a headline two or three times in a day if a post isn't being widely read. Don't worry if no one reads something. If you love it go for it.
SB – You have to keep the spark alive for yourself or you won't be able to keep blogging.
How do you get started?
SS – Just get started. You need to find out what you're excited about. Write a lot at first to see what interests you and play with your headlines. Have fun, you have nothing to lose.
SB – Consider other options too like just newsletters.
Do you put the same thing in your email newsletter as on your blog?
You can or link to older posts.
LF – Recommend you email people, even if it's just a photo with a reminder that there's a new post up. You can add to your newsletter down the track.
What are the key elements of an editorial content strategy?
SB – Who's going to write what and when. Then making sure deadlines are met.
SS – Not every blog needs a strategy. You can fly by the seat of your pants sometimes (hooray!)
SB – Email is powerful as it comes to people and not waiting for them to come back to your blog. You can tell the right person at the right time.
My Sponsor for the Problogger Conference 2011
I'm excited to be sponsored by The Tailor for my trip to the Problogger conference.
The Tailor is a luxury travel company that creates and organizes Australian and African travel experiences for discerning travelers.
Thanks to the Tailor I will be spending four nights in luxury at The Lyall Hotel in Melbourne and touring the city. I'm looking forward to writing about those experiences on my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot.
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