Is Your Blog Holding You Back at BlogHer '13

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Is Your Blog Holding You Back at BlogHer '13

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  • Hi, my name is Erin and I am the creative voice behind My Very Educated Mother .com. I started blogging in 2008 but it wasn’t until 2011 when I left my “real job” that I got serious about it. I actually set up to start a crafting business and the blog would be a way to promote it, then I went to my first conference. It was the first time I was really introduced to this world of blogging and all the opportunities it offers, including writing which is my first love. So after a few failed craft shows I scrapped the crafting business and put all my attention on my blog. Seriously, ALL my attention, it only took a little over a year for me to reach critical mass, step back, and look at the monster on wheels I was becoming. And when I say wheels I mean that literally, I was just spinning my wheels but not getting any closer to my real goals. I chatted with a few of my blogging friends and realized I wasn’t the only one who felt this way or reached this point so I submitted this Room of Your Own, and here we are.
  • Shannon: Usually when you are hitting a roadblock in any endeavor, it signifies the need for an overhaul.Erin: The best way to address this road block and begin the overhaul is to ask yourself some questions? These are some we came up. Has… Evolution is unavoidable, if you’re learning and growing you are going to change and so is your blog. Balancing…Or are you a slave to your blog? At one point last year I realized I was staying up til well past midnight and getting up at 6 just to get my posts within the first 10 in a linky party. Boundaries… when I was in linky party hell, sure my stats were awesome but it wasn’t worth it because I wasn’t feeling as if I was a part of something I felt like a slave to the stats, which we’ll get to later.
  • Erin: Here are links to posts addressing mission and vision statements, if you’re following the hashtags I’ll have these links available also. When you write a vision or mission statement for your blog you are establishing your core blogging goal and defining your blog’s purpose. When we define our blogs it makes it that much easier to determine the guidelines and boundaries for how we plan on using them and subsequently making it easier to focus your attention and efforts. Shannon: Make a list of the things that you are most passionate about and feed your soul.
  • These are our mission statements, We still have a lot to cover but while you read over them we have about five minutes for a couple of questions or comments.
  • 1. Be clear about your goals this is not the time to be vague.Shannon: Whatever your goals are, they’re a part of your authentic voice and therefore should be a part of your blog.2. Erin: You want to set due dates and schedule milestones for ALL these goals to help stay on task.Make sure you are challenging yourself but be realistic, you know your schedule and you know your work habits.3. Erin: I know many bloggers schedule a year in advance, that’s not realist for me so I try six months at a time. And here’s a sidenote, If you’re a crafter, share recipes, or whatever, that are centered on a holiday be sure to get those posts up about a month in advance to take advantage of Pinterest and other sharing options.Understand that your schedule will likely change and that’s ok, having that material/ideas/schedule available for you to adjust is the real key.4. This is one of those no-brainers that we all still need to be reminded of from time to time. If Facebook isn’t working for your stop working for it!5. Erin: I like this quote from Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work.” You have to be willing to put in the work! 6. It can be scary to face the judgment of someone who isn’t super close to you but it helps you grow. Step outside your comfort zone and look for mentors, tribes, and fellow bloggers. They can provide feedback, opportunities, share contacts, etc. 7. SMART-Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time BoundPOTENTIAL QUESTION: Where do you find these resources – answer: fellow bloggers, SCORE, …)
  • You Can… Companies that fit with their goals and niche will naturally want to work with themSuccess of your blog is not necessarily determined by stats and numbersA highly… I think this was Shannon’s quote.Quality… Erin: If you think you have great content that isn’t being noticed, then you’re not putting it in front of the right people.Cancel… Tabatha: GoogleAnalytics, etc. Keep the one(s) you use the most and then let go of the others.Don’t… Erin: When you start looking at your blog as numbers that means you’re looking at your readers as numbers and that’s just not a good thing.
  • Don’t… Other people’s goals and measures of success are not necessarily YOUR goals and measures. You will only undermine YOUR success.SMD… Tabatha:If it’s time for a break, take a deep breath, and get away from the computer for awhile. Only you know when you’ve reached a breaking point. Take up an activity or routine that forces you to be away from the computer and just have some you time. You can still have your phone with you, ie Twitter; You don’t have to be completely off the grid, but step away from the computer screen and analytics for a period of time each day/week. Do a project that you don’t document for your blog – something you don’t feel obligated to post.Trust… Tabatha:The people in your audience will still read because they have a connection with your blog/care about you.
  • Is Your Blog Holding You Back at BlogHer '13

    1. 1. Is Your Blog Holding You Back? The Balance Between Your Blog and Your Goals
    2. 2. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Is Your Blog Holding You Back? The Balance Between Your Blog and Your Goals ERIN SIPES, My Very Educated Mother, @mvemother SHANNON MOYER-SZEMENYEI, Sweet Stella’s, @sweetstellas TABATHA MUNTZINGER, Tabulous, @tabulous PANELISTS
    3. 3. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Erin is a writer, crafter, and homeschooling mother of three based in rural Missouri. She’s been publishing at, My Very Educated Mother, since 2008. Her crafts, recipes, and antiquing skills have been featured on numerous websites and in magazines such as, All You, MaryJanes Farm, and Kids Crafts 1-2-3. Currently she attempts to balance her blogging ambitions with a freelance writing career.
    4. 4. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Shannon is the face, voice, and writer behind Sweet Stella's, an inspired blog about home décor, trends, and fashion with a bit of philanthropy thrown in. She is passionate about showing her authentic voice and leading a positive life, be it going for a run and getting healthy, or showing how to beautify your living spaces. You can often find her sharing trends and inspiration on Pinterest, while tweeting and engaging with friends and fans on Twitter and Facebook.
    5. 5. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Tabatha is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4.5 year old son and 3 year old daughter, wife to a high school social studies teacher, and the main herder of six cats and two dogs in a 1250 square foot 115 year old home currently undergoing a DIY renovation (for the last five years). Her favorite color is purple, and she blogs about nearly everything under the sun.
    6. 6. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Why are you blogging? •Why did you start blogging? •Are you blogging for the same reasons? •Has your blog evolved? •Are you on the path you want to be on? •Are you effectively balancing your time? •Are you deciding your own boundaries?
    7. 7. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Write a Vision or Mission Statement •http://crafterminds.com/2011/04/crafting-a-blog-mission-statement/ •http://www.blogher.com/how-write-vision-and-mission-statements •http://www.myveryeducatedmother.com/2013/03/writing-mission- statement-for-your-blog.html Once You’ve Defined Your Mission Statement Make it a Part of Your Blog’s Identity.
    8. 8. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required I want Tabulous to be the closest representation of myself and my life on digital paper. –Tabatha I want to have an authentic voice, and create with my words as I do with paint on canvas. I want to inspire and make pretty things. I want to grow, embrace change and show my passion for home décor, art, and philanthropy. – Shannon My blog will advocate the benefits of a creative home, self- reliance, recycling, and responsible consumerism. - Erin
    9. 9. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required 7 Steps For Turning Plans Into Action 1. Write long term and short term goals 2. Establish a timetable 3. Schedule EVERYTHING 4. Focus your attention on results 5. Put in the work 6. Hold yourself accountable 7. Keep SMART goals in mind (Specific-Measureable-Attainable- Relevant-Time Bound)
    10. 10. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Relax When It Comes To Stats •You can make your own opportunities regardless of stats •A highly-engaged, small audience of readers is also a successful blog •Quality content has a value that stats won’t necessarily measure •Cancel statistical accounts •Don’t get bogged down in the numbers
    11. 11. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Stay True To You •Promote YOUR authentic voice •Don’t play the comparison game •Social Media Detox •Trust in your audience
    12. 12. #BH13Balance INTERNET SSID: BlogHer | No Password Required Is Your Blog Holding You Back? The Balance Between Your Blog and Your Goals ERIN SIPES, My Very Educated Mother, @mvemother SHANNON MOYER-SZEMENYEI, Sweet Stella’s, @sweetstellas TABATHA MUNTZINGER, Tabulous, @tabulous PANELISTS
    13. 13. “BlogHer is a snake meal of ideas in a wonton wrapper of love. Afterwards you need a 2- day nap, then it nourishes you for a year.” – @debontherocks

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