Monday, January 20, 2014

Ultimate Blogger Happy Hour!

I totally called it, and I should have put money on the Bronco's and Seahawks going to the Superbowl. Although, based on how the Seahawks played last night, it may not be much of a game. It's cool if Seahawks muster a win, because my cousin is a scout for them {hello bonus!}, but I won't mind if the Broncos spank'em either. It would be a great way to end our time here in Colorado! Onto the real reason we are here...

There are too many bloggers that I love to count, but two of my favorites are Erin from Living In Yellow  and Helene from Helene In Between, and this love has been solidified during the epic Blogger Happy Hour we had last Thursday. What a concept...ten potentially tipsy bloggers, thought provoking questions, tried and true answers, and lots of giggles.
Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

Now, excuse my nervous face, and enjoy some highlights that stuck with me. I won't give away all the secrets because if Blog Happy Hour had a code, that would be a no-no, but I can document a few snippets and wet your appetite.

1. Allena asked, "What does one do to get out of a slump and beat writer's block?"
Consensus: Take a break, relax, read other blogs for inspiration, draw from experience like life's little moments, and if all else fails, visit Buzzfeed.
My two cents: I have a Test blog that holds hundreds of my saved drafts. Some hold just a title, perhaps a sentence, or if I'm lucky a whole raw post. However, bringing them to life is a whole 'nother topic.

2. Brianna asked, "What do bloggers expect and appreciate most out of sponsorship?"
Consensus: Most sponsors just appreciate getting an adequate amount for their money. Whether it be a $5 button or a $50 package, it just needs to balance. An interesting fact that I didn't know, is that sponsorships seem to be shifting from bloggers to businesses, so we all need to find ways to appeal to them, as well.
My two cents: Personally, when I {was doing} sponsorships, I shared bloggers stories that showed how 'Perception Is Everything', which made it more 'organic and natural' to my blog. Bloggers come to your blog to find you, so if you have your guests post on your regular topics or incorporate them into your posts like Kym does, it will feel more natural.

3. Eva asked, "Do you recommend participating in link ups? How do you actually get anything out of them when bloggers don't actually visit other blogs?"
Consensus: Even if others don't participate, you can visit blogs and initiate conversation. If they don't pick up what you are puttin' down, just move on. 
My two cents: I join them for inspiration, but mostly to support the blog hosting it. I do think that one time link ups with a specific topic gets you the most notice. Also, don't participate constantly or it will seem like you can't come up with your own content.

4.  I asked, "Is BlogHer really worth it?"
Consensus: No. BlogHer likes to be exclusive, so you miss out on other opportunities, and they have too much control. Try Adsense or other advertising ventures.
Helene, actually has BlogHer, and even she warned, "Your sidebar is prime real estate, and it takes away from that."

5.  Jessa How do you promote your posts and how much should you?
Consensus: Pimp that shit out. Every social media has a purpose, and yes, Pinterest is an awesome medium. Just try to have pin-worthy pictures to really utilize it. Erin, suggests creating hashtags to link back to yourself, and I heard that if you rename the photos, they will pop up more on Google.
Interesting fact: According to Kym, a Tweet only has a life span of 25 minutes, so don't feel bad about Tweeting throughout the day. Maybe just Tweet different aspects of the post.

6. Kym What are your feelings about giveaways?
Consensus: Giveaways can be annoying, and can be a hardship on your sponsors after paying good money to sponsor you already, but we all seem to agree that if they are spaced out and are an option and not a demand of sponsors, then they are worth it.

7. Michelle How do you make tutorials, how-to posts, and general information appealing?
Consensus: Use your voice and speak to your audience. niche blogs are a slower start, but over time they hit their mark. Think to yourself "What would make me interested?"
My two cents: Incorporate the how-to's or tutorials into a fun post. For example, I bet you didn't even realize that I included my DIY Fringe Boots Tutorial into the party recap to capture everyone's attention. Sneaky sneaky ;)

8. Paulina Is it worth posting to Buzzfeed? Is it worth the negative responses?
Consensus: Either you are going to post and it will go unnoticed, or if it makes to front page it will get a lot of hits, which will be good and bad. Could be good to add to your media page, but it isn't always worth the negativity.
Helene: We are all putting ourselves out there on a daily basis, as it is, and people are going to interpret things based on their own experience/knowledge. We must all be prepared for negativity, but that doesn't make it any less hard to handle.

Through this, I actually realized that I know more about blogging than I thought, but a wise blogger knows that there is ALWAYS more to learn. Plus, who doesn't want to have a girls night without even having to leave the comfort of your bed? I call that a win. Now I just wish I could do every blogger happy hour, because each one is going to have new bloggers, new questions, and new opinions. After taking five pages of notes, I realized that the amount of information and inspiration is just flippin' endless.

Thanks again Helene and Erin! Love y'all.

What'ya think? Obviously, I'm open to more advice on these topics!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I love that you wrote a post on this! It's so interesting to read about what you all discussed and I definitely learnt a thing or two about blog her!

Helene in Between said...

ahh i love how you put this together janna!! this is amazing!!! and i think you wrote better than i talked so you make me sound smart.


Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

sounds like great fun! did you guys have trouble with google hangouts? (if that's what you used)? i tried that once and it kept on flipping back and forth between everyone and it made it really hard to hear who was speaking.

Vodka and Soda

ifs ands Butts said...

Ah I so wanted to do this but it would have been at 3 am here in Germany :( If anything, it sounds like fun to actually "meet" all these great bloggers!! Too cool.

Rachel said...

There are so many different aspects and things to think about when it comes to blogging! I am one who feels bad if I tweet more than once about a post, but in reality, twitter flies by so it makes sense that it's okay to post more than once!

Erin said...

This was such an awesome recap of our talk, thank you SO much for putting this all together! You are the sweetest! I hope it's okay I share this with my readers :) xo

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Sounds like a fun event and lots of great information. I had issue with Google Hangouts too so wondering if there was any technical difficulties. I love that everyone can bring something to the table and being able to look at it different ways.

Brittany said...

Sounds like a fun time!! So productive of you to take notes and everything

Lisette said...

All great points!

However, regarding BlogHer, you are NOT limited to who you can work with if you are on WORDPRESS! It's one of the many reasons I switched.

With WordPress, you can hide the BlogHer ads when you have sponsored content from BlogHer competitors. With WordPress, you can have your cake and eat it too!

P.S. I offer Blogger to WordPress transfers and I'd be more than happy to talk to anyone interested!

KateAdam Florken said...

I'm doing one of these next week with Erin and Helene and this is an amazing teaser! I think it is so neat to hear the perspective of other bloggers -- both the seasoned vets and the newbies on the block! Thank you so much for this post... Eek! I'm getting even more excited now for my own hangout!


Elle Sees said...

loved reading this!! i'll take any tips i can!

Jessa @ Life of A Sports Wife said...

I am so excited that you shared all this. I loved meeting everyone and putting faces and personalities with ppl.

Brianna said...

love this! Except I don't know what I'm doing in that picture and it a little awkward. But thanks for the recap I loved getting to talk with you and the other ladies!

Nichole said...

I love that you all did this!

Alli @ Allena Mistral said...

This was a great way to put this together! Your notes were so much more thorough than mine!! Although, they were pretty thorough in the beginning and become illegible as I get more tipsy :P

Kenzie S said...

Thanks for sharing this! I would have loved to join in on the blogger happy hour, but I'm so crazy broke right now ha ha. I loved reading this and will definitely be keeping all of that in mind!

Holly said...

Thank you for this great recap! This makes me excited for the Blogger Happy Hour I signed up for in February with Erin and Whitney!

Because Shanna Said So said...

This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Thank you for putting this together and sharing what was discussed...even it if wasn't all of it. I love getting other bloggers perspectives...what a great group of beautiful and talented ladies!!

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing some of the great answers!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Sounds like you ladies had a fun time and were able to share a lot with each other! :)

Nicole said...

I've seriously debated participating in one of these. Sounds like you were in on a good one!

Eva Marie Taylor said...

This is an awesome recap! Love that you did this! I also am not sure what I was doing in this picture. I think I was still trying to figure out how to get my computer to work so I didn't have to do it from my phone and cause all that noise!! :)


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