If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably know that last week I attended the SNAP! Conference for Creative Bloggers. What an incredible experience. I could probably write ten separate posts about what I learned at SNAP but I’m sure you don’t want to read ten posts about it so I’m going to limit it to one post with the top 11 lessons I learned at SNAP blogger conference.
#1 – Go outside your comfort zone. Originally I’d signed up to go with my aunt Kaysi but life happened and she wasn’t able to go so I ended up rooming with girls who I’d just met online. And it was one of the best decisions because I now love these girls even more!
#2 – Organization is a must. I had the opportunity to listen to all sorts of incredible bloggers (Dating Divas, Our Best Bites, I Heart Naptime, etc.) and at the beginning of almost all of their presentations they included a section about getting yourself organized. I have to stop blogging last minute and get myself organized. I have an entire document full of notes on ways to do this so if you want some practical tips, email me.
#3 – Blogging is like a trip. You need to know what your destination is (long-term goals), your route for getting to the destination (monthly/weekly goals), and you need to pack the right things for that destination. So for instance, if you were you going to Alaska in the winter you wouldn’t be bringing swimsuits and flip flops, you would be bringing warm coats and winter clothes. The same thing applies to blogging, if you want to increase your page views you might need to have a good camera, high quality blog posts, and a consistent schedule. This concept was explained by the Dating Divas. If you don’t read them already, you should. I’m not sure there’s ever been a happier and more positive blogging team.
#4 – Where we look is where we go. This one ties into #3 about blogging being a trip but this idea is not just about blogging, it’s about life in general. This idea came from my favorite speaker of the entire conference, Noelle Pikus-Pace. Noelle won the silver medal in skeleton in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi but honestly that’s not why I love her. I love her because after she won the medal, she jumped up into the stands, grabbed her family and said, “We did it.” As we watched that replay during the conference, pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Noelle has gone through an incredible journey to get where she is, and her words really hit home with me. And funny enough I’m actually scheduled to talk to a bunch of young women at our church camp this summer specifically about Noelle and the Olympics (and this talk), so luckily now I can say I met her and this is what she had to say.
|With Jen from PinkWhen and Noelle Pikus-Pace|
#5 – If you want to make money, you need to learn the business side of things, not just be super creative. This seemed to be a reoccurring theme throughout various classes. Whether it was learning how to manage ads and choose ad networks, add team members, or how to work with sponsors and brands, learning the business side of blogging is important. Stay tuned for a review on a book with all sorts of fantastic info about bloggers and brands.
#6 – Girls just want to have fun. SNAP! is setup kind of like a summer camp for creative women. We had an awesome door decorating contest (more details in a future post), business card contest, secret sisters, a pajama party, and an 80s prom. While everyone was there to learn and network, SNAP! is also about having a good time.
|80’s Prom with my favorite bloggy friends – Jessica, Alexis, and Bethany|
#7 – The key to increasing your pageviews is creating high quality content and using that content effectively. I’ve heard this over and over again – content is king but you need to promote and leverage that content correctly or else it’s not going to do you any good. Some of my favorite bloggers don’t post every day, they post just a few times a week. But those posts? They are always high quality and well utilized.
#8 – People will do anything to win a prize. If you follow me on social media, you know I don’t post many pictures of myself but when sponsors were offering up all sorts of great prizes for posting pictures of myself, that rule went out the window. And lucky enough, I actually ended up winning an awesome toolset from Ryobi Tools!
#9 – Blog smarter, not harder. Another reoccurring theme throughout the conference was to blog smarter. I have an entire list of to-dos for this point but some of my favorite points were to create a schedule each week for blogging, so for instance on Mondays, photograph all posts for the week, on Tuesday edit posts, etc. Another point that kept coming up was to give the readers more of what they want rather than fighting against it all the time. So for instance, if your chocolate chip cookie recipe is your biggest post, give readers more cookie recipes rather than always trying to post healthy dinner recipes. Figure out what your thing is and do that; your readers will keep coming back to you because you’re their resource for that thing.
#10 – Sponsors for creative bloggers are the best. SNAP had a ton of amazing sponsors. There are too many to list here but you can see them all on the SNAP website. Not only are the companies that were there amazing but their booths were as well. At what other conference can you learn how to frost a cupcake, make craft tape buttons and jewelry, get lollipops with your picture on it, and play with the not even released DohVinci? And to top it all off, the reps from each of the sponsors were seriously incredible. They not only were super friendly but they actually remembered me individually when I came back over the course of the weekend. I was so impressed by that and hope to get the chance to continue building a relationship with some of the brands now that I’m back.
#11 – Only you can grow your brand. And only you can make the choice whether or not something will be a positive or negative experience. Okay, so this is kind of a personal one because I’m one of those people who often will wait until someone comes up and says hi to me and if they don’t, I’ll go back to my room and have a pity party about how no one wanted to be my friend. Looking back at SNAP, the moments when I took the initiative were the best ones. In fact, one of my favorite moments was actually the last night. I decided to tag along with one of my roommates to hang out with some of her friends because I wasn’t ready for bed yet. While I was there, they kept apologizing for being so weird and goofy but honestly, I loved it. That’s how I normally am at home and one of my biggest regrets about SNAP is that I stood back and watched too much rather than connecting with people like I could have. Next year will be a different story. So take it from me, it’s up to you what kind of experience you have.
If you are a creative blogger (crafts, DIY, parties/entertaining), I highly recommend going to SNAP! Conference. If I can, I’ll definitely go again next year.
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