Blogging Notes – Women’s Dream Conference April 13, 2012

The last panel discussion of the day at the Women’s Dream Conference discussed the ins and outs of blogging, driving traffic to your site, and making money off of the web.  Panelists included:

(Left to Right)
Sandi McKenna (Moderator) – MidLife Road Trip
Jen Knoedl – Jen Chicago Productions
Andrea Metcalf – Health Journalist / Producer
MJ Tam – Chicagonista
Candace Karu – Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Barb Rozgonyi – Wired PR Works, CoryWest Media
Beth Rosen – Four Keys Media

Here are a few of the topics that were covered and the highlights discussed:

Starting a Successful Blog

  • Don’t be afraid – just start!
  • Blogger or WordPress (.com or .org) are both good host sites
  • Pictures and videos are very populars
  • Remember to write for the audience, not for you
  • Know what your platform / point of view is
  • You only need ONE blog for business and ONE for personal
  • Grab your URL (.com) name if it is available.  Wordpress can see if it is available for you.

Branding and Design

  • You NEED a logo
  • Who is the person behind the blog?  Anonymous doesn’t work.
  • Make it clean and easy to read
  • Use a sourcing website like Crowdsourcing or LogoMyWay.com to solicit logo and design ideas.
  • FIVERR.com is also another design sourcing site that was recommended by the panel.
  • You can purchase template packages for as little as $99
  • IF you can afford it, get a good designer that you can brag about.

Marketing Your Blog

  • Use Twitter
  • Use keyword branding, repetitive word tagging and search engine optimization
  • Keep your posts 200-400 words
  • Have guests bloggers
  • Use social plug ins for quick and easy sharing
  • Google loves itself – the more google products you have the higher your posts will come up on Google search engines.
  • Use videos that area 90 seconds – 2 minutes long and remember to link them back to your blog.

Making Money From Blogs

  • Use advertisements
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsors
  • Sell products / set up an e-cmmerce sites
  • Your credibility can bring in dollars from speaking/writing/job offers (indirect)

Favorite take-aways:

Beth Rosen has contact information for people who develop logos and websites for reasonable rates.

The use of interns, university design program students, and the barter system can yield great design ideas for little expense.

Barb Rozgonyi reminded everyone that making money from your blog has to be a win-win for whoever you are asking for money from.  It can’t just be because you are fabulous!  Ask what people NEED.

You can find these panelists on Twitter:

Sandi McKenna @MidlifeRoadTrip
Jen Knoedl @JenChicago1
Andrea Metcalf @Andreametcalf
Candace Karu @CandaceKaru
Barb Rozgonyi @wiredprworks or @corywestmedia
Beth Rosen @BethRosen