As a SeaWorld Wildside blogger, I was invited to AdventureCon for Texas parenting bloggers at Aquatica and SeaWorld Texas. I received complimentary admission to the conference which included food, drinks, quick queue passes, and free conference sessions. I was not asked to write anything. All opinions are mine.
After eight years as a blogger, it would be easy for me to think I know all there is to know about blogging. But that’s crazy. Blogging, and our approach to it, is always changing and improving. I keep up with social media and tech sites. I read lots of other blogs. I keep on top of trends. And still, I’ll never know all there is to know about blogging. It’s a constantly evolving medium. We’re always learning to be better bloggers, aren’t we?
Back in June I attended AdventureCon, SeaWorld’s annual conference for Texas parenting bloggers. AdventureCon is a weekend filled with friends, family, animals, and theme park fun but, at its core, AdventureCon is all about educating and empowering bloggers.
Here are the five most important things I learned about blogging at AdventureCon 2013:
If, like me, you’re a blogger on the go, you’ll appreciate a mobile app for blogging that handles everything, including photos, seamlessly. AdventureCon speaker Magaly Chocano, with Sweb Development, recommended the Blogsy app for iPad. This mobile app makes blogging on the iPad so slick, you won’t even miss your computer.
SeaWorld’s official photographer Bob French reminded us that, as bloggers, we should be taking photos of visually interesting things, people, and scenes every day. You never know when you’ll be able to use them in your blog posts later. Bob’s most important tip: be sure to look around the frame for undesirable elements before shooting and reframe when necessary.
Ashley O’Neill, editor in chief for SavvySource.com, gave AdventureCon bloggers tips for how to think like an editor. High on her list? Be specific when writing posts. Don’t just list basic information about an event or place that anyone can find anywhere. Talk to your readers the way you would to your best friend: give them the nitty, gritty insider’s scoop.
4. WORKING WITH BRANDS
Having a highly trafficked blog is a great start toward getting brands to notice you. But, according to Kami Huyse with Zoetica Media, brands are also looking for bloggers who’ve built an active community around their blog and who have extended their reach into other social networks.
5. TOOLS AND APPS
Just like at about any blogging conference you attend, the bloggers were great about sharing their favorite tools and apps of the trade. Lisa Douglas, a San Antonio mom blogger (holla!) who writes at Crazy Adventures in Parenting, shared a tool I’m eager to check out: NoFollowr WordPress Plugin. How does it work?
NoFollowr allows an administrator to easily see which external links are granting search-engine benefits upon another site. The administrator can toggle between allowing and disallowing this benefit with a single click. The change is instant and does not require a page reload, making the moderation of external links a breeze.
Anything that saves a blogger time is A-OK in my book!
Visit Flickr for my full set of AdventureCon 2013 photos.