Hi there everyone, how are you all doing? Oh my, I am so late for this week’s post!! The week has been crazy, I had to travel again for work and I had nothing prepared beforehand, so, ok, here we go!
So, last week I shared my first Indian creation, and I must say, I got hooked with all the spices and the rich taste. So how fabulous I got to try such a lovely side dish during the BlogHer Food conference in Miami last weekend. In last week’s post I mentioned to you I was going to this conference and many of you wanted to hear about it. I am happy to share some learnings with you, as some of the sessions were super useful and real “AHA” moments for me…. 😉 But, ok, let’s go step by step, shall we?
I decided to participate in this conference as it was taking place in Miami this year, and well, the venue was basically just over the bridge from where I live. The conference fee was quite a lot to fork up to be honest, $400 for a non-professional blogger as I am one, is quite some investment. However I thought I’d treat myself to this and I just was really curious how these events work as well. I have been to tons of event for work, but never to something related to blogging. Before the start of the conference, I was a bit nervous, as I didn’t know what to expect.
The first day started off with lots of goodies! As soon as we checked in to the conference, all participants received two humungous goodie bags from the sponsors – which I had to carry around for the rest of the day (ughhh), anyways, let’s not complain about free stuff right? The first day was a lot of general presentations and some of them were a little bit too far-fetched for me, like “Managing my business and staff” – uh, huh…which business? I wish my blog was a business already! 😉 Anyways, the breaks with the sponsors in their booths was great, lots of food and free stuff again!
One of the coolest booths was the from Pompeian, a vinegar and oil company, as you could mix your own vinaigrette there, including a self-designed bottle label!
The conclusion of the first day would be that I didn’t learn thaaat much, but I had the chance to attend a session about how to turn your blog into a product line – and there I heard Jadah’s and Jen’s inspiring story about their blog Simple Green Smoothies. They started from nothing and I believe now they have something like close to 10 employees and probably more freelance ones. I also met some fellow bloggers, although I must admit that I found the vibe a tad competitive, as probably 80% of the bloggers are running their blog full-time and therefore as a business, so it was not always as casual as I thought it would be.
What I enjoyed much more was the second day, as it was all about social media! My big take away from this day was that I really have to get more behind my Pinterest account. What all of the professional bloggers that attended the conference agreed upon, is that the majority (up to 75%!) of their traffic was generated by Pinterest, and not Instagram and Facebook. I just never had the patience to work through Pinterest as it just is soooo vast! And I was honestly getting a bit lost with all the social media I have been using besides my blog – don’t you feel the same way sometimes?
In the afternoon, we had the chance to attend small group Q&A questions with experts on topic such as “Indoor photography” (very important!!) and “WordPress” tune-up.
So to sum up, I would like to share with you my top 5 learnings and action points I want to take as follow up on the conference (once I find the time, that is – ha…. ) These are all tips that could help you, should you think about monetizing your blog one day….
1) Start to self host my blog (instead of hosted by WordPress, as it allows you to do much more and you would be able to join publishing networks, such as BlogHer). I just heard it takes a lot of time, anyhow, if anyone of you has gone through this and has an advice, it would be great to hear about it!
2) I am going to review Anita’s (she hosted the WordPress tune-up Q&A session) great Food Blogger Resource List (check it out if you have time, it could help)
3) Try to make pictures in a new style: Danille Tsi shared her tips on how to shoot high contrast photos with dark background and she is also going to post some photography tips on her website (I didn’t see them posted yet, but I believe she should put them up soon) – anyhow you should check her blog – the photography is really stunning
4) Update my Pinterest account and start pinning!! 😉 For Pinterest it is important to have strong caption for every image, and you should use hashtags. Use the power of group boards (I didn’t even know these existed), they can really help you to grow following and get more attention. An intruiging profile is also important, keep in mind that the first 12 boards are visible only and even less on mobile, so they should be really inviting and capturing the audience. Lastly, in case you want to schedule pins (instead of pinning manually), the tools “Ahology” and “Viralwoot” can help you with this. Lisa Wells from Cook Eat Paleo has put together her tips on 10 Pinterest tools for bloggers which I find really useful.
5) Think about products my readers would be interested to buy, e.g. an e-book of a collection of recipes? On this point, it’s in general to know WHO your audience is and specifically target them. Jadah from Simple Green Smoothies even mentioned they would have a prototype of their ideal customer (an avatar) and make sure they speak to this person and use their language. You can also ask your audience what they would be interested in, their top 10 asked questions could also be a cue for a potential product line.
And now to the yummy part of the post!! Hope you are still with me!!!! As mentioned above, I had this side dish for lunch at the conference and was totally in love with it, so I re-made it. The recipe was created by the sponsor of the lunch, Mc Cormick spices.
This dish contains following Superfoods:
- And probably most of the spices have some benefits too!
Roasted Chickpeas with Spinach
Well, I hope the report about the blogger conference was not too boring and maybe even useful for some of you! 😉 Let me know in case you have any questions. Hope you enjoyed the recipe too!
Have all a lovely weekend! I will be traveling to Montréal, as it is a long weekend here in the US – I’ll be trying some Canadian food and hopefully have some new recipes to share from that!!!