On Saturday, I attended the 6th Annual MN Blogger Conference, which was my first blogging conference. I moved to Minneapolis in June and started this blog in August of this year. Once I started the blog, I of course turned to Google to learn about blogging! The MN Blog Con was one of the first things I discovered and immediately signed up. A full day of blog conferencing for only $20! What a deal! And I am so glad I discovered it when I did, because it sold out fast!
The conference was organized by Mykl Roventine and Jen Jamar who also put on the Social Media Breakfast series, which I attended last month as well. So far they are 2 for 2 in my book and rock at putting on awesome events. Thanks for all your hard work!!
The day was full of wonderful topics and speakers:
I want ALL the sessions #mnblogcon problems
— Leah Renter (@LeahRenter) November 14, 2015
After the Welcome & Opening Remarks, I stayed to hear Dan Morris and Rachel Martin talk about Webmaster Tools, Analytics, & Adsense. They are the people behind Blogging Concentrated, which is a training and development company for bloggers. They talked about how to use online tools such as BrainstormTools.com, Bing Webmaster Tools, Facebook Analytics, and Google Adsense to view, collect, and use data to see which keywords to write about in your blog, see which of your posts are the most popular, see where your site ranks in search engines, and how to make money from your popular posts. It was a lot of information! I have a lot to learn in this area.
The next session I attended was Adam Dince talking about How to Build Social Communities that Drive Meaningful Traffic to Your Blog. I am looking for meaningful traffic for this here blog, so I thought this would be a good session to attend and it certainly was! I learned a lot about social media (especially Twitter) and am now looking to use my Twitter account more (as you may have noticed from all the tweets I’m including in this post). The #MNBlogCon was trending on Twitter so it was hard not to get sucked in. I am also going to check out Twitter Chats, which were a popular topic during this session.
Next, I went to one of the breakout sessions to hear James Svoboda talk about From Keywords to Content: A Data Driven Approach to Blog Ideation & Strategy because I love data?! I thought the first session I went to was about data and was good, so this one would be too. Well… this one was a little too “data-y” for me. But there were a couple things I liked and understood. I am glad they are posting the presenters’ slides online because this one was hard to keep up with. My personal takeaways from this were that I can do a better job of searching for and using strategic keywords to write blog posts around. And that I should include the word, “easy” with my recipes because that is a very popular recipe search term!
The breakout session rooms were a bit too small for this blogging crowd:
Lunch time was a good chance to sit with and meet some new people. The lunch itself was just ok – sandwich, chips, apple, and cookie. After lunch was the Keynote Speaker – Keane Amdahl talking about Blogger Life. He is a Minneapolis based food blogger @FoodStoned. He had a lot of good quotes that were (of course) Tweeted! I took away from him that
1) I need to think about and write a mission statement for my blog. What do I want to do/achieve from this blog?
2) Blogging is amazing, fun, inspiring, educational, etc. and as long as I continue to love blogging and all that goes with it, then I should keep doing it!
After the Keynote, I went to a breakout session on Food Photography by Alice Seuffert. I love photography and while I don’t consider this blog to be a “food blog” per se, I know you can learn a lot about photography from photographing food! While it was a bit cringeworthy that this session was painfully obviously sponsored by the MN Beef Council, I learned a couple good things. It made me want to go out and buy more blog photo props! She also suggested looking at sites like Foodgawker and Yummly for photo inspiration.
And finally, for the last session of the day, I attended Lessons in Creative Content Marketing by Ashley Zeckman, Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Online Marketing. This presentation was Big Lebowski themed, which I haven’t seen (#sorrynotsorry) but still some good information. 1) I need to look into Ted Talks/Ted Blog because I keep hearing about it. 2) Jamie Oliver for more food pictures inspiration. 3) Create unique messaging for each social media.
Well there you have it. My recap of my first blogging conference, the MN Blog Con! For more info and great tweets, check out the #MNBlogCon Twitter thread. For my closing remarks:
And it was so great to meet other local bloggers! I can’t wait to read your blogs and interact as I continue to learn and engage in the blogging world. And I’m so glad I got business cards made last week so I could exchange with everyone: If you attended MNBlogCon, what was your favorite part?
If you aren’t in the Minneapolis area, have you ever been to a blogging conference?