What to do after attending a blog conference

You just attended you a blog conference. Maybe even your very first one. You came home with a lot of notes from sessions, business cards from everyone you met and lots of swag. Now what?

Well, now it’s time to get to work so that you can really benefit from the time and money you put into the conference.

what to do after attending a blog conference

What to do after attending a blog conference

Take action

Hopefully the sessions you attended at the blog conference were full of great information. If you’re like me, you hand wrote your notes. Or maybe you are the type of person that types them up. Either way, it’s time to take action on those notes. Whether it’s improving your blog, starting a newsletter (yep, talking to myself on that one), or growing your social media presence, you need to get started.

Go through your notes and make a plan of action. Tackle items one at a time so you’re not so overwhelmed.

Get connected

You met many great people at the blog conference and your bag is full of business cards. Work your way through those cards and start connecting with your fellow bloggers on Twitter, Facebook, their blogs, etc.

If someone you met really stood out to you, email them and say hi. Connections are always a great thing in the blogging world. You might even be able to create a blog tribe with your new connections.

Follow up

At blog conferences such as BlogHer, there are many brands (or PR people) in the expo, in sessions and at private events. If there are some companies you would like to work with, follow up with them. Send them an email and reintroduce yourself and let them know you are interested in working with them. Maybe even send your media kit. You never know what might happen.

Also, don’t forget to remove the conference badge from your site. You don’t need it taking up space after the event.

I know it can be a little difficult to adjust back to real life after attending a blog conference so I hope this helps. If there’s anything you can add to the list of what to do after attending a blog conference, add it in the comments!

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SEO for Bloggers Discussion

SEO is one of those things we can always know more about. Especially because every time we think we have it figured out, Google changes something. Awhile back, Holly Homer and Laurie Turk talked about basic SEO for bloggers. As a sort of follow up from that chat, Holly hosted a SEO for Bloggers Discussion.

seo for bloggers

This SEO for bloggers discussion featured a panel of people, all with different levels of SEO knowledge. Contributors included:

SEO for Bloggers

In this hangout, they discussed many things SEO. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Google Keywords Tool and the changes that have been made to it. It’s now Google Keywords Planner and Steve Hammer discusses why this change is a good thing and how to use it. 
  • Search versus social when it comes to online content. Not everything you post will be search friendly but that doesn’t mean it’s not great content. If it’s not a search friendly type of post, try and make it a social friendly post.
  • Internal linking and whether or not you should link to individual posts or category/tag pages. According to Nathan, you should link to individual posts.
  • Themes for SEO and if they make a difference. Nathan suggests deciding on themes based on how fast they are and how easy they are to use. Steve recommends using a responsive site for the mobile benefits.
  • Stop words and whether or not you should include them in your post. The short answer is yes. There is more explanation in the video but basically the answer has to do with exact searches and sounding natural in your writing.
  • Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) and whether or not they are important to use in your blog posts.
  • Keywords for your posts and how you should use them when writing your content.

There was a lot of questions, answers and good information about SEO in the hangout. Watch it here and take lots of notes:

To make things easier for you, here are links for some of the sites they talked about:

Hope you enjoyed this SEO for bloggers discussion!

More on SEO

SEO tips for bloggers with RankHammer
SEO plugin for WordPress
Simple SEO tips for bloggers

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All About Having Blog Contributors

Holly is taking a little break from the Blogpreneur hangouts right now but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy online. Recently she was a guest in a Learn to Blog hangout with Crystal VanTassel from Crystal and Comp. The topic of conversation for this hangout was all about having blog contributors. Both Holly and Crystal have blog contributors for their sites.

blog contributors

Blog contributors

To start off with, Holly talks about how your blog is you. It’s your home, your voice, your online presence. So, when choosing someone as a blog contributor you want to make sure they match your blog’s feel. If they don’t, it’s probably not going to work. So you want to choose wisely when picking a blog contributor. Here are some of Holly’s recommendations for bringing on blog contributors (remember, blog contributors can do more than just writing posts):

What to do when bringing on a blog contributor

  • Recruit the right person
  • Educate them on the site including setting them up with a profile
  • Manage the editorial calendar as far as what, when and how they will be adding content.
  • Decide who owns the content
  • Have standards for the quality of content and what you will do if it doesn’t meet the standards
  • If you’re going to be paying the person, set up a small business for payroll, taxes, etc.

Now, for the pros and cons of having a blog contributor. Here is some of what they talked about in the hangout. Of course you’ll have to watch it to get all of their wonderful knowledge on the subject.

Pros of having a blog contributor

Quantity of content – If you want more content on your site but don’t have time to do it yourself, having a blog contributor can be a great way to meet this goal. Even if they only post once or twice a month, that’s still less content you have to produce yourself.

Complementary skills – We aren’t all good at the same things. By finding a blog contributor that has special skills that fit your site but you’re not good at can be a great way to expand the topics on your blog.

SEO – If you want to target a specific keyword, having blog contributors writing about that topic can help your SEO.

Cons of having a blog contributor

Your time – Even with blog contributors, you still are going to have to spend time on their content. Whether it’s checking their content, improving the SEO, scheduling the posts, whatever it is you’ll have to spend some on it.

Finding the right fit – It can be a little difficult to find someone who is the right fit for your blog since you want to make sure that they match your blog’s feel. They did discuss some tips on how to find the right person that you’ll find helpful.

Those are just some of the highlights from the hangout. Watch the full video to get all of the great tips from Holly and Crystal on blog contributors.

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NoFollow Links on Sponsored Posts {Yes, it's a must!}

One way to make money blogging is to do product reviews and/or sponsored content posts. The amount you charge, the products you receive in exchange and what social media promotion you do is all between you and the company.

But, there are two very important things that you must do on every sponsored post. The first is to put nofollow on links that go to the company. The second is to disclose that it's a sponsored post.

Today, we are going to talk about nofollow links on sponsored posts and why they are important.

Nofollow Links on Sponsored Posts

nofollow on sponsored posts

Follow versus nofollow

When you place links on your blog they direct your readers to other posts you want them to read. It also tells search engines about the subject matter, credibility and popularity of the posts. A post or article that has a lot of links from other sites will rank higher in search engine results. On your everyday non-sponsored posts, these links will be follow links and you don't have to do anything out of the ordinary for them.

But, when you are getting paid to write about a product or a business, any links to that company's website need to be nofollow links. That means, you are telling the search engines not to follow the link back to the site. It also means that those sites won't get PageRank from the links.

How to add a nofollow to a link

To add nofollow to a sponsored post, add the HTML rel=nofollow” to your link. Here's an example of what a link would look like:

rel=”nofollow”>Business 2 Blogger.

Why it's important to add nofollow links on sponsored posts

  •  It's part of Google's policy that paid content needs to have nofollow links.
  • Google will punish both your site and the companies site if you have follow links on sponsored content. This could hurt your PageRank and your search engine traffic.
  • If your search traffic goes down, so does the amount of money you make blogging.

If a company ever wants you to do a product review and/or a sponsored post with follow links, tell them no, thanks and send them a link to Google's policy about link schemes. It's not worth it for you and the company should know better.

Here's a very short video from Google about Advertorials that you should also watch:

Have any questions or anything else to add about nofollow links? Leave a comment!

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A little bit of HTML bloggers should know

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the language used to create what you see online. To many of us bloggers, it's something we never want to think about and usually we don't have to. But, there are times when we need to know just a little bit of HTML to do something on the blog.

html for bloggers

Mostly, I've found I need HTML for my widget areas. In WordPress, writing a new post is easy and you don't have to know any HTML at all. But for the widget area, they don't have buttons to make images centered or to add line breaks to content. Instead, HTML is needed to do that. I used to call my husband all the time to tell me the code but then I figured I should learn it myself. So I did. And now I'm sharing what I've learned.

HTML for Bloggers

First, you will notice that all HTML code has the symbols <> for opening tags and for closing tags with text in between the symbols. If you forget these symbols, the HTML won't work. Also, you want to do your HTML code in lowercase only. There are a few different reasons for this which really don't matter at this point.

Center

To center an image or text, the HTML would be

the text you want centered
.

The opening tag is the first one and the closing tag is the second one. The only difference between the two is the /.

More on the center tag.

Line break

Need a line break between your text? The code
or
will do that for you.

Just add it between the text where you want the line break to occur.

More on the line break tag.

Open link in new window

If you want a link on your page or your sidebar to open in a new window, the HTML target=”_blank” is added to the anchor tag.

In action, this would look like Business 2 Blogger

In my opinion, links should open in new tabs because it's easier for the user and it keeps your blog open in their browser. It's especially useful for your social media profile links. You want people to be able to follow you on all the networks easily without having to go back and forth on your blog.

More on HTML for opening in a new window.

There's a lot more to HTML than the three pieces of code I gave you above. Unless you are going into web design, I don't think you really need to know it.

If you would like to learn more about HTML coding I recommend checking out w3schools.com and quackit.com.

Oh, and on Thursday I'm going to be talking about one more very important piece of HTML you absolutely need if you are going to do sponsored posts. Definitely come back for that!

Tell me, what HTML have you found is really important to know in blogging?

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