If any of you follow me on instagram (@kirstenkrason) then you know that I spent the majority of my week last week at the SNAP conference. It was amazing. I went last year but I was pregnant and still not feeling 100%. This year I felt like I could really have fun and enjoy myself. I love getting to catch up with blogging friends and meet new ones that I've been following for awhile. I also felt like the classes were amazing!! After each class I'd text my husband with phrases like, "this class is changing my life!". I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on how the blogging world works but after I go to blogging conferences I'm always reminded about how much I don't know. The blogosphere and social media world are ever-changing which is why you can never say you know it all.
Class #1 // Google + -
Everyone keeps saying that Google + is the next big thing so I keep trying to get myself motivated to be on their more. Are any of you on there? You can see my profile here.
- You can create live stream videos on your blog using google + hangouts.
- The people in your own circle will come up first in your search engines. Basically it's very important to build a large community on Google + for SEO purposes.
// picture from Heather's Pinterest Boards
Class #2 // Pinterest -
Amazing, Amazing, Amazing. I couldn't write fast enough in this class!
- Are your photos going to make it in a Pinterest world? So true. Let's face it. We are living in a Pinterest world. For your blog to survive you have to be viable on Pinterest.
- Your descriptions on Pinterest should have call to actions.
- Create negative space with your photos. The eye craves negative space.
- Try and make your blog photos in portrait layout whenever possible. These take up more space on Pinterest and in turn are more likely to be viewed.
- Make sure you pictures portray your brand. Someone should see a picture and instantly know it's from you. Also think about the type of watermark you want to use and where you want to place it.
- Use no more than 3 different fonts on your Pinterest images
- You have to engage on Pinterest. Comment, like and repin!
- Pin only the best and most beautiful images so your boards look well curated.
- Holidays are HUGE. Be pinning for Holiday pins about 2 months in advance.
- Timing is everything! Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are the best days to pin. 7-11 am and pm EST are the best times to be pinning. There are sites out there to let you schedule pins. Pingraphy is a great one.
- If a pin is sponsored you need to add #spon or #ad to the description.
Class #3 Monetizing Your Blog -
I'm not gonna lie this class was WAY overwhelming. Most of it went over my head but I did get some great gems from it!
- Sidebars are premium ad space! Clean it up! Get rid of anything that you absolutely don't need.
- Work with numerous ad networks not just one.
- You should have about six ads on your blog.
Class #4 Collaborating with Brands -
Awesome class taught by some of my favorite people! I LOVE collaborating with brands so I was all ears for this one.
- Make a list of all the brands you want to work with and set goals for how you are going to make it happen.
- Respond promptly! They will move on if you don't.
- Keep in mind these companies have budgets they need to maintain.
- You need to disclose sponsored posts at the top and not just the bottom or on your sidebar somewhere.
Class #5 Instagram -
I really really needed this class. I feel like I got to Instagram so late in the game (stupid android). I have been working hard to try and figure out how to increase my presence on instagram and take better pictures but it seems like it has been a long process...
However I have been improving slowly but surely. For example these two pictures are from my instagram feed. The second one was Jane first thing in the morning about 7 months ago and the first one was a picture I took a couple of weeks ago. It takes time to learn how to use a camera and figure out lighting so I know it's okay to give yourself some time to figure it out.
I also think that instagram is like blogging. It takes reading other blogs to figure out what you are supposed to be blogging about and how to do it. It takes following people on instagram to get a hang of how to do it, what kind of pictures to post and how many pictures to post. I'm still figuring it out.
But please, follow me on Instagram! I promise I won't disappoint!
So here are the best tips I took away from this great class...
- Make things Pretty! People look at ordinary things all day long, give them something pretty to look at.
- Get a camera lens cleaner and clean your iphone lens off.
- instagram about 4 times a day. Don't overgram.
- Make sure your giveaways are simple and to the point. Don't make them too long (about 48 hours).
- Don't ignore your haters or bad commenters. Address their concerns. Turn them into fans!
- Include questions or call to actions in your posts to get engagement from your followers.
- Comment and reply to comments! You need to be active on instagram.
The best tip I took away was from Susan. She talked about instagram karma. If you are helpful to other people and kind it will all come back to you. Be gracious. Tag others whenever possible and share the love!
They also shared some of their favorite apps.
- Bubble Frame
- Shape Plus
- Afterlight (I love this one. Captain is my favorite filter)
- PicTapGo (also LOVE this one)
- Text Mask
- Rhonna Designs
I also took some great classes on photoshop and photo styling which were seriously amazing. Did you know I've had photoshop elements on my computer for two years and never used it! I learned the most basic things which are going to totally transform the way I edit pictures from now on.
Have you ever attended a blogging conference? Did you think it was worth it?
If you liked this post you might also enjoy What I Took Away From Alt.