BlogPodium 2013 - A Long Delayed recap

October 03, 2013

On Saturday September 21st I had the amazing opportunity to attend BlogPodium for the 3rd time (you can read about the previous years here and here).  This time the conference was an expanded all-day affair with 250 marvelous bloggers from across Canada and even a few from the US.

It’s been a few weeks since I attended the conference, and even though there are quite a number of really good recaps already done by attendees (you can read them here) I still wanted to do a post to share some of what I learned for those of you who didn’t go, and so I always know where my notes are ;)
blogpodium - sarah Richardson keynote speaker
  • A business grows out of passion
  • When I was a kid, and I got sent to my room, I would just rearrange the furniture
  • The best thing you can do is get out there and do it – that’s how you learn and grow.
  • If you believe it, if you can dream it, I’m here to tell you it can happen – you can do it
  • When online (as with in life) think about what you’re saying, and how it will make the world a better place. Never forget the written word is a powerful thing.
  • Whether it’s your blog or your designs, you should have a signature style – it should reflect you
  • You need to have a point of view and a unique perspective in order to move ahead.
  • Never create something you wouldn’t be happy to have in your own home.
  • Design is about experimenting – about trying new things . . .I encourage you to push the boundaries
  • If you’re not comfortable in your home, nobody else will be comfortable in your home
  • Don’t over think it – Make a decision and move on
  • Trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right
  • It’s never worth rushing
  • Always ask – will I be proud of this in 5 years?
  • On work/life balance – There needs to be a balance – you need to have a life
blogpodium - Jordana Garbati and Giulia Doyle
  • Set Goals
    • Make short-term goals throughout the year
    • Review them periodically
    • Little goals should lead to big goals
    • Remember – don’t compare yourself to others – they have different goals
  • Prioritize
    • Accept that not everything will get done right away
    • Spend your time in useful ways, and spend it working towards your goals
    • Ask yourself what you need to get done that day and do it
    • Do what makes you feel productive that day
  • Using Organizational tools
    • Use what works for you – personalize your workflow
    • Make a to-do list
    • Use feedly, Bloglovin, Instapaper, Pinterest
    • Use a paper agenda
    • Use Evernote
    • Use an editorial calendar
    • Make notes of your ideas
  • Make the Tough decisions
    • Learn to say no – it might be hard, but in the long run it will make your life easier
    • Time is your greatest asset – invest it wisely
    • Do what works for you
  • Time Management
    • Use and editorial calendar
    • Work backwards from holidays if you’re planning a specific post
    • Brainstorm, prep, and plan ahead
    • Set up a blogging time slot everyday – write posts, plan, set goals
    • Figure out what time you work best – mornings, evenings, are you a night owl?
    • Do the task that have to be done today – stop procrastinating
    • Make your blog a priority
  • Manage emails
    • Reduce incoming emails – unsubscribe to anything to don’t read – you can always re-subscribe later
    • Aim for a zero inbox – use folders, file, delete, archive
    • Use templates for responses to frequently received emails
  • Social Media engagement
    • Rule of thirds – stick to three social media networks –chose the ones you like
    • Be active, be engaged, have a conversation
    • Use Hootsuite or similar for organization and automation of planned posts
    • Use a mix of social media for communication – don’t use all for the same post
  • Networking
    • Embrace positive networking opportunities
    • Attend blogger conferences, media previews
    • Meet new people and collaborate
    • Engage with your community
    • Learn and teach – share what you learn with others
  • Personal time
    • It’s important – take the time for yourself as needed to relax and recharge
    • Step away from the computer!
    • Learn something new
    • Celebrate your achievements
    • Find inspiration offline
    • SLEEP!!!!
blogpodium - Meredith Heron, Neil Gazmen, Brittany Stager
  • There is no better place to spend your marketing $
  • Social media engages your customers
  • Allows you to get to know your audience, and for them to know you
  • Social media is a relationship first, selling second
  • From Neil Gazmen at Westelm – Instagram is our largest source of engagement – new products posted often sell out
  • From Meredith Heron – streamline your social media posting – use Instagram to process photos, auto post those to Facebook and Twitter. Then use those photos in your blog posts. Pin pictured from your blog to Pinterest
  • Use Hashtags for Projects
  • Meredith Heron Social Media stats:
    • Joined twitter March 2010
    • As of Sept 14,2013 – had 122,900 tweets and 9930 followers
    • Residential projects to date secured via social media (Pinterest, Instagram, etc) $1.4 million
    • Commercial projects: $500K.
  • Try the Echofon app.
Blogpodium - Karen Bertelsen
  • Promote your own website
    • Submit it to other websites – curbly, Lifehacker, dwellinggawker, craftgawker
    • Comment on blogs, and try to be the first, second or third comment
    • Reply to comments on your own blog
    • Devote a certain amount of time each week to promoting your blog
    • Advertise on bigger websites
  • Check your Google page rank – the higher your rank the more you’re paid per click with Google Adsense
    • Links from large established blogs help build your page rank
  • CTR – Click Through Rate
  • CPC – Cost per click
  • CPM – Cost per thousand impressions
  • Vertical ad networks – they put ads on the sidebar of your blog. Some networks are:
    • Glam Media
    • Blogher
    • SheBlogs Canada
    • Haven Home
    • Federated Media
  • If signing up with a vertical ad network ask what their CPM, and fill rates are
  • Sell ads on your own site – Etsy sellers will be looking to advertise for Christmas
    • Generally 125px x 125px ads
  • Write an ebook
  • Sell stuff via your blog – use shopify
  • When working with magazines
    • If one of your images is good enough to for a magazine it’s good enough for you to be paid for it
    • Writing for an online magazine = $0.50/word, print magazines = $1/word
    • Photo in an online magazine – credit and link, and possibly a small fee ($25-50)
    • Photo in a print magazine: Canadian mag: $75-200, American mag: $100-400, Cover $1,500+
  • Look at your blog as a business and treat it as such
  • Call and email people and ask to work with them
I have to say it was a wonderful day, and I learned SO much. There were several other seminars which I didn't get to attend, but thankfully we can read the presentation notes for those here (I wish I attended the Photography and Instagram workshop)

I hope to be able to implement some of the points I outlined above (especially the ones on balancing blogging and working) in the next little while. This blog, like everything, is a work in progress. I learn new things, and try new things, and hopefully it becomes better for it.

Did you go to BlogPodium? Are you already looking forward to the next one like I am? What did you learn? Have you already implemented some of those things?

*The Photo of Sarah Richardson is from her
website. The last three photos used in the title images are by Anna with Love

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  1. It was so great to meet you! But we didnt have much time to chat so coffee is definitely in order. Ill buy ;)

  2. Great recap, Michelle! Looks like you got everything. I'm sure I'll be referring to it in the future!

  3. Michelle, thank you for posting this, Great ideas here. I've wanted to go to a blogging conference, but for some reason they are only for women in the states.

    Does the 3rd commentor count?

  4. Awesome recap Michelle! I missed so much of the day so I appreciate your thorough notes ;)

  5. What a thorough recap Michelle. Thank you for taking the time to jot down all of these notes and sharing them with us.

  6. Hi James,

    I think the 3rd commenter counts :)
    You should go to a blog conference - 99% of the attendees at BlogPodium were female, but there were a few males. Just think how easy it would be for people to remember you if you're one of only a handful of guys!


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