Last weekend I went to the food and lifestyle blogger’s conference, Eat Drink Blog. Last year I was on the organising committee and what a blur that weekend was. Twelve months on and I could enjoy myself at the conference. This year it was held in Canberra, a city I know very well.
Though this was my third EDB Conference, I continue find enjoyment and reasons to attend. Here’s mixed bag of takeaways from this year’s conference
Attending EDB meant that I finally met some of my blogging friends in person rather than via social media. It’s a really exciting moment, when you cross over and it rarely disappoints. You can pick up a conversation mid way through and not skip a beat. There are lots of different social media platforms but Twitter is still my favourite and the way I have connected with most of my good blogging friends. I know people ‘don’t get’ Twitter and many of you are probably thinking how can someone that talks so much fit it all into 140 characters? but I can and do.
Takeaway: Know what works for you and cultivate it. Join me on Twitter @TIFFINbitesized
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about 6 Last Minute Tips For A (Blogger’s) Conference. All of those tips still ring true but I do have one more to add to the list: 7. Pack Wet Wipes. On the Friday night we enjoyed a registration event at The Hamlet, a sort of permanent food truck venue. The food was wide-ranging and the vendors hugely generous. Though serviettes were a-plenty, what I really needed was a couple of wet wipes to clean my sticky fingers before I went in for round two.
How To Win Friends
I was also looking forward to meeting some new people, learning more about them and their blogs. I took some time to research the blogs of others attending and made a concerted effort to meet the writers of the blogs I enjoyed most. As someone who is outgoing, I find it easy to walk up to people and introduce myself but I know that not everyone finds it so easy. One way to overcome this was that I took along a set of good quality second-hand food and travel books to give to fellow delegates. I tried to match the books with the bloggers and their blog themes. I had some wonderful conversations and have now started following a broad spread of blogs via subscription and social media including: Serena the Frugalista from Ms Frugal Ears, Flor from The Flo Show and Kaet from So Frank.
Takeaway: Connecting deeply with a few people is much more rewarding that just giving out your business card to gain followers.
So Many Tricks, So Little Time
Where to begin? I certainly don’t think I know it all but as someone who has been writing for a few years and is regimented in their blogging life, there was still plenty to learn about. The main learnings were from a presentation by Todd Wright in relation to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Some of this I knew about but just hadn’t bothered with and other tips were totally new to me. I am now rectifying my SEO sins. Carly Jacobs and I were clearly separated at birth. Every single thing she said about being organised, list driven and schedule savvy resonated with me. To some it was daunting but to me it confirmed that I am taking the right approach and just need to fine tune things. Together, Carly and I could run the world.
Takeaway: Alt Text is important so don’t be lazy. Batch, batch, batch.
Every time someone visits your blog, it is an opportunity. I like to think that those visiting are getting great value for money. They can read well crafted articles about food and travel, stay as long as they like and it costs them nothing. What I need to do is get those readers to return on a regular basis and the way to do this is by getting them to subscribe to my blog. I think that’s a pretty good deal – greats recipes, travel stories & tips and reviews of local dining spots for the cost of an email address.
If you have read this far and you are not a subscriber, I am asking you to subscribe via email to my blog. You’ll generally receive new content to your inbox twice a week. The subscription section is on the right, below my picture, and it only takes moments. Thank you.
If you are a subscriber, again thank you. It’s your support that encourages me to continue writing. I am asking you to recommend my blog to some of your friends. Tell them about a great recipe or travel story that has resonated with you or send one of my post emails to them. If every subscriber had one friend who also subscribed, I would double my subscription list. That’s a big deal to me.
Takeaway: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Of course I did plenty of eating, drinking and laughing at EDB. It was great to spend the weekend with my mate Heather from Extraction Artisan Coffee and to recharge our batteries. Thanks to this year’s organising committee. You too will be able to sit back and be a tourist as next year’s conference, whenever and wherever that may be.