Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Savvy Blogging Summit: Let’s Talk about Community, Personalization and Monetization Part I

jd roth I arrived at Breckenridge with an incredible altitude headache. Something I hadn’t really anticipated. I checked into my room at  Beaver Run Resort and drank massive amounts of water before the reception with Chris from Escalate Media Affiliate Network. One of the many great things about the summit is that it offered many opportunities to network not only with the other attendees, but also with the sponsors. If monetizing your blog is something that you’d like to consider, you may want to check out Escalate and the companies that they work with.

At dinner I met Amy of The Finer Things in Life, Tara of Feels like Home, the author of Bucksome Boomer’s Retirement Journey (who doesn’t use her name on her blog, so I won’t mention it here) and  Debba of Girlfriendology. I’d love to direct you to the other bloggers that I shared a table with that night, but unfortunately I didn’t collect business cards from all of them and I really am terrible with names.  We also had a special celebrity of sorts at our table, J.D. Roth, author of Your Money: The Missing Manual and owner of the award winning blog, Get Rich Slowly.

J.D. was also our opening speaker and it was  listening to him share openly, honestly and passionately about doing what he loves, blogging,  that I realized the Savvy Blogging Summit was really going to be something special.   

I walked away with some key points that night and some were reiterated throughout the weekend.

  1. Be yourself and have fun. If you don’t enjoy blogging, why are you doing it? 
  2. Tell stories to engage your readers and build community- you’ll hear about this later.
  3. Create the best content you can. Content is key, this is what will get readers to return to your site. 
  4. There’s always room for improvement. Take writing classes at the local community college or read writing manuals- strive to be the best writer you can be. 
  5. Don’t listen to the naysayers. 
  6. Blogging is not a competition, do you realize how huge the world wide web is? Find bloggers that you can work and network with.  
  7. Don’t ignore your readers, interact with them- preferably on your blog. It’s important to build a community. You want your readers to come back. Often.
  8. It’s okay to have a niche blog and occasionally write about other things. Write about things you are passionate about.
  9. Edit, edit, edit! Need I say more?
  10. In J.D.’s words:  “Assume that no one reads your blog , assume that everyone reads your blog.” In other words, don’t assume that your friends are ‘up to speed’ with your life because you blog about it or that you’re the ‘big fish’ when meeting new people but at the same time don’t write about that family member or next door neighbor that really annoy you because you never know when they will stumble upon your blog

If you want to take your blog a step further, you can join me in reading the following resources that were recommended: 

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland and On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser.

I can’t wait to continue to share more with you and hope you’ll stop back for Part II,  but I’d also love to hear from you. What tips have worked for you when you’re blogging? Do you plan your blog posts or just write what happens to come up? What do you do to stay inspired? Do you deal with blog critics?  How do you interact with your readers?

*In compliance with full disclosure, this blog post does contain affiliate links. 


  1. I try to spell check every post, no matter how short. I have a few regular posts I do (Week in Review bring the chief one), but beyond that I have several posts in draft mode to work on when the mood strikes and I try to post daily.

    Blog critics? Occasionally. It really depends on what I post, but I have had a few.

    For interacting with readers I try to post a question at the end of most blog posts asking their opinion on something. It is a wonderful way to get ideas from others! Sometimes it surpsrises me which posts get the most comments/interest.

  2. Great post! You summed up that night perfectly. It was so great meeting you and I can't wait for Part Two!!

  3. Usually I shoot from the hip, type, spellcheck, and publish. Time depending, if I have too many paragraphs, I'll see if I got off track, add a title. Adding Titles or Bold to paragraph helps me to know if it is same topic . . .
    I find that the more I sit on a post, the more I second guess my narrative. The ones I would have sent to the draft pile forever have been the ones with the most comments and emails. :) I'd like to learn how to balance being real with my thoughts in print, and being a "great writer". . . . .

  4. Yay! I love that you're sharing all of your great nuggets with us. I can't wait to read Part 2. :)

  5. It was so great to meet and talk with you during the summit. Thanks for the mention and I can't wait to read more in the future!


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