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What I Learned about Blogging at the Build Your Blog Conference

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Blogging as life and blogging as business were central subtext amid smiling faces and door prize giveaways at the second Build Your Blog Conference in Salt Lake City.

Watching established blogger and former television producer Jill Nystul encourage a room full of aspiring bloggers reinforced the notion that we indeed live in a time of unlimited opportunity.

Nystul, who built the popular blog One Good Thing by Jillee, has handily built a following of more than a quarter million people on Pinterest alone and is savvy enough to be an early user of Google+, as well.  She encourages her followers each day with “one good thing,” in a more conservative version of what we might have looked to Martha Stewart for in decades past.

Don’t let the homemade sugar scrub and cookie recipes fool you; the blogging world has become big business as part of the ever growing new media culture we live in.  At the same time, it also seems to be the 21st century version of Tupperware parties or scrapbooking. There are little to no barriers to entry in blogging.  Yet, only a few will ever reach the level of Nystul’s success or that of the Six Sisters Stuff family that established the Build Your Blog Conference.  Many bloggers simply enjoy sharing recipes and inspirational stories with one another.  Below are a few things I learned at this conference.


Jill Nystul of speaks to a full room of bloggers about ways to drive traffic to their sites.

What I Learned at the Build Your Blog Conference

  • Everyone has potential to be an influencer.  This is the basis of the relationship Nystul and other speakers were nurturing by helping bloggers strengthen their own spheres of influence online.
  • If you’re blogging as a business, tend to business.  Six Sisters Stuff father Larry Adamson taught classes that gave overviews of basic accounting principles and best business practices for blogging.  Numbers matter.  Get started by installing Google Analytics and tracking your page views.
  • There’s networking, and then there’s networking.  Conferences help reinforce the organic social/business/cause networking that can happen year-around online. Bloggers are famously good at being collaborative rather than competitive, which is often good for everyone involved.  As old media gives way to new, the scramble to build blogging “networks” puts bloggers in a unique position in time to ask “what’s in this for me?”
  • Content is still king.  The good news for those focused on original, quality content is that both followers and advertisers are interested in how your content adds value to people’s lives.
  • It’s okay to get personal;  it’s okay to have an opinion.  Even in the world of food and recipe blogging, your personality and your personal story that connects with your recipe might be just the thing that brings people back to your blog.
  • Blogging and other social media go hand in hand.  This conference echoed the clear message from last summer’s BlogHer Conference that everyone is moving to Google+.  Top food and craft bloggers are still ruling Pinterest.  Twitter is going strong. Social media must be integrated with your blogging strategy.

Next time on  a comparison and contrast of three different blogging conferences.

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