Sidenote: I know, I know, I haven’t posted in over month, and I start out by finishing my recap of Blogher? Well, I have started LOTS of posts over the past several weeks but haven’t had the time, the energy, nor the “clearance” to post. I will explain what this means in a subsequent post. Thanks for your patience and for coming back.
You may have noticed a few minor changes to my blog’s sidebar. I cleaned it up a bit, and added two very important things. Before I explain what and why I added those two things, I need to tell you what happened on day two of blogher 2010. On day two, I attended a valuable session about understanding and leverage your stats. When I say stats, I mean your blog statistics such as traffic, pageviews, etc. The session spoke about how important an asset google analytics can be. I signed up for the service over a year ago, and now I have months of data that google analytics aggregates for me. I created a custom report to display the key measures that were highlighted at the conference: traffic in the form of pageviews and unique visitors, time on site, average pageviews per visitor and bounce rate. I learned what a google page rank is and how it relates to safe linking, and that I should know what content is valuable to you and make it easier to find.
The next big nugget I learned was that I could approach brands and ask them to advertise on my site. Before doing so, I had some homework to do. My homework involved some easy things, like identifying brands that I love. This is the super easy part. Hubby says I’m obsessed with Kate Spade, so that’s number one on my list. Next, I needed to create a media kit and then send it to the brands I love. This is the not-so-easy part. Media kits consist of a lot of information that I either didn’t have, or did not have packaged in the right way. Here is where google analytics comes in. All the data I’ve been tracking will be useful to show my blog readership and engagement growth. The missing parts I did not have were my readers’ demographics and what my suggested CPM would be.
Hence, the changes to my sidebar and where you come in. I have signed up for Google AdSense to get a read on what Google is paying. This is would give me a reasonable benchmark. The second addition to my sidebar is my demographics survey (which I would love for you to fill out if you haven’t already. I would like to have 50 respondents and I currently have 22, so please complete the ten quick questions). I could easily make some assumptions about my readers, but this survey validates my assumptions, and reveals new insights about why you come back to visit. If you are looking for a good example of a media kit, check out Apartment Therapy’s kit.
My other favorite sessions were the writing sessions. The creative writing session inspired me to write daily (of which I have been doing a horrible job), but I got the point. I have to write interesting and fresh stuff. The above photo was taken during the Humor Writing Workshop. I was attending another session and all the blogher10 tweets were about how hilarious @luvvieig and the rest of the panel were, so I abandoned the ‘Small Fish in a Big Pond: How to Love your Small Blog’ (or something like that) session, and snuck (that’s not word apparently) into the standing-room-only Humor Writing Session. @BabyMakingMama was raising her hand to ask a question in the photo above. I don’t remember her question, but I remember the panelist complimented her on her beautiful baby girl she was wearing in a sling.
Some brand highlights included PepsiCo’s partnership with Momversation. Pictured above is a live interview with a blogger at PepsiCo’s’ 5G Women’s Network. PepsiCo also had a shipping station so participants could ship home some of the too big and too heavy items. My favorite swag was the humongous White House Black Market suede bag that I can fit my life into. There was also a swag exchange where I could dump all the trinkets I didn’t want to bring home. I loaded up on potato bag clips because we always need more of those. Lansinoh sponsored the lactation room which was fitting.
Other highlights included meeting bloggers who I look up to. Below is me and Chookooloonks, and beneath that is Afrobella and Adria Richard’s puppy. I also met Sheena Tatum, but I missed my chance to connect with Denene Millner.
At the end of the night I attended the Bloggy State of Mind Party sponsored by Blogalicious. I hung out with @calinative that evening, and she was super cool. I took a group photo (below) of the table I was chatting at.
Finally, my last few nuggets of advice are the new links I learned about and will pass on:
1. csstypeset allows you to copy and paste text and the site generates the css code so you can replicate the text style on your blog.
2. sortfolio allows you to view the portfolios of web designers before selecting one to do work for you, such as a site re-design (note: I designed and programmed this site for myself). Sort of similar to elance, but just for designers.
3. clout for my artsy fartsy types. Clout brings you street influenced culture in a print format.
4. twitalyzer analyzes social relationships.
5. Google’s url builder
6. hootsuite is an all-on-one social media dashboard.
7. freekeywords.wordtracker.com suggests keywords for SEO, ad words and blogging for free.
8. getclicky.com provides web analytics in real-time.
9. Facebook Insights provides content metrics such as trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content for your Facebook page.
10. flowtown.com is hard to explain but valuable so check it out. I’ve heard the quote “if social networking and email had a baby it would be flowtown.”
At the end of the day, I ran to Grand Central with my Kate Spade bag to make it home to my babies.