What I Learned at BAM Conference 2016 {MMoG #10}

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series Monday Moments of Gratitude

I just got back from my first blogging conference and although I should have expected it, it took me by surprise nonetheless: I tried to quench my thirst for learning more about blogging by drinking from the proverbial fire hose. Below, in no particular order, are the top things I learned at BAM 2016.

1. Social Media is a great way to promote your content and this particular group really  likes Twitter. I tweeted more in these two days than I have in all of 2016. Probably EVER come to think about it! I learned that Twitter chats are a good way to make friends and is useful to help you meet people in your area(s). I learned that you can’t over-tweet but 5-9 tweets a day, every hour is a good plan. (Phew! Really? I need to up my game for sure!) The key take away for me from this session is to promote brands even if you aren’t getting paid. It’s a way to give back and to get recognized by brands. Duly noted.

Wouldn’t I look so good in this Nissan Murano? Nissan was a sponsor.

2. From the Working with Brands workshop, I was surprised to learn that brands WANT to work with bloggers, however we have to give a compelling reason for the brand to want to work with us so I need to do my homework and only choose brands that would fit my readership. We were reminded that everyone is busy (don’t I know that!) and to keep reaching out. Graceful persistence is good! The big takeaway for me in this session was a relief to me: numbers aren’t as important as being connected to and engaged with your audience.

Three panelists sharing their wisdom.

3. I thought I wouldn’t have much to learn in the session about getting published since I have no immediate plan to write a book (but I have toyed with the idea of turning Tuesdays with Tina into a book…) but I was wrong. I learned about writing an ebook and to use Create Space to do it. I really resonated with the quote: The older you are the more stories you have to tell. We were encouraged to write about stuff that we are passionate about and stuff that we’re dealing with. As an English teacher I approved the advice to write, edit, then print and read it aloud, and agreed that writing should have musicality to it. My biggest take away here is that we have an archive of good content on our personal blogs that we can publish on other sites. 

The Gypsy Nesters are my heroes!

4. Perhaps my favorite session was the one by the Gypsy Nesters because it was a topic I enjoy and want to write more about on my blog – travel. After sharing their (humorous) story about how they sold everything and hit the road in an old camper they bought off eBay, they shared some interesting stats about how baby boomers are going to travel in 2016 (I didn’t get all the numbers, just the general idea) and that not only will they be traveling but they also want to read about it. And wasn’t I thrilled to see that Florida was one of the top four destinations in the domestic travel category?! You bet I was! The moderator, Sara Broers, caught me afterwards and gave me some excellent advice! Thank you Sara! (I bought the Gypsy Nesters’ book, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All, for inspiration and entertainment. I’ll review it when I finish it.)

5. In the session on why bloggers should create video, the speakers gave compelling reasons why we should, two of which were that videos show up in Google searches better and that it’s easier to demo something in a video. They gave some practical tips on products you may need and had them to show us. (I’m such a visual person that I was very grateful for that show-and-tell session!)

6. Pam Lutrell and Valerie Albada gave us a great pep talk about taking our blog seriously and to treat it as a business. Valerie recommended a book: The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months which I had heard of before from Christine Slatterfield. We were encouraged to select the brands we work with through the filter of our mission statement and to stay authentic to who we are!

7. And finally the spirited and funny Phil Hollows of FeedBlitz gave us a crash course on excellent email marketing.

These are merely the highlights of what I learned. But going to BAM actually had a two-fold purpose: one was to learn how to take my blog to the next level and the other was to meet some of the Blended Bloggers in real life. We all hung out on Thursday night and snuck away a little early on Friday so we could spend time together. We also had a planning session and came up with some great ideas for the Blended blog that I’m really excited about.  Here are just a few shots of us from the weekend.

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Four of us are together in the lobby of the Venetian. Carrie, me, Lana and Sarah.
So excited to all be together! Sarah was also tutoring us on selfie-taking. Sarah, Carrie, Shaunacey, Lana, me, Alison and Deena.
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Time for a little shopping!
Taking Shaunacey to her first ever Nordstrom! It was a big moment folks!
Learning how to take selfies!
The Venetian was spectacular. This is INSIDE folks! I was blown away by how well they recreated the streets, bridges, alleyways and canals of Venezia (complete with gonolas!). Well done Venetian! Well done!

I’m so grateful to know, in real life now, this great group of ladies and we missed all the ones who couldn’t be here.

Linking up with Simply Shaunacey for another Monday Moments of Gratitude, a place where we are intentionally grateful for the little things in life.

Monday Moments of Gratitude

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About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

34 thoughts on “What I Learned at BAM Conference 2016 {MMoG #10}

  1. I am glad you had a great experience at BAM. We are ready to vacation with you once you have finished reading the book you mentioned. Let’s start planning😄
    Denise

  2. Thanks for the recap! I feel like I learned something through your little tidbits of information. I use Twitter for school purposes but not for blogging purposes. I guess I should try to start one for my blog now. Ahhh! So many accounts!

  3. Wow. You guys did learn a lot. And man I don’t use Twitter like ever. I always forget about it. Yikes. Looks like you had fun. So jealous !!

  4. you summarized the sessions so well!! We’ll have to share some of this on the Blended Blog!!!
    LOVE the pics, so so so much fun!!!
    so grateful to have been able to spend some time with all you ladies!!! Can’t wait for toronto!!

  5. Sheila! Thanks for sharing all of this! I am going to bookmark this post so I have it!! I missed not meeting you all but loved following you and seeing all the pics!!

  6. This is a great recap Sheila! It was such an amazing weekend and I’m so glad I got to meet you and get to know you better.

  7. I am so sorry I missed this! A lot of great information – #3 is something I have been thinking about – so you just put it back in the front of my mind/list. Looking forward to Toronto 2017! Can’t come soon enough.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

  8. Sounds like you had a great time at the conference!

    Thanks for sharing some of the things you’ve learned! I’ve been trying to tweet more, but I feel much more at home on Instagram…

  9. Girl, you wear the Murano so well. Really enjoyed hearing what you learned at the conference. I need to up my Twitter game and create a video, I guess, huh? Maybe we could Tweet and tag each other at lest once a day?

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