Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blogging Tips & Hacks From Expert Bloggers, Part 2 #BlogPaws

On July 8th I published Part I of the valuable Blogging Tips & Hacks from BlogPaws conference sessions.  Today I'm sharing Part Two of the Blogging Tips & Hacks I learned at the BlogPaws bloggers conference in Phoenix.



Chloe Divita, of the BlogPaws Executive Team and Felissa Elfbein author of the blog Two Little Cavaliers spoke about Content Creation for Brands, How to Do It With Panache!

These ladies are both experts in the field of pet blogging, and Chloe is a widely recognized leader in the pet industry.  I knew this session would be a goldmine of blogging advice!




One of the first things they talked about was finding the areas where you can exert influence.  Identify your strengths and match them to your social media channels and audience.  For example, If photos are your big strength Instagram would be a good channel for you to focus on. 

In thinking about which social media channels to invest your time in, ask yourself:

Who is my audience and where are they spending their time all day?  Find out which channel(s) they're on and at what hours of the day or night 
I've been thinking about that a lot lately and doing some research.  I'm not crazy about Facebook and never paid much attention to it.  Recently though, I realized that a good majority of my readers prefer to hang out on Facebook - A Lot.  So I've jumped on the Facebook bandwagon.  I'm starting to embrace that channel and learn what my readers want to see on Facebook.

I also just discovered that my top Tweets, according to Twitter analytics, are posted at or close to 6pm!  That really surprised me, I always thought my readers were more of an early bird group.  Based on this new knowledge I'm altering my Tweet scheduling to take advantage of evening activity.



Chloe and Felissa explained the difference between Paid Media and Earned Media
Paid Media refers to getting paid, for example, to post x number of tweets per campaign or per month, etc.  Earned Media is when your audience builds and earns media the brand didn't specifically pay for.  YOU created the engagement on your own.

One of the goals of PR people is to obtain earned media for their brands/clients.  I guess this is why so many of us get contacted regularly by PR reps asking us to share their clients' content or review products without pay.  It's part of their job to get that exposure for the client.  This was news to me but it makes total sense, now I understand why PR reps often contact me with such requests vs. a paid campaign offer.

One of the most valuable and fun things we did in this comprehensive three hour working session was the Sponsored Campaign Exercise.  Chloe and Felissa handed out 2 flyers, one outlining an overview of a dog product campaign and one of a cat product campaign. 

We were asked to complete a campaign blog post outline for one of these sample sponsored (paid) campaigns.  This was a great exercise and really required us to think and plan out the steps required to complete a quality sponsored post.

Me with the beautiful Sugar The Golden Retriever at the Hill's Pet booth.  Sugar was their Blogpaws conference Ambassador.  She did a great job!
They started off by asking us to think about what the "story" behind our blog post campaign might be.  Rather than just regurgitating product attributes provided by the brand, it's important to add your unique voice, making the campaign post your own and making it authentic.  I have two dogs but I chose to make my dog Phoebe the focus of my sample campaign post.  As a senior dog I felt she would be a good fit for the product and for the exercise.

In creating sponsored campaigns, we were advised to think about these important points:
> What you want readers to take away from your blog post
> What you want them to do; what the call to action is.  Do you want them to visit a store to make a purchase, visit their Veterinarian, etc.  Think about how your unique perspective or story will influence them to fulfill this action
> Be sure to make your content easy to digest
> Think about how you (and your pets) align with the brand or product
> How you serve both the audience and the brand's goals
> What you have observed about the product
> How your pet reacted to the product or service
> How you use the product in your own home
> Showing the product on store shelves and with your pet is important to the brand.  Think about ways in which you can creatively capture these images.

With these points in mind, we spent 15 minutes on our own creating an outline for our example sponsored blog post.  Afterwards Chloe asked if anyone would like to share what their chosen "story" was for their post.  It was interesting to hear the different stories and situations people came up with as the storyline for their sponsored campaign.

We spent some time discussing points we each included in our campaign outline.  This discussion was really helpful, it's interesting to see how others approach a campaign and the various points they came up with to focus on.  

Surfin' Jack from Lucy Pet Products chillin' at the conference.

They rounded out the session providing helpful hints to consider when promoting sponsored posts:

* It's OK to place a link to another one of your posts in a sponsored post as long as it's related to the topic and doesn't contain information about a competitor!  Likewise you can link from another of your posts to a sponsored post as long as your post doesn't contain competitive information.

* We were reminded that if you use any Affiliate links within a blog post, you should state at the top of the post that it contains affiliate links.

* You should tag the brand in all your social media shares, it is very helpful to the brand.

* Closer images that really show the faces of your pet are best, too much background can be distracting.

* They touched upon optimal image sizes for various social media channels.  For example: optimal photo size for Pinterest is 735x1102, For Facebook it's 940x788, Twitter's size is 1024x512 and Instagram's optimal image size is 1080x1080. 

* They also mentioned that Pinterest photos do best with a text overlay.

There was lots more to this session, these are just the points that resonated most with me given where I'm at in my blogging journey.  If you missed the conference, or you missed this valuable session while at the conference, I hope you found it helpful!

I've purchased my BlogPaws conference ticket for next year, have you?  I hope to see all of you in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in May for BlogPaws2017!

Visit my Pinterest board FOR BLOGGERS for lots more helpful tips and advice for bloggers from social media and blogging experts.  Let's follow each other on Pinterest!

If you enjoyed these tips, you'll love Part I of my conference Blogging Tips & Hacks with many more valuable blogging tips!

Did you find this advice helpful which of these tips resonated most with you?  Leave us a comment and share!

49 comments:

  1. This was one of my favorite sessions. I learned so many great tips to improve my posts and make sure I am following FTC guidelines. Thanks for a terrific recap!

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    1. Mine too! I'm glad you liked my recap, thanks

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  2. Always a lot of good info. Thank you
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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    1. I hope to see you at a BlogPaws conference one day too! Glad you liked the post

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  3. I missed this session so thanks for sharing the info! I need to add more text to my Pinterest images.

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    1. I'm so glad it was helpful! I still need to figure out HOW to add text to my Pin images, LOL!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this great information!! Esp for those of us who weren't able.to attend.

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    1. You're so welcome, I'm glad you found it valuable. Hope to see you at next year's conference!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this great info. Hopefully one of these times we will be able to attend!

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    1. I really hope you'll be able to attend soon too, I'd love to meet in person!

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  6. Thanks for the info and am sorry I was not at the conference

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    1. I hope you can join us at the conference next year!

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  7. These are some great tips! I hope I can join you all next year!! I'm already looking forward to it!!

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    1. Thanks Valerie, I'm glad you liked the tips. I hope you can join us in Myrtle Beach too next May!

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  8. That was a great session! I am so glad I made it to BlogPaws. Can't wait until next year!

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    1. It definitely was an awesome session, Chloe & Felissa are SO knowledgeable! I love the conference, I've gone each year since I discovered BlogPaws 3 years ago.

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  9. It sounds like you got a lot of value out of attending the BlogPaws Conference this year...

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    1. Oh my goodness, SO much value in attending the conferences. I always learn a ton of tips that help me grow my blog and improve my blogging skills. We met at BlogPaws 2014 in Nashville, right?

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  10. Thanks for sharing these tips. The mom enjoyed and learned a lot from Miss Chloe's session as well. We have a lot of followers who are on Facebook only and so we try to maintain a presence there as well as on our blog.

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    1. I'm so sorry we didn't get to meet at the conference! There are so many people there, I guess we just didn't cross paths. I hope to meet at next year's conference in Myrtle Beach!

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  11. Attending Blogpaws was a amazing learning experience for me! It was my first time attending this year and I met so many wonder people and vendors! Such a great venue!

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    1. Oh how fabulous! Isn't it so exciting the first year? I think it gets better every year.

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  12. Great recap. I enjoyed the session too. Always inspiring to workshop with peers and see different approaches. I used to love Facebook best, but lately has become very difficult to grow and engage as a business page. I have not found a sweet spot.

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the recap, it was such a great session. I'm not a big Facebook fan at all, but it's so necessary for my audience so I'm doing my best to engage more there. I love Twitter the most.

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  13. That's interesting that your twitter followers are most active after 6. I admit, I haven't paid much attention to this, but need to check it out. Thanks also for the optimal size photos for each social media channel - another thing I haven't paid much attention to, but need to start!

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    1. I know right, isn't that weird?? Sometimes your stats aren't what you expected! Canva does auto photo sizing for the various social channels.

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  14. Wow! So much important information! I'm going to keep this window open to give it a more thorough reading later this evening when things slow down. Thanks so much!

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    1. It is a lot of information, but so important for us bloggers! I hope you find some valuable pointers from my session recaps.

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  15. Earned media is what we do when we gain readers and followers for our blogs isn't it. OK I digress, it just struck me! You should make this a printable page it's awesome.

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    1. Yes, that would be earned media. I'm so glad you like the post and find it useful! Thanks so much.

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  16. That exercise with Chloe and Felissa sounds like it was really helpful! I bet it was super interesting to hear the different ideas people had. I finally got the courage to buy a ticket for next year! I hope I'll get to meet you in person!

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    1. The exercise was terrific and yes it really was interesting to see the different ideas everyone had. I'm so glad you'll be at the conference next year, we must make a point to get together there! I look forward to meeting in person then.

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  17. Thank you for sharing all the great info and tips from the conference! Sounds like it was an amazing session!

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    1. You're so welcome Dorothy! I was an amazing session, so much great information. This post is really just the tip of the iceberg. I hope you can make it to the conference next year, I'd love to meet in person!

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  18. I love this so much. I even learned a thing or two. Sounds like a great workshop; I am a big fan of hands *er paws* on!

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    1. I'm so glad you like my session summary and that it was useful for you! It was a great session, as was yours & Maggies. Yes, Paws On is always a great way to absorb information. I've got my ticket for next year, I already can't wait to go!

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  19. Great advice and tips. Thanks for sharing them, it's really helpful for those of us who couldn't attend!

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! That was my goal, to share with those who couldn't attend the conference or the session.

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  20. Thanks for sharing. I'm still learning how to use Instagram and Pinterest well. I've learned to try to incorporate text for photos for these social media outlets.

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    1. You're so welcome! It's such an ongoing learning with all the social channels. I still haven't learned to add text to my photos - shame on me, right!?

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  21. I found this session very helpful too! It is easy to get so lost in one aspect of creating great content for brands that you forget about some of the other important details. It was great seeing your at BlogPaws too! :)
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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    1. Oh absolutely, great content is only part of it. It was so great hanging out with you at the conference too! Hope to see you next year.

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  22. Great information. I can't wait to attend in person next year!

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm so glad you'll be joining us next year, I look forward to meeting you in person in Myrtle Beach!

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  23. Thanks so much for sharing your info!! I didn't get to go this past year, so your insights will be helpful to me to grow my own blog from where I'm at!!

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    1. You are so welcome, I'm glad you found it valuable! Hopefully you can join us at next year's conference.

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  24. I missed this session so this post is extremely informative and helpful. Sounds like a awesome exercise. I've become quite frustrated with Facebook but I still get the majority of my traffic from there next to search engines so I keep at it.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad you found it helpful! It really was a great exercise, there's nothing like actually diving in and doing a sample sponsored post. It really makes you think through it. I feel exactly the same way about Facebook, it's kind of like a necessary evil!

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  25. I loved your Part 1 post and all the great tips on this one too! I really appreciate you sharing the knowledge and advice from the conference. The pet blogging community is awesome!

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