Have you ever wondered what it would be like to speak at a blogging conference?
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be recognized by your peers as an expert in your field?
Would you consider it a validation for all your work?
That’s exactly how I felt when I was asked to speak at Blogger Brilliance hosted by the Bon Bon Rose Girls during Tampa Bay Fashion Week last Saturday. Seeing my name listed on the event page along with my blogging peers felt equivalent to having my name illuminated on a marquee.
Although I would speak to an audience of fashion bloggers, my session on “Blogging Best Practices” addressed tools and skills all bloggers should be using.
Admittedly, I was so nervous and more shaky than a supermodel at WalMart. Thankfully, my friend and fellow Tampa Bay Blogger, Kellie of Sexy Bags and Shoes, also attended the workshop and offered me encouragement, support and of course, some fashion advice. Friends don’t let friends wear Crocs even when Crocs are your comfy change out of your heels shoes.
Prior my panel, I connected and networked with so many interesting artists and fashion bloggers, like Stephanie Hayes of Deal Divas and Jennifer of Belle de Couture. Jennifer throws together some great vintage finds and of course, I told her about my popping tags obsession. Somehow, she looks better in granddad’s clothes than I do.
As for the “Blogging Best Practices” panel, I shared the stage with Kristin of Bon Bon Rose Girls, Stephanie of Deal Divas, Jennifer of Belle de Couture and Lindsay of Makely School for Girls. Lindsay is a very successful DIY self home improvement blogger and like me, she felt like a fish out of water on a runway.
*Photo Credit to Stephanie Hayes*
I immediately confessed that I am not a fashion blogger. After all, authenticity is key when it comes to blogging. On Run DMT, I review running shoes and comfy walking shoes, not high heels. Be yourself and be real to your readers was the message we all shared.
We talked about the importance of connecting to your readers by replying to comments, emails and tweets and other social media platforms. Your readers are following you because they want to follow you, so engage with your readers and followers.
Our panel stressed the importance of joining a blogging network. Connect and collaborate with other bloggers about sharpening your writing skills, pitching brands and sharing opportunities. Proudly, the Tampa Bay Bloggers offers that as a hyperlocal blogging network.
As I spoke, the layers of my sexy fashion plate style slipped away to expose my inner comedic side with silly anecdotes and jokes. I channeled my inner geek when I began talking about the importance of SEO and keywords (of course now that’s all changing), which also demonstrates the importance of professional development and understanding the trends in the blogging business.
Basically, even if you’ve been blogging for two years or ten years, blogging and social media is still a relatively new art and both are constantly changing. To stay relevant as a blogger, you have to be relevant. Understand the trends and change with them.
Be yourself. Be consistent. Be engaging. Be relevant. If you can do that, you will define Blogger Brilliance.
*Photo Credit to Tampa Bay Fashion Week*