This weekend I attened (and spoke) at Reviewers Retreat 2012. I learned a ton of things, and a few I was not thrilled to learn!
- Take better photos.
I kind of suck at this. Honestly, Amelia takes better photos than me, which is why I might let her do this for me! I also have a great new Nikon, that REALLY hates it when you turn the flash off, which you need to do. I also discovered there are exactly ZERO natural light spots in my house. Arg.
- Great photography is a must if you want to get travel blog gigs.
Yikes. See #1.
- If you do product reviews, always put a disclaimer if you got product, a fee, or anything else – even in Twitter and Facebook.
I did not know this about social media, but now that I do, I have no excuse, so changes must be made!
- Create multiple blogs to generate numerous revenue streams.
This is in direct opposition to what a dear friend and brand expert just told me about spreading myself too thin. Thing is, as a blogger, it really does make more sense to work like this. Plus this tip came Diva Blogger Jennifer James herself, who really knows her stuff. Time to get a staff together…
- Find a handful of core brands only to work with with.
Yet another tip from Jennifer, and this one means I have to rethink and reconfigure my process, my contacts, my strategies for this blog.
- Brands want you to be either personal or professional. Figure out which one is correct for your brand review.
Ouch. I’m almost exclusively personal, so what do I do? Stick to only those brands?
- Keep videos simple, under 2 minutes, and clear…use text on them as much as possible.
Carp…text on videos? Looks like my editing time just went up!
- Be creative…go above and beyond in creating unique ideas for pitches.
This made me happy! I’m always excited to create and navigate new ideas.
- Connect with people ONE ON ONE!
Ted Rubin cleared this one up and it completely explains some of my difficulty with networking. Working on one person at a time, remembering what they are all about, and creating a real relationship is better than mass friending dozens of people with no purpose.
- Duplicate content – debatable?
As a web designer, I’ve always been taught, and Google backs me up, that duplicate content is a no no. However, Ted Rubin had a different opinion…see this post by SEO expert Randy Fishkin, CEO of SEO Moz. He advises bloggers not to sweat it, and I agree. From reading at Google Webmaster, what they are looking for is obvious cheating and scamming to inflate ranking, and that’s not the same as sharing info with other sites. Debatable, in my opinion. Bottom line? Be honest and true with your content, and don’t try to scam a better ranking.
And my own personal insight? Upon my return, I was checking emails, seeing if there were interesting opportunities, and realized that I didn’t want to be “always waiting.” It was a light bulb moment for me. I don’t have to always wait, I have to…
GO OUT AND CREATE MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES!
Worth every moment of the conference just for that! I hope you join us next year (I hope I can go, lol) at Reviewers Retreat. In the meantime, hook up with the Double Duty Divas for great community, amazing blogger friendships, and opportunities and when it’s announced, I’ll share next year’s Reviewer’s Retreat info…you need to come! Lastly, here’s a glimpse of some of the amazing sponsors: