I learned a lot at the Blissdom Canada conference last week. Namely, to suck less at writing. And I’m going to do my best.
At the first Canadian social media conference for women there were sessions and dialogue centred on blog writing, monetization, working with brands, blogging for social action and more. Here are a few key points that struck a chord with me.
- create great content and you’ll rock; this means taking risks, being controversial, being authentic
- find your voice – it’s OK if you haven’t discovered it yet, but get started on the journey (writing lots and reading other blogs will help)
- seek mentors to emulate (aka: read lots of other blogs)
- change up your writing style (not your voice) – shake it up with prose, top tens, subtitles, photos, videos, etc.
- while the story may have been told before, the twist is you; your viewpoint, perspective and experience
- be mindful of yourself – know why you’re online, what your goals, priorities, principles are
- know in advance how you will deal with negative comments (especially the vicious ones) because you will receive them
- develop your personal brand; it’s important – know your identity and create content around it
- be mindful of your audience – who are you writing for anyway?
De-clutter (cleanliness=less sucking)
- edit your work. Then edit it again. Go away. Come back. Do more edits. That’s how you’ll become a better writer; that’s how you’ll become a content creating Ninja (ker-plow!)
- go with a simple, clean design to make your blog inviting; people want to see you, not all the flashy ‘blog jewellery’
Cut yourself some slack
- as busy moms/women, we can’t be everywhere; quoting Kathy Buckworth, “We’re not Mrs. Brady. Besides, she had a maid.”
- it’s not so much about work/life balance as it is simply a matter of ‘being’ where you need to be
- there’s a reason there’s an off switch; you really do have to take a break from blogging
Creating change in the world
- social media can be used as your voice for change; it enables you to create room for voices that haven’t been heard
- even if your audience is small, your voice is powerful to them and offers encouragement
- be kind (on Twitter, on your blog, in real life); it goes a long way
- be inclusive; don’t alienate new readers by talking in jargon or with inside jokes
Don’t do it for the money
- it’s really hard to make money off your blog so blog because you love writing, not because you want the cash
- that if you’re looking to work with brands, go to the small- and mid-sized businesses in your neighbourhood/that fit your niche
- don’t wait to be pitched; find brands that are already open to the mom/women blogging market and pitch to them
- know in advance what is and isn’t for sale on your site
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend Blissdom Canada. I met so many interesting women who are doing wonderful, amazing and powerful things through social media. It truly was inspiring. I left wishing the conference could go on forever, and through Twitter and other blog recaps, I guess it will.
I’m motivated to keep writing until I find my voice. To take the risk of sucking, but to try to suck less.