I’ve been back from the Type A Parent Conference for about a week now but am just NOW getting a post up for you about all the tidbits I learned. You see, I got back last Sunday, then my 13 year wedding anniversary was last Monday (yay!) and the rest of the week was filled with soccer, work, workouts and a sick kid (boo). At least I have good reasons for posting this about a week later than I wanted!
This was my third year at Type A. I actually don’t attend all that many blog conferences, but Type A is my “must never miss” conference. It’s so welcoming to bloggers both new and experienced. I got a chance to hang with friends and make new ones. AND I spoke with Jill from Scary Mommy about the down ‘n dirty reality of writing a book. In this post, I want to share a little about our session as well as some other fabulous sessions I attended. Let the knowledge-soaking commence!
The Reality of Writing a Book- @scarymommy and @MelACulbertson
Seeing your name on a cover might top your blogging bucket list, but the experience isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Jill and I learned countless lessons the hard way and we dished out on everything you ever wanted to know about the book writing process… the good, the bad and the ugly. And we were brutally honest. Plus we had awesome memes in our presentation like this:
We told attendees that writing a book is like having a baby. You have the part in the beginning where you’re sick to your stomach, then the golden part where everything is coasting, then the end where you’re uncomfortable and just WANT TO BE DONE. Then, once you have the baby, none of the advice from friends or books can prepare you for what it’s really like. That’s pretty much what it’s like to write a book! On the Type A Parent Conference Resource page, you can find the entire, really awesome presentation of what we found good, bad and ugly.
Short Form Video Tips- @techsavvymama and @jnelmccoy
This session from Leticia and Janelle focused on two of the hottest social media platforms: Vine and Instagram. I took this session not only for myself, but because we’re now using both of these platforms now at Burt’s Bees. Here are some get tidbits of advice:
- Create a Vine, it saves to Photo Library (on iPhone), then upload to Instagram since Instagram video allows you to uploaded videos.
- Vine has better search than Instagram- you can more easily see what others are sharing.
- Looking at Vine video hashtags is another way to see what others are sharing.
- Vine is great for tutorials, demos and teasers.
- Take advantage of multiple scenes (release record button then change scene).
- Use sound on your videos.
- Incorporate hashtags, tag users, mentions.
- Consistently post and join conversations on Vine and Instagram.
- Incorporate your offers to brands.
- Save links for your Vines to show brands what you can offer.
- Think of Vine and Instagram videos as appetizers to the main dish (your blog)- this was shared by another speaker who was in the session.
Selling Yourself- @titaniajordan and @studiojewel
Titania and Lisa discussed an “authentic approach to sales and marketing.” They discussed the importance of knowing your target audience and being prepared to sell yourself authentically when brands come to you. Some of their top tips:
- Have something awesome to offer your readers/customers.
- Gain trust by being authentic.
- Be confident you aren’t “just” anything (stop saying “I’m ‘just’ a blogger!”).
- Why should someone: buy your product, hire you, choose you?
- Share your success with your audience as much as your failures.
- People can’t refer you if they don’t know you. Real relationships will product really awesome results.
- Own it, hone it (aka be confident but don’t stop learning).
Web Hosting Hands-On Session- @peterpollock
I attended a hands-on session to get to know my cPanel better (if you’re not self-hosted, you might as well skip all of this unless you’re curious!). Peter did a great job of explaining different parts of the cPanel (and how the Internet works too). He’s the author of Web Hosting for Dummies so he knows his stuff. Some of it I already know but a lot of it I didn’t. Here are some tidbits of knowledge and tips:
- DNS stands for Domain Name System
- On the Internet, there are 13 clusters of root name servers, then making up that are three name servers (called TLDs- top level domains): .com, .org, .net, then authoritative name servers for each domain.
- When you search for something on Google, your computer doesn’t search, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) does it.
- Caching is memory- this means your ISP doesn’t have to look up all the data on a website next time you open a page because the data is “cached.”
- Under Advanced DNS Editor, you will something called Time to Live (TTL) under your zone records with numbers like 14400 (seconds) or 86400 (seconds aka 24 hours). This means the info on your site is good for that many seconds until it’s cached again.
- Anything within Public_html is visible on the Internet. Anything outside public_html isn’t seen from your website. Back up your public_html once every 3 months.
- Your blog’s design and content files are stored separately but they are both within wp-content. Wp-content is what you need to update more often.
- Before you update WordPress, back up theme folder and update database.
- Under phpMyAdmin– can back up database before you update your blog software or update plugins.
- Under Webalyzer, look at your KBytes to see what files are taking up the most space. You may decide to reduce some file sizes so your site loads faster.
- The more bandwidth used, the slower the site. Keep images under 30k so your site loads faster.
Whew! Lots of great info and that’s only from a few sessions! On Thursday, I’ll recap the sessions on photography, email marketing and the keynote from Disney about imagination (oh and I’ll share a picture of me in a human pyramid- oh yes). In the meantime, get presentations from ALL the sessions over on the Type A Parent Conference website.