I wore this white ruffle dress for #RStheCon Day 2 information sessions as well as the TopShop luncheon in the courtyard of the hotel. One of the biggest questions I’ve been getting lately is “How have I experienced so much growth in such a short time of blogging?” Well believe it or not, I still feel like I learn new things about blogging everyday, and I often become discouraged just like you. It’s an ever changing industry that is very difficult to navigate because people aren’t as willing to share their tips and tricks. I thought it may be helpful if I recapped the 5 most important things I learned at the RewardStyle conference in hopes that it may help you too. Keep reading….
5 Things I Learned at #RStheCon
1. Engagement is far more important than following.
In the past, the number of followers you have has always far outweighed your engagement. With the new Instagram algorithm and so many people trying to cheat the system brands and bloggers alike have realized that the only way to excel is to have high engagement. We don’t know much about the Instagram algorithm other than it values post that are high in engagement and receive a lot of likes and comments. If you want your post to hit the top of your follower’s feeds then try increasing your engagement.
2. Just as with any job, networking is key.
The conference was a great experience for meeting other bloggers that inspire me everyday. I genuinely enjoyed getting to know these ladies, and following the conference I realized how important this was to my followers as well. They loved seeing me have “girl time” with other bloggers they love and follow, too. It was also an opportunity for me to get exposure with their followers and vice versa for them with my followers. All in all, it’s a great way to grow your reach and provides you with an opportunity to get in front of another targeted market that may not follow you yet.
3. Pinterest is not dead, it is very much alive.
This is something that I started learning just before the conference, and this tip was embedded in my brain throughout the weekend. You should absolutely be using Pinterest to drive traffic back to your blog. I see a huge personal difference in page views between when I am and am not using this platform. Many people think it has died because they aren’t using it everyday, but think about the many times you’re looking for an updo for a wedding, or trying to look up a dessert for hosting people. What do you resort to…. Pinterest. Pinterest isn’t your traditional social media platform, it is a search engine for creatives, and it is exactly where your target market is spending their time. Get on pinterest, conquer it, and your page views will rise.
4. The blogging industry may be very saturated, but only you can be your own brand.
It’s easy to become discouraged by the blogging industry right now. I feel like I turn around and there is a new blogger everyday trying to make it and grow in this crazy world. This in turns fuels a competitive atmosphere and other bloggers aren’t as apt to share valuable information. Believe me when I say, there are enough followers to go around. People can follow as many people as they want. Your job is to create amazing, compelling content that encourages people to follow you. You are the only one that can be your own brand, and everyone’s personal style is different. Be yourself. Be true to your brand. Create fabulous content and you will get noticed and succeed.
5. Last and CERTAINLY not least, don’t put too much focus on social channels, your blog is the only things you own and control.
There was a lot of hype at the conference about whether or not the traditional blog is dying, and if you should continue to put so much effort and focus into social channels. With the new algorithm on Instagram and social channels changing every day, it can become very discouraging because you realize only 1% of your audience is actually seeing your posts. Trust me, I struggle with this too! At the end of the day, the only thing you fully control is your blog, your own personal platform. Social media can go away tomorrow, you don’t have any say in that, but your blog exists as long as you want it too. Your social channels should be used to drive traffic back to your blog, which should be your main channel of focus.
Hopefully this provides you with at least one tip or trick you didn’t already know about blogging. I am planning on starting a Blogging Better series soon, and I hope you’ll tune in for more posts like these. Until next time, I wish you all the luck and growth with blogging, and don’t forget, stop neglecting your blog. It is not dying, and it’s far more reliable than social channels will ever be.