Finally, a review from the Blogging 101 class from Anne the adventurer that I was able to take :). Get ready for a wordy post everyone 🙂
I left the class feeling very inspired and excited for the potential of my own blog. While I wish you could all have been there and shared the experience with me — I’ll do my best to share my own experience with you all and as always, will answer any questions you may have (or refer to you the amazing teacher! ha)
Anne’s blogging class was held at a the Galvanize building in Downtown, Denver.
The space was really unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in Denver before. It reminded me of what I would imagine a building in Silicon Valley to be like. Very techy, and a lot of people all just clipping away with each other. They have space and computers available to rent for small business or individuals and seemed like a very high energy, cool environment.
I showed up about 15 minutes early, being unfamiliar with the exact area and parking. When I walked in, I was greeted by other friendly bloggers (are there any other kind?) who were more than happy to chat and get to know each other. We all grabbed a glass of wine or drink (yes — we were able to have a drink for class, how awesome is that), and chatted until Anne got us into the classroom.
We began class by introducing ourselves, giving information like our names, if we had a blog and what it’s about, why we took the class, and what we “do.” This was helpful, not only to get to know one another, but also to get an idea of what kind of resources we had available to us right in the room. All of us were coming from different backgrounds and expertise, so the networking opportunity was definitely there.
Anne then started talking about her own experience blogging, her background, how she got to where she is today, and what works for her. Getting to the meat of the class
There was so much I took away from the class, that I could write for days. I figured the best way to really discuss what I got out of the class would be to address it in different categories, giving each category it’s own little section in my own voice and how I interpreted it.
I’ll speak to the major theoretical points of class, including:
- Find Your Why
Anne started the class by speaking about the importance of being vulnerable with and on your blog. Think of this in the sense of being genuine with our readers. Being wiling to expose yourself a little bit, and allow the blog to genuinely express who you are in your own voice. Sometimes this is uncomfortable, absolutely. But just like you can in any other interaction, when we are fake as bloggers, it comes across in our work. And I can only speak for myself, but I don’t want that for readers.
An example of this is being vulnerable in your own experience to allow others to relate to you. The importance of having that “me too” moment. One of the many great things about the blogging community is having other like minded people, who understand you and where you’ve come from. How great is it in that moment when you realize you aren’t alone in your weirdness ;), that there are other people out there just like you! I know speaking from my own experience, the blogs that I continue to read are those that I feel I make that genuine connection with the author. . .
How do we make friends? You reach out to other people, right? Or get to know people through others. It’s exactly the same on the blog. Networking is HUGE in making your blog “successful” or in reaching more readers.
Networking can be as simple as telling your friends and family about your blog, especially to start with. But it can also include reaching out to others already in the blogging community, via being an “active reader.” Active readers are those who post on other’s blogs. This is huge for getting people to find your blogs. You’re getting your voice out there to others — and if you do it consistently, people see that and may naturally gravitate towards your blog! I find that this has honestly been what has worked best for me. Because I love the blogging community and WANT to be connected, just being active and having that conversation via the blog with others makes people more invested in your blog!
Networking can also be finding local blogging events, reaching out to local bloggers, asking to do guest posts, etc. Just reaching out to others in the community, not only to have the support, but also to get word out there about what YOUR doing and why people should check out your blog.
Disclaimer: Going back to being vulnerable and being genuine. Bloggers can tell when you’re using their blogs to bolster your own — so be warned! Networking is the best way that I’ve seen to grow my own blog, but that’s because I feel such a strong connection to the community and MAKE time to actively read others. Somedays I don’t have time, and that’s OK . . . but it’s better to be genuine than to just spread your name all over the bloggosphear!
Find Your Why.
We spoke to this an awful lot in the class. Why do you blog? Why do you keep blogging? And in my own interpretation, why should people keep coming back to your blog?
Take me, for example. There are a lot of healthy living blogs out there, so why should people read MINE? Why is it that I want to blog? It’s so important to know that, so that YOUR voice comes through in your writing.
This is actually what Anne gave us “homework” for. Really giving ourselves some time to think about why we are blogging in the first place. What we want to blog about and why we continue to blog. This is something that has really stuck with me since the class.
Of course there was more to the class than just the theoretical messages I’ve discussed here. We talked about the practical aspects of blogging, specifically for how to begin. This part would have been HUGE before starting — the basics of choosing a host, and learning how to navigate the pages which can be a challenge for us starting out.
Resources I walked Away With
I walked away with a ton of knowledge and resources from the class, but there are a few I want to share with you all that I think will be super helpful for me in my blogging:
- Problogger.com <— he knows his stuff!
- The Golden Circle <—–google it.
- Altsummit or The Altitude Summit / The Alt Channel — they offer a ton of online web classes that are affordable and on a ride range of blogging topics
- Google Analytics: Specifically helpful for those needing to track numbers on their blogs (wordpress.com has something like this already)
Overall I had a GREAT experience with this class. I left really digging deep for why I do what I do, what I’m trying to accomplish, and goals of where I want to go — and how to get there. I hope to really grow and develop, starting with these lessons that I took away from the class.
I hope this little review is helpful for you all — I know it’s a little all over the place, but sometimes that’s just how this little brain of mine works! 😉
Question of the Afternoon: ANY question you have on the class or my review 🙂