At the inaugural Arkansas Women Bloggers (#AWBU) conference in 2011, we suggested that the nearly 50 women in attendance stop by two giant white boards on the way to and from their cabins to share tips, tricks, resources and ideas. The result was a plethora of tools and fresh perspective for bloggers to enact to make their sites more interesting, visually pleasing, interactive and effective – along with names for someone at the conference to share details.
At the 2012 Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference presented by Healthy Families at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas just a few short weeks ago, we took that idea up a notch: we organized a full session called 45 Ideas in 45 Minutes designed to get the attendees’ collective thoughts flowing. The results were fantastic, and we wanted to be sure that all of our attendees had access to these ideas as they return home and work to freshen up their blogs.
So… I’ve done all the homework for you by staring at the whiteboard photos, squinting to make out the varying marker colors and handwriting and looking up all the resources to provide you with easy links. Without further ado, please find below a bullet pointed list of this year’s whiteboard chaos (would you believe there were exactly 45 items with no editing on my part?!) Enjoy, and tell me all about what you incorporate into your own blog in the coming months.
Note on other conference resources and tips: find a collection of more than inspiring 30 wrap-up posts about the event from our 75 attendees on the Arkansas Women Bloggers website, group event photos on Flickr as well as a post with recaps (like this one) from the conference planners and key speakers!
The Best #AWBU Blog Tips, Tools & Resources – 2012
- Post frequently!
- Check out the Blog Nation Network.
- Tag your blog post with specifics.
- Incorporate an internal search engine on your blog (usually a widget).
- Blogging With Amy – lots of blogging 101 tips.
- Add an email subscription link to your blog! (i.e. Feedburner or a widget) – PLEASE!
- Find technique videos on Haden Interactive.
- Register with Networked Blogs to feed your blog to Facebook (or register there) OR
- Try Dlvr.it to feed your blog to Facebook and Twitter.
- #Hashtags – use ‘em. Effective on blogs and Facebook as well as on Twitter.
- Use Rafflecopter for blog giveaways.
- If you like, check out safe website tool Web of Trust.
- GUEST POST FOR ARKANSAS WOMEN BLOGGERS! Contact one of the #ARWB gals.
- Use Woobox to create custom tabs and contests for your Facebook blog page.
- Use the related content by Wordnik plugin for WordPress.
- Try the WordPress plugins Simple Facebook, Simple Twitter, etc. via Otto for your blog.
- Use your phone camera to capture post ideas & look at your photos for inspiration.
- Check out Arkansas native Faydra Deon (@Faydra_deon) for lots of great tips!
- Try the What Would Seth Godin Do WP plugin to alter visitor experiences.
- Don’t forget Facebook groups – our very own Jacqueline Wolven has one for blog lovin’!
- Guest post! Start with Arkansas Outside or the Arkansan Magazine (in the works).
- Consider sponsored posts and ads on Facebook (i.e. budget $5/day for a week).
- Interact with the online editors of relevant publications in your areas of expertise/topics.
- Write about current events and hot topics.
- Schedule posts on Facebook or within social media managers (Tweetdeck, Hootsuite.
- Post an image vs. status update with an image on Facebook – larger, more eye-catching!
- Check the popular pins on Pinterest and post on those topics (i.e. a twist on the recipe).
- Host a linky party (like ours for #AWBU)!
- Use Pinterest – watermark photos and take time to link to your blog to generate traffic.
- Capture ideas with Dragon (audio converted to text) or audio record on your phone.
- Plan a three month (or other variable) editorial calendar to drive your content.
- Visit (and take time to learn and understand) the power behind If This Then That.
- Make a badge for your blog (Stephanie tells you how at Evolved Mommy!)
- Check out Formspring.
- Check out Vizify – a graphic showcase of you. Again, our own Jackie has a great post!
- Check out GoToMeeting.com or Timebridge.com for meetings, conference calls, sharing.
- Check out Shareaholic – social media sharing plugin. (Tired of checking things out yet?)
- Make a Facebook and a Google+ page for your blog.
- Change your “voice” when commenting if you manage multiple Facebook pages!
- CameraBag is an excellent tool for photos/editing.
- Consider a mobile theme for your site – the WPtouch plugin is one option.
- For video editing from an iPhone, check out Splice.
- Notable – need details, please! (Rebecca?)
- Matboard – need details, please! (Jasmine?)
- Mirrorbag – need details, please! (Melissa?)
Whew!! Is your brain full again? Please tell me your top three or so action items for your blog in the comments below! My action items are:
- Badges (#33)
- Pages (#38) – on Google+ for The Little Magpie and on Facebook for The Food Adventuress
- What Would Seth Godin Do plugin (#19)
- Guest post for Arkansas Outside (#21) – thanks for the nudge, Shannon & Lisa!
P.S. Have questions/need more information on any of these ideas? Post a comment to capitalize on the group’s collective genius!
P.P.S. I will have some upcoming posts on Evernote, Timebridge and Dropbox if you want more info – there’s an email subscribe button on the right.