My dad and I chose to register for the BEA Bloggers Conference, which included the 3-day BEA pass and was actually cheaper. Also, I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to meet and network with other book bloggers. Pretty exciting!
We arrived at the Javits Center bright and early Wednesday morning to pick up our badges. While waiting for the keynote panel to begin, I met my first blogger friends, including Meghann of Becoming Books and Maura of Maura4u. We exchanged business cards, which was fun (I loved handing out my cards!).
The keynote panel was called “State of Blogging and Books.” Speakers Patty Anker, Ron Hogan, and Kameron Hurley discussed blogging trends and the possible future of blogging. The panel was moderated by Thea James.
I chose two of four morning sessions following the keynote. Then I skipped the first of the afternoon sessions because we were exploring the exhibit hall, but returned for the last session of the day. I summarize my three panels below!
CREATIVE CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES WITH YOUR BLOG
This panel was especially interesting because the speakers included a blogger (Pitre), a podcaster (Moon), and a booktuber (O’Keefe). They discussed what it meant to “go beyond the blog,” by embracing collaborations with others, events, and book clubs.
It was exciting to hear more about booktubing – I love the direction booktubers like Kat are taking their channels. Their videos are unique, funny, and interesting. I wondered, should I give booktubing a shot?? Or post videos on the blog every now and then?
Question: Would you be interested in book-related videos on the blog? Is this idea something I should pursue or not? Comment to let me know!
TACTICS TO CREATE KILLER CONTENT FAST
This panel gave me concrete tactics for producing content faster, which I really appreciated. Our new friend Maura, who podcasts, was a panelist. She was great, and I enjoyed hearing her speak.
One of the first tips for generating new content is something we all know but tend to forget – listen to your audience! Seek feedback, and decide what to act on. (Side note: Cait from Paper Fury created a survey for her readers a while back and I thought this was an excellent idea – she posed specific questions that gave her audience a structured way to submit feedback.)
Maura introduced a concept she called “cross pollination of media,” which is basically about reaching new people by utilizing different platforms. For example, I might look into creating a podcast or video to go alongside a blog post.
Other tactics for streamlining the posting process included keeping a blogging plan/calendar, scheduling posts, creating templates, and organizing thoughts/ideas in Scrivener.
GOING BEYOND BLOG FORMATTING
I was super excited about this panel because it was moderated by Ashley Evans of Nose Graze, and I really wanted to meet her. (I just recently discovered Nose Graze, and it is a wealth of great content.)
The speakers explained the difference between HTML (structure) and CSS (design), and how they can be used to customize our blogs. This customization included bolding and italicizing text, changing text and background color, adding links and images, etc. The panel was interactive, so the speakers quizzed the audience and we helped create a dummy site so we could see HTML and CSS in action.
I enjoyed the panel and introduced myself at the end, and took a picture with the panelists.
*I’d like to note that every panel I attended during Blogger Con was really well done in terms of organization. The moderators were fantastic at keeping the speakers on track and on time. The speakers were focused and articulate and careful to give one another adequate opportunities to share. This was so awesome.
Thanks for reading!
I came home from BEA with so many great books, and I’m so excited to have this opportunity to share with all of you. Enter to win a signed ARC of The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker! (US only.)