Blogging Lessons I Learned from WITS

This weekend I had the opportunity to not only attend the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), but also to speak on How to Be a Social Media Rockstar!  I had a fabulous three days filled with meeting new people, sharing what I’ve learned about social media, and soaking up incredible amounts of helpful information.  And now I can’t wait to share a few of the most important blogging lessons I learned while at WITS.  (p.s. here’s a look at what I’ve learned from previous conferences I’ve attended)

Lesson #1 – If you want to successfully monetize your blog, you need to treat it as a business.  This is one of the blogging lessons I heard during several presentations and in various conversations throughout the weekend.  Just like anything else, if you want to be paid as a hobby than you should treat it like a hobby.  But if you want to be paid as a business, than you need to treat it as business.  This might mean investing in your blog (sometimes you have to spend money to make money!), taking the time to sit down and actually create a business plan, or taking time to reach out to potential blog mentors.  Treating your blog is not going to be easy and as keynote speaker Hey Nadine shared, “There’s money to be made but it’s not going to fall from the sky just because you started a travel blog.”  Just like any other start-up business, it will take a lot of hard work but it is absolutely possible!  I think Erin Bender, of Travel with Bender, articulated this lesson incredibly well in her session…
Blogging Lessons - Treat your blog as a business to reach successful monetization

Lesson #2 – Just say yes!  While conference organizers spend a considerable amount of time assembling a great line-up of speakers, one of the blogging lessons I learned is that sometimes you’ll learn the most between conference sessions.  The learning and connections happen when you say yes to impromptu dinners, picnics, conversations outside the bathroom or at a charging station.  And I think the same applies to between conferences.  While you will likely learn a lot whenever you attend a conference you can learn a lot between attending conferences by just saying yes.  Say yes to blogging meet-ups, collaboration opportunities, and the chance to connect with other bloggers and your readers.

Lesson #3 – Networking is not just about quantity, it’s about quality.  You could easily go into a conference determined to walk away with hundreds of business cards, BUT how valuable will this collection be for you after the conference?  If you are challenging yourself to collect as many business cards as possible you’re most likely not going to learn much about the person behind each card and I think it is an incredibly valuable blogging lesson to remember that making connections with people and understanding how you can genuinely help them, is going to help you the most in the long run.

Lesson #4 – Be YOU!  I think this is one of the most important blogging lessons I learned.  In this big, fabulous world of blogging you are going to meet and come across so many absolutely amazing bloggers, but here’s the thing… you don’t need to be just like them to be successful.  You need to the best, most sparkly version of YOU to be successful.  Don’t blog about topics you aren’t passionate about, or try to create a social media feed that looks just like the feed of your favorite blogger…do you.  And do you well.

What blogging lessons have you learned recently?