Well, here I am. Reading all the blog post of bloggers around Europe and how they experienced The HIVE 2013. By now I wonder if I have anything new to say but you know what, it is MY blog and I feel like writing it down so I can go back and remember all the things I’ve learned. You know, my mind is like swiss cheese….
I have been tiptoeing around The HIVE website for a couple months always one click away from buying a ticket. Then I read they were sold out. So I was too late. However I ended up getting a ticket through the waiting list one week prior to the event. YEAH ME!
It was a weird feeling. I am very new to blogging (5 months) and I didn’t know anyone. So I figured who is interested in my story? Who will want to talk to me? Will I have the guts to talk to people who’ve been in the blogging business for ages?! Well the answer is yes and no.
Despite some conference reviews I’ve read (from rather experienced bloggers) I have learned a lot. For me as a total beginner the conference gave me some direction, maybe even a guideline. It was totally worth it and I am glad I spend that money.
So here are my keynotes and workshops I’ve visited:
How to make a kick ass media kit by Hauptstadtmutti
→ This keynote gave an overview on how to create a media kit. Most things for me were common sense like include all statistics, short blog description, have a great layout, indicate ad possibilities, have regular posts, etc. However I thought it interesting that from their experience it took about 1,5 year until the blog was interesting for sponsors at all. I also thought it was a good tip to talk to other blogs in your field and know about prices. Further they are also approaching companies proactively.
Résumé: Not relevant for me right now, but good to know the basics in case I’ll need it later on.
Blogging for the fun of it by Tina Fussel
→ Wonderful and inspiring lady with typically American motivational spirit: “blogging is a journey” or “your blog is your artwork and a piece of you” also “your blog is your portfolio” Tina suggest “promote artists you like without wanting something back” and her advice “take e-vacations”
Résumé: I left this keynote motivated and enthusiastic about my blogging endeavor. I believe for some experienced bloggers this could have been eye-opening. It was a great keynote however it didn’t give me as much as others.
Blogging for your business by Eleanor Mayrhofer
→ This keynote was about how a blog can support your business. Eleanor is a wonderful speaker and I could have listened for hours. She was very enthusiastic about her work. Her #1 tip: find the right keywords for your business. When you have a reader don’t let them leave (shut the door behind them) and funnel them deeper into your blog, don’t have links to partners etc. to distract your readers. Be personal, tell stories, provide transparency and have content. Her 2 T = traffic & trust.
Résumé: It was a great keynote however I wasn’t the target group. I don’t have a business. But you never know when those tips come in helpful in my day job ;-)
Social Media – how to use it and how not to use it! by we are social
→ Well, lets say it was a great company presentation if I would have been a client with a social media budget. Only real thing I learned – a give-away increases your blog traffic but you most likely will not draw loyal readers.
Résumé: Second weakest presentation this entire weekend. Too bad I really hoped I hear something about the relevance of the different social media channels.
Google Analytics by Patrick Singer (Google)
→ Patrick gave an overview on Google Analytics and tried to explain how it works. As in real life set goals – otherwise you can valuate the data you receive. He also explained that the 80% bounce rate on a blog post page is not bad at all (lot of people get there through a reader) however a 80% bounce rate on your home page should make you think. He recommends to change one thing at a time and check the effects.
Résumé: I need to take a deeper look into Google Analytics, set goals and work with it. And I realized it will be a lot of work and effort.
Color Trends by Pantone
→ Honestly, I don’t really know what to tell you about this keynote. No notes in my book.
Résumé: I was really hoping to learn something or get an insight – nothing. Worst keynote and really a waste of time.
German Law by Dr. Ina Kaulen
→ This was the only speaker who has been at The Hive 2012. Therefore she didn’t go into detail about imprint and such. Ina pointed out that using a quote on a blog can be very tricky. Officially you always need an ok by the author (so called Zitatschranke UrhG §5). She also indicated that pinterest is somewhat a grey area. However when repining there shouldn’t be a problem since the pictures are still on the original site.
Résumé: Even though the very basics a blog needs to meet in German law where missing I learned something.
Design for mankind by Erin Loechner
→ Erin has been blogging for 12 years and made a business out of it 7 years ago. She was at the conference via google hangout. Like Tina, Erin believes that blogging is a journey and telling where you are in life.
Résumé: This was probably one of the funnest and most motivational keynotes I attended. I will write a separate post about Erin’s guideline to successful blogging.
E-mags by Marlous Snijder
→ Marlous became editor of her own e-mag after loosing her job in 2009. Friends of her encouraged her to start and pursue her dream. So no surprise her strongest recommendation is “make it public – make it happen”. Her advice: throw a launch party when finishing such a project. I also liked her last sentence: “Give it time to grow”.
Résumé: Very inspirational, makes you wanna start your own mag right away. At the same time showing realistically how much hard work and time you need to sacrifice.
This was my Saturday. Exhausted? Yeah me too. There was a BBQ scheduled for the evening. Due to rain and cold lousy weather it was held inside. After feeling a little lost in the beginning I ended up having a wonderful great time. Coming home Mr. ♥ had to listen to my babble until I was too tired to talk.
Well I need to go to bed. I hope Sunday’s story will be online during the week.