Next Camp: May 4 – 6, 2012 ~ Join the Email List for Updates
Posts by our bloggers on their Camp Blogaway experience:
Is Camp Blogaway your first blogger conference? Maybe you’ve attended others and this is your first with us! Welcome, you are here to learn, network and better your blogging, so note these tips to get the most out of your investment in time and money:
- Be Present. Sometimes bloggers get wrapped up in tweeting and FB uploads to keep followers back home connected. This may feel like smart marketing, but in all honesty, you could be doing yourself a disfavor. Stop thinking about THEM and think about YOU. Listen intently, take excellent notes, absorb it all. Then, during free time… maybe tweet a tad.
- Sit With Strangers. If you’re here for a girlfriend getaway, OK to hang with those you know. But if you want to expand your horizons, then make a point at EVERY meal and session to sit with someone new.
- Sleep At Home. Yes, our venue is serene. But here at Camp, you should be up and at ’em! Partake in every activity. Make it to every meal. Join all discussions as late as it takes into the night. Get up early to hit the hike with fellow bloggers. Then go home and sleep.
- Wear Your Name Badge Like a Pro. On your lapel, near your face. We should be able to READ it across the table, not hunt for it in your jacket. How will fellow bloggers recall you if your badge is invisible?
- Don’t Make It Personal Therapy. Every speaker loves good questions that apply to the full audience. But when an attendee hijacks a topic and makes it “all about them,” it can alienate other bloggers. Ask personal questions personally. Ask good audience questions as an audience member.
- But, Do Ask The 800-Lb. Gorilla. There is often an obvious (but possibly awkward) question during a session that everyone would love to hear asked. Be the one to ask it. You will certainly be remembered. (PS, if you don’t… Patti usually does to get it out there for everyone.)
- Meet and Greet The Sponsors. Introduce yourself to every sponsor at Camp, and email them again when you get home. Sponsors want to know bloggers personally – this should be important to YOU, too.
- Pour Thru Your Camper Packet For Ways to Better Your Visibility. We have activities, opportunities and prizes to encourage your participation. Take advantage of it all!
Google just caused a giant rise in the collective blood pressure of food bloggers.
A great volume of traffic to most food blogs has been through Google searches. Someone types the keywords Chocolate Chip Cookie and voila, a gigantic list of links to recipes, retail stores, articles, ingredients, even the Mrs. Fields Urban Myth story.
Google isn’t dumb. Google noticed the huge traffic just from recipes, and decided to organize this search topic into its own arena: Google Recipe View. Google doesn’t care that this triggered a freak-out amongst food bloggers. Google only cares that its users have better searches.
This isn’t a bad thing, I have to admit. What’s good news for consumers is probably bad news for bloggers who write recipes in their own style. Recipes that show up in Google Recipe View do so by following a structure which produces HTML coding for Google to crawl.
All this means is it forces the publisher to follow a proper recipe writing format. It’s the thing we home economists learned in school – good recipes follow a standard. A formula. A method. It’s what produces a workable product that helps the user succeed.
So what is a blogger to do? It depends on your goals. You can continue to blog as you have and perhaps watch your search engine traffic take a nosedive. Or you can adapt. If you really want your fugure search engine traffic to be healthy, embrace the new system. I personally plan to, and I can tell already that it will take a lot of energy to do so.
Yes, there are plug-ins to help your formatting. And opportunities to republish your recipes in the proper format. We will cover this topic at Camp Blogaway April 29 – May 1. Join us and wrap your head around it.
~~ Patti Londre, Home Economist, blogger at Worth The Whisk
Camp is THE place for networking, enlightenment, light bulb moments and, yes, sponsors. We certainly acknowledge that the investment made in attending Camp often requires campers to seek out personal sponsors – good for you! We also are very dedicated to the Corporate Sponsors who invest in making Camp Blogaway a success; without their support, Camp would never happen.
Bloggers should never feel pressured to promise personal sponsors things they cannot actually deliver, once they do some research. Here are quite a few suggestions for what you CAN offer your personal sponsor:
- Create a “Thank You for Sponsoring Me to Camp Blogaway” ad on your blog and link to your sponsor.
- Add a sticker to your business card with a “thanks to my sponsor X” for handing out at Camp.
- Publish a focused post about your sponsor – how about a Q&A interview?
- Create one or several recipe posts using their product
- Mention your sponsor in posts you write about Camp
- Write guest posts for the sponsor’s website and/or blog
- Display their materials onto the Networking Table – which is 24/7 in our main meeting and dining lodge, nobody misses this table
- Wear their logo on your shirt, hat, tote.
Here is what you may not offer:
- Handing out products or swag or promotional pieces (with exception of displaying on the Networking Table)
- Hosting an event somewhere at Camp. Really not necessary, you will be busy with your own itinerary.
- Placing sponsors things inside the cabins or bunkrooms. Again, not necessary… that Networking Table is great exposure.
Now, get cracking on landing that sponsor and booking your bunk at Camp Blogaway.
MESSAGE FROM CAMP FEARLESS LEADER, PATTI: Fellow food bloggers, my longtime PR career puts me in the unique position of having one foot on the corporate/agency side, the other in the blogging world (I publish Worth The Whisk). Recently over lunch, I queried some PR Peeps about their web surfing efforts. What are they digging for on your blog? It’s not recipes. Here’s a roundup of their comments…
- I want to find your email address. If you have a form, I won’t use it. I am constantly building my contact lists. Without your email address, you’re not on my list. Yes, you can de-spam it with spaces.
- I want to know where you live. Not your address, but an Idaho destination helps me see you’re not able to jump on the subway to my event in Manhattan. Canadians, the bad news is, many U.S. companies weed you out. Don’t hide that fact from us, we will learn eventually.
- If you want to be considered for visible gigs like spokesperson work, I want to see a real photo of you. My job is to I match my clients’ products to the right kind of blogger. A picture is worth 1,000 words.
- I want to know if you have kids. Mommy and daddy bloggers are an enticing target in the food world, and if you are a parent, it helps me to know. I understand security. Little hands, teenaged feet in photos, that’s still helpful.
- I want to know if you’ve earned accolades. Not those friendly badges from other bloggers. I’d like to see earned honors for your work. From Saveur Best of the Web designations to blue ribbons from the county fair.
- I want to know your credentials. I keep different lists. If you are a dietitian, you go on my general list AND my nutrition list. Published book author, chef, home economist, doctor, nurse – there’s a list for you! Your blogging demonstrates skills – writing, recipe development, photography – but the more depth of credentials you present, the better.
- I want MORE. Are you a runner? A diabetic? Vegan? Gluten-free? Love bacon? Wine enthusiast? Traveler? All helpful info!
So, dear bloggers, if you want to generate more contact from people who make business decisions, help them help you. Your ABOUT page is a great place for all of this. Yes, this encourages press releases. Just hit “delete” – a gem will make its way to you if you help the PR Peeps along. ###
Corporate and Agency PR Peeps present "How Bloggers Get On Our Radar" at 2010 Camp Blogaway. Each Camp offers a new panel for more insights.
May 4 – 6, 2012 ~ $325.
This will be our FOURTH Camp Blogaway! A proven success, Spring ’12 will sell out quickly. Held in Angelus Oaks (near Big Bear) in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains of sunny Southern California, Camp runs Friday afternoon thru Sunday brunch.
There is no better value for blogging education. $325 registration INCLUDES 2 nights’ lodging, all meals, workshops, materials, goodies as well as valuable face-time with awesome sponsors. Just get yourself here, transportation not included. For updates and reminders, join the email list or follow on Twitter. Registration Opens January 2012.
In The Event You Must Cancel after paying for a registration, your cancellation request must be received in writing at least 15 business days prior to the beginning of Camp (email or fax to 310-889-0221). Your fee will be refunded, minus a $75 admin fee, regardless of the reason, including medical emergencies. It takes a great deal of work leading up to camp to prepare for your attendance, so we regret we are unable to make exceptions to this policy. No registrations are refunded after this 15-day cutoff. Yes, you may sell your space directly to another blogger, as long as that attendee also submits a full registration form.