Bloggy Boot Camp Pt 2 – iGo Giveaway

Did you know that us bloggers have our own “Boot Camp“? Yep. Consider it a little excuse to get away from the daily grind and immerse oneself into all things blogging for a weekend.

photo by @angryjulie

In April I decided to baptize myself by fire into this blogging world by attending one of SITS Bloggy Boot Camps. I wrote about the getting there that was hysterical thanks to Southwest Airlines in Part I. The real meat and potatoes happened Saturday and I heard the icing on the cake was actually  Saturday night right after my shuttle picked me up for my flight home. Note to self: book a late flight – you don’t want to miss the after party.

Bloggy Boot Camp was created by the lovely ladies Tiffany and Heather of SITSSecret Is The Sauce … or secret to success is the support.

Together that have created a community of bloggers with over 5500 members who support one another by commenting on featured blogs.  If you haven’t joined yet just stop right now and click here or visit their BlogFrog Community its a never ending source of information and support and hopefully one day my blog will be one of the featured sites.

I signed up for the newbie track at boot camp which covered everything from branding to social media. Looking over my notes I will share some of the highlights that made my notebook:

  • Track stats on your site. Take it one step further than Google Analytics with sites like comScore.com and Quantcast.com – one you KNOW who your audience is you will have the tools you need to fine tune your niche. This is something that really interests me as I continue to establish my readership – I have to wonder who are you? I would love to get to know you better.
  • Set up an accounting system for your blog/small business. You don’t have to incorporate but it is a good idea to have your books set up and be ready to accept your first paid sponsorship. QuickBooks is easy, anyone can follow the questionnaire and be up and running in a day. You can also add a PayPal account for your blog to accept online payments. My advice get yourself a SEPARATE checking account for your business and one credit card to keep your accounting clean (in my previous life I had extensive experience in QuickBooks so feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about setting it up.)
  • Amy B. Hole spoke about branding how you can build your readership by consistent branding through creation of your logo, website/blog design, social media (eg: twitter, facebook and linkedin) as well as active involvement in blog communities (eg: BlogFrog).
  • Social Media Counts – you are missing the bus if you aren’t on board with this yet. With potential to reach millions you aren’t doing yourself any favors by not tweeting or posting on FaceBook. FaceBook has a great feature called Networked Blogs (see image below) that allow you to link your own blog and then set it up to automatically post to your facebook page the minute you add a new blog entry. Make sure your blog has it’s own FaceBook Fan Page.

  • When you are tweeting make sure you are managing your Twitter account with programs like http://friendorfollow.com/ <–find out who you are following that’s not following back. http://birdbrainapp.com/ tracks changes in your friends and your lists.  Tiffany shared a great screen shot of her shout out from Teresa Giudice from RHONJ — “adore you too honey” I always tweet to the celebs, you know they have to be catching some of them, and who knows maybe they will reply back AND if they do make sure to CAPTURE A SCREENSHOT so you can share.

  • SEO Optimization trick – When you upload your photos make sure you title them – that helps the web crawlers understand what’s on your page. Don’t leave it IMG_1543-1. Type over the title and create your own. Same goes for your headers too, keep in mind web crawlers or bots as they are sometimes called are gathering information about your post that could affect your search ranking so a little fore thought can go a long way in the land of indexing.

Now these were a few tidbits learned in just the first few hours of the boot camp. I also learned about Vlogging from @SugarJones and @DigitalKadi and shared a few sites like vokle and ustream where you can host your own web show (in your spare-time).

I met so many great women that day (some I knew from the blogosphere but never have met IRL) .., including @MamaMaryShow (wink wink), @RockOnMommies, @angryjulie, @aspiringmama, @childhood, @designmama, @looneytunes, @mommyisdating,@amybhole, @shuggilippo, @banteringblonde, @supersavingsara, @MommyMentor, @TedRubin, @craftycmc, @theblogfrog, @TheDeeView, @peasandbananas, @HipMamaB, @ooph, @7clowncircus, @BloggyBootCamp, @mamakatslosinit and @TipJunkie — I would add more but Twitter is down again... argh I will come back to add more peeps you SHOULD follow.

Twitter.com: “Twitter is stressing out a bit right now, so this feature is temporarily disabled.”

I have to share this Katy Perry look alike with you — on a little “shopping break” (who knew I’d need a sweater in Arizona?) I ran into the ULTA store in Scottsdale and I just had to snap her picture.

she was so nice, so tall and so pretty and soooo KATY-like!

Another reason to attend a Bloggy Boot Camp is the Marketplace! I picked up a GREAT cookbook that features WHOLE GRAIN BAKED GOODIES — by Kim Boyce Good to the Grain the book itself is gorgeous!

I also met Kim of TomKat Studio – I have been a huge fan of TomKat Studio and her party designs are absolutely gorgeous! Look at her cupcakes!

I also met Marlynn of UrbanBliss. Loved her modern notecards. She is also the brains behind some great branding products like Pauline Campos (Aspiringmama) new business cards… love em! You can read more about Marlynn on her BlissOff blog.

Got my signed copy of Outside with lil Boo by author Cameron of PeasandBananas

** GIVEAWAY ALERT **

I also had the good fortune of meeting the people at iGo. Remember the post about being stranded at the DMV with a dead cell phone? Lord knows I could have used this. Its a portable charger that has interchangeable tips – so you an use it for just about ANY electrical device. We share ours around here with a Palm Pre, a Droid Incredible and the iTouch. I leave my iGo Anywhere plugged in 24/7 and grab it as I head out the door. When my cell phone dies I connect it to the iGo using my own USB wire for the Pre and within 30 min I get about a 90% charge.

and….. I brought one home to give to one lucky reader!

All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered to win the iGo green charger.

Contest is only open to US & Canada residents only. Canadian winners are responsible for any additional fees associated with duties. Contest is open from June 15th to June 30th 12pm PST. None of the the vendors mentioned in this post sponsored this giveaway. iGo gave away chargers to attendees and I am giving mine away.

I highly recommend the trip for newbies and even “oldbies” inthe blog world. The networking alone is worth the trip – plus its FUN! and you meet the greatest people while building your readership and following! For more information on upcoming Boot Camps click here. See y’all in San Francisco (August) boot campers!

and finally more photos..

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

You can see all my photos on my Flickr Collection Bloggy Boot Camp AZ.


Comments

  1. Kathleen says

    An IGO give away!? Lawd an Igo.Give.Away. “Oh pick me, pick me” (Think of Donkey replying to Shrek in the first movie)Random.org.

    This post is a virtual cornucopia of information. Cannot wait for San Fransisco – to laugh, play, eat and drink. Oh yeah, don’t forget learning with like-minded highly talented creative folks precisely like the Modchik.

    Write on Sista.

  2. Ginell says

    Linz I really had no idea so much went into blogging. All I can say is that you are an “A” student. I love reading your blog… I’ve learned so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your finds, your wisdom… I LOVE IT!!!

  3. daddybookins says

    Seriously, next time we are able to meet up, I want a photo of you and me, me and you, you and I, the two of us – however it goes wearing our glasses, okay??

    Thank you for the shout out!

    btw was I like the ONLY one to miss this whole iGO thing??

    Peas Out!
    ~daddy b.

    • modchik says

      I’d love nothing more DadB 😀 — See you in San Fran!

      so maybe you’ll win my iGo too!

  4. says

    LOVE this post- you are a queen-post-writer-person.

    Seriously, from the pictures, to the information you collected and put together in coherent sentences… ROCKED.

    Can’t wait to see you in SF!!!!!!!

    Oh, and I LOVE my iGo

    T

    • modchik says

      Thank you Tiffany for stopping means so much to me – YOU ARE TOO KIND – I had a hard time condensing that weekend down into 2 posts … so much info swirling around in my brain I’m so glad I took lots of notes.

      The way my Palm eats power I can’t go a day without my iGo!

  5. says

    Thank you for writing this. I was wondering about the details of the boot camps. Now, I just have to hope I can make it to Austin’s. LOL at your Southwest experience.

  6. says

    Since this was a total kick ass recap of #bloggybootcamp I will forgive you for leaving me off the list of cool chicks you met. I have been meaning to do a recap of all the things I learned but I could not do it justice the way you have. You rocked it! xo

    • modchik says

      I was just getting to the juiciest San Diegans when Twitter failed… and then I had my “whirling devil” moment in a MRI tube today. :(

      but now that the LAKERS have WON THE NCAAstrike that I MEAN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP and I had margaritas tonight I can resume life

      You are now part of my WOLF PACK.

      stay classy SD

  7. says

    MRI Tube, what the? Need more deets. Get your mod chickness to class SD so we can chat over margaritas (I’ll stick with wine though–too many bad tequila nights with whistles in Mexico). Go Lakers! Woot Woot! Oh, and thanks for the shoutout!!! xoxo

    • modchik says

      that tube (or TOMB as I like to call it) you slide into when you get an MRI (magnetic resonance image) – u watch grey’s right?? you must have seen one :) yes??

      I’m so close to SD its crazy – I will come down AND I then theres BlogHer too!

  8. says

    I feel so lucky to have met you in real life! I only wish we had the chance to chat more, but I love following you on Twitter (even though you are a Lakers fan. Ahem. :) and now your blog. Thanks so much for the kind mention! You rock, girl!

  9. says

    This was so much fun! We didn’t take the same track so it’s cool to be able to read up on some of the stuff I missed. :)

    • modchik says

      Hey Kat thanks for stopping by, I know I got to spend maybe 5 minutes next to you towards the end of the day.

  10. Kelley Sweitzer says

    Sounds like you had an awesome time!! I’m heading to Bloggy Boot Camp in Philly in September and I can’t wait!! Thanks for your recap.

  11. AngieB says

    I would love to win an iGo! I went to the Baltimore BBC and can’t wait to get details for the 2011 camps!

    • modchik says

      have you seen the 2011 destination list? I am looking forward to seeing the dates as well!

      We are also in the process of finalizing the dates and details for our 2011 calendar. Stops include: Miami, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, and Denver.

  12. says

    I noticed your post through the palm facebook page…great blog and awesome giveaway! Hopefully I get picked 😉 BTW check out my blog as well. I am in culinary school (went back to get my degree) and loving every minute of it. I post a lot of my recipes, etc. on my blog.

    Thanks again,

    Al Cacace

  13. Liza says

    I’d love to have one of these!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    –Liza

    ejm6x (at) yahoo (dot) com

  14. Elaine, clothed much says

    That was a great post. Thanks for your tips! I”m going to have to use that image titling one. I’ve been a culprit to the default image names for over a year :/

  15. annahita says

    would love an iGo! definitely great for long car trips…especially in the MA winter!

  16. Angel says

    I understand about Southwest airlines. Sometimes they make travel quite interesting. Thanks for the great giveaway! Lord knows I could use another phone charger. Those things have a way of losing themselves. (I don’t lose them, of course!)

    • modchik says

      I visited your blog! Love your last post! – very creative use of clip art I can see why you like Southwest’s sense of humor :)

  17. tiffany gordon says

    This is an awesome blog. I am glad that I landed on your blog. Please pick me, I would love to win this charger, my hubby is always taking mine in his truck and they have a way of jumpin out and losing themselves in the hay or something.

    atfkbattrick@gmail.com

    • modchik says

      thank you :) — its a great little gadget my phone doesn’t even make it much past 3pm without a recharge. You can also charge you phone while you recharge the iGo! (leaving them connected and plugged into the wall)

  18. Christina says

    Love the info! A wee bit HTML challenged so having a hard time putting some of it to use 😉
    Can’t wait to be able to attend BBC in the future (waiting for baby to get a bit older 😉

    • modchik says

      Next year there will a longer list for BBC and I am definitely planning on going to San Diego, Seattle and Boston so maybe one day I will see you there!

  19. Diane says

    What a nice birthday tribute. Hope Pat had a very Happy Birthday. He’s a lucky guy to have such a great family!

Trackbacks

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy B-Hole, Nicole C.. Nicole C. said: RT @amybhole: A most excellent, very detailed round-up of #bloggybootcamp from @modchik, plus a fantastic giveaway: http://bit.ly/bLvG5S […]

  2. […] with Sandy I met Sandy at BloggyBootCamp Arizona) after talking with her I realized if SHE can manage a house full of 8 kids then I can […]

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