Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yes, You Are a Writer

So as I type this, I'm preparing to go and deliver my session in the Hickory Room of the Arlington Hotel, the one where I give all the encouragement about believing in yourself as a blogger writer.

It's going to be fun; there's going to be a lip synch performance by the Oklahoma Women Bloggers. Only 4 of us (if we can convince Rachel to get up and join us), so not *exactly* a flash mob.

But this will be playing:

Seriously. I cannot wait. CANNOT! WAIT!

But as I'm wandering around the conference today, I'm realizing that I forgot my handouts.

Sad trombone.

But then I remembered that hey, I have a blog! And I can post my handouts here.

So, here is the handout from my session:

Yes, You Are a Writer! (The handout)

  • You are more than “just” anything. 
  • Blogging is self-publishing in its purest form.
  • Choose words carefully—they make an impact.
  • Elements of a great blog post? It’s as simple as title, intro and content. 
  • Invest in yourself as a writer

Tips from my experts:

Stephanie Clinton: It’s really important for the post to feel authentic. (Enter buzz word) It needs to feel real and not canned. Even if they are doing a sponsored post or a "list" post I don't want to feel like I'm being sold something.

Heather Davis: I like blogs that are authentic in that they are screwing the "rules" (not asking a bolded, italicized question at the end, not writing three-points to make one point, etc...). Basically, I like real stories, authentic voices and sincerity.

Lara DiPaola: I think the best blogs tell a story. I don't care if you're writing about cat litter, give me story. Story telling is what separates blogs from boring.

Carrie Havranek: A clear and unique voice and point of view make me come back. For food blogs, which is 80-90 percent of what I read, the recipes absolutely have to work, and they have to offer something unique and distinct. They can't simply be rips on other people's recipes with no attribution or language indicating "adapted from..." That sort of thing.

Jennifer McCollum: I love non-monetized topical blogs with great photography -- everything from embroidery and knitting to maps and nostalgia.

April McGrew: I have to walk away connected. I could feel inspired, moved, or just laughing my ass off, but feeling more connected to the writer is what's important.

Marisa Mohi: Two pet peeves: a huge "think piece" that isn’t fully researched. If you want to share why your family/political party/church/company does this controversial thing, acknowledge why it may be controversial to some and explain clearly why it's not bad for you. Also, irrelevance. If you hear something and think it's a new thing but don't make sure, then you sound like you have no idea what's going on.

Melisa Wells: Story and community… the creation of a mini community whether in comments (old school!) or on a Facebook page.

Jackie Wolven: Real Expertise combined with authenticity. There is a lot of fluff out there or folks that are just faking it. That confuses the reader and possibly, if it is business info, to make wrong decisions.

Marie Wreath: I am much more strongly drawn to non- monetized, niche-related, storytelling blogs. I will refer to a blog with instructions once in a while, but won't necessarily follow it. The magic is in the words and the inspiration, paired with some fantastic images.

So thankful to my ladies for providing their wisdom and guidance! Thanks also to all who attended my session and for those who didn't get to win the AWBU15 mix tape of awesome? Here it is:
  • Word Crimes (Weird Al)
  • Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
  • Lean on Me (Club Nouveau) 
  • Can't See the Stars (He's My Brother She's My Sister)
  • Ex's & Oh's (Elle King)
  • What's Up (4 Non Blondes)
  • Sing (Carpenters)
  • Roam (B-52s)
  • Let's Stay Together (Al Green)
  • Hooked on a Feeling (B.J. Thomas)
  • Dreaming (Blondie)
  • No Rain (Blind Melon)
  • Run-Around (Blues Traveler)
  • I Fought the Law (The Clash)
  • I'll be Fine (Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes)
  • Shake it Off (Taylor Swift) 

I'll be talking more about this conference, Hot Springs, the Arlington Hotel and the amazing conference sponsors soon.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice from the bloggerati. Heh-heh. I bet you nailed it!