Blogging – The education continues

I feel as though I have learned so much in the past few months that I really wanted to share an update, even when I did not intend to write a post like this until my one year blogger birthday, in September. When I think back to when I started I had never tweeted, pinned or even instagramed if you can believe that! Since all these things are a part of the daily life for a blogger I had to figure them out quickly. When I was first chugging along, almost instantly some local bloggers reached out and offered support and advice and an invite to my first conference. As I learned more and more and put my self out there into the blogging world I realized there is a whole vast group out there ready to embrace you as part of the blogging community offering support, advice, critique or whatever you need. I was tentative at first as it was a culture shock from the cut throat corporate world I was a part of for so many years. Ya sure in the corporate world people will help you and act nice, but you have to sleep with one eye open all the time because if needed they will mow you over to get just an inch ahead. To be honest I have kind of been waiting for the shoe to drop and have some other blogger just tear me apart, but no, so far all support!
So what have I learned? I have figured out Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for the most part. I can now create an Infograph and understand hashtags, which admittedly took me a while. I have started attending informative tweetchats pinchats, Google hangouts and conferences. There is free information weekly about writing, photography, blogging, cooking, social media and more! All hosted by wonderful, friendly, creative and intelligent people. I now understand the limitations and benefits of various types of social media, for example Facebook and the challenges of running a fan-page.
I have only dipped my toes in the pool of working with sponsors giveaways, conferences, blog hops, FB Frenzy type events which help cross promote, drive traffic, educate but also engage bloggers for further support and advice. As I started to engage in these activities I have really spent a lot of time reading other blogs, which only made me realize how much further I need to go in the journey and that there is so much more to learn. It is exciting to log in and learn something new every day.
A couple of changes I think I need to make are in progress right now. For starters I realize how high quality photos can engage readers further and help with Pinterest traffic; so with that said I need to learn more about photography and eventually invest in a much better camera. Next I have noticed that many blogging moms do not use their kids actual names in their posts, I think this is a good idea. Makes sense, long term, to protect their privacy, especially as it relates to specific stories. So going forward I am going to refer to my three kids as “Mom~twin”, “Dad~twin” and “Wild~child” and anyone who knows me in real life will know exactly who is who.
Finally I feel a shift in my writing, I love cooking and for sure will still post recipes and pictures, etc. But my passion is for local events, food and adventures in Arizona. I am endlessly intrigued by those out there working in our community every day to bring the masses good food, art, music and more; this is where I feel I am being drawn towards. I even started a group on Facebook called Arizona Local to promote, share and support all things local. What started out as a fun project to figure out the difference between running a FB fan-page and running a FB group has really opened my eyes to what I am passionate about.
So all that said, while I have already learned a mountain of information, Everest is still in front of me and I am excited to train and learn every day in order to properly tackle that bad boy! The good news is everything I need is just a click away and I have more confidence now that I am on the right road in this journey!
Thanks again to everyone for the support, information, laughs and for letting me into this cool community! What I enjoy most is the genuine social interaction and connections being formed.
Thank you all for that!