lamiki

on life, ambitions, and dreams

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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

What Happens After You Speak at a Conference (plus WordCamp slides)

Laura Kimball (aka lamiki) is officially a speaker at WordCamp Seattle

There comes a time in every bloggers life when then come out from behind the computer and take the stage and become a speaker. That time came for me last weekend when I presented at WordCamp Seattle. I’ve been on panels before, but this was the first time that I actually took the stage and shared my own ideas solo.

WordCamp is a locally organized conference that covers everything related to WordPress with sessions ranging from basic WordPress tips to very advanced development tricks. This was my first time attending and speaking at WordCamp, so I had no idea what to expect. But what I discovered was 300 people who were all very passionate about using the WordPress publishing platform to get their ideas out there, which makes for a very friendly community.

Slides: How to Promote Your Blog Without Losing Your Soul

Laura Kimball's Audience at WordCamp Seattle

My talk was in the afternoon and in one of the smallest rooms. But even so, I counted somewhere between 60 and 70 people while I cleared my throat and anxiously waited for when I was supposed to start.

My talk was called, “How to Promote Your Blog Without Losing Your Soul.” It offered an overview of why you should build a community for your blog before you need to promote your blog and a checklist for how to get the word out about a post after you publish.

I came up with the idea for this topic after knowing a bunch of bloggers who write really amazing posts but are horrible at marketing themselves. Usually it’s because people who have a blog are writers, not marketers. And while marketing is a skill, a lot of it is a process that you repeat and iterate on as you go. Plus a lot of this methodology comes from what I’ve learned running and promoting my own blog and that of my employers (current and former).

Here are the slides from my talk – and here’s a link to a video of my talk on promoting your blog.

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Coming to WordCamp Seattle: How to Promote Your Blog Without Losing Your Soul

WordCamp Seattle 2012 Schedule

What’s the one thing that most bloggers hate to do? It’s a verb that starts with the letter “p” and has a lot of work in between.

If you guessed, “promote” and are cringing on the other side of the screen, then keep reading.

This Saturday I’ll be giving a talk at WordCamp Seattle 2012 about how to conquer your fear of the big, bad “p” and learn how to promote your blog without losing your soul. Here’s what I’ll be talking about:

Congratulations, you have a brand new blog! But how do you get people to read it? ‘Promotion’ is something you need to learn if you want anyone to see the website that you’re putting a lot of time into working on. We’ll talk about how you can leverage social networks and social bookmarking sites to gain readers and how to build relationships with other bloggers who will help you out along the way. By the end of this session you’ll know how to market your blog without losing your soul.

Unfortunately WordCamp Seattle is already sold out. But if you’d like to attend, you can try and snag a ticket that people are posting for sale over here on the registration page and also on Twitter.

After my talk, I’ll post a recap with a quick-and-dirty checklist of how to promote your blog posts (in a non-self-promotional way) after you press “publish.” So stay tuned!

If you are a blogger, what tips do you have on how to promote your blog posts after you publish?

Leave your tips in the comments and I’ll give you a shout-out during my talk and in the recap.

Update: Slides from my presentation are up — plus what it was like to lead my first solo talk.

The Three-Month Freak Out

Pan's Labyrinth monster's wife ~ Explored, by Snapies

Every few months I take a look at my blog and start asking the following questions:

  • How do I get more readers?
  • Should I figure out what my blog is about?
  • Should I redesign my site?

And the list goes on and on…

See here’s what I always forget – lamiki.com is not, nor was it ever intended to be, strategic to the level that a business blog needs to be. And while I have gotten jobs and business from my blog, it is not a business.

Your First Blog is Your First Blog

As I experienced this crisis last night and wept, dramatically, to my husband, he brought up a good point – your first blog is like your first AOL screen name, dedicated to whatever you’re obsessed with at the time and once you grow out of that phase, you get a new one.

My husband is smart. And, ironically, the name lamiki was derived from my first AOL name.

Goals are Great, but Make Sure You Want Them

Five months ago I outlined my goals for the year and my blog, twice. I also outlined a very detailed plan of everything I was going to focus on with my blog for the year. Things like guest posting, a redesign, and a tighter content strategy – things that are included in that first list and much, much more. (Did you know that I’m ambitious?) And then in March I set a new goal:

2012 Goals for lamiki.com

Now I have one achievable, measurable goal. One that does not require the content calendars that I love to create, yet love to hate. One “must have” goal every single month when it comes to my blog and everything else has been demoted from the “required” list to the “would be nice” list of things I want to do.

My blog is not a business. It’s a passion project created to give me a place to write and share how I see the world. There is no monetization strategy and if I decide that’s something I want to do, there will be a new domain.

In the end, we all have an enormous amount of stress and responsibilities that we juggle every single day. And if something in your life that’s supposed to give you pleasure and a break from it all starts giving you stress, you need to make a change.

Photo Credit: Snapies

Happy Second Blogiversary, lamiki!

By Pink Sherbert Photography

Two years ago I was a wannabe blogger. The kind who want a blog so desperately that it paralyzed me from picking out a theme and sitting down to do the hard work – writing. So with the help of my husband, I slapped a landing page on my domain with a gorgeous (and accurate) ticker. I set an arbitrary date for launch, and I watched the months, weeks, days, and hours disappear.

Then, hours before I was supposed to launch, I did what most people do when they’re faced with a deadline – I freaked out. Lucky for me, John was still there to hold my hand. He helped me decide on a theme that would work, add a little branding, and got it live. Then he went to bed, while I stayed up to write my first post.

The date was a Sunday, February 14th, 2010, and I didn’t crawl into bed until 6am the following morning.

But I wrote, edited, and published my first post. My blog went live, and I tweeted, and then caught up on my sleep.

When I woke up, my life changed.

There were tweets, comments, and mentions galore. I remember going over to a friend’s house for dinner on that evening and checking the most comments for the first time – there were fifteen.

Oh. My. God. People were actually reading my brand new blog.

And they liked what I had to say.

My legs went weak. I felt like I was going to throw up.

But I didn’t.

Instead I calmed down and replied to those tweets and those comments. I thanked my new readers – people who heard my excitement about launching a blog in the past and were thrilled that lamiki.com was finally live.

I became a blogger.

Over the course of the past two years, I have thought, I have written, and I have published. Through this blog I have met people, landed some amazing jobs, and built some deep relationships. Blogging, and this identity that is “lamiki” has helped me open doors that I never knew existed before.

lamiki is an acronym that stands for my full name, and out of that I have found an identity, a brand, that is 100% me. (more…)

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber