I have become somewhat of a reluctant blogger over the last couple of months as my entrepreneurial projects took a front row seat. However both sides, entrepreneur and writer needs to be fed and I soon started to miss blogging i.e a desire to write, share and connect with people. A source of my reluctance also stemmed from the realisation that my blog needed more focussed direction, more original content and possibly a design overhaul. In short I wanted to put content out there worth a person’s most precious commodity…time. I wanted to pinpoint who my target audience was and who I was blogging for. So when both Wordcamp 2013 and Blog Boot Camp SA was scheduled to take place within the same week, there was only one thing left to do…book my ticket to Cape Town.
Blog Boot Camp SA
I jumped at the opportunity to be able to learn from these two ladies who’s blogs I have been following for quite some time, who have established themselves within the bloggers sphere and have learned the tricks of the trade on their respective journeys. I was grateful for their willingness to offer such a much needed and wanted course and to share their insights and ‘know hows’. I have tried in the past to contact bloggers for some guidance when I saw them blogging about similar interest and ideas that I had but felt that there was a sense of protecting the knowledge they have gained, which in all fairness they are in titled to do. However I am a big advocate of skill sharing and community development within a shared interest. During the course of this year I have made friends with a few bloggers and love that we can bounce ideas of each other and share the difficulties and rewards that comes with it.
So more on the day and event itself: It was held at the wonderful studios of VM Central & Olive Studio at the Woodstock Foundry. It was the perfect setting for the morning and the studio space was incredibly inspiring and had a wonderful creative vibe about it.
Kathryn and Lana were great hosts. As a blogger who has become relatively familiar with inner workings of WordPress and how the set up for a blog works, I really enjoyed the technical aspects that were presented. These additional insights, tips and techniques will hopefully enable me to take my blog to the next level. Being a lover and self proclaimed ‘know-it-all’ of all things design orientated, I loved how there was focus on design trends and how we can incorporate this into the layout and design of the blog.
There was something for everyone from ‘wannabe’ newbies to the more veteran bloggers. The topics included Clever Content, Design Layout, Trends, Branding, Promotions, Social Media, Marketing and the one thing every blogger at one stage wants to know: How to MONETIZE your blog.
The first and inaugural Blog Boot Camp was a great success of which I am sure there will be many more to come. I am glad to have been a part of it. I can honestly say that it was worth my while to attend it and I was left completely inspired by the session and the presentations. A key thought that I left Cape Town with after both WordCamp and Blog Boot Camp, was that there are no short cuts to success, it’s all about hard work. It has left me hungry to do and learn more as it all becomes about enhancing our skills over time and improving on the product i.e content, we are putting out there. Hopefully in the coming year I can enrol for a short photography and Photoshop course and acquire even more skills.
I will take December now as a starting point to put into action the complete design overhaul of my blog as I have such big ambitions for the blog in 2014. I have done some of the very small tweaks in the interim as per the Camp’s advice and can already see the advantages of them. I actually wish that I could do the course yearly to refresh the information but luckily I took A LOT of notes which I am constantly consulting again. One of the best things and my favourite feature to come out the session was the resource list that Lana and Kathryn created. It sits comfortably and is now almost cemented in its bound form next to my laptop where I’m constantly browsing and working through it. I also love the constant new tips and updates happening on BLOG BOOT CAMP SA’s Facebook and Twitter account.
A big thank you to Lana and Kathryn for taking on this venture, blazing the trail, sharing their knowledge and enabling us to become better at ,what I now like to refer to as, ‘content creators’. All that is left to say is WATCH THIS SPACE in the next coming weeks for a brand new and better Urban Boer.
See more photo’s from the day here.