I just got back from speaking about the value of Blog Planning at the 10th annual BlogPaws Conference.
I’d be lying if I said this annual conference aimed at bloggers and social media influencers in the pet space hadn’t totally changed my life. When I first attended the conference in 2012, I was a fairly new blogger who had no idea that this could be a whole thing that people would pay me for and that hundreds of thousands of people would read each year. By the time the next conference rolled around, I had taken what I learned, fully redesigned my blog, changed my niche, won a Nose to Nose Award and been nominated for both a Pettie and a Canadian Weblog Award. It was awe-inspiring. I’m still a little amazed that all these big brands and rockstars in pet blogging even speak to me, let alone are my friends, and all these years later I still walk away from the conference invigorated to do more with my website. (In fact, I’m working with Aimee Jurenka on a full site audit and SEO overhaul.)
It’s so easy to leave a conference full of energy and inspired to do ALL THE THINGS.
It’s a squillion times harder to go home and find the time to actually do them. The key to post-conference success is taking all the ideas floating around in your brain and figuring out how to turn them into action.
1. Get it all out.
Grab a sheet of paper and do a brain dump. Don’t stress about whether an idea is easy or difficult or if you have the time or if you aren’t sure it’s the right fit. Just get it all down on paper. You can decide what matters to you later.
2. Organize your contact info.
A stack of business cards is just an opportunity waiting to be lost – literally. I almost always lose stacks of cards.(True story, I have a stack of business cards from a trade show I went to in 2011 and I swear, one of these days, I am absolutely going to email all those nice people.) While the conference is fresh in your mind, jot down notes about the people you met, what you discussed and any ideas you may need to follow up on, then email one a day until your stack is complete.
3. Create your plan of attack.
Go through your brain dump and separate all your thoughts into four sections:
- Tasks to start immediately because they help you achieve a goal
- Tasks you’d like to start, but that require more research to determine next steps
- Tasks you are unsure about how they can help you and need more info on
4. Download Presentations and/or Note Share
Check the conference groups and emails to see which presenters are kind enough to share their presentation decks to catch up on any sessions you may have missed. If there’s no deck, try to find a partner you can note share with.
5. Schedule time to tackle your lists.
Like most people, you probably had a jammed packed schedule before the conference, so if you don’t make a plan, you may never get to the list of things you want to tackle now. Set aside an hour or two every week to chip away at these new goals.
6. Find an accountability partner
Not sure what that is? It’s basically someone who you share your goals with and who encourages you to stay on task, calls you out when you take on too much and helps you focus on what’s important. I belong to both a kick-ass group AND I have an amazing as heck one-on-one partner. Without them, I’d be lost.
7. If you don’t have one, start a blog planner
It’s so easy to waste your ideas and inspiration. You’re fired up NOW, but the further we get from the magic of seeing one another in person, the more that will fade. A planner is a great place to schedule future tasks, keep a running list of blog ideas you’d like to write about, website improvement projects you’d like to work on and partnerships to develop. PLUS, you can use planner stickers and coloured markers, so it’s basically arts and crafts time.
What’s your best tip for capturing that conference momentum? Did you come home with new tasks on your blogging to do list?
I’d love to hear more about it! AND don’t forget to sign up for news about my all new planner challenge starting June 1. Join me as I tackle how to manage your time better, cut down your to-do list and crush your goals. When you plan better, you do better. I can help.