I have a secret.
A secret, you ask? What could it be? Is it juicy?
I am afraid its not too juicy………Before this weekend I didn’t know what SEO was.
Shock, Gasp, Eye Roll. (Assuming you know what SEO is and if not, lets be friends!)
This past weekend I was lucky enough (and lived close enough) to go to the annual TBEX conference. TBEX stands for Travel Blog Exchange and from what I gathered on Twitter it is THE place for travel bloggers to learn, network, and drink their faces off.
Although I didn’t drink my face off (I am a mom after all and 10pm is accompanied by yawning and fluffy pajamas) I did learn a lot. Like a whole lot.
For one, I now know what SEO is. Search Engine Optimization. Basically when bloggers write their content they try to insert key phrases into their posts so that when you look up “I heard food poisoning makes you lose weight, what can I do to get it?” you will be brought to my blog. Seriously, you will. Go ahead and try it.
I also learned about Black Hat SEO. Can you believe that sneaky bloggers will change their font to the same color as the background so you can’t see it and then write a whole bunch of phrases to get your Google search? Appalling! Who are these people? And by the way, the TBEX peeps say Google will catch you if you do this, do not try it at home!
I found out that many of the travel bloggers I love aren’t actually making much money doing it. And those that are managing to make a living treat blogging as a full time job. As in holed up in a room somewhere tapping their electronic devises instead of out enjoying the scenery. Sigh. My dreams are dashed!
I discovered there is a whole world out there of websites and tools that I never knew existed. Su.pr, Klout, Buzzfeed. Who knew? I was so pleased with myself when someone said Bit.ly and I actually knew what they were talking about!
Facebook and Twitter are all the rage. Score one point for me, I do know what those are. And while I knew how important they are to a successful blog, I never knew just how important. (So….go ahead and click the Facebook and Twitter icons up at the top there OK?)
TBEX made my head hurt. By the end of each day I was literally exhausted from thinking so much! But now this newbie blogger is armed with more of the most powerful tool in the world. Knowledge.
I am more aware then ever before that community is the most important thing for a blogger and that as in all things, karma extends to the blogging world.
“When the tide comes in, all ships rise.”
And I am so very pleased to belong to the family travel blogging community. I have virtually met so many amazing families this year. Families who love to collaborate and help each other, whether it be by promoting each others work or by answering each others questions. I have found a community in which I belong and find such comfort in their support.
If information had weight then I learned a ton this weekend. My blogging prowess is about to be unleashed upon the world! So thank you TBEX for an amazing weekend from a naive travel blogger.
And because I also learned that posts generally suck without pictures, here are a few goodies from our trip to Vancouver…..