Big News! We are honored to have been invited to give a Breakout Session talk at the upcoming BlogElevated Conference in Houston next weekend, Oct 21-23.
Mark will be speaking on how we use Flipboard for our blog. As you may know, we are big fans of Flipboard and have gotten featured by them and their founder even mentioned us during a talk at the Cannes-Lion Conference.
So how did we get here? We’re not social media experts, just a mom and dad blog about life with an Autistic teen. I’ve been a fan of Flipboard since I first saw it when I got my first iPad. It was a beautiful way to read news, but that was all… or so I thought. One night a little over a year ago, I noticed the hashtag #FlipboardChat (conducted by @FlipboardClub) on twitter and was curious. I sat in on some of the chats, introduced myself, but really didn’t have much to contribute. Then I started to learn that Flipboard had become a way for everyone to make their own magazines with their own content. This was amazing! I found out all the different sources of media you could use besides websites, you could also ‘flip’ photos, video, sound and GIF’s. Soon Lynne and I and even Peyton were making magazines on all kinds of subjects.
Fast forward and we are starting this blog. I had always wondered just how easy or hard it would to use a system like WordPress and dived in. I found out that it is easy to put up a blog, putting up a blog right is hard. I joined a Meetup Group – Houston WordPress Meetup, hosted by John Peterson and Rick Ankrum. I have always tried to be involved in User Groups and Meetups are the modern-day equivalent. We would meet in a restaurant side room and discuss all things WordPress. Again, I didn’t have much to offer, except some noticed that I was embedding Flipboard magazines into my blog. Those familiar with Flipboard at the blog meet up, wanted to know how to do this, why we did it, and what kind of results we got. It got me to thinking about putting together a talk for the group.
A power blogger named Stephanie Manley was talking about her very successful blog, CopyKat.com, a site that gives recipes for making meals like those at your favorite restaurants. (I’ve tried several and they are GOOD!) Stephanie showed us all kinds of ways to increase traffic and even monetize our blogs, as she had been doing it for about 20 years. Also in attendance was Lisa Stauber, one of the cofounders of BlogElevated, a local blogging group. They also had a twitterchat called #BlogElevated and invited to join in. I found this chat to be very helpful on filling in the blanks in some things I needed to do to improve our blog. The members were very helpful and giving of their time and knowledge as they had all been new once. Of course, I wasn’t the only newbie sitting in either so there were lots of ideas flying around.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a tweet from @BlogElevated about the upcoming conference. I asked if they would like to have me talk about Flipboard, but wasn’t really sure they would take me up on it. But they did and I am furiously preparing a talk on how to use Flipboard in your blog. This teaches two lessons: 1. Try something new, like a twitter chat…you never know where it will lead. 2. It never hurts to ask. All they do is say no, and it might lead to greater opportunities. We’ll keep you posted.