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October 21, 2012

What I learned @ She's Connected 2012

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the She's Connected conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and my head is still spinning with everything I've learned.

It was basically a 2-day symposium of bloggers, social media aficionados, industry pros, brands and sponsors. It was also THE time to finally put faces to the number of twitter buddies I had accumulated. Almost like a blind date, but we knew each other already. Sort of.

We learned blogging basics, twitter, Facebook, monitoring, connecting, writing, analytics, contesting, sponsorship and so on and so forth. And so, like a good student, I reviewed my pages of notes from the conference and came up with a Top 10 List of What I Learned at She's Connected. 

10. Pictures and video are paramount. As a broadcaster, this didn't come as a complete shock, but I was surprised to know how many more hits or comments your blog will receive if the appropriate photos and video are added. I will aim to do more of this.

9. Social Media is an opportunity to have a dialogue. It's a conversation and should not be one-sided. The beauty of social media is the ability to build relationships. Relationships, too, are not one-sided and need consistent dialogue to flourish. In order to succeed, you must not only give info, but also listen.
8. Don't limit where you want to be part of the conversation. Rashida Jeeve, General Manager for Huffington Post Canada, advised us to reach out to different parts of the internet for exposure and coverage. "There's more to social media than Facebook and twitter," she says.

7. Numbers and analytics are important, but not everything. I was glad to learn this, because as a new blogger, I don't have great numbers - yet. But I believe in what I do and will aim to get more visitors, followers, readers, etc. And, I will endeavour to learn more about analytics!

6. You don't know who you don't know. This was a really cool point brought up in one session discussion. Network. Meet People. Share. Engage. Learn. Instead of befriending someone for what they can offer you, build real relationships based on personality. You never know who's sitting right beside you.

5. Go Big or Go Home. Kate White, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine drilled this point home in her Keynote Address. Be memorable, don't wait for permission, go "balls to the wall" as Kate suggested. Do it.

4. Don't be a brand bully. Bullies are so not cool. Almost every speaker reminded bloggers not to bash brands. It's not nice.

3. Have a consistent voice. Be true to yourself when you're blogging, and don't pretend to be someone you're not. Seems pretty simple, but I'm sure many are guilty of this. Also remember that everything you post online lives online and can get re-posted, re-tweeted, copied, etched. It's forever.

2. Be Honest and Transparent. This was also a huge topic at #SCCTO. Be an honest blogger. Put it all out on the line. If a brand gives you a product to review, indicate that. I feel very strongly about this point, not only as a blogger, but as a journalist. I feel and believe it's very important to provide honest reviews - both the good and the bad. That being said, I know it's possible to present a balanced, true, transparent, honest and clear blog post while not brand-bashing. It's one of the basics of traditional journalism and I'll apply these same ethics to my blog.

1. Your blog and brand are organic living beings. They will grow and change with you.

And so, as I think back to my days spent at She's Connected, I leave feeling inspired, excited to write, review, post, learn, share, engage. My promise to my readers is to follow my Top 10 to provide the best blog I possibly can.

Until then,


  1. Great points, Julia. As a blogger, I have to remember to stay true to my own voice - and I think I have been doing so successfully, especially when I compare myself to other travel bloggers out there who simply do objective pieces and leave their own personality out. One of the most important things for me is to maintain MY voice. Afterall, at the end of the day, it's MY blog and if people don't like it, they don't have to read it.

  2. All good points. Original content and voice along with posting consistency are often the big challenges.

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    View Option 1 here for more info:

  3. Great re-cap Julia, I don't think I could have put together a better top 10 (so I didn't)! I've linked this post to my She's Connected post (

  4. I'll echo what Charity said -- great recap! I am still digesting it all (seem to be much slower than most) but you have a great top 10 list here and many of the points have got me thinking about the next steps.

    It was great meeting you in person Julia and hope we get to hang out again IRL :)

  5. Great summary. I love that you captured info from breakout sessions I missed. Thanks. Susannah

  6. Great review!
    I wish we had been able to meet IRL at SCCTO, but until we can we meet one day, will have the online dialogue, right? :)


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