Tip, Tricks, & Celebrity Workouts
So now that BlogFest is over, it’s time to sort through all my notes and share with you what I found to be the most memorable moments of learning throughout the course of the 4 days I spent at the Idea World Fitness BlogFest with Sweat Pink.
Follow the picture link below to see everyone’s takeaways and please add yours if you haven’t already! It’s fun to see what everyone else got out of BlogFest 2015!
First of all, it’s taken me some time to narrow down my takeaways as BlogFest was seriously non-stop action from day one…which for me was Wednesday, July 15th. This is where my list of highlights begins…..
I was given a complimentary Zumba Instruction and Certificate course. This was a perk I received for signing up for BlogFest 2015 before March 30, 2015. I had such a great time at BlogFest 2014 (last year’s recap), I couldn’t wait to sign up again…and YES, the same will go for next year!
Zumba Basic 1
Upclose and Personal With Zumba Founder Beto Perez
Zumba Basic 1 is a 9 hour course taught to us by an amazing woman, Marcie Benavides while her husband, DJ Francis, kept the music cranked. The class started off with a bang! We got to follow (or in my case, try to follow) her through one of her master classes. After we cooled down from that, she took us step-by-step through the basic steps to the four basic Zumba rhythms: merengue, salsa, cumbia, and reggaeton. We then learned how to put the steps together into a song. It was a fun experience, especially for me since I didn’t know much about Zumba in the first place. Prior to this, I had taken a few Zumba classes, but nothing like this! Monica also shared with us the story of Zumba’s origin. I was really glad I attended this class and it was great preparation for Friday’s session where we got to talk and take a class with Zumba founder himself, Beto Perez.
How to Increase Readership and Market Your Message to the Masses – Katy Widrick
I enjoyed listening to Katy Widrick speak at BlogFest 2014 so I was anxious to see what she would share with us this year. She, once again, gave us some great information. Below are the main points that I took from Katy’s session. She had much more to say but I focused on what I feel I need to work on the most.
- Why are we trying so hard to fit in when we were born to standout?
- Take over a specific niche to grow readership
- Figure out what problem we can solve for our readers
- Increase engagement with specific target audience
- SEO Yoast – research and use keywords properly
- Make sure our sites display responsive design and are easy to navigate
- Be and Influencer as opposed to a Blogger
Mind-Blowing Blog Tips – Alyse Mason Brill & Jamie King
First of all….did you know that taco cat spelled backwards is taco cat?!?! Mind blown right!? Those two are pretty funny! They also had some great tips and tricks for us….these were my faves.
Words of wisdom from Sweat Pink’s very own Alyse & Jamie….
- Write headlines that DON’T suck! (ha, mine do tend to be a bit boring)
- Sub headlines matter! (who knew? well, I did not! I used them today thought didn’t I?!)
- Use better images (takes time but it shows)
- Use many visuals
- Use shareable quotes (I always see that on other pages – I need to get that plugin)
- Tag & share with other influencers
- Offer exclusive content
Jack LaLanne Award Recipient Jenna Wolfe
During the Opening Ceremonies, Elaine LaLanne presented The Idea Jack LaLanne Award to Jenna Wolfe. Jenna Wolfe is a broadcast journalist, sportscaster, and NBC’s TODAY show correspondent. She is also a professional fitness trainer. Her energy and enthusiasm were contagious and it was fun listening to her acceptance speech. She left us with a quote from Jack LaLanne….simple but I like it
“The only way to hurt your body is to not use it”
Lightening Round – Ashley Pitt
I read Ashley’s blog A Lady Goes West often so I was happy to see that she’d be sharing with us. Here were the main points I took from her session:
- Make better headlines by using 5-7 words and be specific
- Write posts that are easy to scan your way through by using bullets and sub-headlines (see look at me doing that already!)
- At the end of your post, conclude with a quick recap of what you just shared
- Write with the reader in mind
- Write a post that you’d want to read
- Follow other well written blogs
Fitness icon workout HIGHX – Gabrielle Reece
It was fun being able to first listen to Gabrielle Reece speak and then to get to workout with her!
A few of the things Gabrielle points out as being important when it comes to diet and exercise:
- work on full range of motion
- spine mobility
- power of breathing
- working out to help our bodies stay functional at all ages
- eat real food and foods that don’t cause inflamation
HIGHX targets every major muscle group, incorporates cardio, and improves balance. We moved through 30 second stations each containing two exercises that lasts for three minutes. Partners (in our case groups) each pick a move and start simultaneously, switch moves every 30 seconds, and move to a new station when the three minutes are up.
What a fabulous and fun workout that included some moves I have never done before.
SEO Tips and Tricks – Sara Downey Robinson
Sara blogs over at meanestlook.com and is quite entertaining to say the least. She was cool enough to cover a section that many of us would like help with so it was awesome. My main takeaways from this lesson in SEO:
- Thick, high, quality content
- She explained No Index and No Follow
- Define your personas
- Research and use persona based keywords (I need to learn this)
- Editorial calendar
- TOFU, MOFU, BOFU – she explained Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Bottom of the Funnel
- She explained Keywords – where and how… In copy, Image Alt Tags, Social media, Meta title, URL, Byline, Meta Description (super important), never keyword stuff
- Importance of Images and H1 & H2 tags (what?! I was only using H2 and H3 before!)
After this session, I knew I had a lot to work on! Thank you Sara!
How to Build a Following on Twitter – Amanda Vogel
Amanda is a fitness writer and blogger, and a social media manager. You can read more here on one of her sites fitnesstestdrive.com
I enjoyed this social media session. Twitter is where I started my love of social media which grew into my love of blogging. Here are a few of the highlights I wrote down from her session:
- The difference and importance of followers vs qualified followers
- Importance of quality photos that fit the Twitter format
- 71-100 characters is better than using all 140 (I didn’t know that! I always use every single available character space)
- For maximum interest and shares, post directly to Twitter (I have always known this to be true but it’s just so easy to go straight through Instagram)
- Use Advanced Search. I need to look into this..in fact that’s what my notes say “look more into this”.
- She also explained the difference between starting your sentence with @ like as in a reply or placing the @ elsewhere for a mention
- Create lists – I have yet to do this. I wish I’d done that from the start!
- Only use 1-3 hashtags per post – I’ve also heard this before but I find it hard to contain myself when there’s so many I want to use!
Last But NOT Least…. Celebrity Trainer Jillian Michaels Presents BODYSHRED Workout!
OK, so last year, Jillian Michaels was our keynote speaker so we got to get to know her a bit better than we’ve know her from TV. She is awesome, kind, discipline, and inspirational. On my way out of Los Angeles, I got to hit up her BODYSHRED workout. It was so much fun! She demonstrated every move for us before we got started. It is a super fun workout because you switch so quickly from move to move that it’s anything but boring! It’s 30 minutes of 3-2-1. Three minutes of resistance, Two minutes of cardio, then 1 minute of active recovery. Entire body intense workout in 3o minutes!
This year was a very special BlogFest for me as my youngest daughter joined me. We had a blast doing all the workouts, classes, and Urban Party together. Stacie is pictured below along with two of my favorite health & fitness bloggers that I got to meet this year….Jessica Joy The Fit Switch and Jill Conyers! What a wonderful BlogFest this was! I am already looking forward to next year!