Go Learn Things Update: Impact of the Women in Travel Summit

This week’s Go Learn Things update is heavily influenced by the WITS conference I attended two weeks ago. WITS, Women In Travel Summit, was an exciting gathering of female travel professionals from all over the world. There were travel bloggers, city tourism boards, eco-travel experts, travel photographers, website designers and many more.

Energized by new friends, new concepts, new goals and new learning curves my head has been buzzing. So not surprisingly 4 out of my 5 learning categories are direct results of the WITS2017.

Social Media Stats

social media platforms
Plethora of Social Media choices.

OK Yikes!!
Where to begin with social media is a daunting task for new bloggers.  I have been blogging for 10 months now and had settled in with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. One of my primary goals in attending WITS20127 was to expand my knowledge of social media and zero in on the best fit.   There was also this nagging voice telling me that I was shouting into a black hole.  Well WITS2017 did not disappoint.  Here are the points I decided to focus on:

  1. There is no one perfect platform that fits all.  Each blogger had a favorite and a reason why it was best for their niche.  Photographers gravitated to Instagram, Millenials love Snapchat, Baby Boomers are comfortable on Facebook….
  2. Twitter is trending down.  There is not enough real interaction and it has a momentary shelf-life.
  3. Facebook owns Instagram, and Facebook has taught us that there is “no free lunch”.  These platforms change their algorithms constantly and it requires devoted and detailed attention to your stats to keep up. (Spreadsheets?  Really?)

    Go Learn Things Update
    Sample of a spreadsheet for each social media post stats
  4. Stats….I discovered that you must dig to find the real stats (sometimes even pay). I was pleasantly surprised that my stats were slightly better than a black hole.

    Go Learn Things Update
    Destination of my unread blog posts
  5. Pinterest is a “search engine” not really social media.  Having just recently started to understand SEO this tidbit will change how I format and use Pinterest. This article from Wonderlass has guided many of my modifications.

    Transform into a Travel Professional

    The Midlife Bloggers Panel session presented by Anne Paris at MidlifeBoulevard, Suzanne Stavert at Adventures of Empty Nesters and Sara Boers at Travel with Sara helped me find my tribe.

    Midlife Bloggers Panel
    Anne J. Paris, Sara Boers, Suzanne Stavert

    I asked Suzanne after the presentation, how they were able to get their spouses “on board” with the concept that travel is my legit business.

    “Make money at it and they will take you seriously real quick.”

    HMMM, why didn’t I think of that! Honestly I was afraid this was the answer.  I had thought I didn’t want to enter this fray but, turns out I do.  Once I met all these ladies “doing it” I want to be credible. My goals are to pitch to at least one destination and one publication. This is a tough learning curve that scares the beejebus out of me. But you know the answer:   Go Learn Things.

Branding

I find branding to be an overused word but that is probably my mistake.  The specifics I have worked on are:

  1. Consistency across all platforms. Several of my platforms were still under my personal accounts. If I am a brand, not a mom fooling around online, all my accounts should match my brand: Go Learn Things.
  2. Create a concise tagline (to communicate my focus) and again use it on all platforms.
  3. Create a Media Kit….Yikes again!  Where to start? Step one, create a logo, already has me stumped.  I had purchased business cards before the conference and now I would like to continue that look for my logo.  Sadly, Vistaprint, who made the cards and sell logo design services could not make a logo from my cards?????
    Google tells me to learn how to do it on Photoshop.  Even Google knows I have to; Go Learn Things. Maybe it just knows I pay for PS every month and I should be using it more.

    Go Learn Things
    Front of my business cards
    Go Learn Things
    Back of my business cards

    Go Learn Things
    Logo I created on Photoshop with the Pen and Brush Tools

 

With a little help from my Friends

The most attractive thing about social media is that it allows us to expand our social circles globally.  A conference like this adds the precious opportunity for face-to-face connections. The Wanderful community that presented this conference knew this. They gave attendees access to each other weeks before the conference with some very cutting edge technology apps. I went armed with some very specific bloggers and brands that I wanted to connect with.  But the joy of these venues is the serendipitous meeting of kindred spirits. In a spirit of paying it forward these women were all eager to share and learn from each other.  What they could possibly learn from me is questionable, but by next year I too will be paying it forward!

These vibrant and fascinating women are not only maintaining their own blogs but also developing communities to encourage and support their peers.  I have already acquired priceless knowledge from each.  They too are encouraging me to  Go Learn Things:

Lori Helke @lorilovesparis
Suzanne Stavert @suzannestavert
Lisa Trudell @WalkingTourists
Melody Pittman @melodytravels
Tam Warner Minton @TravelwithTam
Lisa Lubbin @LLworldtour
Olivia Christine @OChristine
Kylie @englandandiowa
Sara Boers @travelwithsara
Anne Paris @annejparis
Pippa Biddle @PhilippaBiddle
Elaine Walters @tripwellness
Midwest Travel Bloggers @mwtravelblogs
Wanderful Community @sheswanderful
Irene Levine and Janice Mucalov @GettingOnTravel

Visit Quebec City
Next year!!! WITS2018 in Quebec City

Go Learn Things Update on Photography

After all that blogging talk, photography may seem to be an afterthought.  Well never fear, there is always something new and crazy going on around here.  To our arsenal of Landscape Photography, Real Estate Photography and Underwater Photography we have added Drone Photography.  I have mostly let this be Tom’s learning curve for now and I have been the assistant whining about the cold.  But don’t worry, I will get my hands on it soon enough.  When you think about our travels this addition is absolutely thrilling.

2 thoughts on “Go Learn Things Update: Impact of the Women in Travel Summit

  1. Wow! You are quite an excellent student! I learned quite a bit just from reading your observations! Great post! Thank you for the kind words about me and my blog. Yes, you have found your tribe and are also on a amazing path to find adventure and fill your life with information and exciting destinations!

  2. Excellent post!! I love how you got right to it and shared all the things you learned. I can absolutely agree with the “yikes” on the spreadsheets. Keeping track of all of that is overwhelming. One thing at a time! Love your spirit! It was great to connect at WITS and hopefully we can meet up at some point since we live so close! Thank you for the mention!! It makes me so happy to be included in this group of talented people!

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