Banter & Beans with Joy!

Banter-Beans-with-Oh-JoyBanter-Beans-with-Oh-Joy | MelissaAlam.comBanter-Beans-with-Oh-Joy | Banter-Beans-with-Oh-Joy | Celestine and I held another Banter & Beans event at a local coffee shop, but this time we had a very special guest. Joy Cho of the wildly popular Oh Joy! blog attended yesterday's coffee and conversation thanks to an invite from Celestine (family connection in case you were wondering!). All those who attended had the opportunity to learn from one of the best bloggers in the...universe. Okay, that was dramatic, but still, Joy is one of the smartest and hardest working bloggers in the biz. Her books Blog, Inc. and Creative, Inc. were also two books that helped kickstart my passion for starting my own business and turning my blog into a full-time job.

We began the Banter & Beans event with a few questions about blogging. Here's a little recap thanks to the ladies that attended and Joy herself!

- As a blogger, attending events can become tiresome, but it's always a great way to show your face and remind people about your blog/business. Go out, mingle and network and help push your blog/business with real people (instead of only through social media, etc.)

- A great way to maintain longevity is through collaborations. Collaborate with other bloggers and businesses and provide your readers with unique and creative content!

- Every year or so, do a reader survey on your blog to help you curate content that people want to see and read. It's a great way to gage what works and what doesn't work in terms of different columns and series' on your site.

- Google Analytics is the boss. Install it onto your site and you can track how many pageviews you get, the number of unique visitors who come to your blog, all of your referral sources, and so much more. Google Analytics is also useful for getting real-time statistics for a media kit!

- Track your links with a URL shortener like!

- With Pinterest becoming a huge powerhouse for incoming traffic these days, try and sign up for a business account to view your statistics! Also, vertical images tend to do better on Pinterest, and try to upload images on your blog that you know will look good even as thumbnails. You can view what others have pinned from your blog by the following URL query: Obviously replace my blog url with yours, but it's a cool way to see what photos and content people are pinning from your site!

We discussed more blogging goodness, but make sure to come out to our next Banter & Beans where we'll be discussion photography for your blog! Also, Huge THANK YOU to Joy herself for taking time out of her family vacation to come and support local Philly bloggers!