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Sunday, May 17, 2015

World Tea Expo Tea Blogger Roundtable

Time for the tea blogger round table (third annual)

Today's moderator is @TeaWithGary

Panelists are

Panelist @joysteaspoon also is on the board of the US league of tea growers

Next panelist is @chrisagiddings of @Teaity - with a new tea device being announced soon!

Enjoy stories and tales? check out panelist @lazy_literatus

Jen talks about tea in her life and those moments @teamoment

blogger @RachelKCarter  writes about things that interest and inspire her and owns @iHeartTeas

panelist @teaformeplease is a tea reviewer who does podcasts, videos and more - amazing information

final panelist @scandaloustea  writes about anything tea

Blogging is not a zero sum game, one blog doesn't "steal" readers from another blog.

Q: how do people find your blog?

A: @joysteaspoon  other blogs, social media, reshares  @chrisagiddings  echos that with an addition of searches online
A: @scandaloustea echos majority from other bloggers though  @lazy_literatus echo plus companies he has reviewed resharing
A: @teamoment a lot of incoming traffic from other bloggers that have her blog listed on theirs on the sidebar
A: @RachelKCarter  b/c of our varied interests there is a lot of cross promotion - that expands out to each others friends
A: @teaformeplease majority of her traffic is searches finding reviews of a tea she has featured

Q:  what do you find are the most read posts on your blog and why?

A: @teaformeplease  informational posts - how to season yixing - how to make matcha
A: @RachelKCarter  recipes that i post (she is  a mad scientist)
A: @teamoment  runaway hits have been a focus on a tea or tea venue and i have the opportunity to get into the owner/why focus on a person behind the tea is always a runaway hit - human interest
A: @lazy_literatus love and death (Shakespearean). occasionally between those are unique things no one else has - like japanese white teas
A: @scandaloustea the things she is most passionate about seem to inspire readers to read example: Fine words butter no parsnips  also tea shops (reviews) around the country
A: @chrisagiddings device reviews like accessories or water heaters
A: @joysteaspoon writes for multiple blogs - telling stories about the tea growers, or tea grown in the US seem popular
A: @TeaWithGary Unique. Passion. People.
A: @TeaWithGary passion, often in a rant works well

Q: Do you post on a schedule?
A: @joysteaspoon no i have kids @chrisagiddings when i did the traffic was not sticky - now no longer and stickier
A: @scandaloustea  no she doesn't - she has tried but it stressed her out and caused the rate to actually drop
A: @lazy_literatus he did a schedule for a bit  but good posts were getting lost in fluff, better to do one post better
A: @teamoment  varies from prolific to trickle but she also blogs for a company twice a week which increases their traffic
A: @RachelKCarter  is a #blogginghippy
A: @teaformeplease once a day monday through friday
A: @RachelKCarter nope  she blames her same children and her husband. ;) her passion drives her posts
A: @TeaWithGary tried a specific day / time cycle (every friday at a specific time)  as a result of the Q asked last yr
A: @TeaWithGary said it totally increased readership  it makes a difference

Q: Do you do anything to specifically target a young crowd? what social media do you prefer?
A: @teaformeplease instagram sends a lot of traffic. she connects differently than on twitter  no target audience
A: @RachelKCarter geek - and never grew up so she doesn't target but gets along with. Likes instagram most then twitter
A: @teamoment  twitter has been her biggest interaction - she mostly writes about family stuff so not young targeted
A: @teamoment instagram is the current fastest growing social media  teaching her to be a better photographer
 A: @lazy_literatus knows nothing about the younger ones but is unfiltered and that seems to attract them. instagram +
 A: @scandaloustea has no idea what the young whipper snappers are ;)
 A: @scandaloustea twitter is really big for her - the numbers are increasing to her surprise. she stopped instagraming
 A: @scandaloustea is first to mention g+ - it's a lower number of people which is quiet but people see it if not interact
 A: @chrisagiddings twitter is his strongest SM platform - but his @Teaity which is more focused gets better interactions
 A: @chrisagiddings on tea-guy facebook fan page he gets better reactions than twitter. he is also an instagram convert
 A: @joysteaspoon twitter was her busiest until 6 months ago where instagram when she linked to her blog and traffic spike
 A: @joysteaspoon  #smart is super effective / @teamoment we forgot to mention pintrest!
 A: @TeaWithGary seems to be a direct correlation with twitter on followers - readers - connections
 Tag your posts with the company and they will re-tweet it and help increase your followership
 pictures increase interaction, pictures and links even more (but limit space to say anything)

 Q: what programs do you use to blog on? A: Blogger, wordpress, TeaTrade, Self written platform, Hootsuite for scheduling
 me: If this then that is also a handy tool.
audience: edgar can refresh/resurface old posts
 - every now and then go look at statistics - re surface old favorites of readers (from @TeaWithGary )
#CaveatEmptor@amazonv Although @MeetEdgar costs money.... from @DrewKaplan

 Q: if you go look at an old post - do you leave it alone or edit it?
 A: @joysteaspoon edit it @chrisagiddings not edit (part of journey) but would edit/update inaccuracies and strike out
 @scandaloustea will edit when something is needed (an update) but won't change her writing
 @lazy_literatus will only edit if something was inaccurate. maybe some grammer posts, but also avoids to preserve journey
 @teamoment and @RachelKCarter do not want to change anything - it's a diary, a journey
 @teaformeplease often goes and tweeks grammar or clarity
 @TeaWithGary edits for spelling, grammer, add footnote updates for accuracy, will edit to cross link same topic posts

 Q: How do you blog for your new shop?
 A: @TeaWithGary hire someone or pick a platform and play with a private blog and test kick the wheels, then take it live

 A: @lazy_literatus there can be a blog of just neat pictures @teamoment do what you enjoy - video, writing, pictures
 @teamoment some behind the scenes - blending pictures - bulk deliveries of tea, anything you
 A: @TeaWithGary youtube is filled with short, amateur videos - unboxing videos
 @TeaWithGary tumblr is very short quick posts
 gary is plugging #TeakuTuesday
 Gary also plugging vine 6 second videos
 @teaformeplease let your employees help and share their passion
 @teaformeplease example: 7 cups of tea employee blogging his experiences

 Q: Ghost Writing - expectations? A: @teamoment a few hours per week blogging, and some SM interaction. all gets reviewed
 @teamoment interviewing and picking a voice you like is important

 @TeaWithGary check out the tea blogger directory, and the association of tea bloggers and find voices you like


After the roundtable the panelists got together to celebrate with Scottish white smoked tea (beechwood) from the Field of the king

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