TECHmunch is a traveling conference for food, beverage and lifestyle bloggers and content creators. These one day conferences are held in cities across North America, where attendees can learn the skills they need to succeed and take their blogs to the next level.
Their hands-on approach is designed to get attendees up-to-speed on all the latest tools and tactics for creating great content, building buzz, working with brands, growing an audience and profiting from their hard work.
This... month prominent food/lifestyle bloggers, culinary media, expert panelists and social media influencers attended TECHmunch in New York City during Internet Week 2015. The agenda included everything from lessons on "How to Be Resilient" to "SEO Hacks" and even "Instagram Etiquette." Below are some highlights and a recap of some of the sessions for those who weren't able to make it out to New York City.
If you want to attend a TECHmunch conference, the next one will be held in Los Angeles on October 2, 2015.
01 of 04
How to Tell Your Story
The day began with a panel of experts including David Leite, Jennifer Perillo, Ed Lefkowicz and moderated by Karen Seiger. They discussed the topic of "telling your story" and delved into the questions you need to ask yourself when getting personal in your writing.
-How personal do you feel comfortable getting on your blog?
-What is your story really about?
-What are your goals through telling your story?
One takeaway that really struck me from this panel was something David Leite said.... He found that the more specific he got in telling his story, the more universally appealing his message became. It's fascinating how when someone genuinely opens up a part of themselves online, there are aspects we can all relate to.
02 of 04
Building Your Own Brand
This panel included Katie Workman, Sean Timberlake, Brenda Bennett, MacKenzie Smith and was moderated by About.com's own Eric Handelsman.
They discussed how to define your personal brand and develop a unique voice in the online space. It's interesting that discussions on this panel started to mirror topics we touched on earlier in the "How to Tell Your Story" panel. All day we kept coming back to the idea that the key to success is maintaining a level of authenticity. The... concept that there is a high demand for content from brands, but that their larger goal is sourcing authentic content. They also discussed that metrics are not always the number one determining factor when a brand decides to work with a blogger. Often times a genuine affinity for the brand can shine through and become part of the decision making process.
03 of 04
Expert Food Photography Tips
About.com Food Photography Expert Evi Abeler led a session focusing on the importance of light in food photography. She narrowed it down to four important things to consider when it comes to light.
1) Type of Light: natural or artificial light
You can see we had stunning floor to ceiling windows in the event space offering gorgeous natural light. However, she also showed how to use a Keno Flo artificial light source.
2) Quality of Light: soft or harsh and dealing with shadows
Evi said she... always carries a light weight sheer curtain with her to diffuse harsh light when necessary.
3) Direction of Light: from the side, from above or from behind
She recommended using simple bounce boards to reflect or redirect the light when necessary.
4) Temperature of Light: cool vs. warm and dealing with hues from light sources
Evi recommended playing with the various settings on your camera to adjust to the temperature of the light. She often changes between the "sunlight" "cloudy" and "shade" settings depending on the situation.
04 of 04
Going from Blog To Book
This interactive presentation with Cathy Barrow discussed the path from writing a blog to securing a book deal.
Tips included finding your niche and telling your story. Yet again we touched on the idea of authenticity in your writing!
When it came to the nitty gritty of writing a book proposal she discussed the structure, information it must include, and how to get someone to read it. In the end, she emphasized that a great lede can mean the difference between a deal and ending up in the... circular file.
She also recommended that everyone pick up a copy of The Recipe Writer's Handbook to make sure their recipe writing skills are perfected before submitting a book proposal.
Cathy also emphasized that everyone should have a second book idea in their back pocket. You never know when your first idea might not tickle their fancy but they like you and want to hear what other ideas you might have up your sleeve!