Oh Joy Rx

Last week I attended a blogging workshop through AIGA Philadelphia with Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, and many of you were curious about how it went. I'll admit that one of the main reasons that I signed up is that Joy is one of my absolute favorite bloggers. If I only have time to read a few blogs during my day, hers is definitely one that I won't miss.

In person Joy is somehow even sweeter and more lovely than she seems on her blog. Despite being pregnant, she somehow managed to be upbeat and enthusiastic throughout the workshop, never once seeming tired or uncomfortable. She answered questions throughout the workshop thoughtfully, patiently, and kindly and stayed for quite a bit afterward to mingle and chat. She is like superwoman. So now that I've gotten some of that gushing out of my system, I'll tell you more about the meat and potatoes of the workshop.

  Photo Courtesy: AIGA Philadelphia

I was one of the first to arrive due to the fact that I took the mainline into the city and the train is, you know, on a schedule. It worked out because I entered Moore College of Art & Design just in the nick of time - seconds after passing through the door the sky opened up and a downpour ensued. Good thing I got there early! I passed the time by taking some photos of myself on my iPhone in this big purple chair, sending tweets, and chatting with the sweet AIGA ladies.

When the second workshop participant arrived, we both realized that we were absolutely ravenously hungry and set off in search of a pizza joint just down the street (the rain had stopped at this point). It was just our luck that on the way back the skies opened up once more. We ended up sprinting back, pizza held above our heads, laughing hysterically all the way. Although I survived without being completely soaked, my hair didn't fare so well, but such is life.

Back in my seat tired, a bit wet, and chowing down on pizza, I got to chat a little with a few of the lovely ladies seated around me and was super impressed by the chic and intelligent group that had gathered. When Joy arrived (looking adorable in a maxi dress with her tiny little baby bump) she passed out pretty striped bags complete with a notebook that she had designed and her business card - so sweet and thoughtful of her! Her business card was, of course, fabulous with metallic print and her signature botanical logo.

The room was filled with forty or so women all there for various reasons. Some owned small businesses and were considering starting a blog to promote their work. Others were, like me, already blogging and were hoping to learn a little bit more about the craft. There were a few graphic designers in the group as well and some professors hoping to learn a bit to pass on to their students. 

As most of the group was at a very beginner level, Joy geared the workshop more toward them. Although I'm no blogging expert, I'll admit that it was a lot of what I already knew. Topics that were touched on included:
  • Why to blog
  • Types of blogs
  • Programs and hosts
  • Your mission/brand
  • Blog voice
  • Unique content
  • Blogging musts
  • Growing a readership
  • Blogging ethics
  • Tracking and increasing traffic
  • Social Networking

I did learn a few new things about the less fun and more technical side of things like feedburner, SEO, and the like. I'll share a few of those things with all of you:
  •  Use hyphens when naming your images rather than underscores and use searchable names (not 'Screenshot.jpeg' like I usually do lol!) This will make your listing show up higher on image searches, allowing people to discover and fall in love with your blog.
  • Tineye.com - (funny tidbit - the autocorrect on my iPhone totally changed this to ribeye.com when I tried to tweet about it making me look like one seriously hungry crazy person) Anywho, Tineye.com is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version.
  • Tynt.com - a free site that provides you with java code. Install it on your site and it will track what people do on your site. Even better, if someone copies and pastes from your site it will automatically link the pasted bits back to your blog - score! 
  • Fun fact - Joy uses Typepad (I would've guessed Wordpress).
  • If you missed out on the workshop don't fret - Joy is writing a book on the subject!

Overall I enjoyed the experience - it was great to meet Joy and all of the other women there. I definitely plan to attend more workshops and conferences in the future to hopefully continue to grow my readership and refine my craft. I'll close with a photo of Joy looking super glowing and stylish and me with my wavy rained-on hair:

Oh, and the pretty lady behind Joy is Dana of What the Frock? (formerly Fashion Under $100) If you have any more specific questions about the workshop, feel free to email me at withtwocats@gmail.com and I'll be happy to answer them for you. Thanks to Joy and the ladies of AIGA for the fabulous workshop!


  1. I was wondering how the workshop was - it's so fun getting to meet other bloggers in person - especially Joy. Thanks for the recap as I was so curious!

  2. Dina @ Honey + FitzAugust 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Thanks for these tips! I hadn't heard of tineye (or ribeye...whichever :). Off to check it out now!

  3. It was great to meet you!!

  4. Loving your/Joy's tips! And v cute picture with wavy hair and all :)

  5. thanks for sharing Lauren. I am still bummed it didn't work out for me to make it. Can't wait for the book. I already love her book Creative, Inc.



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