Recently I attended my first blog conference. Blog Elevated 2015 was in Dallas, TX this year so I had to represent.
The Conference kicked off on Friday night with a Texas-style welcome reception. We wore cowboy boots and were served appetizers with an open bar of bluebonnet tequila-tinis and jalapeno margaritas. Great idea. If you want to gather a bunch of mostly introverted bloggers and have them actually talk to each other, definitely throw some liquor into the mix. Everyone had a great time introducing themselves, talking about their blog and exchanging business cards. There was a table set up with little cards for us to write about our best blogging moment this year. A few random cards were selected for prizes. It was a cute idea because we got to hear what other people’s best blogging moments were. This was my entry.
I posed with a giant plastic sunflower with new blogger friends Ashley and Keri.
What I learned:
- I can walk into a room full of people I don’t know and start talking about myself. A big breakthrough for an introvert!
- There were bloggers there that had been in the game for years and there were others that had just set up their blog. It was a lot less intimidating knowing that everyone is on their own blogging journey and is there to learn how to improve.
Saturday morning started off bright and early at 9 am. Of course, my kids knew I had to be up early so they both decided to alternately wake up throughout the night. I was exhausted but managed to make it in time. Opening Keynote speaker was Rae Hoffman. Her speech hit me hard. Not only is she a phenomenal speaker but her story is amazing. Here I am chugging down my coffee feeling frustrated at not getting a solid night’s sleep. This was the kick in the butt I needed to wake up, stop the pity party and realize that I am a spoilt brat.
After the keynote speech, we broke out into groups to meet other bloggers within our niche. Meeting other bloggers was one of my favorite things about this whole conference. The rest of the day I attended a Brands to Blogger PR Panel, sessions on How to Choose a Correct Blogging Theme and Culture and Language in the Business of Blogging. I also got to hear fellow Aussie Jolie Egan talk about the #LikeAGirl campaign by Always. Lots of inspiring information!
I stuck around for the party in the evening called “Beauty, Bubbles & Bites.” I’m so used to attending little kid superhero themed birthday parties, I honestly thought that the ‘bubbles’ had something to do with the soapy bubbles you blow. It wasn’t. It was about champagne!
The Beauty part involved on-site manicures, makeup and hair stylists and obviously Bites was all about the food. My kind of party. Here I am hanging out with Kristy and Ginger.
What I learned
- I should have brought a laptop! I type faster than I write and I could have been applying what I was learning to my blog throughout the day instead of making a list of things to do later.
- Your situation does not determine your results. Your attitude does.
- Tomorrow may not always come. Start Right Now.
- Think of yourself as a business.
- Know who your audience is.
- Authenticity above all else.
- Brioche is my new favorite cheese. (Sorry Pepperjack) Especially when it is stuffed into a mushroom I must have eaten like five of those things.
Sunday morning I think everyone walked in exhausted. Thankfully we were quickly pulled out of that mood by Marie Bonaccorse when she talked on Super Social Strategery. Marie has such a great presence and had hundreds of people cracking up laughing first thing in the morning.
After a quick break, I chose to attend the sessions on Transforming Your Instagram Account and Earning Links and Exposure for Bloggers. I think these two were my favorite because I learned so much. Instead of being overwhelmed I was excited.
Closing Session was by Lisa Stauber one of the founders of Blog Elevated Conference. It was so nice to meet her in person after tweeting and periscoping with her for months.
What I learned:
- Have a social media crisis plan
- Discipline yourself to be consistent
- Use creativity in your captions, not your hashtags
- Twitter Queries can help you find opportunities
- Burnout is something we do to ourselves by not protecting our values and priorities.
So that’s it! An entire weekend full of information for you guys. I came out of this conference with so much knowledge and I’m so excited to apply everything I learned. Let me know what you think. Have you attended a blog conference before? Are you planning to?