I just got home from the #TypeA blogging conference last night and I had an amazing time. It is hard to put into words all the feelings I have, but I will try to sum it up as best I can.
This was my view every morning, so peaceful. The Grand Hyatt Buckhead was such an awesome hotel. So many interesting people were staying there including Ice Cube and many other famous rap stars. I laugh to myself as I remember all the funny conversations we had in the elevators.
Maybe you are a new blogger or even a well seasoned one, sitting at home thinking to yourself, should I invest in a blogging conference?
I am here today to tell you the answer is:
There are three F-words that come to my mind and these might convince you to sign up for a blogging conference: FOOD, FUN and FAMILY.
The food and drink choices are abundant and delicious. Waiters are constantly giving you something yummy to eat or drink. This lifestyle is something I could really get used to! Here are a few pictures out of countless photos of the beautiful foods we were served. If you enjoy eating and drinking wonderful foods then a conference is for you.
The second F-word is Fun. I laughed so much. Every night there was a big party to join with beautiful decorations and amazing themes. Three days of fun is good for your soul. I shared a room with the hilarious Tabatha from A Half Dozen Life and we laughed so much. I am sure you need more laughter and fun in your life, right?
The third F-word is family. I met so many awesome people who are now part of my blogging family. These people are the ones who will help you write an awesome headline. These bloggers are the ones who will help you with the new plugin on WordPress that you just cannot figure out. The blogging community is one big awesome family. Each person I met has a story to tell and I loved hearing each one of them. I miss my blogging family and I cannot wait to see them again. But until then we will help each other online.
There are so many more reasons you need to take the leap and sign up for your first blogging conference. Trust me I came up with a million excuses why I could not attend. But in the end I am so glad I did. My life was enriched with each new person I met. Tabatha feels like a missing member of my family. I am sad it is over but looking forward to the next one.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Going to conferences is not a cheap proposition. You most likely will have to take a flight, stay in a hotel at least a few nights, and possibly have to pay for a few taxis and meals. But all of this will be totally worth it in the end. You will learn. You will gain wonderful friendships and opportunities and you will come home energized to take your blog to the next level.
- This past summer I attended my first blogging conference. I never realized how much there was to learn. I was happy posting once a month. Boy was I wrong. There is so much to learn at a blogging conference. There are plenty of people who are expert bloggers making 6 figures as well as new bloggers who have not even posted one page yet. The most incredible part is that you will learn different things from each person you meet.
- Do you stop and take photos of your food before you eat? Do you love social media? If so, you will be among friends. Do you like to use your smartphone 24/7? Well so do all the other bloggers. You will finally be with the people who get you! How many times have you attended a meeting and you pull out your phone and everyone gives you a dirty look. Not at a blogging conference. You are encouraged to be on your phone, sharing with your social media followers as much as possible.
- You know what else is awesome? Having a quiet hotel room with no children asking for something to eat, or needing some help with homework. You are just at the conference to concentrate on yourself and to learn how to make your blog the best it can be.
- How many friends do you have from all over the world? After attending the conference I DO have friends all over the world. I met people from Australia, England, Alaska, and most of the United States. Each person I met has a unique perspective and I love hearing the stories behind each blog.
- Follow the sponsors and show them that you appreciate their sponsorship of the conference. Interact with the sponsors on social media and you might create a long lasting relationship with them.
- Try to find a roommate. Even share a room with someone you do not know. Your room cost will be much less and you might end up with a life long friend. It is also so much fun to have someone to share information with. Tabatha and I always went to different sessions and then at the end of the day we exchanged notes and information. It was a great way to learn twice as much!
I hope you will consider signing up for a conference near or far from home. It has been an incredibly enriching experience for me and I look forward to my next one. If you attend a conference I have one very important tip for you. Bring business cards with you!! I found a great deal at Staples for $9.99 I was able to create 500 cards. You will need these cards so you can exchange them with other bloggers, brands, and other people you meet. I even exchanged cards with the person next to me on the plane! Business cards are an excellent investment and you want to gain fans and followers any way that you can. Conferences will allow you to network, learn from other bloggers, party like a rock star, and connect with brands. It is time for you to make an investment in yourself and your blog.
A few final tips:
- Bring lots of business cards to hand out. It is better to have more than less.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, you will be standing, walking and talking a lot. Do it as comfortably as possible.
- Pack a few of your favorite granola bars, you can snack on them during a session. You get very hungry at all day conferences.
- Drink water! You do not want to end up dehydrated at the end of the day.
- Practice your elevator pitch. You might have 1-2 minutes to explain what you blog about to a brand. Be prepared to sell yourself and your platform.
- Introduce yourself to strangers! Everyone at the conference is also a blogger, so you already have something in common. Make some new friends!
- Bring an empty bag. There are lots of takeaways and goodies that you will accumulate. Save some room in your bag for them.
- Bring along some type of portable charging system. Your phone & tablet will be used a lot and you will probably need some more juice!
- Have a good time! You are there to learn, relax and have fun. Remember to do that!