If you know me personally, then you are intimately aware of my ability to deliberate ad nauseam. Whether it’s buying a pair of pajamas or scheduling a surgery (both are true events), I have the tendency to contemplate the pros and cons to the point where they start bleeding into each other, leaving me with nothing but a muddled mess that once resembled a decision.
I started to feel curious about attending a blogging conference after my good friend and former coworker, Asia, wrote about her own experience at TBEX. (By the way, Asia’s blog, Navigable World, is filled with beautiful pictures, inspiring posts, and awesomeness.) I knew that I wanted something that was local, substantive, and relevant to my blogging interests. After a straightforward Google search, I discovered BlogHer17.
Orlando? You’ve got my attention.
Workshops about storytelling and professional development? Yep, that’s what I need in my life.
Amazing keynote speakers? Stop. Seriously, JUST STOP. Now you’re just showing off…
I had the perfect (for me) blogging conference staring me in the face, but I still was reluctant to commit. Reasons started swirling in my head: my poodle is dependent on my company, the tabby cat has had a bad cough, it’s too expensive, I have never traveled alone, my threshold for socialization is low, etc. The list was already taking shape in my head and I was leaning towards a solid “NO”.
Yet……despite all of the cons and my inner fears of leaving my comfort zone, a small whisper inside of me said, “Yassss.” So I clicked on the registration, booked the hotel, and was on my merry way to my first blogging conference.
It really wouldn’t be fair to you, dear reader, to bore you with the minutiae of the conference. My personal goals for attending included:
- Networking and picking the minds of fellow writers/bloggers
- Learning more about developing my platform professionally (branding, monetizing, etc)
- Strengthening my storytelling skills
It was a challenge to pick out which workshops to attend, but the ones I ended up going with included:
- Storytelling Your Way to Healing and Support
- Best Practices for Creating Multiple Online Income Streams
- Powering Up Your Business For Success: A Discussion on Becoming a Business Magnate
- Activism for the Part-Time Revolutionary: How to Make a Real Impact
- Book Publishing Today: Self- Publishing and Hybrid Publishing Are the New Normal
All of the workshops I attended included knowledgable and impactful speakers. I was busy taking notes (btw, I totally take great notes). I learned about some great tools and platforms to enhance my blog, and my own list of takeaways from the conference included:
- I am totally entrepreneurial and I need to embrace this part of myself. I am a #girlboss. If I harness that power for good, I can do amazing things.
- Diversify your income streams. There are so many ways to build your blog and earn income, but the trick is not to get stuck on only one idea. If something doesn’t work, keep on moving.
- Build relationships. Seems like a no brainer, right? Yet, we often are too busy doing our own thing to notice the people around us (or online). We get so busy being the content producers that we forget to connect. Take time to notice what others are working on. Be present.
- Self-publishing shouldn’t be stigmatized. Traditional publishing methods are extremely competitive and don’t always guarantee the best outcome. Self-publishing allows authors to retain control and often means higher revenue.
- Editors are your friend. Invest in someone who can proofread your work.
I came home buzzing with excitement from all of the wonderful people that I met and the amazing workshops I attended. Plus, Chelsea Clinton.
Without any hesitation, I am excited to say that I am looking forward to attending BlogHer18. : )