Please welcome Tamara as our fabulous PR Mondays guest poster today! She has some wonderful insight on conferences for you. This summer I am planning to be at the following conferences: EVO, Savvy Blogging Summit and BlogHer. I wrote a beginners guide to BlogHer last year.Let me know if you are going to any of those and please leave some wonderful comments below with your own advice to newbies or questions/thanks to Tamara!
Tamara is the voice behind The (Un)Experienced Mom and Blog Conference Newbie. In addition, she is the co-creator of Our Mommyhood…where motherhood meets bloghood! If she’s not online chatting or connecting others, she’s probably working out, sleeping, or changing a poopy diaper.
Why Newbie Bloggers Should Attend Blog Conferences
When people first get into blogging, it usually starts off as a casual hobby. Some people post when they can while others start off posting daily. But no matter how often you write, the realization that blogging is a bit addicting and can require a lot of time eventually hits us all.
In the short time I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned a lot about the craft. There are blogs for every hobby, topic, or stage in life. There are personal and professional bloggers. There are even blog conferences. I was actually very surprised to learn just how many blog conferences there were. Before I created Blog Conference Newbie, I figured there were a handful of conferences at most. But I have since realized that in addition to the bigger conferences such as BlogHer and Blissdom, there are newer conferences emerging each year, many of which are specific to a blogging niche.
What I’ve also realized since networking with newer bloggers is that many assume that these blog conferences are only for experienced bloggers or ones who are making money from blogging. My own experience and those that other bloggers have shared with me proves this point: blog conferences are beneficial for newer bloggers.
Still unsure if you should spend the time and money to attend one? Let me explain why I believe you should.
- Connections: Blogging is not just about writing; it’s also about connections. So many of us enjoy reading others’ blogs and get excited when others comment on ours. While it’s easy to make connections with bloggers online, you’d be amazed at just how much stronger those connections become when you meet those people face-to-face at a conference. Even if none of your online blog friends are attending, I can assure you that you will still walk away with those real-life connections. At Blissdom this year, I roomed with someone I had never met before. I felt comfortable enough to be her roommate without having met her and am so glad I did. Not only are we great friends now, but the two of us met three other gals that we are now close with as well. When a large group of blogging women are put together under one roof, you’re guaranteed a good time and new friendships.
- Knowledge: Of course, one of the main reasons to attend a conference is to learn, and blogging conferences are no different. The couple of days you’ll spend at the conference will be jam-packed with useful tidbits, helpful hints, and downright important information. Many conferences educate bloggers on topics such as finding your passion, utilizing social networking platforms, monetizing, increasing readership and traffic, and how to write creatively. Don’t want to earn money off your blog? Only blogging for fun? You can still learn a lot from a conference. For instance, the Casual Blogger Conference is geared towards those who blog as a hobby. In addition, many of the conferences offer various tracks, focusing on the topics you find helpful; you can pick and choose which sessions are a fit. Writing, business, photography, and creating communities are common tracks. There is something for everyone at these conferences.
- Confidence: Attending Blissdom this year renewed my confidence. My confidence in my writing, my purpose for blogging, and my passions in general. The mix of having a weekend away to focus on myself and spending time with those who understood my hobby are what impacted me the most. I think most new bloggers feel very anxious leading up to the conference they are attending and start to question why they are even going. But once there, they realize that this was actually one of the best decisions they made. There really aren’t words to describe the blog conference experience other than fulfilling, fun, and fabulously rewarding.
There are obviously other reasons to attend a blog conference and I honestly could write another couple of pages worth. However, the purpose of this post was to provide you with some food for thought and encourage you to at least consider attending a blog conference this year even if you are a newer blogger.
The next obvious thought after deciding to attend a conference is “How do I pay for it?” followed closely by “How should I prep for the conference?” I invite you to head over to Blog Conference Newbie to read tips on these topics, as well as how to save money on your blog conference trip and what to expect while you are there. In addition, the site offers a list of blog conferences, need-to-know dates, and interviews with conference coordinators themselves. Blog Conference Newbie is your go-to-guide for all things blog conferences, whether you are a new attendee or not!
And please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter also. I enjoy helping newer bloggers with general insights or blog conference-related topics. You can connect with me on Twitter (@unxperiencedmom) or by adding the #ConferenceNewbie hashtag to your tweet.