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I'm A Rookie To Blogging And Benefiting From Blog Conferences

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Blog conferences, both big and small, are a wonderful way to learn valuable information and for finding inspiration.  Last month I received an invitation from The SITS Girls to join an evening of networking and education. The event was held at the Hotel Palomar Los Angeles | Westwood and was sponsored by Invisalign. I said YES immediately. I have been contemplating attending Bloggy Boot Camp for a couple of years now. This was an opportunity that I would not pass up.  I was thrilled to take part in this invite only gathering!

The event was a "Mini" version of Bloggy Boot Camp.  This "mini" session packed a MIGHTY punch!  It was a condensed, fast paced wealth of information. I loved it. Tiffany & Francesca are passionate, genuine, and smart women.  I left the evening feeling inspired.  After spending time with these ladies, I wanted to be a more passionate, genuine, and smart blogger. When you expose yourself to great people, some of that greatness finds a way of rubbing off on you.

In my limited experience with blog conferences I have learned many "do's and don'ts", "how-to" ideas, tips for this and tips for that. All valuable advice. Most include instruction on how to work with brands, SEO, and what you need to do to make your blog better.  To me, the primary focus is on the business of blogging. Confession: I'm a little slow to go on the whole blog improvement movement.  I understand the value of all of the tips that I have been given, but  I admit that I take baby steps.  I'm not in a huge rush for blog success. I don't mind going slow.  I'll get there. At my own pace, I will get there.  I already juggle working full time, family life, and trying to preserve my 40 year old self so that I can be around longer for our preschooler! My son needs me and loves me so much more than my blog ever will. Perhaps when our son gets a little older I'll have more time and energy to implement all of the things that I learn along the way.  That being said, I don't mind not having a professional blogger status. I am enjoying my spot on the team as a rookie blogger!  I'll make my rookie mistakes along the way and as long as I learn from them, I think I'm good.

I'm thankful to Tiffany & Francesca for sharing their wisdom.  I felt that they did a great job in discussing the business end of blogging AND bringing focus on the personal side of blogging.  I love the relationship based tips. These are the lessons that meant the most to me and will help me to be a smarter blogger:

  • When working with brands: OVER deliver.
  • Communication: worried about a deadline? Be honest.True story: I was working on my first sponsored post for The SITS Girls when my grandmother passed away. I had a deadline looming. I couldn't remember when it was due, I couldn't locate the email detailing the project... I was a mess. I was honest. I managed to finish my project in time (a little bit early in fact).  Their compassion and concern meant so much to me!  I saved the email from Francesca because during that tough time - she eased some of the pain.  If you need help, ask for help.  Don't drop the ball.
  • Be in the moment.  You won't have anything interesting to blog about if you don' have a life.  Keep (and stick to) office hours. Check email at a set time. Be present when with your family.
  • Don't post just for the sake of posting.
  • Have "the talk" with your spouse about what your blogging goals are.  Have that dialog. True Story: My husband used to get SO ANNOYED with me when I would spend the wee hours of the night (after our boy was asleep) "playing" on my computer. Now he knows that I am working not playing. He sees that I can (and have) earned income, that I enjoy interacting with fellow bloggers, and that as a family we have the opportunity to attend fun events.  Having him on board = priceless!
  • Earn your way there!  Instead of wondering why & how other bloggers get wonderful perks like trips to amusement parks, great gadgets, the newest "this & that"...  Just go out and EARN the money with your blog so that you can PAY for those things yourself!  Bravo.  No more blogger envy here. Well... a little blogger envy. Honestly some of the perks that I have heard about are just oh-so-enviable!  For exclusive invites to events and parties... you can't really buy your way into those.
  • Pay it forward!  If an opportunity is not a fit for you, recommend someone that you know that would be.  You would be helping out a friend as well as the organization looking to find a match for their campaign. Good Karma goes a long way!

I belong to a few online groups on facebook.  Over time you get to know a lot of interesting people.  A highlight of the evening was meeting my online pals face to face! I met Mary: Let's Play OC who always has the greatest family adventures, and fellow San Diegans: Brianne: Bri Geeski who is a talented designer, and Amanda: Sunny Vegan who an inspiration for healthful living!  I made a new friend too! Ferly: Gifts We Use has a lot of great organizing tips & tricks!   I'm kicking myself for not snapping photos of us together!

After attending my first blog conference in 2011 I have made it my goal to attend at least one conference every year. I've been to BlogHer 2011 in San Diego and Blogalicious 2012 in Las Vegas. Thanks to The SITS Girls I have my 2013 mini "conference" under my belt!  Soon I will attend my first online blog conference: The Blog Workshop 2013.

BlogHer 2011 Photo Credit: Asher-Sears Photography

I'd love to know more about your experiences with Blogging, Conferences, and Networking. One day maybe we will meet at a conference!


  1. Having never gone to a con I still feel like a rookie even after three years... I feel like some of the cons would just OVERWHELM me... I know there are certin cons that are just for Review Blogs... so far the timing hasn't been right or they are not close by and the $$$ is to great...but I do hope to get to one soon. Maybe a bootcamp will head my way. :)

  2. I have yet to attend a blog con, and hopefully I can make it happen this year.

    Thank you so much for sharing what you learned from the conference. These are such great tips - especially the part with the husband involved. Haha! :)

  3. Great tips, thanks for sharing. Oh, and I can so relate to the hubby comment!

  4. ReviewsSheROTE Pamela R I totally understand about timing,finding nearby conferences, and cost factors! I would love to learn how to secure sponsors to cover conference related expenses. I haven't paid for a conference yet. I worked as a volunteer to cover the cost!

    Czjai Reyes-Ocampo Going to conferences are tough for me because I tend to be shy. It's a great way for me to get over it and make new friends. Hubby on the team is wonderful! :)

    Mommys Juice Oh yes! I guess there are many blogger husbands out there with wives attached to their computers. I loved when Tiffany brought up the topic! We're not alone. The talk helps!

  5. I have yet to attend a conference. The online thing sounds like a good alternative. I just attended my first ever blogging event (Invisalign)and found the networking great so...we'll see. Thanks for sharing!

  6. life...just saying I'm so thankful that The SITS Gilrs & Invisalign held Straight Talks all around the U.S! You're right, networking was great! Thank you for visiting my blog.

  7. I would love to attend a conference and hopefully one day I can. I have found that people are more willing to help share your information by going out on a limb and doing things for others without even being asked. I have volunteered to review apps and several book reviews for others just because I enjoyed the products and wanted to share. Helping others is a great way to network and it can open doors for you that you never imagined. These opportunities may not be paid but they are invaluable!

  8. Christy Garrett I love your comment and agree with you. I too believe that helping others is a great way to network and I also value the importance in relationships vs. getting a bunch of paid opportunities. Thanks for your input.

  9. It's always been the business blogging for me. I was actually surprised getting into blogging how many are not doing it for business.

  10. Oh I wanted to get to this one but I missed it. I loved when I went to BBC last year. SITS has the best tips don't they? Great recap!

  11. Courtney G That's awesome! I love that you are business minded! It's a smart move!

    Organized Island I am already planning on BBC! I've always heard such great things about SITS, it's all true. :)

  12. I haven't been to a conference yet, but I read as much as I can. I hope to go to a travel blogger conference in September. Any sponsors out there who read this comment, I'd love to partner with you!

  13. What an awesome opportunity! This is something I could definitely benefit from. I had no idea about conferences like this. I'm still pretty new to blogging, but I am definitely going to be looking into conferences like this. Thanks so much for sharing about the experience and sharing some helpful tips!

  14. This sounds like it was an awesome conference. I've never been to one although I'm sure I would gain tremendously if I did attend. Thanks for sharing the points you learned about.

  15. Most people do start off with the idea that blogging can be fun and then later figure out they can do more with it. It's great that you are really loving all the learning involved with the blogging itself. You can only really succeed if you like what you do, right?

  16. HI! Love this post! I was supposed to go to a Bloggy Boot Camp last weekend and had to miss it due to another conflict. Can't wait to go to one though. Any chance you are going to travel to Chicago for BlogHer 2013? Would love to meet up!


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