Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a blog conference. I’m kind of a scaredy cat when it comes to traveling, but when conferences are in Salt Lake, I try to take advantage of them. My favorite thing about conferences is just connecting with other women. It’s fun to meet up with friends that I only see a couple times of year, and I love meeting people in person that I feel like I know online. It is just the best to spend time with other women, chatting, laughing, and just having fun together!
I do try to learn a few tips that will help me be a better blogger. That is the purpose of a blogging conference after all. The surprising thing is that I usually learn lessons that help me want be a better person. I always meet someone who inspires me. There are so many amazing women in the blogging world, and I am so blessed that I get to rub shoulders with them!!
Here are a few things I picked up at the Build Your Blog Conference this year.
1-I don’t think I’ll ever get Facebook. But does anyone really? I take a class every year, and the rules are always changing. Dang facebook. I hate that I can’t even find the stuff from people that I actually want to see. You probably can’t find my stuff either. This year I learned that I should be sharing more than once or twice a day. Not just my stuff (duh-spammy), but posts from my favorite bloggers as well. Because a great idea just deserves to be shared, right?
Oh, and if you aren’t following me on FB, what are you waiting for? There’s going to be more awesome stuff on there, so don’t miss out!
2-I totally need a personal shopping assistant. So, when I got to the conference, I realized that like a total idiot, I left all my shoes at home. All of them but the boots on my feet. I know. Who does that? When I informed my roommates that I wouldn’t be going to the fancy gala dinner, they wouldn’t stand for it. They told me they were going to take me shopping. And I kind of cringed. Because normally I hate shopping. Like a lot.
But oh my gosh I had a great time! Not only did I pick up a pair of great shoes, I ended up with two cute tops as well. It was awesome to have someone help me look through the sales racks. Someone to say “that shirt doesn’t look as good as the other one”, or “try on this cute pair of shoes I just found!” It was fabulous! I don’t think I can ever shop for clothes alone again. Shopping was a fun experience instead of a chore like it has been in the past. So. . . anybody wanna go shopping?
3-As women, we should not be afraid of making money. In one of the classes I took, the teacher talked about how as bloggers, especially women, we don’t like to talk about making money, almost like we are ashamed of. I had never really thought about it, but I think it’s true. I feel weird telling my friends that I make money blogging. Here on the website, I worry that maybe I have too many sidebar ads. That I’m offending someone because I have ads and affiliate links. But really, I shouldn’t feel bad about being compensated for the time I spend away from my family. Not that I want to sell my soul to ads, sponsored posts, and product sales, because I totally don’t! But is it such a bad thing to make a little money providing content that people are actually using? I shouldn’t think that it is. So yes, this blogs makes me a little extra cash. There, I said it. Can we still be friends?
4-You can’t tell someone’s story just by looking at them. One of the women I met at the conference was just vibrant. Joy and enthusiasm were just jumping off of her and onto everyone she came in contact with. I was just amazed at her contagious happiness! Everyone wanted to be with her because she had so much positive energy. I took a class from her later, and learned that in the space of about two years, she had suffered through three failed adoptions, finding out her husband had an addiction, two months in a treatment facility for an eating disorder, and a divorce. I never would have guessed.
And here’s the thing. EVERYONE is dealing with challenges. A line in one of my favorite songs says: “In the quiet heart is hidden, sorrows that the eye can’t see.” We assume that when we see all the other women with their cute shoes, beautiful clothes, and new manicures, they must have it all together. But really, we just don’t know them well enough yet. When we take the time to get to know them, we find out that they are struggling. Just like we are.
5-It is best to form your own opinions of people, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. This concept is reinforced at every conference I attend. As women, we are pretty critical of each other. (Why do we do that?) I have learned that just because one of my friends doesn’t get along with someone else, it doesn’t mean I won’t. So when meeting people for the first time, I look for the good, no matter what I’ve heard about them. And you know what? I’ve met some pretty amazing women and formed lasting friendships that way! I would have missed out on all those experiences if I would have listened to the negative.
Do you attend any conferences, blogging or otherwise? What do you take away from them??