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It’s Not About the Swag #Blogher

who is going to blogher BlogHer ’12 NYC is just around the corner. Can you believe this will be my first? When BlogHer was in NYC 2 years ago I was kicking myself for not attending. NYC is within driving distance or in my case train ride distance so there is now way I can miss it.

There is so much talk lately about the parties and swag and gifting rooms. I never understood it before this year. I watch my Twitter and Facebook streams go by and it’s filled with upset bloggers wondering why they weren’t included, how they can get on a list, who they should be contacting and most recently if they can get a goody bag even if they aren’t attending. I’ll be honest, I’ve been invited to a few events and parties and I was excited to be included but I’m not upset that I’m not included in others. I’ve seen bloggers get downright pissed they weren’t included for a few parties.  This kind of behavior gives blogging a bad name.
swag bags, fighting over swag, who didn't get invited
I’m going to BlogHer to connect, to network and to mingle with friends that I haven’t even met yet. The session line up looks amazing as well as the Blogher sponsored parties. I’m looking forward to meeting brands and bloggers that I’ve only talked to through email on social networks. I’m looking forward to the experience not the stuff. Don’t get me wrong, getting stuff is great but I’m sure that’s not why these conferences were put together in the first place.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Sk8Geek
I Disclose

What I Learned from Bloggy Boot Camp Philadelphia

Something happened with this Bloggy Boot Camp. I walked away with ideas and inspiration and didn’t just talk about making changes but instantly put a couple in place. Blog conferences as a whole are supposed to educate the attendees on not just blog basics but how to run it like a business, increase traffic, put out quality content and engage your readers and fellow bloggers.

Bloggy Boot Camp Baltimore was a different feeling for me. Two years ago the sentiment felt “Every man for themself”, this weekend felt more encouraging and accepting of each other. I left Philly feeling good about where I am as a blogger but also confident that I could make some changes to grow.

inspired by bloggy boot camp

Takeaways from Bloggy Boot Camp Philly

  • Define your own success. Blogging goals are different for everyone and that’s ok. Whether you want to make money, write a book, be in front of the camera or inspire readers to try something new own that goal. Be ok with it. Don’t let other bloggers define what your success should be.
  • Have a Purpose. Why do you blog? Who is your audience? Does your blog reflect those answers? Once your figure out your purpose you’ll be more focused on each task and not waste time on the other things.
  • Always expect a payoff. This came from Laurie of Tip Junkie. That doesn’t mean expect money from everything you do but expect something. This could be new readers, increased traffic, exposure to brands or recognition within the blog world. Don’t waste time on things that won’t benefit you in the end.
  • Run your blog like a business. Again Laurie from Tip Junkie had some great advice for those wanting to take big steps with our blogs. Give yourself office hours, . This helps especially with gaining some control in work/life balance.
  • Try something new, you might like it.  Personally I hate vlogging but I’m going to take ClassyMommy’s advice and just keep at it till I’m comfortable with it. I know if I were to increase my video reviews or regular converations it would benefit the blog. Maybe you want to expand your photography or try your hand at fancy recipes just give it a try.  You’l never know who it’s going to turn out until you try.
  • Don’t judge others.  We all blog for different reasons with different goals.
  • It’s OK to say no. If you aren’t comfortable with a topic, product, brand or anything else than don’t endorse it.
  • Build relationships online and in real life. Connections with real people can bring on the best ideas.

If you’ve ever thought of attending a blog conference then Bloggy Boot Camp is definitely the way to go. The intimate gathering, the flow of information and education and the relationships built is all worth it.

Project 52- Week 21

It’s the halfway point of the year. This is my 21st installment Project 52. This is my weekly update of what if going on in our lives behind the blog. So in case you were wondering what we did this week here ya go!

Last week was awesome. We went to Reviewers Retreat at Great Wolf Lodge in Pocono Mountains, PA. We met a great group of bloggers made some friends, learned some tips and tricks and overall had a fabulous time. Here’s a peek at the cool people we met.
Social Media extraordinaire Ted Rubin
Ted Rubin
Renee from What Mommies Need, we clicked like we knew each other for years
Rachel Ferrucci, we would totally be friends IRL if we didn’t have so many miles between us
Rachel Ferruci
The Double Duty Divas in person, Cecelia from Cool Baby Kid and Bridgette from Experimental Mommy
Double Duty Divas
Scavenger Hunt Team Hydro Plunge, Liz from a Nut in a Nutshell, Xenia from ThanksMailCarrier Nichol from Kiddies Corner Deals, Heather from Girl Gone Mom, Jennifer from MommaDandDaBoyz and of course me and Rob.
Hyrdo Plunge
Me and Rob 🙂
Pajama Party
My old pal Nichol from Kiddies Corner
Nicole - Kiddies Corner

My bloggy hero BlueViolet, yes her name is Liz but I will always call her BlueViolet 🙂
Liz-Nut in a Nutshell

If you want to see other Reviewers Retreat pics visit the official RR11 Flickr account.

I Disclose

SITS is Hosting Bloggy Boot Camp Baltimore

Next weekend I’m headed into the city for a blog conference. You can’t imagine my excitement when I found out SITS was hosting Bloggy Boot Camp right in my own backyard.  On March 6th, 2010 approximately 100 women from all around the blogosphere will converge onto the Inner Harbor and Pier 5 Hotel for a day of work and fun.

Bloggy Boot Camps are one day blog and social media conferences for women. The idea is a more convenient, lower cost, more co-operative experience. These day events are for brand new bloggers or experienced social media mavens- something for everyone. Networking, motivation, education and fun- something for everyone.

I’m attending Bloggy Boot Camp Baltimore 2010. I’m super excited to meet some bloggers that are both local and coming across the states. For the last couple weeks I’ve been able to connect with some of these fine ladies through a forum, twitter and visiting their blogs. I really need to establish a better system for regular blog visits.

I decided to go for a couple reasons

  • I need to do more for ME, I’m just as important as everything and everyone else I make time for in life.
  • I want to take LookWhatMomFound…and Dad too! to great places. I’m not looking to become famous or make millions but I want a voice.
  • There is so much to learn about SEO, Public Relations, the FTC and Social Media. Again, not looking to be a guru I just want to make the right decisions, decisions that will benefit not just us but our readers.
  • It’s only 20 minutes from my house, how in the world could I have let this slip by without the chance to network, engage and interact with a whole NEW group of people. Growing your community can only bring good things!
  • I’m new to SITS but I completely embrace the support and feeling of community they have successfully achieved.  Hundreds of blog writers and owners come together each day to lift each other up; I’m proud to be a teeny tiny part of that!
  • So with 1 week left I have lots of blog hopping to do, getting to know some of the other attendees, trying to remember names, faces, family stories and points of view. I got my business cards, travel coffee mug and lip gloss, I’m ready!