Last week, I attended my second Build Your Blog Conference. If you count the bloggers cruise I went on with the Six Sisters a few weeks ago, this was my TENTH blog conference – can you say conference junkie?
I don’t care though. Blog conferences are wonderful things and I try to get to as many as I can. I’m always surprised that many of the bloggers I meet haven’t attended one. They are hard to describe – part grown-up slumber party, part business conference and networking event, part tradeshow, part social media circus, take your pick!
Each conference has it’s own distinct “flavor” and while they are all a terrific experience, some are better than others. I’d have to say BYBC is one of the outstanding ones. They offer a very nice mix of networking, workshops, vendor partnerships, heartfelt stories, technical tips, tools, and resources.
I think for me, the hardest part of a blog conference is just keeping all the people straight. I meet probably 50 new people (nearly all women) at each conference. Multiply that times ten conferences, plus all the smaller local events I attend, and that’s a LOT of people to remember. Plus, each person has a real name, a blog name, a Twitter handle, and Instagram ID, and on and on and on… I don’t have a great memory for names anyway, so it can get really confusing! Thank heavens for name tags and business cards!
Interestingly enough, I think I learned the MOST at this conference. Maybe I was just ready for it or maybe I finally took the right mix of classes, but this time I learned SO much, it seems like my head is going to explode. I took two different classes on publishing Ebooks (Stephanie from Mama and Baby Love)and regular printed books (from Life Rich Publishing). That might be a possibility if I can ever settle on a topic. I also took a great class from Matt Cherry at iBlog Magazine. He had something like 30 tips for growing your online presence and I’m already working on a number of them with more ideas in the works.
I did a great class on podcasting with April Perry from the Power of Moms.com. That was amazing, considering that not one of the four bloggers in my hotel room could even define what podcasting was – we all were gathered around someone’s iPad on Thursday night looking it up on Google. But now that I know what it is, I’m all over it. Video is scary to me, although I’m going to give it a try – I’m going to redo my About Me page as a video, and I’m thinking of recapping some of my cruise posts for GetAway Today. But for podcasting, they said you can just take one of your longer posts and basically just read it into a microphone – heck I can DO that!
My BEST class was with Bonnie Andrews of Hobby to Hot.com. Her class was on affiliate marketing and I don’t know how to describe it, but she is just a force of nature. She threw out so many good ideas in just an hour-long class that I gladly purchased her Ultimate Blogger Bundle on the spot. I think there are 5 different Ebooks in the series and after reading the first one, I had to stop because my brain was BUZZING with so many new ideas and great things I wanted to do.
Believe me, I am not letting any grass grow under my feet. The conference was just a little bit over a week ago and I’ve already done the following:
- Set up a Facebook page for my blog (Facebook.com/AdriansCrazyLife) – come follow me there, cuz I’m REALLY late to that party!
- Redesigned my sidebar thanks to advice from the Six Sister’s Dad Larry from the Blogger Network. I streamlined some stuff, and added links to my most popular posts based on his excellent advice. Given to me as we all sat in the middle of the hallway on the last night of the cruise – best networking session EVER!
- I’m working with a designer to retweak my site design. I’m adding a left sidebar to have a place for some affiliate ads.
- I also updated my blog’s tagline – my old one just wasn’t working out. I needed something with some personality to it. I’m a sparkly, sassy type of person and the Sisters told me I need to embrace that.
- I signed up for an affiliate link with ShareASale, and have already published my first post with them – I’m super excited about that – Check out my post here on Thrifty Birthday Banners.
- I signed up with SlideShare – a new service I hadn’t heard of before. You can take your posts, turn them into PowerPoint slides and then share them with people on their site to drive more traffic to your blog. I’m already putting the finishing touches on my first slide show based on my Thrifty Birthday Banners post – Look Ma, I’m marketing!
- I’ve already ordered a tripod and a bluetooth remote so I can start setting up my videos. Next I need to figure out the software arrangement to start doing my podcasts – watch out world!
- I’ve signed up for the Hello Bar that everyone else seems to have on their blog sites. I can’t figure out how to upload it yet, but I’ve got it all ready once their technical people can help me out with FTP stuff.
Considering I did all that while working a 40 hour week, coordinating two Scout campouts, performing in a concert with my gospel choir, doing some tasks for another charity and a youth group fundraiser, reorganizing my closet (per our fashion stylist Alicia of ChicOnaShoestring) and spending like four hours yesterday working with Scouts on their merit badges, plus I think I have a dang cold, I think it’s safe to say that I am well on the path to accomplishment! See why we call it Adrian’s Crazy Life?
Anyway, I will definitely be heading to BYBC2016 and I hope you will too. It is absolutely worth the investment of your time, money, and effort, and just a long of FUN too!
PS: I had to put in a pitch for the Tyler Robinson Foundation one of the conference sponsors. My sweet friend Lindsey Peterson does a lot of their social media work. The foundation was named for a boy named Tyler Robinson who died of a rare muscle cancer. He was the same age as my son Blake. He died on March 4th a few years ago and they have a campaign called March Forth to try and raise money for pediatric cancer patients and they are holding events literally all over the world in his memory. They also do a lot of work with the band Imagine Dragons in Tyler’s memory. Go to TRF.com/M4 to find out more and see if there is an event in your area.