Blog Conferences – I felt that blog conferences had to have their own category. I’ve been to so many, they have their own category on my blog. I just signed up for Build Your Blog Conference 2016. I think it will be my dozenth blog conference. Obviously, I LIKE them. They are a great opportunity to learn a ton of great stuff about the art and business side of blogging. But it’s also a great time to just hang out with your blogger buddies and have fun. And get spoiled a bit – they always have great entertainment, wonderful speakers, and terrific food. Usually, you come out of it with some new connections with brands, also a bit of swag (OK, maybe more than a bit), and a whole new outlook on your blogging life.
One thing I like about blog conferences is that they are very democratic. I’ve gotten to be friends with some of the hugely popular bloggers, as well small bloggers and everyone in between. And even though I’m definitely small potatoes, I’ve never once had someone be snotty or dismissive of me. Everyone has always been very friendly and welcoming. They are always happy to help or answer your questions.
Swag – OK, speaking of swag. I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn’t talk about the free swag that comes along with blogging. I think I’m like anyone else – I LIKE getting free stuff. And there’s usually a lot of it at any blogger event. There are always swag bags with all sorts of sample products. There’s almost always some kind of drawing or raffle or contest for nicer products (I never win – dang it!). A lot of times, the event itself is a nice freebie that non-bloggers would pay a lot of money to do.
I’m lucky enough that we have a large local blogger group, so there usually are events at local businesses we can attend every month or so. Plus, I have a few brands who offer me sample products or occasionally payment for reviews. I understand that brands are making an investment to provide these products and services. So I always do my very best to represent them to fulfill my end of the bargain.
There is also the opportunity to earn money on my own by selling advertising space or marketing products on my blog as an affiliate for various brands. I’ve only been trying this for the last year or so, so I can’t say that it’s been amazingly successful for me, but what it mostly does is pay the bills. Like all bloggers, I have to pay for my hosting space, pay for graphics and things I need. Then I have to pay for some of the advertising tools I use to market my blog. If anything is left, then I try to pay my way to the next blog conference. I try not to overdo it – I do about one sponsored post per week and that seems to be about right.
Chance to Make a Difference – This is one of my favorite aspects of blogging. Frequently, I’m able to help out the causes I like. I wrote a post recently about my 100th microloan with Kiva. I write regularly for the BSA – both as a paid and unpaid writer – I am a regular contributor for the Voice of Scouting blog and the UtahScouts blog. I did some work with Shot@Life – who are the ones who brought me to Washington (on Bill Gate’s dime!) and I did quite a bit of work for them, and over the years I’ve had several other charities that I’ve done a little pro bono work for. Charity and volunteerism are both things that are a big part of my life, so I try to reflect that in my blog.
These are the things I love about blogging. If you’re reading this, you are probably a blogger too – what do you love most about blogging?
Photo credit – Fiverr.com/Patriciavera1
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