Wednesday, February 27, 2013

out and about: BYB 2013 Conference

Wondering what to expect at a blog conference? Here's a bit of my personal experience.

I attended the Build Your Blog 2103 Conference last weekend in Salt Lake City. The darling girls at Six Sisters Stuff blog (yes, they are actually sisters) hosted and did a beautiful job.

When I was deciding whether or not to go to the conference, I saw that Brooke Walker, host of KSL's Studio 5, was the keynote speaker. I watch Studio 5 almost every day while I'm on the treadmill, and think Brooke is darling, so that was the little push I needed. In real life, she's even more funny and inspiring.

I loved that the conference was just one Saturday, which made it very doable, less overwhelming, and cost-effective for so many attendees. And, I love, love, love that all the classes were recorded, and will be available for viewing soon (free for attendees and a small cost to non-attendees). That means I (and you!) can actually attend ALL the classes. I think that is a huge perk to attending this conference.

I attended/taught at more shows than I can count during my career in the scrapbooking industry, so I pretty much knew what to expect. I was a little concerned about being the "grandma" of the group, and surrounded by girls my own girls' ages. Not the case. We older more experienced women were definitely represented.

I really feel we older young at heart bloggers, have a unique voice that should be shared, and that is perhaps a part of what sets us apart from many other bloggers. Going to ponder that a bit. :) And possibly start acting my age. Nah. Madi loves it when I act cra-cra. :)

There were four breakout sessions with a choice of three classes in each section. Of the four classes I attended, my favorite was Fueling Your Blog's Fire Without Getting Burnt Out: Tips and Tricks to Manage It All. It was taught by Tara and Wendy from The Dating Divas. It had a lot of useful information on organization, having a plan, scheduling, and building a "dream team." I will be implementing a lot of the suggestions. The class was fun, but also very organized and to the point. I super appreciate that. And the visuals/downloads we have access to are exceptional. It was nice knowing I didn't have to take so many notes, because they made the visuals available on-line to class attendees. Super class all the way around.

Side note: I saw Tara in the restroom at the end of the day. We talked for a minute (she's very high-energy and so fun!), as I rummaged through my pack to find my keys. She pointed and asked, "Oh wait, is that them?" They were on my wrist! Seriously, I'm a dork. We laughed and then I actually admitted that one time I was running around trying to find my darn cell phone while I was talking on it. Please don't judge. :)

I took a lot of notes during the conference. I added a little star next to those items I want to implement first. And then I drew a little heart (something I've done forever) next to those things that really inspired me personally.

Here are just a few of my notes from Brooke's keynote presentation:
  • Take the process of creating your blog from your head to your heart, so you can inspire and influence others. Become an "influencer," not just a blogger. There is power in being an influencer.
  • Find your focus. 
  • Commit to a cause so you can do good, share, give back, and know when you need to say no to opportunities.
  • Add your voice and passion to your blog.
  • Ask interesting questions that will make others think, act, or desire something more.
  • It's okay to play up the positive. The world craves positive, happy headlines/information. Readers aren't stupid (okay, maybe Brooke didn't use that exact phrase), they know you have downfalls.
  • Balance the bucket. Take the opportunity to fill others' buckets (celebrate their success) by pinning, liking, leaving uplifting comments, and/or mentioning them on your blog. Give back to others--a lot! If you blog is already super successful, help others become successful too, by filling from the top down.
  • Strive to leave a lasting impact. Readers may not remember all the information you shared, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Good stuff. And there was a lot more. Wishing you were there? Sign ups for BYB 2014 are already in the works.  

Are you thinking about starting a blog? What's holding you back?

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