Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I Learned at BlogHer11

One word to describe my time at BlogHer: incredible.

I had three objectives:
1. Learn new techniques to improve my writing technique
2. Learn about the business of blogging
3. Meet bloggers (both ones that I have been reading and new ones)

I am proud to say that I accomplished all of that and then some.

My favorite session was The Write Brain Essential Blog Content Development Workshop. The speakers were so inspirational that I was moved to tears. They got me thinking about a lot: why I blog, what are my goals, what does success look like. We also got to work with others and share ideas. I learned great techniques to incorporate into my writing practice. It was everything I loved about blogging: reading, writing, and connecting.

I learned a lot about the business of blogging when I attended Mind Your Own Business: Bad Blog Pitches (The Other Side of PR – Blogger Relationships). My background in education has done nothing to prepare me for the business side of blogging. I don’t have a deep understanding of marketing and public relations principles. The speakers in this session were great because they not only educated me on the public relations side, but they also inspired me to think about my blog in terms of what I have to offer different brands.

The sessions were fantastic, but I have to tell you that connecting with bloggers in person was. Just. Awesome. Annie from Real Mommy Chronicles was my roommate. I had only met Annie once in person, so it was very nice to get to spend some time with her and learn we had a lot of the same interests and goals. I’m glad I got to know Shannon better because even though we live in the same area, it’s hard to find time to get together.

I was thrilled to meet women that I’ve long admired like Stefanie Wilder Taylor, Wendi Aarons, and Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress. Not only is their writing hilarious, insightful, and inspiring, but they are totally cool in real life, as well. (This, surprisingly, is not always the case).

I was also excited to meet bloggers I just learned about like Nancy from Wife of a Dairyman, Katie from An Authentic Life, Tracy from It Builds Character, and Sara from Periwinkle Papillion. I cannot wait to start reading their blogs!

I had a fun time reconnecting with Lindsay from Silly Mom Thoughts. I met her briefly last year, and surprisingly, she remembered me . . . although she didn’t recognize me. I thought it was because I had lost a few pounds or had gone blonder, but she said it was that I appeared more confident. Which seriously, was the best compliment ever. I didn’t realize how much I had changed, but hearing that validated the inner work I have been wanting to accomplish.

I also had a chance to meet Erin and Eden from The Skinny Scoop. I love working with Skinny Scoop because they are not only a fun site, but they are very honest and keep their word on promoting and technical support. Having the chance to meet the co-owners was really special. I was bummed that I didn’t get a chance to meet Claudia, the one who has been so helpful with everything Skinny Scoop, but that just means we’ll have to arrange another time to meet. :)

I was glad that I accomplished everything that I wanted to, however, I don’t feel like I have arrived to any solid conclusions about myself and my blog. In fact, the more learn, the less I know. And I am more than OK with that because as I ponder my goals, I will have a better idea of who I am. And as I learn more about myself, I believe that my path will become clearer. All of this can be overwhelming, but I feel inspired at the same time.

Thank you so much, BlogHer, for this amazing opportunity for personal growth and meeting some wonderful people. It was amazing.

So let me ask you, what are your personal goals? What do you want to achieve out of life?


Annie said...

What a touching and real recap! You have great things to say, so don't ever stop putting it out there!

I was very happy to spend so much of BlogHer with you...including time in a very small bed. ;)

Can't wait to see where your blog (and you) 'go' after all of this renewed inspiration!


Mommy on the Spot said...

Thanks, Annie!

Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress said...

Oh man, I wish I had gone to these sessions. Sadly, I didn't make it to very many. And I don't even have a hangover to blame on it. Laziness, yes. Alcohol, no.

You and Annie are so awesome. I simply can't wait to see y'all again.