I Survived My Bloggy Bootcamp!
I have been to conferences and networking events before, but nothing quite like this. Calling upon my past experiences and from what I gathered from my Facebook blogging group’s advice (seasoned bootcampers like Carolyn West/This Talk Aint Cheap told me some stories) I planned ahead. I am glad I did! I got everything out of the event that I hoped for and much more!
*Get seen and known . . . Make A Splash!
*Meet Bloggers from So Cal Lady Bloggers Group . . . make a genuine connection.
*Meet influential Bloggers . . . make an impression.
Armed with new business cards (complete with all of the necessary components that a blogger/writer/life coach/event planner should have including my Twitter handle, associations and a cute photo of myself,) I set out to meet everyone I could and have some fun doing it! Before I left for Las Vegas, I took a list of So Cal Lady Bloggers that planned to attend this conference, I added pictures and blog names and I printed it on both sides of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of card stock. I put a nice stack of business cards, a few sharpies, and my folded up list in a wristlet purse.
My plan was to check off each lady as I met her. Rather than just putting a check by each name, I asked my new friend to sign her name by her picture. It was so much fun asking for autographs and it made each blogger feel like a star!
(I love it when things work out!) I carried my wristlet everywhere I went and made sure to swap business cards at every opportunity. I smiled at everyone, everywhere I went, even outside the conference in the hotel, just in case they were a blogger, too. I noticed that most of the people were smiling back and having a good time. I am usually a little reserved at these things (believe it or not!) and I stay to myself. This time I was determined to make the most of the time and meet people.
Another important part of my plan was to learn about blogging. Afterall, that is what I signed up for! Part of my strategy was making sure that I did not share a room. As much as I would have loved to save money, have a bloggy companion, and have tons of fun – my objective was to learn. I know that if I don’t have a quiet place to reflect and process, much of what I learn would have stayed in Vegas. In this case, I did not want that to happen. Although my hubby was with me, I was still able to have space to spread out all my stuff, be alone with my thoughts, bounce ideas off an objective (however imprisoned) supporter, and have quiet time to write my notes.
I took a composition style notebook and a pen to take my notes, as advised by the SITS Girls who put on Bloggy Boot Camp. It was good advice because I didn’t want to have to worry about my laptop, battery life and WiFi connection the whole time. I noted key points that I wanted to remember during the fabulous speakers’ presentations. I wrote my reflections for this post. I took down some awesome quotes. I am glad I wrote them in my notebook, because my cell battery did die and I couldn’t tweet out some of the epiphanies I had.
I took some great pics that I Instagrammed and hashtagged. I tweeted. I shared. Next time, I will bring a separate camera because I missed some amazing “Kodak Moments” when my phone died. I noticed a few bloggers used their phone to take pics of the slides on the screen during the presentations. What a brilliant idea! Why didn’t I think of that? That’s one to remember for next time to really cut down on note taking.
What I Learned
The conference, the organizers, the speakers and the sessions were all fantastic! It was clear and concise. The information was relevant. The speakers were well prepared and professional. I really got what I came for!
I was blown away by the contagious energy and excitement from one of the most successful bloggers around, Laurie Turk/The Tip Junkie. She shared her Top Ten Blogging Success Tips. She was so willing to share that it really gave me hope that I can and will increase my SEO. I was so happy with myself that I didn’t have to ask what that was or even look it up! Search Engine Optimization is something every blogger who wants to increase their readership should know. Laurie’s tips made it seem attainable.
Cynthia Wheeler/@napwarden spoke to us about Great Blog Design. If you visit my blog often you may notice I already made a few changes. She gave terrific advice and if I can afford to get a professionally designed blog, I will know where to go!
The best speaker there was someone I have met personally on a few occasions and was even on my list! Trina Finton/The Gaming Angel gave an insider’s look at gadgets and apps that all bloggers should know. There are quite a few apps and programs that I want to try.
I enjoyed the break out session. I attended the Writer’s Workshop. It was a small group and set up in an informal discussion. I received some good tips for bloggers who are writers from Fran Banducci/SITS Girls, Kathy Bouska/MamaKat, and Chelsea Day/Some Day I’ll Learn. I learned that it is important to “make people want to read what I write” and how to do a “Six Word Memoir.”
My favorite quote from Bloggy Bootcamp Vegas 2012:
“Whatever is on fire, is what gets my attention!” Kathy Bouska
Danielle Liss/Fitfluential gave the bloggers a quick but important overview of the Legal Basics of Blogging. I was happy that most of what I remember from business law (a favorite class in college) still applies. Most of the copyright, trademark, contract and licensing rights can be looked up online. Danielle helped to clear up any blurry issues where blogging is concerned and pointed out how to get the correct and current information. That was awesome!
I was enthralled with the final speaker, Elizabeth Jayne Liu/Flourish in Progress who talked about her personal experience with blogging. She spoke about being authentic and developing a unique voice. She hit it home for me and made me feel so glad that I am doing this. She helped me to realize that it is okay to “Speak the way I speak, say what is on my mind,” and to know that “the more I write the more I can get to know myself and become comfortable with myself.” She is such an inspiration to me! I couldn’t wait to meet her and I was lucky to get her awesome business card!
What I Will Always Remember
I was inspired by the Tribe.
The sponsors were in on the underlying theme. I am bangin’ the drum! We need each other. I want to thank the sponsors. Not because they made my experience top-notch, not because it is the right thing to do, but because I can. I am a blogger and it’s what I do! Shout out to the sponsors: Ford Warriors in Pink, Mirassou Winery, and Jewel Kade.
I had the absolute honor to sit next to a truly amazing young Cancer Survivor who is a Warrior in Pink, Tina Herold. If you know me and have read my posts before you know that I believe there are no accidents. I was meant to sit next to this angel. Because of her I am scheduled to get a mammogram this week. Hugs to Tina! If you want to be inspired, check out this blog: http://imwiggedout.com/wiggedouthome.html
All of the ladies that I met at Bloggy Bootcamp were wonderful. They are just normal people who have a blog. They are just like me. We are all Rock Stars! Mommas, Foodies, Clickertons, Fugalistas, and Adventurers. Best of all, we like to share, to learn, to embrace and to empower. Cheers to the bloggers!!
Would you like to read about another time I sat next to an angel? https://mizmeliz.com/2012/09/03/an-enchanted-evening/
Have you ever sat next to someone who had an inspiring story? Tell me about it! Leave me a comment.