When you get 500 women bloggers together, it can be quite intimidating, but I think for me the best part about a conference like Blissdom is bringing together women who have a passion for what they are doing and sharing and all of that just naturally spills out. Mommy blogging is really where this whole blog phenomenon started and now there are niches all across the blogosphere. We all know those in our own niche, but don’t know that much about even the bigger blogs out there who may be really well-known in the mommy blog world. And vice versa. They don’t know much about our home decor niche either.
I can’t say I learned a ton of new things this year, but it was fun even so. Last year, we learned more about the business side of blogging and our heads were spinning from all of it. My blog has grown in the last year and I’m grateful for that and I think that most that attend Blissdom are looking to grow their blogs to a professional level. I sure didn’t have a clue that it would be that way when I started blogging, so it’s nice to have a conference like this that addresses all aspects of blogging. And sharing ideas with the other girls in this niche was really a plus too. It’s nice to be able to bounce things off each other and I’ve found that asking questions of other bloggers is how I’ve learned more than anything.
This is Alli, who is well-known as a mommy blogger, as well as a pioneer in social media and she is the brilliant brains behind this conference. She and many other women put it together and did a seamless job with it all. The Gaylord Opryland was a great place to have this conference and wow, did we feel pampered and special. I’ll introduce you to some of the women I met and hung out with and then we’ll get to the topics of the conference and I’ll give a recap of what I took home with me.
Kimba and Layla, both of whom I adore.
Melissa, Kimba, me, and Layla
Edie, Pink & Polka Dot (who doesn’t like to share her name) and me.
Traci, me and Layla. Traci, it was SO great to meet you. She’s so genuinely nice and sweet.
Me, Kate, Edie, Layla
And these 2 fun gals were my roomies, both from Alabama. We had the best time. Christy has a wonderful food blog called Southern Plate and her blog has shot up there. She is just about to publish her own cookbook of good down-home cooking. Shannon is my friend from Southern Beauty and she has a beautiful blog also.
Someone had the brilliant idea that we should pose like Charlie’s Angels. OK, so we are all blondes, we went for it anyway.
Shannon, Christy, and me waiting for Harry to come out and sing for all of us. That was so much fun getting to hear him in person. We all got to have our pics taken with him after the concert and if I find it, I’ll share it with you too. What a treat that was!
Julia, me and Kate
Sarah (Thrifty Decor Chick), Beckie, Julia and me. Really, the best part was putting names and faces together and getting to all be in the same place at the same time. Yes, pure bliss!
The group from InCourage had a nice suite set up for a big party and we stopped by for a few minutes and had a cupcake.
Our last lunch on Saturday was really fun, when the home bloggers sat at tables next to each other and we all got to catch up a bit and visit. Such a special time together.
They totally fed us well while we were there.
Kate, Emily and JJ from Blah Blah Blahger Blog.
My friend, Layla, did a hilarious video over at her blog, so check it out too. That girl should be on TV all the time. 🙂
So, what did I learn? I’ll give you a recap of the sessions that were offered. There were 2 going on each time, so we could choose the one that fit our needs the best:
Personal Branding – Defining You online
Connecting with Your Community of Readers
Community Chest – Community Powerhouse Sites
Striking a Balance – online and offline
Leveraging Social Media to Build your Business
Blogging with the Stars
Evolving into a Professional Blogger
Content is Queen
You can see that there were quite an array of topics covered and there were many successful bloggers on the panels sharing their ideas and insights.
Some of the things that I’ve learned for myself are this, not necessarily from the conference, but some things I need to do for me:
- Whether or not my blog continues to grow, I’m happy with the success I’ve had. It takes a lot of work to be a success at blogging and as I mentioned in this post a couple weeks ago, balancing it all is the hardest part and the thing that I need to work on the most. I want to continue to make my blog the very best it can be, but that also means keeping it all in balance.
- I set myself up about a year ago and began posting almost every day and I’m going to have to step back from that schedule and give myself some breathing room. So, instead of posting 6 or 7 times a week, you’ll most likely see me posting about 4 to 5 times a week. It’s just too hard to keep up the pressure of putting a fabulous post out there. Visiting and commenting on other blogs will have to take a backseat as well.
- I’ve got my own priorities here at my home that I need to put first. My husband (after God) has to be a the top of the list and blogging somewhere down the line. I have closets to clean and some projects to complete and I’ll share those as I can, but I can’t put pressure on myself to keep up with the frantic output of projects across the blogosphere and taking care of my own home is top priority.
So, the big word on my plate right now is this: BALANCE
Not always easy to do, but something that I must get a handle on. I love blogging and love all the connections I’ve made, but we all have to live our lives in a balanced fashion and stepping back from the computer when needed is what I’ll be doing.
Many of you are blogging for fun and if you never plan to take it to the next level, you may not even consider going to a blogging conference. The relationships are great and to me, that’s the best part of Blissdom. Friendships and cameraderie are the best! I hope this gave you a glimpse of what Blissdom was like and you can decide for yourself if it’s something you’d like to try next year. I hope to go back in 2011 for another fun time with all these girls!