A few weeks ago I went along to Blogtacular – a new blogging conference. I was worried I’d be slightly out of my depth. It was more about creativity than words, and although I’m a creative thinker, I’m not always the best designer, photographer or crafter. I’ve been to many blogging events before but they’ve either been blogging for business or parent blogging conferences. What I loved about this one was it was open for bloggers of all genres and the sessions could be applied to any blog.
By the end of the weekend, my head was bursting with ideas and my notebook was crammed with scribbles. I even found myself tempted to get into crafting – something I haven’t done since my sixth form art A level days.
Next weekend I’m heading to BritMums Live with hundreds of other bloggers. It’s a huge event, with an incredible schedule of sessions planned. I’m super excited to see sessions about travel blogging (something I do a lot of in my freelance work) alongside useful ways to improve and develop my blog. I may even have whooped when I read that my favourite travel journalist, Simon Calder, was going to be speaking.
I’ve heard quite a few people discussing lately whether conferences are value for money for bloggers. When you don’t earn a huge income from your blog, how can you justify spending a weekend away that includes your ticket, travel and accommodation? Your expenses for the weekend could easily total £200 – £300 which is the price of a holiday!
I wanted to write a little post about the main reasons to attend a blogging conference, and why I think they’re worth every penny.
Five reasons to attend a blogging conference
It’s great to discover new blogs and share your blog with others. It’s amazing to meet up with like-minded people and share your thoughts and ideas. Who else understands why you have to Instagram every cake you bake, or take a photograph of the toys still in the box before you allow your kids to open them? You can make the people you meet at these events lifelong friends by sharing your business cards – some of the main commenters on my blog are people I met at a conference and it’s how I discovered some of my favourite blogs too. Not to mention what a great opportunity it is to make links with the brands who are sponsoring the event. Brands that get involved with blogging conferences understand how to engage bloggers and they’re on the look out for people like you, so go along and say hi!
2) To be inspired.
Every session at every event holds something new for you to learn. During the conference you’ll experience many lightbulb moments, when you realise simple things you can do to increase your traffic, make your blog more inviting to brands or engage your readers. By the end of the event you’ll leave with a notebook bursting with ideas. Feeling so full of ideas and potential is an incredible feeling!
3) To step out of your everyday life.
It’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re up at 6am every day with a baby and run off your feet all the time. Getting away for a day or two gives you the space you need to think creatively again about the future of your blog. You might find a whole new direction for your blog, just by stepping back from it for a few days and seeing how other people are doing it.
4) To feel part of a community.
People who don’t blog, often don’t understand the commitment or work involved. Getting together in a room full of other people who ‘get it’ is an empowering experience. My friends and family all think I’m bonkers and, to be honest, most of them have no idea what blogging is all about. At a blogging conference, you fit in rather than stick out.
5) To help inform your business strategy.
Blogs are creative outlets, but to make them into viable businesses they need to have a strategy behind them. Attending a conference can help you create a business plan which will help you achieve your business objectives.
Attending a conference might be an investment, but there are so many rewards from attending. If you’re coming along to Britmums Live 2014, I hope I get to meet you there! This is my last UK blogging conference before we move to Australia in a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to meeting as many of my online friends as possible.