This past weekend I had the amazing honor of attending Bloggy Bootcamp in Las Vegas. Several months ago, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway of two pairs of tickets to the Vegas stop of Bloggy Bootcamp from Misadventures with Andi. (I wasn’t so lucky with the slot machines this weekend, but that’s probably for another post.) So I invited my blogging pal Nerissa and this past Friday we headed east to the desert!
A lot of information was packed into this one day conference, but unlike conferences for my day job, this day was non-stop fun and it just flew by (did I just say that out loud?).
I want to quickly run through all the sessions, what I personally took away from all of them, and give shout outs to the amazing speakers.
The day started with breakfast and a presentation by Ford Warriors in Pink. We heard from Tina, a breast cancer survivor who shared her story of how she felt a lump above her breast and three (three!!!) different doctors told her it was nothing. She persisted and ultimately got the biopsy which came back positive for cancer. The thing that stuck out to me is that breast tissue goes all the way up to your collarbone, and around to under your armpit. I had no idea! The presentation was very moving and I learned something new, and super important. Thank you, Ford.
Top Ten Tips for Blogging Success. Speaker Laurie from Tip Junkie gave a great and energetic presentation with her top tips for becoming successful at blogging. My favorite tip was #6 – “Never Second Guess a Fun Idea.” I am constantly coming up with new ideas for the blog (and beyond) but 9 times out of 10 I talk myself out of it for one reason or another. I’m going to try to stop doing that.
What You Really Need to Know About Blog Design. Cynthia from Nap Warden shared some tips for brand consistency across all your social media platforms and showed us some of her favorite examples of good blog design. She stressed the importance of using your footer space to it’s maximum potential, something I had never even thought of! A footer redesign is now at the top of my blogging to-do list.
Gadgets and Apps to Make Your Blogging Life Easier. Trina from Gaming Angels (and also works for Disney on their blogs, and you can bet I gave her my unfiltered opinion on the Disney Weddings blog [which she has nothing to do with]) gave us a ton of apps and websites to help make blogging and social media easier. She recommended TweetCaster as a Twitter app, which I ave already downloaded on my iPad and is vastly better than Echofon.
Business of Blogging. This breakout session was led by BBC co-founder Tiffany Romero, Gigi from Kludgy Mom, and Laurie of Tip Junkie. We learned a ton about how to make money via blogging (but I can’t give away ALL the secrets we learned)!
Legal Basics of Blogging. Danielle of Kitten a Go-Go, an actual, real life lawyer, gave us super useful tips on how not to get sued. Her number one tip is not to take images from other people’s blogs without permission – it’s stealing! This is a widely done practice among bloggers, especially when doing a “round up” post or making an inspiration board, and usually bloggers are okay with it as long as you give credit and link back. BUT this is still considered a copyright violation, so always ask permission!
Authenticity is Magnetic: Developing a Unique Voice and Making a Space for Yourself. Our keynote was led by Elizabeth Liu at Fourish in Progress, who is my new blogging crush. No, seriously. I want her to be my BFF. Not only is she adorable, but she cusses and has no mind/mouth filter, which is totally awesome. She really stressed how important it is to be yourself on your blog, and has inspired me to try to write more about myself and stuff from my life, in my own unique voice. Because I think the world needs it. (Do yourselves a favor and follow Elizabeth on Twitter and Facebook, and you can thank me later.)
The conference ended with a reception hosted by Mirassou wines. We got to mingle, drink some tasty wines, and take some fun pictures at their photo booth, which I will totally share when I get them!
This was my first blogging conference and the bar was set very high. It was super organized, everyone was so friendly, and the speakers really knew their stuff. I took something away from every presentation. My ONLY complaint about Bloggy Bootcamp is that it was way too short! Thanks to the SITS Girls for an amazing weekend!