The Importance of Networking

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As I (Mindy) write this post, I am preparing to go to Alt Summit, a blog and design conference in Salt Lake City.  This will be my third blogging conference in less than six months, so I guess you could say I’m hooked!

 

I had been blogging seriously for about a year when I won a ticket to the Las Vegas stop of Bloggy Bootcamp in October 2012.  Before then, I had wanted to go to a conference but seeing as how blogging was “just a hobby” I felt like I shouldn’t really spend the money.

 

Bloggy Bootcamp was a one day conference but it was a major game changer for me.  It was inspiring to be in the same room as other people who aspired to get the most out of blogging.  Not everyone had the same goals – some blogged for fun and some blogged for profit – but everyone was supportive and encouraging of one another.  I left the conference with a notebook full of tips and a new outlook on blogging.

 

If you are interested in turning your blogging into your full-time job, you should consider attending a blog conference, or finding a network of people you can turn to for moral support.  When one works in an office environment, they are surrounded by (hopefully) supportive and friendly colleagues.  But when one works at home, as many bloggers do, it’s easy to feel lonely, sluggish, and uninspired!  Attending a blogging conference can help re-energize you and remind you why you started blogging in the first place – to connect with people!

 

Here are some of the major benefits of attending a blog conference:

 

Education – The crux of any blogging event is most likely the panels you will attend.  Usually these are led by someone experienced in the topic, who can provide valuable advice.

Networking – Meeting other bloggers is just as important (or some would think more important) than the panels themselves!  Spending time around like-minded individuals can be so inspiring and helpful.

Brands – Conferences are often sponsored by brands who want to connect with attendees.  There may be some cool swag involved and you may just discover your new favorite product, or perhaps you will find a company that is a good fit for your niche and you can explore partnership opportunities.

Take a break from the norm – One major benefit from attending any conference is having a chance to break up your routine and recharge your batteries.  Especially if the conference is in a city you have never been to before.  Sometimes it’s difficult to justify a vacation or staying away from home/work too long, but if you can, take an extra day or two to explore the conference city and soak up a different environment.

 

If you really can’t attend a blogging conference, the next best thing is to seek out a group of bloggers in your geographical area that you can meet up with.  This is one of the reasons I started Blogging It Forward is to help bloggers find other bloggers in their cities and arrange meet-ups.  Or you can try searching on Facebook or Twitter for other bloggers in your city.  However you go about it, I highly recommend finding and meeting up with other bloggers in person!  It may just change the way you view your “hobby.”
photo credit: ashraful kadir via photopin cc