Let me just put it out there that before Bloggy Boot Camp I was a blog conference virgin. I wanted to go to several other conferences but unfortunately I was unable to afford not only my conference ticket, but also any travel expenses.
It sucked in many ways and I often felt bummed I missed out. After such a great weekend though, I am actually thankful my first conference happened to be with the amazing SITS Girls, hosted and organized by Tiffany and Francesca. Why? For two reasons:
- It was not overwhelming in number of women and speakers.
- It gave conference newbies like me an easy way to make friends. I’m a tad socially awkward; especially with other women, so this made networking fun and simple.
I have to admit that a couple days before the event I was feeling apprehensive. I tweeted “I’m looking forward to
#bbcvegas but also quite nervous.”
A couple hours later Jamie (we ended up meeting the night before the conference); who writes for Minnesota Girl in L.A. responded saying, “No need to be nervous… we’re all there to be supportive and have fun =) See you in Vegas!”
She was right. And in the end I learned so much from Bloggy Boot Camp. From design to legal information (thank you; Danielle, for making law a little more fun and a lot less boring) to treating my blog as a business, I took away a lot of valuable information to help me move forward.
This is what stood out to me most:
1. Be your true, authentic self.
Elizabeth J. Liu’s (Flourish in Progress) presentation resonated with and inspired me. She’s true to herself and doesn’t let the haters (please forgive me for the term) get to her. She lives her life on her terms and doesn’t let the naysayers in life kill her spirit. I often worry about what others will think of me and how I am perceived. Thanks to her speech, I feel more inspired to just be myself. If people like me, AWESOME! If not, oh fricken well.
2. Have office hours!
I lack discipline and a work ethic. Two years of unemployment and a stay at home wife status has killed my ability to establish a set routine for myself and for my blogging. I have minimal obligations that have to get done each day and I rarely have “business” of any sort to deal with. Laurie Turk (Tip Junkie) has inspired me to work on setting regular office hours and actually get stuff done. This will probably take awhile to get used to but I think a set schedule will prove beneficial.
3. Avoid negativity and don’t be a Negative Nancy.
I am guilty of being the negative asshole earlier this year. My arrogance and occasionally hostile attitude led to being ousted from a group here in Vegas. After speaking with a few local bloggers, I learned I was also at fault for what happened. This was not a BBC lesson per se, but when Tiffany mentioned how negative people can bring us down, it made me realize I was a total jerk. For any Vegas bloggers reading, I apologize.
I know I walked away with so many more valuable lessons thanks to Bloggy Boot Camp but it will take time to process all of them and reflect on those lessons. It will take time to apply them to my blogging habits and how I interact with others. I am grateful for this experience and consider it $99 well spent.
Many thanks go out to the speakers and to Tiffany and Francesca for their contributions. You have all inspired me and helped encourage me to become a better blogger. Here’s to next year’s conferences!