Bloggy Boot Camp — What I’ve Learned

Bloggy Boot Camp, Las VegasLet 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:

  1. It was not overwhelming in number of women and speakers.
  2. 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!

Comments

  1. I can’t wait to hear more over brunch! :)

  2. Oh yay, thank you so much for quoting me. And I hope you had fun. I think you’re great and look forward to getting to know you better.

    Blogging can be pretty overwhelming especially at a conference. This was my first conference, and I felt socially awkward at a lot of my tables, but was greatful for familiar faces with bloggers I had met previously from SoCal

    PS: Wine helped. It helped a lot ;) lol

    • Wine always helps. LOL.

      It was a pleasure meeting you and I’m really glad you sent that tweet to me. It helped me get focused and feel more confident. I look forward to chatting with you more and maybe; since we’re close to each other distance wise, have a chance to meet up again in our respective cities.

      Cheers!

  3. Amen to being authentic! Although, sometimes I struggle with that in terms of the tone of my blog. I get this idea that because I started out humorous it has to stay that way, and anytime I post something more serious that I’m betraying myself. Obviously that’s not true, as long as everything I write is genuinely ME. I guess that’s just something I need to get over :)

    • I can relate…big time. I try to be humorous but I often (in my mind) appear more contemplative and reflective. I do worry about being funny but then being serious. Kind of weird in a way. But as you said, if everything written is genuinely you/me then you just have to get over it and keep moving forward. And besides, I think it helps to show more than one characteristic/voice on your blog. People want to see someone human, not a robot. It’s nice to read posts that show the writer has feelings and isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

  4. Sounds awesome! & you sound just like me… I am attending Bloggy Boot Camp in Chicago in two weeks and I’m insanely nervous. I’ve never been to one before either & just read last week that I’d better bring business cards! I was like WHAT?!?! But luckily, I was able to order some quickly. I hope I have as great of an experience as you did! PS. I found you on Saturday Sharefest! :)

    • Oh, you’ll be just fine. Trust me on this. Tiffany rocks when she’s speaking and they make it easy to network without feeling overwhelmed. Have a blast and enjoy all the information you’ll get. You’ll get a BBC Hangover but it’ll be so worth it!