What a difference a year makes.
Last March, after blogging for a while and just realizing that there were things called “blog conferences” you can actually attend, I drove myself down to San Diego to participate in Bloggy Boot Camp. It was the first blogging anything I went to. I had read up on it and it seemed like this one day seminar would be perfect for me. I was blogging but not really getting anywhere and I had no idea what to do in order to “get there”. Wherever “there” was.
I don’t normally do things like this. I don’t normally go to places where I don’t know anyone. It scares the hell out of me. But go I did because I knew enough to realize you never get anywhere in life if you don’t take a chance.
Needless to say, I am so glad I went. I had the chance to meet some bloggers I had been chatting with online for months and I learned immense amounts of information about blogging and promoting myself and working with brands. BBC was a great experience, so much so that it led me to feel confident enough to attend EVO’11 last July and BlogHer’11 last August.
So it’s been a year of blogging, attending conferences, and working with brands.
The 2012 blogging conference season is now upon us. Blissdom was recently held in Nashville and other conferences will be popping up throughout the rest of the year. I am going again to BlogHer and Bloggy Boot Camp, but this time my perspective is completely different.
Last year I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know anybody in real life, but I found that the women I met were so much more than I had imagined. I feel that not only did I come away with a knowledge about my new business that I had never thought possible, but I met women who would become friends for life. As I look forward to the conferences I’ll be attending, my fear is completely gone. I’m not one of those newbies who stands in the corner and pretends to look busy on their iPhone. I’ll be the one running to greet old friends, making new friends, and hoping that I can help ease the tension for other newbies this time around.
Today, I will be continuing another chapter in my blogging life. SoCal Lady Bloggers is the website I founded with Megan and Sidney to bring together the amazing women bloggers of Southern California. We are having our third luncheon today. We are doing exactly what we set out to do: meeting each other, learning from each other and having a blast doing it. It’s an amazing feeling accomplishing a goal and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me.
I have gotten a lot of questions lately about blogging conferences and which ones are the best. There is no best one, they are all very different in terms of locations and what they offer. All I can really suggest is that you do your research, figure out which one(s) you can afford to attend (yes, they DO cost money) and give one or two a try. For more information, check out Blog Conference Newbie to see all the 2012 conferences.