I just got back from Bloggy Boot Camp Philadelphia and trust when I tell you that it was worth every cent and the hassle and time it took for me to get there and back (thank you Megabus!).
I stumbled on the series while I was researching events for my Save the Date: Social Media, Blogger and Fashion Events post that I published back in March. By the way, for any other style bloggers that is thinking about attending the Dallas or Las Vegas events, I will admit that the event had a large presence of mommy bloggers, however, I also met book, food, lifestyle, personal growth, movie review and male bloggers at the event. Hey, just because someone blogs in another niche it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be interested in your own. Based on what I saw, mommies are interested in fashion too. In all honesty, I made some really great connections there, but the networking aspect wasn’t high on my list of priorities when I originally signed up for the event. I signed up because I was hoping that the promised itinerary would demystify aspects of blogging that I just wasn’t getting and it did!
Why Bloggy Boot Camp Worked For Me
Instead of giving away all of the nuggets of the conference, I just want to tell you why this conference worked for me and why it will work for you too. However, if you are looking for some pointers that can implement now to grow your own blog, I am going to have to send you over to Making Lemonade, Musings of a Housewife, and A Grande Life. They’ve got the goodies!
- True Teachers - I learned from my stint as a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers that everyone’s learning style is different. Personally, I need a combination of both visual and verbal stimulation in order to learn. I loved that each speaker used a power point presentation during their segments and that they understood that by repeating key information that it would eventually be transferred from our short term to our long term memories. Most of the speakers also provided handouts or offered soft copies of their presentations which also helped to reinforce the information that was provided.
- One Voice – I loved that there weren’t speaker panels. There was one main speaker and every now and then the other SITS team members would interject with a comment or two in support of the main speaker’s points. There wasn’t any confusion as to who said what or any dilemma’s of someone trying to be the loudest voice.
- Expert Speakers – The advice came from people who were qualified to give it. For example, the Contract Law overview came from Danielle Liss [@DanielleLiss] an attorney, the SEO overview came from Dali Burgado [@daliburgado] who is a real life “SEO guru” and the Blogging Success came from uber successful blog queen, Laurie Turks of TipJunkie.
- Breakout Sessions – I both loved and hated this about the conference because we had to choose between a Writers Workshop and Business of Blogging. I really wanted to go to both.
- Networking For Introverts – In my review of the IFB Conference, I wrote how my introverted personality limited me at that event. (See Now That #IFBCon Is Over) Well, the SITS team executed a wonderful plan that literally forced us out of our shells. First of all, we all received conference badges that had our names, twitter handles and blog names which made it easy for us to identify who was who. We were also assigned to tables for the morning sessions. Not just one table though, we had to change tables between speakers and then we were assigned to tables during lunch. This gave us the opportunity to meet 40 other bloggers throughout the day. It was really effective.
Advice for those of you going to Bloggy Boot Camp:
- Stand Out – I wore pieces of my Saturday outfit and my back-up Saturday blouse on Friday night, because the dress I brought for the party wouldn’t zip up. The back-up outfit which was a chevron print blouse and my emerald green blazer with dark wash denim proved to be quite a conversation starter, and led to the opportunity to sit down and speak directly to conference speaker Laurie Turks of TipJunkie and Tiffany Romero of SitsGirls. *does cabbage patch dance* Seriously, if your blog name doesn’t help you to stand out (i.e. @RealMattDaddy AND he wore a t-shirt with his blog name on it *Genius!*), then make sure your personality (i.e. @ChickFlickDiva) does.
- Step Away From The Smartphones, Laptops and Tablets – I never understood people that could listen and type fast enough to produce an entire transcript of a blog conference on twitter. Maybe, I just can’t multi-task, but my tweets from #bbcphilly were sparse because I was too busy taking notes of the information that was being presented. Sometimes you just have to make sure that you have all of the information first before you can share it.
Advice For Those of You Thinking About Going
To reiterate, we were all motivated and fired up at the end of the conference, but Bloggy Boot Camp is not another blogger pep rally passing itself off as a conference. This was CEU credit worthy TRAINING. We all learned something and in my case, some things. We were given examples and methods that we can implement into our own blogs which can or may lead us to achieve the same level of success as the women who were giving us the advice. If you are serious about your blog, I would highly recommend that you invest in the Dallas or Vegas camps. It is totally worth it.