A few minutes after publishing my post yesterday I felt sick to my stomach. I feel like I may have come across far more critical than I actually felt. Jamie and Alyse – I recognize the hard work you put into BlogFest and your execution was excellent! I think if I were to condense my post from yesterday it would be that 1 – we’re not all presenters and 2 – sharing YOUR story and what works and doesn’t work for you is valuable. Also, you can’t please everyone. That’s just a fact of life, so my feelings, are jus that – mine and likely don’t echo the thoughts of everyone else.
I work really hard to be positive in this space, but I also felt like I needed to be honest about my feelings on BlogFest. When making the decision to attend a conference I appreciate all the information in order to make the best decision for me (and my bank account). That said, let’s move along to what I learned (and loved!).
Have you ever left an event with some great ideas swirling in your head and then not exactly known how to implement them?
That’s how I felt after arriving home from BlogFest. I wanted to recap my thoughts as a whole before talking about my takeaways. This month has been a struggle for me with travel and the loss of my Opa (which, to be honest, I’m still very much processing and grieving) and that means I haven’t been very focused on blogging (which is okay!).
1. Bloggers are awesome
Every single person I met at BlogFest was so friendly and welcoming. I was so excited to meet Ashley and Heather and almost shied away when I met them because they’re big bloggers, but dang, they’re so nice! Anytime they saw me, or anyone else wandering between sessions, they took time to wave and say “hi”.
My roomies were also wonderful. I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling (and let me tell you, the decision to attend was not an easy one), and they offered up hugs and laughs all over the place.
2. I can do more than I think
So often over this year I’ve been slacking on running and workouts because I’m sore or tired or have a case of the don’t wannas and yet I managed to knock out some challenging workouts over the four days. No more excuses for me.
3. I suck at remembering to take pictures
So I met Ashley and Heather, but did I get a picture with them? Nooooooo.
I have a background in photography, and even brought my big camera (it’s really not that big, but bigger than my iPhone) and only used it once.
Note to self: take more pictures!
4. Know your audience
Once thing I’ve read over and over again is to know your audience. I think this was finally driven home. In the sessions where maybe I felt they were a bit lacking (or even the SEO one that had me lost for 5 minutes!) knowing your audience is key!
Foreshadowing: there may be a blog survey coming up soon!
5. I love learning
On Saturday, I attended a session on myofascial release put on by Trigger Point. Holy moly, I just ate up all the information and freaking loved every second of it.
In my BlogFest survey I said if I could have a do-over I’d be a doctor or a lawyer. WRONG. I’d 100% be an exercise physiologist – I just love learning about the body and how it works (and WHY it works).
6. Be true to you
There are a bazillion (approximate figure) other bloggers out there. Trying to be like Sally (fictional character) because Sally has a cool and popular blog isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to be true to you.
30% of people will love you; 30% of people will hate you, 30% of people won’t care and 10% of people can’t decide.
(I remember writing this in my notes but now I can’t find it – if you said it, tell me so I can give you proper credit!)
So, be you.
7. I know more than I think
Reflecting on some of the sessions, there’s a possibility I need to give myself more credit. Maybe I really do know more than I think and I just need to woman up and put myself out there more.
8. You don’t have to do it all
I think a lot of times we’re overwhelmed with all the social networks out there, especially since a new one seems to pop up daily. Katy Widrick had great advice on using social networks and to only use it if 1 – it’s working for you and 2 – you truly love it. If none of those apply? Ditch that sucker like a bad first date.
9. Brands owe us nothing
A big thank you to Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddy for this nugget.
It’s true, they really owe us nothing and in the scheme of things, they probably don’t much care about bloggers. We really are small fish in comparison to everything else they need to cover in advertising.
With that, I’m definitely going to be assessing my current brand relationships and putting on my big girl pants and reaching out to them for feedback.
10. Merlin is an awesome welcoming committee
Okay, so not exactly BlogFest related, but he was stoked to see me when I got home. Complete with meowing and purring while he was eating his dinner on Sunday. I’m pretty happy I’ll be spending the next month in Calgary!
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What did you learn from BlogFest?
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