Preconceived Notions

Preconceived Notions

My follow up post from the
2015 BlogPaws© Conference

 

 

 

In my 2015 pre -conference post, Make it Happen, I wrote about my expectations for my first BlogPaws©  conference.  When I returned home, I expected to write a follow up post about my conference experience.  I did not get that done until now. Personal details that had only been in the planning stages, were finalized, and the last several months have consisted of completing our family’s  multi-state move.

Even after all these months,  the impact of my first BlogPaws Conference still sticks with me.  My  notion of what I I believed the conference  was going to be  and what it really was still resonates.

To explain , I need to rewind back to pre-conference days.  Twitter was awash with excitement with pre conference attendees. The BlogPaws team made sure everyone knew what to expect at the conference, with a Newbies group on their website  and how to sign up for sessions.  It was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement.

I tweeted, planned my sessions, packed and then happily headed for Nashville.  I thought I knew what I was in for. I had an agenda for all three days.

My original plan was to meet some of the bloggers I had been following, as well as learn as much as I could about how to grow and  monetize my blog.  I wanted to meet brands  and hopefully begin to establish professional relationships.

The best laid plans……

My breakfasts  were spent with fellow bloggers at a Newbie table (designed  for first time attendees).    There were lots of laughs as people, after introductions, were recognized  by their twitter or website identities.  The exhibition hall was full of brands set up with their colorful displays and you could hear their chatter all the way into the dining area.

After two and a half packed conference days I  had quite a different view of my conference experience compared to my pre-conference ideas.  To have the opportunity to meet other bloggers builds a camaraderie and opens up doors to establishing new friendships as well as learning opportunities.   Carefully choosing representatives to interact with from various brands provided a unique opportunity to talk with them and  evaluate if that brand is  a right fit for you and the brand alike.My plan to try and  talk to every brand, with the thought  they all offer you something was  a mistake.  A more realistic approach, I learned, was to focus on  brands that really speak to you and could be key to develop that personal relationship a blogger craves with a brand.

Monetizing – such a huge topic and can be a huge distraction.  The plan I made ahead of time in this area, proved to be off the mark a bit.   If I had focused on that goal, I believe I would have missed just enjoying the conference and the company. There were great sessions provided on this topic, but what made them truly valuable was the networking with other bloggers and being able to tap into their expertise. I started blogging because of my love of my dogs and  my love for the written word. I asked myself ” if I never make a dime blogging, will I still love it?”  The answer was an honest, shout it from the rooftops “YES”.

Great visit with MK ClintonNot all of my conference plans went unrealized. I wanted to personally meet with Melissa Clinton and visit with her about a post she wrote shortly before the 2015 conference on growing your blog.  She was kind enough to take the time to sit down with me after lunch on the 2nd day, and it was one of the nicest experiences I had at the conference.

 

 

Breakfast Visit with Wes from Pet TutorI met Amanda Hessel  and Wes Anderson  from Pet Tutor Saturday morning.    Our conversations were  engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with each of them.

 

 

 

Now plans for the 2016 BlogPaws Conference are in motion.  As of this post, it looks as though I may not be able to attend the 2016 conference. I am disappointed, but I’m still unsettled after life changes in the last six months.  But that’s ok – I will be following it on all the social media channels and no doubt will still be inspired and learn something new!

If you have attended BlogPaws conferences, did you learn anything new about yourself?