In September, I had the pleasure of attending not one, but two blogging conferences in my hometown of Sacramento, California.
WordCamp Sacramento 2017 focused on WordPress developers and website design, but had an entire bloggers track. This alone brought in over 200 more attendees than previous WordCamps.
The International Food Bloggers Conference, aka IFBC, spent three consecutive years here in “The Farm to Fork” Capital of Sacramento, and travels to New Orleans in 2018.
Last January, I shared some preliminary thoughts on attending blogging events in Need More Inspiration? Attend a Blogging Event.
Before I share my four takeaways, here are some general thoughts on choosing a blogging conference.
Having a blogging (or writing) conference come to your town is a huge gift.
Through a Sacramento Bloggers event in 2016, I discovered the IFBC conference would be offered the following year. Although I wasn’t a food blogger, past attendees assured us there was enough general information that it would be wise to attend. Although the IFBC was pricey, at over $300 for registration, the IFBC offered a deeply discounted rate to “Citizen Bloggers,” who agreed to share three blog posts before, during and after the conference.
At a price under $100, I registered well in advance, not knowing what the sessions or agenda would be.
In April, again through my association with Sacramento Bloggers, we found out that Sacramento was hosting its third annual WordCamp, this time with an entire track devoted to beginner bloggers, and how to use WordPress tools.
In case you don’t know, there is a difference between WordPress dot com (through Automattic, Inc), the free blog platform many bloggers use, and the WordPress dot org platform used on self-hosted websites. I have two sites: this one, Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, (you are reading here now) and my self-hosted website for my business Windigen Consulting.
Registration for WordCamp Sacramento was an unbelievable $40 for the entire weekend. This is attributed to the amazing and generous sponsors! When I applied for and was selected to present on the bloggers’ panel “Blogging Success and Monetization,” my registration fee was FREE! Plus, all attendees received conference t-shirts, swag and a useful printed program.
There was enough general information shared at sessions that I could apply to both this blog and my consulting website. Attending two local conferences almost back-to-back was a little tiring, but my drive to downtown was only a few minutes and parking rates for weekends were dirt cheap!
Without further adieu, here are my Four Reasons to Attend a Bloggers’ Conference:
The main reason I attend conferences is to meet other bloggers in person, the actual folks with whom I have developed an online blogging relationship. Oftentimes, the world of a blogger can be a lonely place. It is a special treat to engage with other bloggers in person, who “get” you! And so nice to not have to type your reply for a change!
Attending a conference provides an opportunity for professional development and learn the blogging best practices from the experts. Both conference organizers sent e-mails on a regular basis with up-to-date information as the conference dates approached.
This is often neglected, especially if you attend a conference out of town. Traveling home, you may be tired or needing to catch up at work, and you may be tempted to put your bag of notes and goodies away for a few days. Those nuggets of great ideas can easily be lost or forgotten.
At the IFBC, I heard two excellent speakers. One presented on “Massive Instagram Growth” and gave us actionable how-to items to implement quickly. Another speaker talked about SEO and provided excellent examples, as well as her slide deck at the end. I saw lots of folks snapping photos of these slides for later use!
Those were my top four reasons. Here are some additional nuggets for you to consider.
Be sure to evaluate the conference and offer your feedback. If you were disappointed with something, take a moment to describe the issue in detail. At the end of the survey, there might be an opportunity to sign up to volunteer or present for future conferences, if that is something in which you are interested.
If you do have to opportunity to present, you will likely get comped for the entire conference, so that is always a good incentive.
I am glad I went. I hadn’t been to a professional conference since Bloggers at Midlife in 2016, and before that was when I presented at a work conference in 2013.
I learned several actionable items and concepts as well as met many people I could ask for assistance if needed. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a blogging conference in person. Keep checking your WordPress admin panel for updates on WordPress events in your community.
Network with local bloggers, if possible, to see if other events are being planned.
I also have an opportunity to meet with several fellow bloggers over Veteran’s Day weekend in mid-November as we converge in Southern California. I am very much looking forward to spending some quality time with these special friends..
Waking Up My Soul
Live ... From San Francisco, CA!
Taking One Frame at a Time
What I've seen ... How it makes me feel ...
Social Justice. Cuisine. The Arts. Ideas. Opinions. Facts. Truth.
Life after working
Bringing the magic of play to communities.
PHOTOGRAPHY, FAMILY HISTORY and LIFE IN GENERAL
Love life! Sharing and caring!
Gaining a heart of wisdom
Writing and Photography
Writing Down The Bones
Life hacks, fashion and beauty tips, celebrity updates, health gyan and profuse knowledge about everything and anything under the sun!
Practical solutions and established strategies to improve your blog. Suggestions that will make a difference.