I have a confession: I am obsessed with blogging conferences. I attend at least one each year and some years I attend one each season. One year I attended three blogging conferences in a single summer! From big national conferences like BlogHer and Blogalicious to Birmingham-based conferences like Y’all Connect and WordCamp Birmingham, if I can be there, I will be.
Once a friend asked me if I actually still get anything out of blogging conferences since I’ve been blogging for nearly a decade and since I have attended so many blogging workshops and events. My answer was simple: “Absolutely!”
Though I am at a point in my blogging career where I am more focused on speaking at conferences rather than just attending them, I still get plenty out of being in the audience. The workshops at blogging conferences often serve as good refresher courses for me and since the digital world is always changing, I often learn something new as well.
On October 21 I will be speaking at WordCamp Birmingham, a volunteer-run conference centered on WordPress. The conference is for bloggers, designers, developers, consultants, business owners and anyone else who uses WordPress, from the novice user to the pro. This year’s conference will be held October 21-22 at the Pelham Civic Complex.
My talk, “People Not Pageviews,” is all about how to use relationships to build your blog and your brand. I’ll be covering the four Cs of blogging — clarity, content, consistency, and community — and discussing how to effectively use email marketing, social media, networking and guest blogging to spread the word about who you are and what you do.
If you’ll be in the Birmingham area that weekend, I hope you will attend. Tickets are only $40! For that ridiculously low price you get the following:
- Admission to all sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
- Lunch on Saturday (Sunday sessions start in the afternoon).
- A Happiness Bar — WordCamp Birmingham’s version of a help desk, open throughout the event so you can get help with your site and get your questions answered.
- An opportunity to network with and meet sponsors, speakers, and other WordPress community members, including business owners, designers, developers, agency owners, bloggers, copywriters, freelancers, site owners, and more.
- Coffee and water throughout the entire event.
- An afternoon snack both days
- Awesome WordCamp Birmingham swag
Here’s how to make the most of this and any other blogging conference:
Arrive with a plan and leave with one, too.
Before attending a conference, take a look at the speaker line-up and decide which sessions you will attend. Furthermore, for each workshop, make note of what you hope to learn.
WordCamp Birmingham makes this easy, organizing sessions into three different tracks: one for bloggers, one for business owners, one for developers. The blogger track includes sessions to help you plan and create content for your blog, workshops to help you with strategies for promoting your blog, and so much more. See the complete schedule here.
Be sure to show up with a plan, but to make the most of a blogging conference be sure you leave with one, too. You don’t need to take notes like a high school student who’s going to be tested on the material later, but you should jot down tips and tools that you want to remember. You should also make a list of things to do. Make a list of action steps you will take after the conference based on what you’ve learned. Pro tip: When you get home take out your planner and schedule when you will do each of these tasks.
Network like a boss.
One of the main reasons I love attending blogging conferences so much is that I love being around other bloggers. Being around like-minded women – women who are creative, passionate, and ambitious- fills me with a joy and an energy I simply can’t describe. Being around other bloggers inspires the writer in me to keep creating content and encourages the entrepreneur in me to keep building my brand.
WordCamp Birmingham will offer plenty of opportunities for networking including a chance to chat with speakers during lunch. If you need some help with networking, check out my post How to Network Like a Boss.
If you’re in the Birmingham area I hope to see you at WordCamp Birmingham Oct 21-22 at the Pelham Civic Center. Purchase tickets here.