Today I attended my first-ever blogging conference! Woo!
The Central Florida Blogger Conference was organized by the amazing Bess, who reached out to prominent Orlando-area bloggers to speak about a variety of topics ranging from video blogging and monetizing your blog to making your blog more user friendly.
The conference took place in the gymnasium of a local school and had a great turn out! Orlando has one heck of a hoppin’ blog scene!
Two different tracks were available for attendees to choose between, depending on what topics appealed most to them.
Marc Middleton, of the nationally-syndicated show Growing Bolder, gave the keynote address and started the conference off on a great note. He was animated, passionate and motivational.
A couple of things that he said that really struck a cord with me include:
- Once you decide to do something, eliminate the decision not to
- If you’re not worth criticizing, you’re not worth paying attention to
- Don’t try to be something you’re not
I think so many bloggers feel pressure to be a certain type of blogger or blog in a certain way. Once I realized I didn’t have to blog in depth about my meals and I could blog more about my life, random thoughts and my adventures with Ryan and Sadie I felt much more authentic and real. My blog became me, rather than the person I thought I had to be.
Presentations were also given by two of my blogging buddies, Meghann and J, and I loved watching them address topics that they are so passionate about.
I wasn’t sure whether or not lunch would be provided and I figured we’d have to buy it if it was, so I packed myself a peanut butter and jelly bagel and carrot sticks to eat.
It was good, but I was grateful that the other bloggers were more than willing to share some samples from their plates! (The cheesy grits from the Big Wheel Provisions food truck were my favorite.)
Before lunch, I demolished all of the yummy goodies in the swag bags, including space ice cream from the space center! Who knew freeze dried ice cream was so delicious!?
Half of a large chocolate muffin was also consumed… as well as a few other nibbles of baked goods.
After lunch, we were divided into groups by blog niche and shared ideas, struggles, concerns and thoughts relating to our personal blogs. I seriously could talk about blogging for hours on end, so the breakout session was one of my favorite parts of the conference.
I blogged for a long time before I felt comfortable reaching out to the blogging community in Orlando and I am so glad I finally got over my fear of connecting with other bloggers. They’re always so darn friendly and welcoming.
I wish there was a blogging network in Ocala (maybe there is!?), but I really hope to come back to Orlando for some of the awesome blogging events that take place in the area.
Back to the conference! We’re just about to wrap things up with a fun Q&A session.
Blogging is crucial in any one trying to get the word out there- even if it’s their own! Though I have never been to a blogging convention, I have been to several travel and other related conventions since they just interest me and it is a good way to learn! Several business ones are hosted in this area; Palm Bay to be more specific. The Palm Bay Hotel (www.palmbay-hotel.com) has been the destination for the past few and it has been an upgrade! So affordable to stay there and really nice as well, huge venue and well worth every penny!
Something I have always heard wonderful things about, blogging conventions are a thing of the future. Full of useful tools, I feel every young, (even older!) person within the realm of social media should take on. I need to find one in my area so I can pull some strings and try to attend. Or maybe I should just get to Florida and go to one there! I’ve been so many times, what is one more trip? I’ll agree with the above comment, so ironic actually, I’m in Palm Bay actually next weekend for a short trip! I won’t be at the Palm Bay Hotel this time, but I have stayed there several times and I did love everything about it, especially the price.