BlogPodium: My 5 Key Learnings
CONNECTION. CONVERSATION. COLLABORATION. BlogPodium is conference series that brings design & lifestyle bloggers, marketers, and the design community together.
Every BlogPodium is the same for me: lots of planning leading up to a whirlwind day that is gone in the blink of an eye! But what a fun day it was! From the brands and marketplace vendors, to the brilliant speakers and sessions – BlogPodium 2015 in Vancouver went off without a hitch!
Between running around trying to capture all the “tweetable bits,” I was able to sit in on some of the sessions where inspiration swirled around the room. And it was hard not to feel inspired, a lot of great advice was given at the conference; Jillian had tons of key takeaways, Tracey had excellent photography tips, and Gemma clearly outlined the path to monetizing your blog. Here are a few of the most meaningful key learnings I took away from BlogPodium this year:
1. Be Authentic. Be Yourself. // For me, this was the theme of the day! There wasn’t a single speaker who didn’t touch on the importance of being authentic. We all know there are a lot of blogs out there, and what sets you apart from the others is YOU; that’s why it’s so important to be yourself. Before I started my blog almost 7 years ago, I read anywhere from 40-100 of my favourite blogs per week! There were sooo many aspects of these blogs I liked and when I began writing my own my identity and voice got lost. I was trying so hard to emulate what was already out there that I didn’t sound like myself. From the start I urge you to be yourself. Everyone has a unique voice they can be proud of, use your own to grow your loyal following. Trust me, there are plenty of people out there who will like the real you!
2. Invest in the Tools. // Blogging can be done cheaply… but some of the best bloggers out there invest in the proper tools in order to grow their blogs. This can mean purchasing everything from the little things like domain names, hosting, plugins, ALL the way up to the big things like a camera, lenses, laptop, editing & design software. These are the “tools of the blogging trade” so to speak. And by investing in them you are telling the universe you want to succeed. Start small and purchase the necessities first.
3. Invest in Knowledge. // A year into starting my own blog there were so many times I found myself saying “I wish I knew how to do this…. I wish I knew how to do that…” Instead of investing in knowledge I was determined to figure it out myself. And in most cases this took a long time (I can’t tell you how many hours it took me to figure out how to hack the HTML in my blog header to make the menu centered!). Nowadays the online world moves so fast that you don’t really have the time to figure things out. And why would you need to when there are large amounts of knowledge out there to help you; so invest in it! Whether it’s a consultation with a blogging coach or attending a conference like BlogPodium, investing in the knowledge to grow your blog is never a bad idea! There was lots to learn from every single speaker at BlogPodium this year, so if you were unable to attend make sure you check out their presentations!
4. Be Patient & Work Hard. // There wasn’t a single speaker at BlogPodium that had instant overnight success. They all worked HARD to get to where they are today. The girls from Poppy Barely presented such an inspirational story about how they built their business (after being told “no” too many time to count); and Jillian Harris openly admitted that she works very hard (sometimes a little too hard) on her blog and has even hired a team to help. That said, the waiting and constant work can be hard to deal with sometimes, but having patience as a blogger is key. Things don’t happen overnight, and you really have to work hard at honing your craft.
5. Blogging Creates Friendships. // While this wasn’t specifically called out by a speaker, I do feel as thought blogging creates friendships that you wouldn’t otherwise have. For example, the group of bloggers I met at my first FBC conference have become some of my closest friends. We talk everyday, host pizza parties & local tours, and are constantly supporting each other’s endeavors… and babies! Try not to take the people you meet for granted or see them as competition, they could very well turn out to be your biggest blogging support system!
BONUS Learning: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Money! // As Jillian said “you can’t pay your mortgage with cupcakes.” It’s time we show how valuable blogging is to brands; we should all be asking for some level or compensation when approached with an opportunity!
And I say this every year… a BIG thank you to Jen and the rest of the super talented BlogPodium team, for once again organizing an amazing event… all the way across the country! Everything from the beautiful decor + swag bags, to the scouting of the generous sponsors, panelists, and speakers. I cannot wait to see what next year’s BlogPodium brings!
If you could only pick one, what was your one most important take-away from BlogPodium?