The premise of the presentation that Jackie, Christine, and I did yesterday was how to fit blogging into your life. We had three main “takeaways” or really goals on how to do this – and that’s exactly how I’m going to break down my conference experience. The three main takeaways (that I really do hope people got out of our talk!) included:
- Getting social
- Making the tools work for you
- Keeping blogging into perspective
So in this post – you get to see how I got social at CFLBlogCon. And by social, I mean had a blast with some GREAT friends. Paula, Christine, and I arrived just in time for the Keynote to start (after I drove around in the car shouting expletives for about 10 minutes because of the American Heart Association Walk that started late – messing up the traffic pattern – doh!).
Within minutes of checking in (and calming down), I met Callie and her mom (I love it when bloggers are not shy and will come up an introduce themselves!) and then found Jackie and Kerry on the way to the “Thunderdome” where we settled in for a Flash Mob and an inspirational presentation from Lou Mongello.
(thank you Jackie for this pic!)
There was A LOT of energy in this room (yes, Lou presented to us in the IMAX theater) and it was infectious. I knew it was going to be a memorable day.
After Lou – the mad dash to presentations began. We decided to stick with the room we were presenting in for the 1st session (and it’s a good thing we did, because we only had about 5 minutes to prep!).
I spent a lot of time in this room.
Thankfully, this was a presentation I really wanted to attend from Callie on Media Kits. The room was PACKED!
One of those bloggers in that room was one of my most favoritest people I’ve met through blogging — Theresa!
Theresa and I go way back to Las Vegas last December, when we met for breakfast. We have since met for dinner (twice), met up at a race, and now we got to spend the whole day together. Yay!
Seeing Theresa actually kept my mind off presenting for about 10 minutes. But then it was time to present. Ack!
I’ll talk more about this in my next post – but I started out SO incredibly nervous and after the first few slides (even though Jackie and Christine were rockin’ it!), and then I realized how warm and friendly everyone in the room was and it really put me at ease. So a HUGE thank you to everyone there!
There was a session after ours (and before lunch), but a bunch of us decided that we were already starting to overload and we really needed a break, so we headed to the “recharge room” for a little bit and then headed down to a kick ass lunch hosted by Bahama Breeze.
I have to say – this was the best conference food I’ve ever had!
Once the afternoon sessions started up again, I realized that there were two people that I hadn’t seen ALL FREAKING DAY: Julie and Carissa. There were some tweets back and forth – until Paula finally established that they existed.
— Julie (@PBFingers) September 15, 2012
— Michelle (@crzyrunninglegs) September 15, 2012
I sadly, did not get to see them until later in the afternoon, but it was worth the wait!
We ended the day with even more socializing — a great breakout session. This year I joined the fitness bloggers where I got to meet so many wonderful ladies (oddly, there were no men). Instead of talking about fitness and incorporating it into blogging (like we were probably supposed) -we mostly talked about what we had gotten out of the conference. Let me tell you, experienced blogger or not – EVERYONE got something out of the day. Some of the best tips (from me and others)?
- Don’t treat your commenters like fans, treat them like friends.
- Create a media kit – put the monthly average of your analytics and include any brands you’ve worked with
- When posting your blog posts on Facebook, post a picture and add the link in the description. Facebook filters your posts – video first, then images, then text.
- Form a relationship with the brands you want to work with. Tweet with them, FB with them, and then make a pitch for something YOU WANT. If they say no, don’t give up on the relationship – keep it going. You never know what could happen!
- Use the Mythbusters approach to problem solving when writing your blog posts (and also, zombies don’t hurt). Make sure your content is worthwhile of retelling. Ask yourself if you would retell your post – if not, why are you posting it?
After the breakout session we headed to the last event of the evening – hosted by Yelp – The after party, where we got to hang out with really awesome dinosaurs.
The after party was, like the entire conference, perfectly executed with plenty of free alcohol (I got ID’d – thank you Joshua!) and food. A large group of us ate, drank, and laughed, while some people won prizes.
Sadly, this is the only picture I have of Katy from the WHOLE DAY! She looked hot – 37 weeks pregnant and all
We also, posed for pictures (of course)
And then Jackie stole a bunch of delicious strawberry cookies from Parkdale Farm Market.
(OK, not really – people begged her to take them)
And with that – the night ended and my headed exploded. INFORMATION OVERLOAD!
Up next: The sessions! The tools! Our presentation! Stay tuned.