02 July 2012

Blogopolis - my very first blog conference

Greetings all,
Thank you for the enthusiastic response to my 600th post giveaway.  I found a draft post which is now obsolete & deleted, so this is technically my 599th post, again.  I'm thrilled as i have a fantastic post for the actual 600th - what blogging is truly about - heart & soul!!
  Now that is sorted, i can chat about the Nuffnang Blogopolis blog conference.  I will do my best to present a genuine opinion, without sounding too much like a hyped up groupie, as it was truly fantastic!!  Here's a basic run down of the day & a little who's who of Australian blogging.  
 Personally i thought the value for money from the ($99 early bird) $117 event ticket was excellent, with a great goodie bag, Twinnings sponsored high tea on Royal Albert china & the mixed buffet lunch was delicious.
 The venue was the Sofitel Hotel Sydney, i mingled bravely & found sweet bloggers i follow & met new ones i'll have to check out (over 200 blogging attendees!!)  
 Throughout the day, a huge screen ran the live conference Twitter feed, extremely distracting & entertaining (like reading all the notes being passed around a classroom.)  One tweet said "let the cake photography session commence", indeed, look at the cakes!!   
 I sat with Corrie from RetroMummy (my best friend in the blogopshere) & gazed at Nikki from Styling You's perfect hair all day.  I introduced myself, after hugs & kisses, she shared her hair styling secret - L'Oreal Professional steam pad (new at hair salons.)  Nikki even let me touch her hair . . . it was soft & lovely.  EDIT: she offered!!  
I didn't enjoy the first talk of the day: Idea Sourcing & Content Creation, by an image consultant, i wished it was stylish Nikki up there instead!!  The presenter wore black top to toe, against a black curtain, you could only see her face & hands.  Tip for presenters . . . bring an alternative colour top/ jacket/ scarf to stand out on stage against light/ dark backdrop, or ask in advance if it's light or dark!!   
 Then the room was split in half with a partition for different sessions, first up: SEO (search engine optimisation) is a dry topic, yet Jeff Tan was personable & engaging, with real blog examples on how to grab reader attention, move up search engine rankings, use analytics & social media referrers.       
Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids discussed Branding - your blog has a brand - which is everything from your personality, writing style, subject matter = reader perception, that's right, it's not about a logo!!  Nicole encouraged us to use surveys to find out what people think & being consistent across all your social media.  
 Gorgeous Rachel Devine from Sesame Ellis gave a talk on Photography.  Polished to the end, her tips & tricks, pamphlet & explanations will have everyone posting quality photos forever more.  I took my point & shoot camera to the event as handsome soldier took our big fancy Nikon DSLR to Taronga Zoo with the children, thus my less-than-amazing images.
 Rachel has written a book Beyond Snapshots, which i purchased at the event (under $40) filled with real life examples, not just a manual.  What i love is that she wrote it with Peta Mazey from Style Me Pretty, so one uses Nikon, the other prefers Canon, one uses Mac, the other prefers a PC.  They truly cover all the bases.  RetroMummy has a copy of the book to giveaway on her blog NOW - we are all mums with twins too!!  
 In the afternoon there were discussion panels: Finding Your Own Voice & Staying Relevant with Phoebe from Lady Melbourne (fashion), Zoe from Good Googs (parenting), Eden from Edenland (life) & Penny from Jeroxie (food).  An unusual mix, their genres clashed with opinions on topics like 'have you ever regretted hitting publish on a post' & Phoebe was having none of Eden's deep personal publications about recovering from drug addiction.  Many started blogging anonymously too.  Personally i could have just listened to Eden on her own, chatting about blogging from the heart, fearless of the consequences. 
Utilising Different Platforms to Optimise Your Blog & Traffic included presentations on Pinterest with Christina from Hair Romance (stunning & informative); Podcasting with Caz from yTravel (she said "yes, your voice really does sound like that" - i actually like my voice, maybe one day i will do a podcast??) & YouTube with Janice from Chaigyaru (quirky, adorable, no wonder she has millions of hits!!)    
 The final panel: The Australian Blogosphere included Trevor Young (PR), Kate from WoogsWorld (life), Sarah from A Beach Cottage (decorating) & David Krupp (Nuffnang/ event host) which made for another interesting mix of personalities.  Comments like "i've never met such an amazing bunch of women" from Kate; "blogging is a personal learning curve" from Sarah; "the future of advertising on blogs is exciting" from Trevor; & "blogging has never been more healthy" from David, capped the wonderful atmosphere of the day.  They all discussed blogger influence & how you should never advertise for free on your blog, the conflicts of making money from your blog - actually the discussion went a bit off topic, i left with my head spinning.  I'm glad i had a train trip back to my family to clear my mind.     
 Look at my beautiful home town of Sydney, just glorious at sunset!!
What i learned??  You can manipulate statistics & trick readers to your blog with popular key words & catchy titles, however, i believe if it doesn't come naturally (writing, topics, genuine opinion) you will struggle to post frequently.  
What i loved??  Bloggers get each other, non bloggers don't know what they are missing out on!!
What i loathed??  OMG, do NOT give me your card or details unless i ask please.  If you do shove a card in my hand, how about you ask who i am too??  I don't do impolite, pushy or social media climbers!! 
Would i attend again??  Absolutely.  I would love to see how my photography improves (using the proper DSLR & flicking it off auto) & organise to meet more bloggers in the crowd.
What will i change??  Even as a mathematician, i'm not going to analyse my statistics & let them rule what i blog about, i will still post across many genres & blog from the heart, rather than just one particular popular expertise (parenting, sewing, loving my husband!!) 
Will i use every social media platform possible??  No, it's not my obsession, no one else is running the house, going to the gym, walking the dog or driving the school run for me while i blog!!  I will stick to a few tweets, pins & FB updates each month.  I don't even have a smart phone, so it's my desk top or nothing!! 
Will i blast you with advertising??  I think the fact i didn't even attend the 'Opportunities Gained Through Blogging' talk says is all (it was packed) it has never been my focus or the reason why i blog!!  Again, things should evolve naturally & slowly, keeps your ego in check!!
I hope this was informative & encourages you to attend a blog conference if one comes to a city near you.  I wasn't nervous or worrying about what to wear, i am me.  You will leave knowing how to make your posts concise & easy to read with great images.  Now i have one question for you - what do you think my 'brand' is??  Love Posie
PS just follow & comment at here to win an awesome 600th post giveaway!!

42 comments:

Jode said...

Wow...my head is spinning just from all your fab info...can't imagine how it must have been to actually attend! Thanks for sharing all your insights and info...loved reading it all x

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

Sounds amazing but overwhelming too - I don't think I could go to one of those. I feel like still a bit of a beginner blogger, even though it;s been over two years. But it sounds interesting, and I'm glad you had a great time xx

Leah said...

Great rundown! I think your brand is about living a kind, pretty, real, loving life.

Corrie said...

great post! it was such a great conference, shame I missed the last 2 sessions!

you were a great conference buddy by the way:) :) oh yes the business card thing, I know I read on twitter you only hand it out if you receive one or are asked. the end.

Corrie:)

Posie Patchwork said...

These conferences are not just pitched to established bloggers, they are very open to people who haven't even started blogging yet - at least you'll start off pretty organised & slick. It was such a great day, full catered & interesting, at a good pace - you are NEVER bored. I wish i went to one sooner, love Posie

SameliasMum said...

It was great to meet you. So pleased to meet another crafty/family/mummy/personal/everything blogger.

I thought the conference was fab but would have loved a bit more socializing time throughout the day. So many great people to meet and chat with, but such limited time.

Anorina x
www.sameliasmum.com

Nancy said...

Jenn,
Your brand is you - about having a healthy family life. Balanced and articulate you help us all connect. It is why I read your blog faithfully (only 4 or so that I read) and why I comment. You are so incredibly relevant.

Sarah said...

I really wanted to go, but maybe next year when I am not pregnant and uncomfortable.
Thank you for your honest opinions.

Sarah B said...

Hmmm, this is a very interesting post. Thos blogging caper is turning onto big business, isn't it? I'm happy to be left behind, posting about what I like and making lovely blog friends. I suppose I get why others become so obsessed by what they can get out of it, money etc, but isn't it supposed to be fun?
Really interesting :)
xx

Magi said...

Great inspiration Posie. I think I might get the guts up to attend one. I feel a bit like Brenda - a bit underexperienced. I feel I should wear a fan t-shirt for each of the blogs I love if I were to attend (I would be more of a groupie). But it just sounds so beautifully planned and presented. Looking forward to your 600!

Cas said...

great post posie :) love the 'touchinig the hair' comment. that is sooooo something i would do but never be brave to ask !! thanks for the info, it was really interesting :)

Amanda said...

I'm with brenda I don't think I could go to one of those but thanks for the insight, you would have learnt lots

Amanda said...

I'm with brenda I don't think I could go to one of those but thanks for the insight, you would have learnt lots

The Moerks said...

Wow, that sounds like a great experience. Now I want to go to one of those. My non blogging friends would have no idea what it was all about and why I would love to attend. I shall make it happen that i get to one one day.
I think your brand is clever crafty mum bringing up 4 sporty clever kids supported by loving husband serving his country.
Happy day to you.

Jan-Maree said...

You and Corrie inspire me - I am sure there are things I can do to improve Aussie Heroes and anything to improve that is worth it - afterall it is not for me but for those that really make a difference! Bring on next year

Christina Lowry said...

How fabulous and informative! I wonder if such things exist in Brisbane? I'm yet to hear of anything like this up here?

Glad you enjoyed yourself. I think your brand is a wife, mother and individual who is honest, humorous, generous, colorful and thoughtful. Many woman relate to your thoughts on child raising, relationships, craft etc. and can imagine sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of tea with you and discussing all the above as they would with their other friends. :)

Australian Designer said...

Nice post...

Miriam said...

wow it sounds like a fascinating day. Love your honest and excited! break down of the day

Salley said...

Brand? . . . . . From the Heart.

Lois said...

Your brand....Living a good life regardless of it's circumstances.

I love your honesty & how you confront life. Don't change a thing about how you blog!! :)

Polly said...

It seems like it was a really fantastic day out. Im so glad you enjoyed it.

Nikki @ Styling You said...

Love that hair shot! That's gold. L'Oreal should have sponsored me the amount of attention my hair got. Was so, so lovely to meet you!

Pip said...

The conference sounds good, it's always great to learn something new and sounds as if there was something for everyone there. I think your brand is Real - life, family, everything.

Mikaela said...

Dang, I ALWAYS hear about these things the week after they are on!! I would have loved to go. I know a lot of people want to make money from their blogs, but for me it's just a hobby. But I still love conferences and would have really enjoyed this I think! Maybe next year =)

Claireyhewitt said...

Loved it last year, and from the outside it looked great again. I really wish I got to hear the photography one - but hey, I don't actually have a camera, only my phone...hope that is ok with all my readers!

Lisa - Sweet Little Pretties said...

Great Post! Was great to meet you, sorry we didn't get to chat.
There were some great classes and I learnt alot I didn't know. I only walked away with a couple of cards with the people I actually had conversations with so totally agree

Karla {Ironmum Karla} said...

I love how you are just you, brilliant post. Don't know if I would travel too fat to attend a blog conference but if one comes my way I guess I could learn a thing or two... Or perhaps less is better?;)x

Susan Leach said...

Great summary of your day. I think you are a mother who loves what she does and blogs about that experience. Good luck with the photography, I am just a point and click girl, so look forward to reading your tips to improve.

PlanningQueen said...

Sydney is so beautiful and the weather was amazing. Thanks so much for including me in your fab wrap up of the event.

PlanningQueen said...

Sydney is so beautiful and the weather was amazing. Thanks so much for including me in your fab wrap up of the event.

Judy said...

Hey Posie sounds like a great day with loads of good tips. Enjoy xx

Miss Mandy said...

I can't believe I only worked out you were there now. Bugger, would have been lovely to meet you. Oh well next time! I attended all the same sessions as you too. The photography one was great wasn't it. What am I saying, I loved the whole thing.

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

It was my first blogging conference too and I learnt heaps. I didn't get to meet as many people as I wanted though. So many of us were there! Despite all I learnt, I'm pretty much sticking to doing things the way that suits me too. I'm going to pick and choose what to implement. As to your brand, I'm not sure quite how to describe it buyouts have to include your happy and friendly personality and generally positive approach to life. Does that help?

Michele said...

love this summary of the conference. Plan to attend one day so this was a great read. Love your comment about not having cards shoved at you. So dont get/do the pushy.

Have some qs for you at some point too about tips for a husband whos away a bit. Different circumstances but would love to pick your brains/learn from your experience. Just need to get my head around the qs and some time to get them on paper (or rather in a comment/email) thanks x

PS and prob some on ducks and chickens too LOL

The Accidental Housewife said...

Great wrap up - I should have gone! Hopefully next year it's in Sydney again, we have a move there in the wind...

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Interesting analysis but I love how you have chosen to blog from the heart, remaining true to yourself and the big picture of life.

Jules said...

Hi J, you do have a lovely voice - youtube tutes by you would be great - yes please!! Jules x

Tania McCartney said...

LOVED reading about all this! Especially loved what you said:

...i'm not going to analyse my statistics & let them rule what i blog about, i will still post across many genres & blog from the heart, rather than just one particular popular expertise...

That's ALWAYS been how I've felt.

Also loved how you said you're not in it for the money and to keep ego in check. Brilliant!!

So glad you had a great time and it was worthwhile.

xx

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