02 July 2012
Blogopolis - my very first blog conference
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!!