Ok, time for my BlogHer post. Maybe two (or three).
There were many lessons to be had at BlogHer. Some were blogging related, some were life related. I thought I’d share some of the things I learned in the one day I spent at blogger. In no particular order, here they are.
1. Blogging Friends are Real Friends
I was fortunate to meet some of my bloggy friends in real life, especially Kristin from Peace, Love, and Museli, Sue for Mommyspen, and Jen from Lita’s World. I was a little nervous to meet people I consider my friends. Maybe they wouldn’t be the same? Maybe they wouldn’t like me? Maybe it would be awkward. Nope. They were everything I expected and so lovely to meet. It was just like being with old friends, not strangers I had never met before. Real relationships can be formed online.
2. Bloggers Are Nice People
Going along with that first lesson. Wow, everyone I met was so friendly. Everyone. People were genuinely interested in each other. I did not meet any grumpy, crabby people, even though a lot of people were pretty tired from the parties. Nice people. I love that I’m part of this group of amazing, talented, generous women.
3. Don’t Crowd Up Your Side Bars
I learned about this from the session on blog design I attended. We really need to think about what we’re putting in our sidebars. It’s valuable real estate. Our blogs are about us, not other people. Make sure people can easily contact us and connect with us, that they can learn about us easily. Consider making a separate page for buttons of our friends or getting rid of them altogether. Consider using sidebars as another navigation area with links to pages or other things about ourselves. We need to be a little picky about what we put in our side bars and not just throw everything in them.
4. BlogHer Does Vegan
I was a little nervous about the food situation. I put vegan when I registered under special diet, but I wasn’t sure how that would work. Vegetarian yes, vegan, maybe not. I packed peanut butter and protein bars in case there wasn’t real food for me to eat. I was impressed. There was a separate table set up for vegans. Not just salads. Oatmeal, chips, hummus, sandwiches, even vegan cupcakes (I may have had two). Well done, BlogHer, and thanks for making my life a little easier.
5. You Need Lots of Business Cards
There are bloggers to trade cards with. There are companies to give your cards to. There are contests to enter by leaving your card. My husband didn’t think I needed cards. He thought I was silly. I brought 250 cards for one day. I left with nine. I came home with a lot of cards I still need to go through..
6. Do Not Submit Your NaNo Project to Agents in December or January
I learned this from the session on How To Pitch A Book I attended. Just don’t. It’s not ready. They don’t want to see it. In fact, never mention NaNo to an agent or publisher. As one panelist said, it’s the bane of their existence. However, you may improve your odds by submitting on a Tuesday or Thursday, once you know, there’s been some editing and stuff. Don’t pounce first thing Monday morning or at the end of the day on Friday. Think about your own job. No one likes those times of the week.
7. I’m a Swag Whore
I like swag and free stuff. Fortunately I drove, because I had three bags full and a yoga mat. I got a bunch of full size Children’s Tylenol from Pfizer. We use that a lot here. There were crayons, pens, notepads, chocolate, bottles of wine (which were gone by the time I got there), cereal, water bottles. Tons of stuff I use all the time. I helped myself. I blame it partly on going to veterinary conferences in the past. The Expo hall at veterinary conferences is full of dog food samples and probiotics for cows. I couldn’t help myself.
8. It’s Really Nice To Get Away By Myself
My family survived without me for a day and I got some much needed grown up time to be silly and not have any responsibilities. I got some time to socialize without someone interrupting me for a drink, or food, or to wipe their bottom. I soaked in a hot tub. No one woke me up in the middle of the night because they were scared, or wet their bed. I definitely needed the time away. No guilt. A good lesson to remember.
9. You Never Know Who You’re Going to Meet– Be Ready
I went to breakfast the first day and wound up getting interviewed by Digital Sisterhood. Surprise! I sat down at lunch and turned out I sat down with a bunch of brand marketing people who were, for some reason, interested in learning about my blog and if I might be able to work with any of the brands they represent. Uh. Yeah. Should have prepared better for that. Note to self: work on that media kit.
10. One Day Isn’t Enough
I just went for Saturday. I felt I missed out a little. Like everyone was a not as into meeting new people and had already found their groups a little. Also, I felt I had missed a lot of talks that everyone was talking about. It was a little like missing out on an inside joke. Also, I missed SparkleCorn. I enjoyed the parties on Saturday night. I would have liked to at least drop in on some Friday. So, that decided it for me. I’m going for the whole time next year in NYC.
What did you learn or take away from BlogHer?