I knew I couldn’t pass this one up: It was localish and the price was totally reasonable at just about $60! Sweetening the deal was the fact that I’d get to see – and meet – many bloggers that I’ve been interacting with on the interwebs for a loooong time.
I went in to Saturday with absolutely no expectations – I just wanted to get through the day without making a fool of myself (I tend to get super nervous and geeky when I’m around a bunch of new people) – and I must say, the day was a complete success.
The whole day will filled with informative sessions and presentations covering everything from how to make a Media Kit to how to compose compelling (and fun!) blog posts to how to fit blogging into your already-busy daily life.
I was so busy typing up notes during the presentations that I got exactly one picture:
One common theme between all of the presentations at CFLBlogCon is that they each wrapped up with “Three Key Takeaways”. So keeping with that theme, here are my Three Key Takeaways from CFLBlogCon:
1. I’ve got a lot of work to do!
Several presentations stressed the importance of Media Kits and blog Facebook pages. I should be able to put together a media kit with no problems, thanks to all of the tips I got during Callie’s wonderful presentation. My media kit is definitely on my “must do ASAP” list!
It’s the FB page that’s scaring me right now – I have absolutely NO idea where to begin! Well, I *know* where to begin technically speaking. I’m just still a little lost about what to put on the page, how to generate fans & how to keep a fan page and my personal page going (and interesting) without posting the same thing on both!
Another thing I need to start working on? Blogging regularly. I’ve definitely fallen off the wagon. But I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get back into a regular blogging routine now that I’m back on my feet & exercising again!
2. Building a relationship is key when working with brands.
Blogging is not a source of income for me, but I’d be lying if I said I had no interest in doing product reviews and giveaways. I’ve just never known how to find that “in” with a brand! Turns out there’s really not a “secret” to finding that connection – it all comes down to whether or not you have a relationship with the person behind the brand!
Julie Deily gave a really great presentation on this topic and she offered a few great pointers about how to start building a relationship with a brand:
– Don’t do the “shotgun approach”. Make a connection with the brand before you make a pitch or ask for review items.
– Partner with other bloggers. If you are contacted by a brand but a pitch doesn’t work for you, send the brand to a blogger you may know that would be a better fit for the opportunity!
–If YOU are the one pitching to a brand, make sure you have a good pitch letter. Speak to why you love the brand, why you want to work with them, and how you can help them broaden their reach through your readers.
3. Don’t treat your readers like “readers”. Treat them like FRIENDS!
This one is easy – I already feel like every single one of you is a friend!
This point was driven home at CFLBlogCon since I got to see (and meet!) some really great women:
That’s me & Michelle (and I totally lifted that picture and the one below from her recap). We met for the first time in Las Vegas last year & I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with her a few times since then – once for dinner with her super cute family & then for the Sarasota Half Marathon where we had dinner and met up after the race.
It was on that fateful night in Sarasota that she introduced me to Paula!
These two ladies are seriously fun to be around & to top it off, they’re some of the nicest and women I’ve ever met. It makes me sad that we live 2 hours away so we don’t get to hang out very often.
Jackie is also an Orlando area blogger & Caroline lives a bit closer to my neck of the woods in the St. Pete area. Caroline is one of the organizers of the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers group & I was able to meet several other members this weekend too!
(Credit for the two pictures above goes to Caroline – thanks lady!)
So many great people…and all so far away! I swear, it’s like I live in blogging no-man’s-land being here in Bradenton. 45 minutes from Tampa, 45 minutes from Venice, 2 hours from Orlando.
All of these ladies make it super easy to treat my readers and bloggers that I follow like they’re my friends – because I really do feel like they are friends. The kind that you can not see for years & pick up right where you left off.
And with that, I think I’ll wrap up this wrap-up! Thanks CFLBlogCon for a great day!
WHAT ABOUT YOU: Have you ever been to a blogging conference? What is one of your “Key Takeaways” from the experience?