8 “If Statements” to help you decide if you should attend this year’s Blog Connect Conference
If you haven’t heard yet, this upcoming April 29 is the third annual Blog Connect Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Just in case you’re new here, let’s start at the beginning -
In September 2014, Chrystina from the blog Chrystina Noel started a blogger community in Philadelphia called PHLbloggers. It started with 7 people around the table at a coffee shop who didn’t know each other, and has grown to become +350 members with over a dozen annual events - of which, The Blog Connect Conference is the largest.
The first year of The Blog Connect Conference was 2016. We held it at the Saxbys headquarters. The theme was Blog it Better. We focused on how to take what you’re already doing and do it even better. The second year was still at the Saxbys headquarters (because they’re awesome). The theme was Make It Happen. We focused on how to put plans in place to make things happen, with breakout sessions on starting a podcast, writing an e-book, and selling physical products. We also added a kick-off party the night before.
So now we’re at the third year. Also at the Saxbys headquarters. (Why change a good thing?) The theme is Find Your Roots. It’s geared at mid-level bloggers who are looking for more direction and more inspiration.
And if that’s not enough for you, (which admittedly, we haven’t told you much yet) we have a list of 8 reasons why you should attend the 2018 Blog Connect conference right here.
(That said, just in case we’ve already convinced you, we’ll leave the ticket link right here.)
If you want to dream bigger, but don’t know how.
We’re so excited to be welcoming two keynote speakers this year, Sarah Von Bargen of Yes and Yes blog and Tara Gentile from Cocommercial. Each one of these incredible women will be talking about how to dream bigger - one from a logistical perspective, and one from a strategy perspective.
Sarah will be talking about what “blogging success” looks like. She will be teaching you how to define your own personal versions of professional success and how to create regular habits that will move you closer to that success every day.
Tara will be talking about how to use unrealistic goals to create uncommon success. While it's tempting to set your sights on realistic goals for your blog, freelancing or small business, thinking bigger can make surprising things happen!
In addition, we have even more talks throughout the day that will inspire you to dream bigger with the brand you’re already building. Len Marikdan from Podia will be speaking about how to earn a living from your passion by selling directly to your audience. And Lori Rochino from LoriRochino.com will be leading a panel with Jessica Lawlor from JessicaLawlor.com, Melissa Alam from Femme and Fortune, and Sarah DeGeorge from Socially Dedicated focusing on blogging for passion, profit, and impact.
If you like dad jokes.
When the Blog Connect planning team started brainstorming ideas for this year’s emcee, the second we landed on Andy’s name, the search was over. Andy Shaw from Instafather (who moonlights as a comedian as well) will be emceeing the day. And while there probably won’t be jokes all day, his Twitter feed alone tells us that it’s not possible for him to stop.
If you’ve got content you think you’re not leveraging enough.
Once you’ve reached mid-level blogger status, you learn very quickly that just having content isn’t enough - once you have that content, you need to do something with it, and get it (and your story) in front of the right people to make it out there. There are two talks this year, from Antoinette Minor at The Young Professionalist and Michelle Conron from Cashman & Associates that focus on using what you’ve already got to reach more people. Antoinette will be talking about what to post on social media, how to think outside the box, create engaging content, and keep your social media calendar full. Michelle will be talking about how PR agencies work with bloggers and influencers, as well as how to collaborate, and more.
If you have a caffeine addiction.
Now, we’re not exactly suggesting that you drink your conference ticket cost worth of coffee - if that was true, you’d probably end up spending most of the afternoon in the restroom, which would be a bummer - but there will be plenty of coffee and tea there for all your caffeine needs thanks to the beauty of Saxbys.
If you’re looking for an in-real-life network of people with whom you can talk about internet things.
This is the reason PHLbloggers was started, for people who were looking for in-real-life connection. Building an online presence can be hard, and people who aren’t building an online presence might not understand the nuances of content creation, community building, social media algorithms, or exactly how many graphics you need to create in a million different sizes. These are your people. And they’re nice.
And if you’re like, yes, that’s what I want, but attending a blog conference alone sounds scary af, Chrystina wrote a whole blog post on ways to mitigate that situation: tips & permission to attend a blog conference alone.
If you want a day of feeling spoiled.
This year’s sponsors are incredible. Alright, alright, sponsors are always incredible. But this year, seriously, they’ve outdone themselves. The amount of times a sponsor has ended an email with, “let me know what else I can do to help” is mindblowing. We’ve got some swag goodies for you. We’ve got delicious lunch from Snap Kitchen. There’s a party full of activities from Plant Nite and A.C. Moore at TORC yoga. Julia Dent Photography is doing free headshots from 8:30 to 9:00. And there will be all sorts of pretty places to take selfies. (Don’t worry, we have lots of selfie sticks.)
We’ve even blocked out some time during the conference to talk about avoiding blogger burnout and taking time to breathe. Judy Freedman from A Baby Boomer Woman’s Life After 50 will be teaching us mindfulness techniques to help relax so our creativity can shine through. (Because sometimes being spoiled just means taking time to yourself in this fast-paced world we live in.)
While this (probably) doesn’t apply to you, our speakers are being spoiled by Founding Footsteps during our speaker happy hour. We thought it was worth mentioning in case you’re looking for more awesome companies to work with / buy from in the future. They do historical trolley rides through Philadelphia where you can bring food and drink on board.
If you find yourself out of content ideas for your blog.
After a while, it can seem like you’ve used all the content ideas that were in your brain, but with the right pep talk and inspiration, I assure you there are more. We’ve got brainstorming gurus Amber Burns from Space on Third and Sarah Moore from smoorelovin ready to help you out.
First, Amber will be speaking about how to curate endless content ideas and how to create time to execute them all, consistently. Then attendees will be splitting into two different workshopping groups: one with Amber to work on editorial content creation and one with Sarah to work on vision board creation.
Amber’s group will focus on getting those ideas out of your head and onto your calendar, ready to share with your audience. You will leave with a 30-day plan for your next month of blog posts and get motivated to execute! Sarah’s group will be experimenting with different media to create a vision board that represents a goal you want to bring to life. You’ll get a little crafty walk away with a visual reminder when you need a little motivation. You can sign up for whichever session you prefer when you buy your ticket.
If you find yourself wondering if you can broaden the topic that you currently blog about.
We’re all multifaceted people. Sometimes blogging about a super specific topic just can’t hold your attention as a content creator for that long. But there’s always that worry that you need to niche down. AK Brown & Diamond Hudson from Just Bloggers: No Explanation will be giving you a preview of the world of nicheless blogging. As the owners of one of the only purposely branded nicheless blogs on the market, they will give a glimpse as to what nicheless blogging is, highlighting content creation, social media, and networking.
There are three more people we haven’t mentioned yet that made this day possible. Y’all, these people show up. The first is Lulu. Not only did they print gorgeous notebooks for each attendee, but they’ll also be introducing you to new ways that you can use the content you already have. Second and third are Creative Business Accounting & Tax Service and Verna Law. While the logistics of blogging are not (necessarily) the glamorous part, they’re absolutely necessary, and the further you get into this journey, the more you’ll need to figure out how to deal with taxes, copyrights, and more. Make sure to stop by and say hello to Tamara Ali Bey from Creative Business Accounting & Tax Service and Anthony Verna from Verna Law who will be around throughout conference weekend. They’re happy to answer any questions!
And if you don’t believe us, you can read testimonials from last year’s attendees here.
If you are a blogger and identify with any of the criteria above, we would love to see you at this year’s conference. Attendees are all genders, all races, and all ages. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in attending, please click the button below.