This post is inspired by my sister-in-law. She’s been writing on her blog quite regularly lately and decided to get brave and show her beautiful face at Blogher ’12 this week in NYC.
I came across this post she wrote, about being terrified to go, as an unknown blogger, and I remembered too well the flat out fear I felt before attending Alt Summit last January. I had just started my blog just a few months prior to the conference.
I mean, what business did I have going to Alt Summit? Was I ready to claim the title of “Blogger” (I don’t even like saying the word)? Better yet, was I ready to tell the world that I wanted to take this seriously — that yes, I wanted to learn more, increase my readership, earn money, and try to learn all I could from the big wigs in the business? Was I ready to get business cards printed and stamped with my blog info and name — in other words, a 2″ x 3 1/2″ card that says in bold neon letters, “I think I’m good enough. I think I have something to offer. I think I could create something that people might actually want to read.”
Oh … that takes GUTS. (Not to mention the most panic stricken wardrobe planning of your life, just to make up for all other areas that felt like they were lacking.)
But ladies, after attending Alt, I came away realizing a few things. In case this is helpful, here you go …
-It’s really cool to be under the same roof with people who are all passionate about the same thing.
Blogging is sometimes weird to talk about with friends who aren’t bloggers. So it’s really fun to be able to talk about blogging without hesitation. Enjoy it. And feel a part of it. It’s bonding to be with so many women that are out busting their tails, trying to make something happen.
-Fashion is not important as you think.
Sometimes we look at blogs and assume that bloggers must dress like the gorgeous round-ups they post. Take a deep breath. This is not necessarily the case. Often times bloggers are barely getting by financially or just choose to do something different with their time and funds, even though they have a mad talent at putting things together on a blog. Basically, don’t expect everyone to be dressed like they could be on The Sartorialist. Just wear something that you identify with. It could be chucks, messy hair, a T-shirt and jeans. It could be heels, pencil skirts, maxed out accessories and hot pink lips. There is no standard. Just feel comfortable in whatever suits you. And if you want to really treat yourself, call J.Crew at Rockefeller Center and beg to meet with their personal stylist, Marina Dobreva. She’s amazing. And she’ll put together an outfit for you that will blow you away.
-Everyone is going there to meet people.
Assume that everyone there wants to meet you and talk with you.
A. People are looking for new readers. B. People are looking for new blogs to know about.
Every single person there wants to network. So don’t feel like you shouldn’t be bold and introduce yourself to people. They WANT to meet you. They WANT to give you their card. And if they aren’t introducing themselves, it’s because they likely feel more shy than you in that moment. So introduce yourself to people. Just do it. You’ll get better and better at it as you go.
-It’s likely you might feel overwhelmed by the classes … so take a deep breath.
Bloggers are an ambitious group. They all want to be successful and they’re giving their hearts and souls to it. That includes you. So it’s likely to come away from classes feeling like they have sooooo much to do to their blogs to get them where they want. I heard even the most experienced bloggers saying this. So take a deep breath. And just say, “One thing at a time.” Little by little you’ll improve your game.
-SOOOO many are nervous to be there and need your friendship!
So just decide to reach out to them and befriend them. Doing this is like magic. Taking the focus off of yourself somehow immediately eases some anxiety. TRY IT!
P.S. Registration for Alt Summit opens on August 7 and 12:00 pm MST. I plan to go and would LOVE, LOVE to meet any of you there.
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ABAL Book Club (Discussion about Man’s Search for Meaning started Aug. 1. Buy the book here.)
The Equals Record