If you think conferences are only for sponsored, blogging veterans, read this post!
It seems like a luxury.
When the topic of conferences comes up, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal — head to a fabulous hotel, party with bloggers, and call it work.
(And really it IS an incredible time!)
But with the rise in bloggers having personal sponsors to help cover conference costs, some bloggers are left feeling like conferences are only for the sponsored or a splurge they can’t afford.
But ARE conferences a luxury for bloggers — or an important investment in a blogger’s work and life online???
While for some people attending a conference un-sponsored is simply NOT a financial option, for those bloggers who are working to build an online presence, conferences are critical.
In addition to the inspiration and information conferences offer bloggers, the fact is that moving relationships off of Twitter, Facebook, and blogs to in-person contact catapults friendships forward. Nothing can replace sitting around a table, laughing and sharing stories until the wee hours of the night.
That human connection is irreplaceable.
And when it comes down to it, connecting with people is what social media is ALL about!
“But Janice!” I hear you say, “YOU are sponsored or speaking — you can afford it!”
Actually that is NOT true!
I have only been sponsored for a fraction of the conferences I have attended over the years and I definitely feel the financial toll that attending conferences has on my bottom line. Trust me!
But, the reason Susan and I invest our time and money attending conferences is because we simply would NOT be where we are today if we didn’t.
In blogging, like in most businesses, people work with friends. It isn’t a matter of being exclusive or elitist, it is just natural to reach out to people you know and trust.
And there is nowhere better to form those friendships than at conferences. The great news is — it is a ton of fun!
So WHO should attend a blog conference???
If you are in social media, you can benefit from attending a blogging conference!
1. New Bloggers
Attending a conference straight out of the gate will help a new blogger learn the tools of the trade and begin to feel the incredible support of the blogging community. It may seem intimidating, but read my 5 Tips to Make Sure You have a Blast at Conferences! and Cecily’s post here on MomCrunch Preparing for BlogHer ’11 and you will be just fine! I promise!
2. Bloggers Wanting to Grow
Conferences will inspire you to move forward and get out of that rut, while equipping you to do so. And, as we have covered, if you want to grow, you need to network!
3. Bloggers Who Just Wanna Have Fun
So, your blog is purely personal and you aren’t trying to replace an income or become a blogging superstar. But you are still blogging for a reason – right? And I bet the key reason is community! See where I am going with this??? Yup – buy your ticket girl!
4. Professional Bloggers and Blogging Veterans
While those of us who have been around since the blogging beginnings may have already attended countless conferences, you will notice that we KEEP GOING!
Why? For the reasons that everyone should go — it is a part of the blogging journey, it is part of our success.
If you are wondering which conference to attend… check back here tomorrow for my post, “Is BlogHer the Right Conference for You?”