This past weekend I attended my first blogger conference, Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference 2013 (FLBlogCon13) in Orlando, FL. The conference was perfect for my first blogger conference since it was in Florida and included bloggers from all different backgrounds- food, fitness, lifestyle, etc. There were so many incredible sessions and I was able to meet some awesome people. I learned a lot in such a short period of time and tried to soak in as much knowledge as possible.
I learned so much about the technical aspects of blogging and social media, but I think the most important lessons from the conference were the valuable insights provided by the speakers and other bloggers. The conference reminded us to “aim for awesome”, not just in blogging, but also in life. Today, I’m sharing a few points worth reflecting on.
1) Be different. Work hard. – I never heard of Jason Headsetsdotcom before this conference, but he takes creativity to a whole new level. Yes, that is his actual last name. If you don’t know his story, you should definitely check it out here. Above all else, he stressed the importance of exceeding expectations. Sometimes I find that working hard is easy, but being different is difficult.
2) Ask yourself “what else”? – Pat Williams, Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic, was the keynote speaker. In blogging, and in life, ask yourself “what else”. What else can I do to increase my performance at work? What else can I do to improve my blog? What else can I do to help people a little more? I think asking yourself this question is important for getting the most out of life.
3) Don’t believe that there is a pattern to success – Julie from The Little Kitchen was my favorite speaker, and not just because she is a food blogger or because she is genuine and fun, but because her own success is such an inspiration to others. She stressed the idea that other people’s success should not diminish the possibility of your own success, but it should provide inspiration for what you can actually achieve. I think this goes back to everything that has already been mentioned. Everyone’s journey is different, but the most important thing is to be different, work hard and ask yourself “what else?”
4) Create a Tribe – Like everything else, finding supportive people within the blogging community is essential for growth and development. Your tribe should be a group of your biggest supporters. Creating relationships with other bloggers and, more importantly, your readers is essential to your success.
5) Just sit down and start to write – This advice came from another blogger who was attending the conference. Even on days when you don’t feel like you have anything to say, just sit down and write. Even when you think you are writing about nothing you realize, 20 minutes later, that you are actually writing about something. Writing is one of the things that I struggle with the most. Often, if I don’t think I have anything to say, I just don’t write. Photography, cooking/baking and recipe development are much easier to me than writing a creative and engaging post. Since one of my goals when I started this blog was to improve my writing, I’m going to try to follow this advice a little more often.
Everyone at FLBlogCon was incredibly helpful and supportive. The speakers and other bloggers provided so much inspiration. I’m so glad that I was able to attend and am already looking forward to next year!