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Friday, April 12, 2013

Bloggy Boot Camp - Day One

8:00 a.m.  It begins today. BBC in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, my home.  It's my first and I'm a little nervous. My dear friend was supposed to go with me, but at the last minute she discovered her adoption journey was speeding up.  (see my previous post).  So, I'm going to a new forum, not knowing anyone, not sure this blog is "big enough" for this more advanced conference. Sounds pitiful, right?  On the bright side, I've been to lots of professional conferences where I don't know anyone. How scary can it be?
Of to Bloggy Boot Camp

2:00 p.m.  Ready for the conference to begin.  Got my name tag and table assignment.  Our lovely hostesses Tiffany and Francesca the SITS Girls welcome us.  We get the official hashtag for the conference #bbcphx.  

2:30 p.m.  First session from our keynote speaker Missy @verymissy (everyone here uses their Twitter handle as her name).  She introduces us to branding - very interesting.  One of my table partners, Joyce from Dragonfly Creative Design Studio is hearing impaired and her poor husband is using sign language to interpret.  Problem is, Missy talks REALLY fast.  He's holding his own.

4:00 p.m.  Now that my world is rocked by the possibility of working with PR firms, we hear from Kim Byers @celebshoppe.  She talks about the 5 Secrets we need to monetize our blogs.  Great talk.  I especially like the emphasis on loving what you blog about.  The tweeting is going fast and furious all around me.  I especially like reading the tweets of people at my table - it's like telepathy because I can read their thoughts and their mouths aren't moving!

5:00 p.m.  Next up - Gigi +KludgyMom.  She's really "knocking it out of the ballpark" with her talk about writing sponsored posts.  She showed some great examples of different bloggers who posted about the same product but in very different ways.  Gigi is driven!  Most of us are starving!!  During the break a half dozen of us run over to the Zona lobby.  We nearly cleaned them out of candy.  Ahh . . . much better

5:45 p.m.  Beth @bethanimalprint is here to talk to us about YouTube.  This is a very good talk - too bad it's at the end of the day which is running late.  The cocktail party was supposed to start at 6:00 p.m. and eyes are wandering out to the patio where the bar is being assembled.  Beth tells us all about the YouTube Partners Program.  YouTube helps you set up your own channel and create the best videos for your branded blog.  It's obvious most of the people in the room don't have much experience with YouTube other than watching cat videos.  It's too bad because YouTube is a fabulous place to advance a blog.

6:30 p.m.  Time for some drinks and appetizers!  Tiffany reminded us after the last talk that we're having dinner after the cocktail hour.  WHAT?!?  Many of us didn't remember that dinner was included in the price of our ticket to the conference.  BONUS!  By now I have collected over 25 business cards. I ran out of my cards before 5:00 p.m. (note to self - must bring bigger stack of cards tomorrow).  Funny thing - I'm used to the "business card shuffle" that each person does at a professional meeting by passing cards around.  At BBC, each time we changed tables (which was after every talk), I saw the "business card shuffle."  At a blogging conference!  Cool - something that was in my comfort zone.

7:15 p.m.  Dinner - very yummy.  I finally found my niche for the day sitting with some very lovely ladies during dinner.  They are members for the Generation Fabulous group (or "tribe" to use the word flying around today).  I realize that while the women talking about Huggies diapers are cute, I really identify better with these "mid-life bloggers."  I had a wonderful dinner and actually met some people I know more by their first names than their Twitter handles.

Dinner at Boggy Boot Camp with some lovely women #bbcphx
8:45 p.m.  Our little dinner group finally breaks for the night and we're one of only two tables left in the room.  As I drive home, I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed and looking forward to tomorrow.

I think I'm going to take the information for what it is - advice on monetizing/branding/promoting my blog and then decide later whether it's applicable to me.  

Hey, if any corporate product sponsors are out there, I really do write a nifty blog and there are products I really LOVE!  Just check my other posts. :)