October 14, 2012

The pro blogger conference, 2012.

So I’ve just recently attended the pro blogger conference & in all honesty, I was actually more excited about the two consecutive days I was about to have away from Max.

In the two years that he’s been alive, the longest I have honestly been away from him has been one and a half days; which was for my best friend’s hen’s weekend.

As it turns out, I couldn’t get to the second pro blogger day because the babysitter I’d lined up for Max came down with a migraine.

Bummer.

So the thing about these pro blogger conferences & the hoards of information you can learn from going to them is that this hoard of information isn’t actually what I go for.  At all.  For me, it’s about that opportunity to stand in a room with three hundred other like-minded people.  Anything I might just so happen to learn while I stand there in that room with those three hundred like-minded people is, well … a bonus really. 

And yes, absolutely, I did learn a lot.  I learnt that I probably need to install google analytics, & that I probably need to get a media kit, because if I can be completely honest … I’m kinda sick of being asked to write sponsored content for free.  I really am.  But you see I also have a really soft heart, & a pretty low opinion of myself, so I will often end up writing sponsored content for free.

And so this just kinda can’t happen any more.  So if you’re a big arse company, with a big arse budget; you’re kinda going to need to pay me for my time.

But enough about the tidbits of information that I learnt because in all honesty, there were three hundred & something people there that day, & judging by the laptop & iPad action going on in that conference room there, I have no doubt the pro blogger posts will be rolling out in far finer form than this here little blogger’s.

For me, it’s about the people.  It is always about the people.

I love the people watching.  I love being able to meet the people you have big ol’ writing crushes on, & being so lost for words that all you can do is fumble something like, ‘I love your hair’.

I love your hair?!

I mean … it’s almost humorous, because you meet someone who is able to thread words together so beautifully, & then all you seem to able to thread together is four flipping superficial words, like; i.love.your.hair.

But y’know, it’s ok.  Because I also met this person in Sydney for the Kidspot awards, & I actually managed to tell her how I love her online space, & how hers is the reason why I created mine, & how I used to read her blog to a group of people every Friday for two years, & how it inspired these people, more than she could probably ever know.

I also love the egos.  I used to analyse personalities for a living, & so I mean it when I tell you that I really do love most personalities.  But I don’t like egotists.  I just don’t get them, nor do I want to.

I found myself standing on my own at one point, & so I spotted the sweets table & went in for the kill on this oh-my-lord-I-can’t-believe-something-so-good-could-happen-to-my-taste-buds-like-that coconut slice, & I may have even managed to shove that entire slice into my mouth in one hit, & it was exactly when my mouth was at its most full that this incredibly sweet soul came up to me & introduced herself & told me that she loved my writing.  That’s never happened to me before, & it’s probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me; someone likes my writing?! And so I was obviously really embarrassed to have to thank her through entire mouthfuls of coconut slice.

I met bloggers who made me laugh until I cried, & I met some of my favourite bloggers & we chatted together into the night, & it was just really nice to be able to form such a high opinion of the people who you already have such a high opinion of thanks to the stories shared via their blog.

And so that’s why I go to these things.  It’s for those conversations that you get to have with those like-minded people; your people.

In saying that, I have decided I probably won’t go again.  For no other reason other than that I believe these kinds of conferences suit the people who seriously want to monetise their blogs.  And yes, absolutely, I’d love to generate income through blogging.  But I also don’t really believe you can monetise a personal blog; & maybe I don’t even want to.

My blogging goals have remained much the same; continue writing for Max.

I will however be opening my sidebar to advertising in order to support my art, & support other artists.  And sure, the guilt free pocket money would be nice!  And I will develop a media kit so that it can become my very polite way of saying, ‘no, actually … I won’t write that sponsored content for free’.  And if an opportunity presents itself for me to write a sponsored post about something I actually want to write about, & get paid for it, well then of course I’ll write it!

Wouldn’t you?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie @ MummySmiles October 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Oh Cherie – what a great wrap up!!! It really is such an amazing atmosphere and I felt like I learned as much from the other attendees as I did from the sessions.
I loved that we actually found some time to chat, and was so sad I didn’t get to give you a proper goodbye hug!
Hopefully you WILL be at other conferences though so I will get to see your beautiful soul again xx

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Raising Master Max October 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

You were one of the highlights, my friend!

You are just so … lovely!

x

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Meagan October 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I was really wanting to go to this conference, but I could just not justify the money 7 days before I head overseas. But if I did go, I would be going for the same reasons as you would, to see the people, to meet the people who I connect with and share stories with daily.

After hearing about the conference and a lot of the topics touched on, I feel that I was kinda very glad to not go, just because the thought that people are doing this for money really sucks. I am sure there are some who are not just doing it for the money and that’s why I find myself more connected to these people. But I don’t want to read anyone’s blog who is just in it for the money. And I feel that the conferences seem to really PUSH that too..

Maybe i’m wrong, maybe i’m not, but whatever I am, I am glad you had a great time and got out of it what you needed, meeting bloggy crushes and people who inspire you.

I think thats a far richer quality.

xx

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Raising Master Max October 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Hey lovely Meagan,

Yep, I always forget that because it’s pro blogger, the push will obviously be monetising your blog, because that inspires many. And that’s great, I’m actually happy that some of my favourite bloggers are finally making some well deserved dosh’ from their blogs. They put so much of themselves into their blog, so it’s only fair that they get something out of it in return.

But me personally? I don’t think there’s money to be made in personal blogging, & I’m just lucky that I’ve inadvertently made money through blogging in that it lead me to social media management :)

Very lucky indeed!

Overall, really good! But yea … I suit the networking side of things, & so I could probably no longer justify the expense behind these conferences when I’m equally satisfied catching up with my fave bloggers at a dinner in Melbourne somewhere :)

All good lessons learnt though :)

x

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Meagan October 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Oh please dont get me wrong, I too am happy that some very lovely bloggers can make some mula from their blog, but im more talking about the ones that think thats the be all and end all and arent satisfied unless they are making money.

I could see myself moving into advertising etc if it ever got to that point. But I dont think about that now and if it happens then yey.

I just am in it for the community and support and amazing life stories xx

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Katrina October 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Good for you Cherie. It sounds like you had a great time and really know what you like and want for yourself. I admire that so much. Always stay true to yourself (and your blog!). x

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Raising Master Max October 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Katrina,

Always :)

It feels good to know what I want, & chat with others who knew what they wanted & went & got it; it’s all very inspiring.

I think I write best when I write for Max, & me.

x

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Kelly Exeter October 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Ah so you weren’t there on Saturday – I wasn’t sure if it was just because I spent all of Saturday with my eyes down (was struggling with my sinuses and was also a little peopled out by Sat!)

Loved getting to meet you in person Cherie and that too was my main motivation for going to the conference – to be able to have conversations longer than 140 characters long with all these online friends I love!

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Bel October 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

So you know why I didn’t go to the conference (just a big chicken) and also I wasn’t sure whether those topics related much to me. But if I did go, it would have definitely been more for the networking side of things with other bloggers. I started my blog to make connections, not money.

It sounds like you still learnt a lot though. Sometimes we learn the things that we ‘don’t want to do’ as opposed to saying to ourselves ‘that’s a great idea, I’d love to try that’. Stay true to yourself, people visit here because they like what you already do xx

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Josefa @always Josefa October 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm

such a lovely, honest wrap up of the conference…
meeting you was one aspect of the conference, i will always remember
going to this conference opened my eyes to so many aspects of blogging, but the one resonating voice i walked away with – is be true to your voice, your story, your words
and that came more from meeting people like you, than anything else
xxx

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Mother Down Under October 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I think I would love to go to one of these blogging conferences for that very reason…I would love to see all these bloggers who are part of my daily life in person…and I would love to mumble a few words to them about how much their writing has meant to me.
Honestly there are quite a few bloggers who I want hug…a great big hug of thank you for taking the time out of their busy day to write a few words. Of course this would manifest itself just like you said…I like your hair!

I would also love to have my eyes opened about the world of blogging…I don’t know if I want to go there but I would love the hear the stories from those that have managed to turn their blog into a business. I am sure I would be blown away by their savvy and by their success.

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Sonia @ Shop Me Chic October 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Meeting other bloggers is THE BEST! I have never attended any of these conferences (although I’d like to attend one next year), but I have had the opportunity to meet Melinda my love business partner, Nikki from Styling You, Amy from Absolute Amy and Andrea from Fox In Flats. I am so honoured and lucky to call these women my friends because they are amazing human beings. And pretty darn gorgeous to boot!

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Lecinda October 15, 2012 at 1:04 am

go Cherie!! I’m glad that you had a chance to go, I would love to go to one of these conferences one day, even if it is just to meet all my favourite bloggers like you in the flesh ;)

and just because you can never have too many compliments, I love your writing too! :) Your honesty and warmth and love for Max and Dave and everyone else are what keep me looking forward and waiting for a new post from you :) xx

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Merowyn October 15, 2012 at 3:39 am

I have NO idea how to write a media kit and often get asked to “write this for me”.
In the past i’ve declined because I don’t want my blog to be about advertising, it was never about that. It was about me just having an open diary – something I can look back on in years to come, something my son can look back on.
That said though, I think a kit would be useful because maybe someday someone will have an offer that’s tangible and in line with the stories I present on my blog.

In short, could you perhaps do a post on media kit writing for the novice at some stage?

I’d really, really appreciate that.

xox

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Carli October 15, 2012 at 3:50 am

I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat Cherie, it was occasionally a little overwhelming for me – if it wasn’t for the wonderfully funny bloggers I met I would probably still be hiding in my car!

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Rhi @ Hummingbird's Song October 15, 2012 at 3:53 am

Oh Cherie, I wish I had known you were there! I would have tracked you down! I agree, it was such a wonderful conference and I also laughed and cried the whole weekend. Bloggers are just special people. xx

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Posie Patchwork October 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Gorgeous. I felt the same after Blogopolis. What was ace was that some big time bloggers i was so excited to meet, actually knew who i was & the likes of Nikki from Styling You let me stroke her hair. Yes, really. In the end, most of us are women, most of us are mothers, we just bond & let things like that happen. Hair stroking. I have formed such lovely friendships with many more bloggers from just a single conference, meeting in the flesh, it’s just the best. Few disappoint. I would so love to meet you one day my sweet Cherie. I’m also working on sponsors & advertising on my blog, i think it’s only fair, when you blog well & interesting content, i’m a housewife & closing down my design business, so if i can raise funds to attend more conferences, from selling space on my blog, i will!! Good luck to you sweetheart, love Posie

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Tam October 17, 2012 at 3:27 am

You have no idea how glad I am that you were the first person I bumped into as we walked in the door. It was a delight to meet you and I’m so happy that you’re ‘local’ so I may have the chance to bump into you again!

As for the conference, I got a lot out of it, but I didn’t go to all the brand/sponsored post stuff. As much as I’ll chuck one of those in now and then if the electricity bill is overdue, it’s not the direction I want to go. Good for you for staying true to yourself.

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Phemie October 17, 2012 at 4:18 am

Thought you were going to say there for a minute “I carried the watermelon” LMAO

I found out about this conference too late, and had similar reservations, actually I have reservations about all types of commercial entities. Some are great if they actually ARE instructional and you NEED the instructional content.
However, I too now simply seek out experiences like this, mostly to just ‘be in a room’ with my kind of ppl.
I used to feel the same about a lot of health and wellbeing type conferences I used to attend also …I became much more selective in what I will and wont go to. Because it is largely about WHO is going to them. Because really, we go to these types of things to ‘re-charge’ ourselves up with all that like minded chatting and soul stretching crushes for whatever cause or soap box we are out in the world working on.
So now I seek out the underground, community, free, gatherings that exist mainly to just “top us up” energetically, so that we can go back out into the world to be the change we need to be.

One day Ill stop moving cities every two years(husband=army) and I might actually be one of the people to throw these free funkadelic-peace-love-one-another-and-eat-salad kind of ‘dos’….. groovy man.

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Mama of 2 boys October 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Well done beautiful girl, you’re such a centred individual and so in tune with your own identity, very cool. I am super impressed that you hit up the sweets table too… I SO would have done the same and made a right piggy of myself also ;)
You certainly should be charging for your writing expertise, you deserve to be rewarded, because let’s face it, you reach out to so many and help so many in the process.
xo

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Kimberley M October 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm

You and Tam were the two people on my “list” (sorry, a bit stalkerish I know) that I didn’t get to chat to. I saw you at a few stages on Friday, but you were too surrounded by other people for me to get my lady balls on and “infiltrate”.

I know EXACTLY what you mean about the monetisation thing. I’ve pretty much decided that my blog will be my platform for freelance writing, but there’s something about sponsored posts and advertising that I’m not comfortable with. Never say never, I guess, and if the right opp comes along then I’d consider it, but I think we need to remember that we collect loyal followers by being authentic, and sponsored posts can get in the way of that (and it seems too hard to do it “well”!)

I’ll still go to Problogger again (or Blogopolis – I arrived too late in the blog game to go to that this year) as it was as much about the networking as it was about the information. I met so many brilliant people, and I STILL felt there were a hundred others I hadn’t met.

Kx

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