#BuildYourBlog Conference Draws Hundreds

This Build Your Blog conference has got my mind in a whirl. So many ideas, so many plans of action, so many questions. But where BlogHer14 confused and dismayed me, BYBC has set me on a distinguishable path. What do I do? First thing is to move off the free wordpress.com and find a paid hosting service (said this before but now I will do it); then start building my Pinterest boards, Facebook profiles, Instagram followers, etc. Apparently blogging is 20 percent content and 80 percent social media. Those who network like Rocky will make it. It’s time to step into the ring.

Brands embrace bloggers more than any other form of media and they look for ways to get products into our hands. I want to ask why: Why, after 20 years of journalistic integrity, is a blogger courted more arduously than a writer? Just because someone gives me something for free doesn’t mean they own me. Never has. Other bloggers I’ve spoken with say the same thing about their opinions. So why is blogging considered so differently?

I’m told that brands know bloggers have a personal connection with their audience that far surpasses anything you get with a print publication or a general interest website. People rarely pick up a magazine to read one particular author. They want to see photos and stories about their favorite subjects but it’s very one-sided. You really never know those in the editorial column. Blogging, on the other hand, is interactive. You get to know me and if you don’t like me you don’t even have to turn a page, you just don’t ‘click’. But those who do like what I have to say will read on, and know that if I like something, they will too. It’s akin to seeing a killer top on a friend; you want to know immediately where she got it. Whereas there isn’t that kind of excitement reading about it in a paper. The author writes in the voice and tone of the publication. The blogger uses her own voice.

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The hardest thing I have to deal with at this event is having that confidence in my voice. But my God, I see 12-year-olds sitting next to me in these lectures. KIDS are getting in on the action. The woman next to me does a family travel blog but she’s not very nice; could she be intimidated too? The two people behind me; one writes a fitness blog and the other will write a lifestyle blog shortly once she figures out the business end of it all. They’re more my speed – very open, super friendly and eager to connect and learn. I look forward to reading their blogs and they boost my confidence. There will definitely be many, many more bloggers to meet at this conference even though it’s only two days long. But two days is enough. Any more and my mind might explode.

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