February 10, 2014

Are Blog Conferences Worth The Time & Money?

The Blogging Mavens

The following post was written as part of The Blogging Mavens blog series – it isn’t part of Blog Conference Newbie Guide’s Sponsorship 101 series (more posts to come w/that though!). Head to A Closet Writer to see the series in its entirety. I was honored to be asked by Christina to be part of this project, a two week-long blogging 411 series. Once the series is complete, Christina will be offering a FREE e-book that incorporates all of these posts so you can use it as a reference guide.

What topic would I be contributing to this series? Blog conferences, of course!

Are Blog Conferences Worth The Time & Money?

Typing momBlogging is just sitting at the computer and spewing out thoughts into a post, right? Yes and no. For some, it’s a casual hobby or a family scrapbook online. Some choose to use it as a therapeutic tool. Still others are making a living out of blogging and social media work. Whether you’re blogging for fun or money, it’s never a bad idea to learn the tricks and tools of the trade, just as you would for any other project or job. But with the growing number of blog conferences and increasing costs to attend, is it worth putting on your “to do” list? Let’s investigate.

Since creating a site that focuses on blogging conferences and related topics and learning a lot about them, I’ve come up with this conclusion: blog conferences are beneficial for ALL bloggers. Obviously, newer bloggers will gain a tremendous amount of information by attending, but so do bloggers who’ve been writing for awhile – you can always learn more. Conferences are not only about learning though; there are many other reasons to spend the time and money to attend them:

  • Network, Network, Network: Sure it’s easy to make connections with bloggers online, but you’d be amazed at just how much stronger those connections become when you meet those people face-to-face at a conference. A main component of blogging (and social media) is connecting; connecting with like-minded individuals or those interested in similar topics. Being part of networks and networking are crucial in blogging as it helps you gain exposure and opens your eyes to new sites to visit or partner with. Plus, when a large group of blogging women are put together under one roof, you’re guaranteed a good time and new friendships!
  • Tapping Into The Information Highway: Of course, one of the main reasons to attend a conference is to learn, and blogging conferences are no different. Rather than sitting online (even more than you normally do!) searching for tips on various social media topics, head to a conference and get all that information in one spot. Many conferences educate bloggers on topics such as finding your passion, utilizing social networking platforms, monetizing, increasing readership and traffic, and how to write creatively. Don’t want to earn money off your blog? Only blogging for fun? You can still learn a lot from a conference. In addition, many of the conferences offer various tracks, focusing on the topics you find helpful even if you’re blogging for personal pleasure. Writing, business, photography, and creating communities are common tracks seen at conferences. There is something for everyone at these conferences.
  • Become A Pioneer: With more and more niche blogs/niche conferences popping up, you can also find information specific to your niche which may not even be circulating on the Internet yet. Become a pioneer in your niche by attending these conferences and getting (or speaking about) the information first!
  • Get A Kick in the Confidence Caboose: I think many new bloggers feel very anxious leading up to the conference they are attending and start to question why they are even going. With so many blogs out there, sometimes our confidence in our writing can be shaken easily, especially if we aren’t seeing our readership increase. But you’d be surprised at how your confidence can increase by attending a conference, not only because of increased knowledge, but also because of feedback you may receive. Nothing beats the feeling you get when someone recognizes your Twitter/blog name or remembers a post you wrote. People are reading your blog whether you know it or not, but it’s great to hear comments like that in person.

There really aren’t words to describe the blog conference experience other than fulfilling, fun, and fabulously rewarding. These are just some reasons it’s worth the time and money to attend blog conferences. Still, many bloggers have other reasons for attending. Sometimes it’s just about taking a fun vacation for yourself and the desire to spend it with people who have similar interests. Whatever the reason for your interest in attending blog conferences, don’t hesitate to find ways to make it happen. Obviously the cost to attend is the biggest concern, but there are ways to help you alleviate some of that pressure. Ticket contests, sponsorship/partnership opportunities with companies, and early-bird ticket prices can help make attending become an achievable goal.

(If you’re new to this site, take advantage of information on the site which can help decrease costs. And if you’ve now gotten the “blog conference bug” be sure to check out the always-growing 2011 Blog Conference List!)


Why do you attend (or hope to attend) blog conferences?
If you’ve been, what have you taken away from them & why do you feel others should attend?

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  1. LaTonya says:

    Of course, another GREAT post! I didn’t realize you were doing this as part of another project. Of course, I am so all on it.

    When I started blogging, I wasn’t at all concerned about the business end of it. I was just ‘writin my blog.’ And somewhere along the way, my focus has grown, in a major way.

    Sites, and post like yours has made it easier to help me decide which fork in the yellow brick road I want to take.
    Thanks for all your insight.

    • UnexperiencedMom says:

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad these posts are helping you (and others) determine their blogging philosophy and place in the blogosphere. The more info that’s out there, the better it is for everyone! *And this post actually isn’t part of the Sponsorship 101 series. I snuck it in there as part of another project. Sponsorship 101 is still a separate thing of my own doing. ;-)

  2. Christina says:

    I love the “Tapping into the Information Highway”. There is so much we can all learn from these conferences. I’m so glad you are a resource for us Tamara.

  3. I attended my first blog conference (Type A mom) just 3 months after beginning blogging. I was a good bit intimidated as I didn’t know a soul, but I quickly made some friends and learned SO much!
    I have registered for Blissdom, and now I have made so many friends since then, I will have some friends in Nashville! I can’t wait!

    • UnexperiencedMom says:

      That’s the best thing about blog conferences as we’re all interested in the same thing – you instantly have someone to talk to! Glad you’re diving in again with another blog conference. Looking forward to meeting you!

  4. Kelley says:

    I agree! I went to a blogging conference in Austin with SITS this year and loved it. I do feel stronger connections were made. Great points!

  5. My first blog conference was Blissdom ’10. I was starstruck to see so many of my favorite bloggers! I made lots of instant friendships and a few connections.

    In July, I went to the Savvy Blogging Summit. It was EXCELLENT! Very well run and lots of sweet gals!


  1. [...] am thrilled to have the lovely Tamara from Blog Conference Newbie posting today. The Blogging Mavens asked her to chat about whether Blog Conferences are worth the [...]

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