Monday, January 24, 2011
Blissdom, a blogging conference that takes place in Nashville, is finally here! I will be joining approximately 500 bloggers at the Opryland Hotel this week. It's my first blogging conference and this newbie isn't quite sure what to think between the excitement and the nerves.
Even though I've been blogging for almost 5 years, I don't think I considered myself to be a blogger until this past summer. My first blog started out on a whim and took off in an unexpected direction, which then led to the creation of HopefulLeigh. This blog seems more like my baby, something I have grown to nurture and cherish. It is also allowing me to view myself as not just a blogger, but a writer. Blogging has reawakened my childhood dream of someday being an author. While I don't know if I'll ever have a book published, blogging has allowed me to wonder and dream that just maybe it'll happen.
This past summer I realized that there was a lot about blogging that I didn't know. I mean, I really didn't know anything. Like the fact that you could schedule a post instead of posting automatically? Yeah, I had never bothered to nose around Blogger to figure out that little gem before. With that life-changing revelation, I started seeking out blogs with more how-tos and made a few design changes here and there. I began envisioning what this blog could become.
Then all the BlogHer chatter started on some of the blogs I followed and that exposed me to discussion about other blogging conferences. When I realized that Blissdom would literally be in my backyard, I felt I had no excuse not to go.
Except for that tiny detail of being completely intimidated. I happened upon the Blog Conference Guide for the UnExperienced. I learned more about business cards, conference fashion, and the importance of joining Twitter. I'd felt I didn't have time for more social media but after reading this article, I decided give it a try. Can I just say joining Twitter was one of the best decisions I made this past fall? I can't imagine going to Blissdom if I hadn't.
Then I posted about considering Blissdom and Staci commented with: "COME TO BLISSDOM!" and shared about her experience last year. Well, that dose of encouragement went a long way.
I decided I would go because I wanted to learn and because I wanted to be amongst people that don't think blogging is some cute kind of hobby or, worse yet, a waste of time.
I bought my ticket, then debated whether I should stay at Opryland when I live locally. I posed my question to the #Blissdom feed and most people recommended the hotel experience, although there were a few commuters. Amanda from They Hold My Heart, a fellow newbie, and I decided to be roommates over Twitter while I sat in the airport waiting on my delayed flight home for Christmas.
I'm looking forward to meeting bloggers I've followed for awhile and connecting with others I haven't yet discovered. It'll be good to hang out with the #FlaskTribe and the #Newbie Tribe and the #Lifestyle Tribe. I'm ready to soak up knowledge from the presenters and figure out how to apply what I learn.
Just wait- next year I'll be encouraging you to come to Blissdom!