I spent the day today at BlogHer Boston, and I must say, it was great.
For one thing, it was a nice little mommy break. I saw the kids a bit in the morning, but M got up with them and had them all day. I thought it would be his first day having them both totally solo, but in his own words, he “wussed out” and called his sister to come hang out with them.* But hey, no problem. The point is, I’m not there. Is there a small part of me that misses them and is sad not to know what they’re up to today and finds it hard to let go of control? Yes, sure. But still, it’s nice. And I’ll enjoy tomorrow more.
Anyways, the conference has by and large been a lot of fun and very informative. I’ve been at this blogging thing for about 2 1/2 years and have almost 450 posts. I’m pretty committed to it, I’m enjoying it, and it’s not just a passing fad. I’m ready to take a step up to be a little more cohesive, purposeful… almost professional, even though I don’t anticipate getting paid to blog anytime soon. That’s why I wanted to come, and it’s been a lot of fun to meet other bloggers and talk about it all day long.
For one thing, I hung out at the “Geek Lab,” to ask some technical questions. Sarah was super helpful. I finally decided to buy my own domain name (more info to come when I get it up and running), and with that will hopefully get a nice design worked out (suggestions for blog designers appreciated).
The lunch session was all about building traffic in smart ways, which was helpful not because it was such novel information, but because it made me think about doing these things in a more purposeful way. Smart use of categories and tags, effective linking, etc.
Session one in the afternoon was about polishing and personalizing your blog, which was enjoyable and all about not being afraid to customize your template and add things to make the blog not the same old boring template. Good, but still being on the un-customizable WordPress.com, I couldn’t do much with it at the moment.
Session two was all about establishing and growing your blogging community, which had some overlap with building traffic, but also gave good strategies for purposefully finding new blogs to read and expanding your circle. It also went into dealing with information overload, which is a problem for me. I spend too much time on my computer, too much time with my iPhone. It has become too much of an addiction, too much of a thoughtless habit. I need to work on compartmentalizing my time, setting up rules and boundaries for when I’m online. I think it will be healthier on all fronts, but I also think it will make me do these things more efficiently instead of mindlessly doing them all day long. Aside from the practical assistance I got in the Geek Lab, I think this was the most useful session of the day for me. Thanks, Beth!
In addition to the sessions, the chit-chatting and networking was fun. Because my little circle of the blogosphere is all mommy bloggers, it’s sometimes nice to talk to people who do something completely different. But also find more birds of my feather! At the cocktail hour, it was particularly fun to chat with Christy and Megin. And, in the end, I got home and both kids were in bed. Hooray!
It was a good time, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little bit of focus or add some purpose to your bloggy mojo. I can’t promise huge strides on this site, but I’ll do my best.
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* In a lovely turn, the whole “wuss out” thing was a bit of a ruse. Yes, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came to help with the kids. But it was actually so that M and his friend could work on putting up the fence I’ve wanted for the last two years as my (upcoming) anniversary present. Thank you, honey! It may not be traditionally romantic, but it’s wonderful and thoughtful. M’s friend is coming back tomorrow so they can finish. Lucky, lucky me!