If you had asked me in 2008 what a blog was…or a blogging conference…or a blogger, I would have looked at you with a blank stare. Now don’t get me wrong I was computer and internet savvy back then. But, had no idea how rich the world of blogging was.
Since childhood, I have written in journals. I have a collection of tiny, itty bitty pocket diaries. An assortment of marble composition bo0ks. And even a stack of work journals from my dad’s office. I was never an every day journalist, but when my family went on holiday (we’re English!) or I was having a hard time at school (6th grade was the worst year for me…teasing, bullying, hated my school) or in January (I always received a diary as a Christmas stocking gift) or over the summer (we traveled due to my dad’s job) or really any other time of the year — you could find me with a notebook of some kind in my lap and possibly a fuzzy pen!
I was introduced to blogging while doing a particularly challenging graphic design class. It was in this class that two concepts became crystal clear to me:
- I am not a graphic designer. I can tell you why a graphic design piece will work or not, but I have difficulty conceptualizing it with graphic design tools. Now, in my defense I used the big guns of graphic design: InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I am sure if I took indepth weeks long classes in any of these programs I would learn the ins and outs of the programs. But, I was woefully unprepared for the graphics class.
- I found my writer’s voice. The class was part graphics and part writing. It was team taught by a graphics designer and a writer. I owe the writing instructor a debt of gratitude for steering me on the path which led to writing for websites and blogging.
I have been fortunate to attend two blogging conferences.
The first conference was TypeAMom in Asheville, NC. As as the TypeAMom Preteens Editor, I volunteered at the conference in exchange for a conference pass. I am eternally grateful to Kelby Carr! I am so glad that I took the plunge and decided to go. It was well worth it as a newbie blogger to hear seasoned bloggers talk about what worked for them and what did not. I had two sponsors. One of my sponsors was Yoursphere.com, an online social network for kids, preteens, and teens that puts safety first. My sponsorship with Yoursphere continued when I did a blogger review tour to bring awareness to this social network site for kids, preteens, and teens.
The second conference opportunity literally fell in to my lap. I won a conference pass to Mom 2.0 in Houston last month. I was shocked, but grateful for the chance to go. Mom 2.0 was a bigger conference than TypeAMom. It is very hard, impossible really to compare conferences. At Mom 2.0 I met many brands and PR people. I learned many, many blogging resource tips. The speakers were fantastic: Dooce, Heloise, and Gretchen Rubin to name a few. I returned from Mom 2.0 realizing that I have come a LONG way, but determined to keep forging ahead on my blogging journey.
As I contemplate BlogHer ’10, I am not able to take the plunge and purchase a conference pass. I live so close to NYC, but August seems so long from now. Financially I am not ready to commit to the Early Bird Registration. I will probably regret not snapping that puppy up, but it is the right thing to do.
I am writing this post as part of a contest to win a conference pass to BlogHer ’10. I desperately want to go. The conference pass does not include travel or hotel. If you are a brand, I would love to talk to you about ways I can represent your brand in the weeks leading up to BlogHer.