There are times in life when you plan on one thing — and get something so much more from it.
That happened this weekend when I attended the NEPA BlogCon for the first time. This is an event I had been wanting to attend for a few years and it never worked out. This year it did. Though it wasn’t everything I had expected, I left after having a tremendous experience.
Let me get one thing out of the way, though. Though I loved the day and all it had to offer, it still left me feeling slightly short on what I was hoping/expecting when it came to networking/talking to other bloggers. I came with cards and all for my blog and gave away … three. Part of that is on me, for sure … but at the same time, I don’t know, it just felt hard to “network.”
But that’s for another post later in the week. I’ll tackle that with my thoughts on that end of things in a few days. For now, let me talk about the conference as a whole.
With a one-day conference featuring 11 speakers, it’s a lot to absorb. I’m still trying to get everything straight in my mind. Whether it’s something about social media or branding or marketing or video — there’s a lot to think about and wonder how it can work within the confines of my blog.
Remember this — my blog is a personal one. There’s no true niche, so I don’t reach a certain group of people. One day I can write about baseball, the next could be photos, the next could be something in my mind etc. Other people who I spoke with at the conference had that focus — a niche or something along those lines.
That’s fine, too. Not everybody has a focused blog. I’m obviously one of them.
Through the years, I’ve seen people go to other blog conferences and such. They all seem to be different. Some are more based on fun and gathering. Others are more serious. Some are in the middle. While I won’t say the NEPA BlogCon was “serious,” it leaned more toward an educational sort of setting, which was OK.
The topics were excellent. The people who presented were excellent. They had amazing raffle prizes (I won on two of my tickets and each winning ticket had multiple things. In one of those packages, I received a pair of virtual glasses, gaming headphones and a laptop cooling pad … that’s solid), and they offered some amazing bagels for breakfast and lunch was by Panera. The swag bag everybody received had some excellent things, including a custom Rubik’s Cube, which is really cool.
All for $15 (well, raffle tickets cost you some cash when you got there).
Anyway, back to my initial thought about getting a little more from something than planned. Though there were certain things I didn’t get that I was hoping for, I left with a whole heap more than I had planned.
Some of the ideas offered were great in terms of blogging, but they are ones I might never touch because of how I do my blog (such as advertising etc.), but there were things I might look into (more video etc.) and seeing what I can do for engagement.
But there were a lot of things that hit a little harder in that some of the advice went well beyond blogging or my social media or even as things I can use professionally, rather they spoke to life as a whole.
The reality is I saw a lot of people who had goals and knew how to follow through. There were people who were planners and made sure they got things done. There were high-energy people who had thoughts and who built themselves up. Yes, it was a tech-heavy crowd (not shocking), but those who presented gave lessons that can be used in your everyday life, which made things even better for me.
I realized through the day that there are changes I can make in my blog process, but also many I can make over the course of my everyday life. I do like my job and I like doing other things, but I need to continue down the path to improve not only my blog, but life as a whole.
The NEPA BlogCon was a great experience for me. I found a lot of people to follow and watch on social media and hopefully I’ll eventually find their blogs and see what they have to offer on that point. Though I didn’t get to experience everything I had hoped for, it worked out well. Later this week, I’ll have another post about looking forward and what I hope to get out of future editions of the NEPA BlogCon as I hope to attend again in the future.
A big thank you to all those who put the conference together and all the volunteers. It was a top-notch event and I’m extremely happy I attended!
For any others who attended and want to connect, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@softball29) and Instagram (@HooHaa29). Also, drop a comment below and let me know your blog address, so I can check it out!