Bloggy Boot Camp – My First Blogger Conference

As I’m sure you have ascertained, I have only been doing the blog thing for a short time.  Longer than my few posts would imply, there was a lot of planning to get the site up and running, after all, I am a planner at heart.  If your goal is to launch a blog that does not look like everyone else’s, you’ve got some work to do and some money to spend.  You will also spend some quality time with Google trying to figure out why the electronic universe is against you and every seemingly simple application, plugin, and widget doesn’t seem to work right out of the launch.

I don’t really know any other bloggers to look to for advice, and while I am pretty resourceful, I will tell you it was difficult process on my own.  Early into my research I found a women’s blog conference, Bloggy Boot Camp (BBC), was scheduled for September in Dallas.  BBC is the brainchild of Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci; bloggers, social media experts and moms.  It is a one-day conference billed as a way to grow your relationships with other members of the online community in person, and get an increased understanding of blogging and social media.  I have to tell you the idea of networking with people who weren’t entirely clueless like myself made me pretty giddy.  Even though I hadn’t launched my blog yet, I picked up a ticket.  What the hell, a couple hundred dollars and a 3 ½ hour drive, not much to loose.

A month before the conference, I finalized my blog design and launched my site.  In addition to learning more about the art of blogging, one of the things I hoped to get out of the conference was how to drive traffic to my blog.  For me, it’s not about making money.  It’s just, while I love that my mom and sister read my blog (Hi Mom! Hi Heather!), I would love to be able to reach more readers.  I know that networking and connecting with people is the best way to achieve this.  So, I had what I believe to be some pretty fantastic business cards printed with my logo, hoping it would help them stand out from the many other cards people would be receiving.

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Friend or Stranger, Who Gives Better Advice?

Every couple of weeks, I go to a fantastic nail spa here in Houston for a mani.  I enjoy going because I find the whole experience relaxing, which may have something to do with the delicious adult beverages they serve… just maybe.  As an added benefit, sometimes I get to hear some truly entertaining conversations.  Whatever… so maybe I am eavesdropping, but let’s be honest in saying that first, it is virtually impossible not to hear other conversations the way that the stations are set up.  Second, don’t judge, you know everyone does it.  While sometimes the conversations are between two girlfriends that have come in together to get their nails done, mostly the conversations are between the customer and the nail tech.

I have been seeing the same nail tech for a while now, as I imagine most people do, and we talk about a wide range of topics; including, but not limited to, the personal stuff.  Although we know many personal things about each other, we don’t socialize outside of the spa.  In fact, everything she knows about me, she knows because I have told her and the same can be said about the details I know about her life.  She has never had the opportunity to witness me in my natural habitat and form her own opinion.  Our relationship exists solely in the controlled spa environment.   I like her a lot, but because we don’t socialize outside of the spa, I think of her as an acquaintance, albeit a good one!

     So, on one particular day, the girl next to me is telling her nail tech about how lately her boyfriend is not paying her as much attention as he once used to.  He doesn’t call her as often,he is going out with his friends and leaving her home alone more frequently; you know the drill.  Then she does what we all do in these types of situations.  She starts making excuses for her boyfriend,  “Well, he really has been so busy at work, and under a lot of stress, and he hasn’t had much time with his friends,” blah blah blah.  This girl is clearly upset, and it is now up to her nail tech to respond with her opinion on the matter.

I have heard this same conversation, or at lease many similar ones, at this same nail spa more times than I can remember.  Sometimes my mani neighbor is talking to the tech, and sometimes she is talking to her friend.  So… it got me thinking, who would give her better advice; the friend, or the casual acquaintance/stranger? [Continue Reading]