Our Top Takeaway from The Blog Connect Conference
Year 2 of The Blog Connect is in the books!
We spent the majority of last weekend talking all things blogging at the PHLbloggers annual Blog Connect conference. This year, the conference was a 1 1/2 day affair- with an opening party/mixer on Saturday night (at the swanky ellelauri boutique in Rittenhouse) and the conference all day Sunday. The pre-party was a new addition to the conference this year, and was the perfect setting to catch up with our blogging friends that we see much less than we’d like, and to meet new bloggers attending the conference for the first time.
We love attending blogger events because going silent mid-conversation while you’re trying to craft the perfect instagram post and taking way too many pictures of everything is totally normal when you’re in the presence of other bloggers. And who doesn’t secretly enjoy the awkwardness of meeting bloggers in real life? You know, when you feel like you’re friends because you read all their posts and follow them on social media, but you’ve never actually met in person… And, come to think of it, you don’t even know their real name, so instead of saying “Hey, Priyanka!” you say “OMG it’s Paint the Town Chic!” (That’s not just us and our new friend Hair by Hal, is it?)
There were a lot of new faces this year. As a matter of fact, we were pleasantly surprised by just how many people we didn’t even recognize. This was our second year at the conference- that makes us Blog Connect veterans, right? A PHLbloggers team member also pointed out that Jess was the only returning speaker from last year’s conference. (PS did we mention Jess had her very own SEO session this year?! She killed it. #humblebrag)
The Importance of Being Honest… and Other Lessons from This Year’s Speakers
Once again, the conference speakers were on point. The keynote (there was a keynote!) was Sarah from XO Sarah, who we already follow, are obsessed with and basically want to be. She’s sassy and spunky and isn’t afraid to curse, which we, of course, love. Her talk was a kick ass way to kick things off.
We also cannot get enough of Sola Onitiri of the brand spanking new Now Lets Get Going blog. Her talk taught us the difference between being honest and authentic with a hilarious story about saving up for Jimmy Choos, and reminded us all of the importance of being honest in our blogging. She’s going to be our new fashion guru, inspiration and general all-around fashion cheerleader. (Just check out her “post that started it all” of tips to become your own style icon. SWOON. We didn’t even know we could be our own style icons, but we definitely want to be. From here on out, all fashion decisions will be made with the “What Would Sola Do?” mantra.)
We even related to a daddy blogger, you guys! We like to think we’re the exact opposite of mommy and daddy bloggers, but we were totally digging everything InstaFather Andy Shaw had to say. He echoed the honesty/authenticity sentiment the other speakers touched on, and convinced us that it’s vital to write those raw, real, emotional posts that we bloggers sometimes shy away from. And who knew daddy bloggers could be so… Sassy? Congrats, Andy Shaw, you’re our new favorite #sassydaddy.
Our Top Takeaway
In addition to the speakers, we also attended breakout sessions about making physical products and podcasts, decorated unicorn cupcakes (see the finished product on our instagram!) and listened to a panel of bloggers talk about working with brands. It was a crazy blog, fun and friend-filled day, to say the least. But we came away thinking the same thing we did after last year’s conference…
Our top takeaway from The Blog Connect, for the second year in a row, was inspiration. Each session made us think about different aspects of our blog and challenged us to think bigger and better (the underlying theme of the conference was #blogitbetter, after all). We dedicated a whole page in our notebook to new ideas, not only for blog posts, but social media, the structure of the blog and expansion. Our absolute favorite thing about the conference was that the whole day made us so PUMPED to make our blog even more amazing than it already is.
We’re not quite sure where this inspiration came from. Maybe it was meeting bloggers with envious amounts of followers and knowing they used to be small-time once, too. Maybe it was the supportive and collaborative environment of being around so many people who all share the same passion for blogging. Or maybe it was the sheer amount of creative types in one room and the energy that created. Hell, maybe it was the unicorn cupcakes.
Whatever it was, we’re not complaining. This is the second year we’ve left feeling super inspired, with ideas flowing freer than wine at a wedding.
Don’t pass up your next opportunity to attend The Blog Connect, or another PHLbloggers event, and stay tuned for our big ideas that are sure to show themselves around the blog soon!