Are you sick to death of hearing about the BlissDom blogging conference yet? So many people have already posted their photos and stories about the weekend on other blogs, and that’s all anyone is talking about on Twitter. I just spent the last hour and a half reading through all the other blog posts written about it, looking through Flickr and Facebook photos from the weekend, and responding to e-mails I’ve gotten from all of my newfound friends. At this point I’m wondering if there’s anything left to say!
Oh, what the heck–I’m going to say it anyway. I can’t resist.
The weekend in Nashville was amazing. And I learned a lot. But the highlight was definitely hanging out with so many of my blogging buddies in one place. (At the top you can see me rubbing shoulders with the lovely sisters Missy and Susie of Bienvenue, and the fabulous Rhoda of Southern Hospitality.)
We stayed at the Hotel Preston. Here’s the front lobby:
The hallway that led to the conference rooms:
Here I am with Amy of Living Locurto at the New Orleans Manor restaurant where we went for dinner. Amy is one of the most creative women I know!
Two of my favorite fellow-Ohio bloggers, who I famously met in the elevator at IKEA a year ago and then rediscovered when we each mentioned meeting the other on our blogs: Emily and Jenny of Momminitup!
Oh, yeah, we also had a few sessions where we actually learned stuff. Here’s proof:
I was excited to meet Kristen of WeareTHATfamily:
And the very cool Jamie of BlondeMomBlog:
Ten Things I Learned at BlissDom:
1. If the elevator looks crowded, take the stairs. When we got back from our Ohio blogger dinner, 13 of my friends crammed themselves into the elevator. Later I checked Twitter and saw countless tweets saying they were stuck between floors! You can read the harrowing story of their adventure here. Thanks to Twitter, they were rescued. (Who says Twitter is useless?) Being bloggers, they videotaped themselves while they were waiting for help. And took photos of the sign in the elevator that said, “Maximum occupancy: 7 people.”
2. Wear higher heels next time. And maybe a big hat. All weekend I heard things like, “You look so much taller on your blog!” and “You’re so much smaller in real life!” (Does my profile pic make me look tall?)
3. Bring business cards with your blog address on them. Look at all the cards I collected this weekend! And they were all so cute, clever, and creative. I held the distinction of being the ONLY blogger who didn’t think to bring any cards with her. Yep, that was me. For two days I heard, “You don’t have a card?!” I resorted to writing my name and blog address on Hotel Preston stationery and handing it out. Way to make a first impression, Julia!
4. Just because they give you all the free Little Debbie snack cakes you can carry, that doesn’t mean you have to eat them all! You might not respect yourself in the morning. Trust me on this.
5. You think YOU’RE nervous? There are lots of people in the room who are more scared than you are. Be nice to them. It’s amazing how quickly you can get over your own shyness that way.
6. A lot of bloggers are uncomfortable talking numbers. I was surprised by how few of the speakers would answer basic questions about how much traffic they’re getting or what they charge for ads. People ask me these questions all the time and I always tell them the truth, but apparently it’s a taboo topic to a lot of other bloggers.
7. The average length of time a visitor reads a blog before moving on is 4 seconds. That’s right. They told us that you have to keep your posts short because no one is going to stick around long to read more than a word and a half anyway. So you haven’t read this far for sure. I’ll try to keep things shorter in the future, but I’m not promising anything.
8. Potential advertisers expect to see a “disclosure policy” on your blog. They won’t consider advertising with you otherwise. This was news to me. Attention all advertisers–I just added mine here.
9. “Information is all over the Internet. There is only one you.” That was one of my favorite quotes of the weekend, from Liz Strauss of Successful Blog. And it’s so true–it’s your unique voice and presentation of the facts that make all the difference.
10. Bloggers “match” their blogs! You know how you imagine the way bloggers must be in real life after reading their blogs? Well, they are. They are just like they are on their blogs. It didn’t feel like I was meeting any of them for the first time. They felt like old friends! Prime examples are Susie (Bienvenue), Rhoda (Southern Hospitality), Kimba (A Soft Place to Land), and Nester (Nesting Place), below. They are all as beautiful as their blogs, inside and out!
To see what other people learned at the conference, visit Musings of a Housewife who is hosting a Mister Linky party that everyone is linking up to today. You can also get the Blissdom 09 transcripts here.