So, as I mentioned last week, I was heading off to Blogopolis last Saturday to learn more about blogging and branding and stuff like that which I find really interesting and would quite possibly bore many of you to tears :) I'm really glad I went, as it was really interesting - I hate to repeat the word, but it's the best fit! It wasn't intriguing or fascinating but it was definitely definitely interesting. That said, there were some very intriguing and fascinating bloggers there :)
Hello Events pre-blogopolis drinks at Match Bar & Grill on Friday night (above). While it was theoretically for meeting and networking and so on, I found it a bit too LOUD to really converse a great deal! Good pizza, though. I did meet a few new people, and had a couple of nice conversations, which involved speaking loudly a few centimetres from their face and then turning my ear toward them so that I could hear them properly. For someone more inclined to observe at the best of times, this was all a bit too hard and I happily trotted off to the train after a couple of hours.
Only to hop back on a train, less than 8 hours after getting off, to head back into the city for the blog conference itself. I checked in, got a nice little goodie bag (Lindt chocolate, anyone?) and found myself a seat at my assigned table. While no one was there until later, the other bloggers at my table were Nicole from Bitten by the Travel Bug and the inimitable Glowless and there were also some people who worked for the sponsors and organisers of the event.
There was quite a lot of focus on more professional levels of blogging, aspiring to monetize blogs and things like that, which was all really interesting and I took lots of notes throughout the day. Some things I didn't entirely agree with - not that I disagreed exactly, but I think the recommendations should vary depending on the audience. Something that is important to a technically focussed or other types of bloggers may not actually be of the same value to a blogging mum. Or they might not have enough value to justify the time / money / brainpower investment required to take advantage of them. Do you agree?
Same goes for photography - there are certain recommendations that are just not practical for every blogger. So I have a few opinions. But for the most part, I just took notes and let my brain work overtime! I suffer a little from the time poor aspect of being able to do what I would like with my blogs, as there is no direct return on investment (time) but I came home from blogoplis inspired to put some of my ideas back on the to-do list :)
This is Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. I love listening to his video tutorials on blogging while I'm actually working on other stuff, like editing or whatever. Gets my brain kicking into gear, and I especially love learning more about branding etc. His bit of the conference was probably where I have the most notes from! I really liked his emphasis on quality content, and looking after your readers, as well as thinking about what you want from your blog. I have worked a little in web-marketing before so it's not that it's all new but I am loving learning more and keeping in mind how I might apply it for design clients in the future, as well as my own blogs.
Another thing I came away with is a super long twitter following list! My google reader is also a bit more laden than it was before :)