The Blog Connect Conference 2016

the blog connect conference

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you know that this past weekend I attended The Blog Connect conference in Philly. It was such a wonderful event, and I’ll actually be recapping it in two posts.

This one is all about the conference itself, my experience, people I met, etc. Spoiler alert: I met some amazing local bloggers, some people who are thinking about starting a blog, and my wedding officiant. Yes… wedding officiant was there because she wants to start a blog! It was so crazy running into her!

The second post will be more for those of you who are bloggers. I’ll be filling you in on some blogging tips and tricks that you THOUGHT you knew. 

the blog connect conference

So, before I start rambling, let’s start from the beginning…

A few months ago, my friend Jess tweeted that she was speaking at the PHL Bloggers conference called The Blog Connect. I found out that only about 50 tickets were being sold, so I hopped on it the first chance I got. I even persuaded my friend Leslee to join. I’ve gone to blogger meet-ups in the past, but after 8 years of blogging… this was my first conference. I was really nervous in the weeks leading up, but when the day of the conference finally came, the nerves went away and I was super excited. 

the blog connect conference

My alarm went off at 5:45am and I was out the door by 6:45 to meet up with Leslee at the train station. Before we knew it, we were in the city and on our way to the Saxby’s headquarters (2300 Chestnut), where the conference was being held. 

Let’s just say that the Saxby office is STUNNING. Think open concept, exposed brick, lots of glass. It seemed like the ideal place to work for anyone in a creative field. I felt more creative just being there! 

the blog connect conference

When we arrived, we checked in and immediately got our headshots taken {what an awesome perk!}. After that was done, Leslee and I dropped our books off at the book swap, and grabbed a drink from Saxby’s and a bagel from Schmear It. I tried their stuffed french toast cream cheese, which had strawberries, bananas, walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup. It was 100% NOT HEALTHY, but definitely the bomb (dot) com. #noregrets. 

I followed that up with a zesty green juice from Juice Dr, so it’s OK! {Side note: whoever at PHL Bloggers decided to get a green juice sponsor has my heart. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU}

BLOG4

Soon enough, the first session was starting: Content Organization with Melissa @ The Skinny Affair and Sarah @ smoorelovin. They talked all about ways to develop your own content strategy, how to manage your blog categories and tags, and a quick way to pull together a content map. I’ll be sharing some of their tips and tricks in my second recap post. 

After that, we had the choice to attend one of two sessions: Storytelling with Julie @ The Storyologist or Brainstorming Post Ideas with Lisa @ Lisli. Both Leslee and I chose to do the Brainstorming session with Lisa. There are so many times when I blank on what to write about next, so I knew this session would be beneficial. By the time it was over, I had a dozen or so ideas for new post concepts!  

The last session before lunch was all about monetization. Hell YES. Talking about money is such a taboo subject, so I’m glad someone brought it up! Bekah from That’s Normal gave a kick-ass presentation all about ways to make money blogging. She was so hilarious and made a dry topic like finance really interesting. I wrote down so many tips, and can’t wait to do some additional research. BTW, completely unrelated… but Bekah also runs her own boutique PR firm. She’s a “girl boss” to the max.  

the blog connect conference

A delicious Indian-inspired lunch was catered by Snap Kitchen. I believe they recently expanded to Philadelphia, but you can also find them in Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Austin. Snap Kitchen is definitely a company I can get behind. They use:

  • local, fresh, high quality ingredients
  • BPA-free, recyclable or compostable packaging
  • limited amounts of processed food

the blog connect conference

After lunch, it was time for some more sessions! First up was Building Your Blog into a Business from Kate and Jess @ Philly PR Girl. It was so nice to see them in person, because I’d been following Philly PR Girl on Twitter for a while now. They talked about their story, and how they used blogging to launch Philly PR Girl from the ground up. 

We then had another choice between two sessions: Harnessing Your Creativity with Keyonna @ Stellar Inc. Lifestyle or Style & Shoot for Instagram with Amber @ ember + march. I chose Instagram with Amber. I feel like I’ve hit a wall with Instagram lately, so it was nice to hear some new ways I can expand my reach on that platform and gain more followers. Amber talked about lighting, prop styling, and how to get that perfect flatlay! 

The last session of the day was a community blogging panel with Gabrielle @ Career and the City, Bekah @ That’s Normal, Emily @ Her Philly, Jess @ Jessica Lawlor, and Rachel @ The Crafted Life. It was so nice to hear all about their blogging journeys, how they deal with hate mail, and their tips for reaching new audiences. 

the blog connect conference

Before heading back to the ‘burbs, I enjoyed a beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company and chatted a bit more with my new blogging friends.

The Blog Connect conference was such a great experience. I can’t wait until next year! 

Stay tuned for part two of The Blog Connect recap: the blogging tips & tricks you THOUGHT you knew.

 

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4 Comments

  1. April 19, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    Thanks for such a great recap! And your photos are awesome! You can thank Melissa from Skinny Affair for finding someone with green juice. And the Juice Dr. folks were super nice. Jess has mentioned you a dozen times and you were absolutely on my list of people to actually talk to, but unfortunately it didn’t happen this time around. (One of these days I’m going to learn how to not have quite as one-tracked of a mind. Silly logistics.) But hopefully I’ll see you soon!

    • April 24, 2016 / 9:08 am

      Yes! I hope to see you soon too! The conference was a blast. Can’t wait until next year!

    • April 24, 2016 / 9:08 am

      Thanks Samantha! It was nice to meet you 🙂

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