The first day of BEA for me was attending the Bloggers’ Conference. This was my third bloggers’ con, and I have to say that I love going to this as I meet so many wonderful and interesting people there who LOVE books! I get a lot of new ideas, hear about the latest trends, and generally feel revived for another year of blogging (which sometimes can feel very lonely).
This year’s sessions started with a keynote by YA author Maureen Johnson. She was really funny and the time went quickly. She mentioned a site – The Toast – which was new to me, but which has “Dirtbag Little Women” and “Dirtbag Anne of Green Gables”, which of course I had to look up when I got home. They certainly aren’t for the purists, but they were pretty hysterical. Anyway, Maureen talked about writing and blogging and books and literature — and also her love for the show MI5. She was pretty entertaining.
The day sessions were divided into newbie blogger sessions and experienced blogger sessions. Though I’ve been blogging since ’09, I floated around between both. I feel like the first years my blog was just for family and friends and it’s only in the last two to three years that it’s really grown. I also have self-taught design and tech stuff for my blog, which is a scary thing when you think about it, so I’m always on the lookout for new/useful/creative ideas (and ways to get pictures to show up correctly in the free wordpress version I use). There were sessions on using pictures and images, and also thinking about design and how to work in ads, and then where to find all these things on the web. Lunch was an interview with the Chief and VP of content at BlogHer, Stacy Morrison. After lunch I went to a session on vlogging and making podcasts (something I want to try – maybe – sounds a tad complex). I skipped blogging and the law since I attended that in the past and I missed bloggers and publishers in order to attended “engaging your readers”, where veteran bloggers discussed some of the things they do to engage readers, along with social media marketing. What I took away from the day is that if I want to grow my blog (and do I? Yes, I think I do. Remember, originally my blog was geared towards people I know; now I’ve grown and expanded, which I like a lot), I need to blog a lot more! I like to post once a week; but according to all I heard, that isn’t going to cut it if I want to continue to grow. I need to post more, interact more, tweet more, etc. And I will, since I find the most rewarding part of blogging is connecting with readers and authors.
At the end of the day, they gave us a whole bunch of free books! I didn’t even take them all, and this is what I got:
All is all, it was a fun day – and I got to meet Sheila of Book Journey and Hannah of Indiewritergirl!