This past Sunday the 3rd Annual Blog Jam Conference took place in Halifax. After missing last year because I was sick (booo) I was really excited to spend the day learning and hanging out with my bloggie friends.
Because we all leave these events having so much information crammed in our brains, I decided instead of doing a full re-cap of the event, I would instead share the phrases or moments from the day that impacted me the most. There are three sessions happening at a time most of the day, there is simply no way to hit all the sessions you want to see. It can be hard to choose which ones to go to, and I know there were at least three sessions I really wanted to attend but couldn’t, so I appreciate when people share what they loved most about sessions that I missed!
The opening keynote was presented by the lovely Elayna Fernandez of ThePositiveMOM who is not only super sweet but shared a lot of great information with us.
My favorite thing she said was:
“A business makes money, a hobby is fun.” @thePositiveMOM
It puts blogging into perspective so well. It’s fine to blog as a fun hobby, it’s also fine t make it a job – but you need to know which it is for you. Is it a job? Or is it a hobby?
Next up I went to a session on Google Analytics with Alison Knott from Eraserheader.com. I know my way around Google Analytics pretty well, but one thing that really blew my mind was
“The number of pageviews/post is a vanity number, you want to sort based on time spent on post”
This is an idea I had literally never thought about doing. It’s been really interesting to look at my most popular posts based on time spent on posts versus page views.
The next session I was excited to check out was Julie Eldson-Height‘s session on Pitch Perfect. I don’t pitch much (*cough* at all *cough*) but I always think about how I SHOULD be pitching more, but never really know what to do so this was a great session for me. Julie talked a lot about pitching techniques, as well as media kits including things that you should have on your media kit
One thing she mentioned that I had never thought of – instead of listing your social media followers, share your social reach! Reach is more important than follower counts especially when you are relatively small!
Next up was my homegirl Kayla from ShortPresents talking about burnout and how to avoid it. Kayla is such a busy girl so hearing from her how she keeps from feeling burnout was great.
My big take away from her session:
“Align is the new hustle”
I’m so tired of people being proud of being busy. It’s so stupid. I am much more envious of people who get a lot of stuff done but yet also have time to relax, spend time with their family and have fun than I am of people who work themselves to death.
Busy is a state of mind, let’s ditch that idea!
After Kayla I attended a session by some girl named Suzi. 😉 Ok, so I presented or the first time ever, and I hope people found my session useful. It was about maintaining your privacy and sanity as a public figure. I tried to cram way too much into a 35-minute talk and wasn’t sure if I would be nervous speaking in front of a group or not, but I really wasn’t. Mind you it wasn’t a huge crowd, but it still was quite a different situation than my usual, “stand in front of people and tell them to do squats” type of public speaking, haha. Being a presenter/speaker is something I’ve wanted to do for a while so this was largely a trial run to see how it would go. I know it was far from perfect, but a gal has to practice!
After lunch I had the pleasure of listening to Elisha and Elyssa Fernandez (Elayna’s daughters) from WhollyArt.com on being authentic in your content.
These girls are amazing. So well spoken and articulate, they were a joy to listen to and had some really great tips. My favorite being
“Stop comparing your worst to someone else’s best”
Because it’s so easy to see someone’s pictures on social media and think it’s an accurate depiction of their life, when really – it’s not.
Oh my gosh, their session was so funny and so full of great ways to bust through a dry spell of creativity but I was too busy laughing to write any of them down (doh!). One thing that I really liked was their suggestion for a change of scenery. It’s one of my favorite tips, after writing a post I like to go do a mindless task for a few minutes before coming back to edit and publish. Although Heather claims procrastibaking doesn’t count as another task 😉 it needs to still be something on your to-do list!
Finally, the closing keynote was by Candace Derickx speaking about being a travel blogger with Sunwing. While I don’t know being a travel blogger is in the cards for me she shared some great tips for posting on social media when promoting travel locations, but I felt it was a great tip for locations and scene shots in general. You want to focus less on selfies and photos with your face in them, and more on photos that allow the viewer to envision themselves in the location. You can still be in the shot, but maybe at an angle where your face isn’t overly prominent. I found that really interesting and can see how it would be important.
Once the speakers were finished the Blog Jam team drew for over $6000 worth of prizes – holy moly! And I managed to win the very last prize, haha. A My Home Apparel shirt that I was really excited to win – yay for winning something you actually want!
I love it so much, it makes me smile every time I look at it!
By the end of the day I was exhausted, starving and did I mention exhausted? I grabbed some food, a peppermint mocha and hit the highway home.
Now that I’ve had a few days to decompress from all the information, I’m ready to stay implementing some new practices and become (hopefully) a better blogger!
Did you attend BlogJam? What was your big #1 take away?
Here are a couple other event re-caps from the weekend that might interest you!
- How to Avoid Burnout Session – Short Presents
- Public speaking with a barf bag in my purse – Heather’s Handmade Life
- Behind the Screens with BlogJam – RHDowns
- 10 Things I Learned At BlogJam 2017 – Tiny Adventures
- BlogJam Atlantic Blogging Conference & how I chose my blog name – Holly’s Housewife Life
- And you can check out the resource page and slide from my talk by clicking here and enter the password: blogjam