In about a week-and-a-half, I’ll be on a plane to Chicago, the windy city, for one of the largest blogging conferences: BlogHer.
The conference is in its ninth year and annually brings together thousands of bloggers from around the world–both women and men–to learn best practices in blogging, to network, and to be inspired. A big plus of the conference is the opportunity to meet in person those bloggers whose words make us laugh, cry, and fall in love with their writing.
It’s my first time to BlogHer, and I’m apprehensive. It’s a big commitment, both in time and money (I’m footing the bill 100%). I’m going after lots of reflection. Two of my goals for turning 40 (and they’re still goals now at 41), as you may remember, were to “say yes to fun” and “develop a plan for Red Shutters.” Attending this conference is a way to accomplish both. But with so much to do in just two days, BlogHer is going to be a marathon.
I’m looking forward to attending the writing workshops (there’s one titled “Room of Your Own | Roundtable: Shedding the Facade and Writing Our Vulnerable Truth” that sounds particularly interesting), listening to the Voices of The Year (when bloggers selected by the community and BlogHer staff present their writing–I’ve heard it can be amazing), and taking home helpful tips from sessions (like “Interest & Identity | Roundtables: Midlife Bloggers and Beyond the Vertical, Into the Niche” (yes, alas, 41 is considered midlife!)). I’m also looking forward to the social side of BlogHer: the chance meetings in hallways and over coffee, the fun at the parties (which, apparently, are quite a highlight of the conference), and the feeling of community I’ll leave with after meeting other bloggers.
Most of all, though, I hope I will take away from BlogHer more clarity on the future of Red Shutters, from both a content and marketing perspective. As a lifestyle blogger who writes about a variety of topics, finding the way forward for my blog can sometimes be daunting. What should I write about? What do you want to read? How do I share but still retain privacy? How can I bring more humor to this site? What role do brands and advertisers have on Red Shutters? My questions are endless!
I’ll write about my BlogHer experience when I return, and you can be there with me by following me on Instagram (where I promise not to post photos of my food–unless it’s coffee) and Twitter (where I will tantalize you in 140 characters).
Wish me luck, peeps!