Saturday, February 5, 2011

My best Blissdom advice

It's now been a week since I left the Opryland hotel and all the excitement that was the Blissdom conference. No doubt you've seen Blissdom posts all over the place.

This year was my first experience at Blissdom, and I know that there are lots of bloggers who haven't been able to go to a blogging conference yet. I want to encourage you to think about going and to start saving your pennies. And as a rookie who just learned a thing or two, I'd like to share a couple of pieces of advice.

Traci, Marian, Melissa, me, and Kate
(photo courtesy of Melissa)
  • Build a positive online reputation. Don't worry that you won't fit in at a conference; act right now to make sure that you DO fit in. Before Blissdom I'd only met a few bloggers face-to-face. But I already knew a number of women through our blogs, and meeting them in person was just the icing on the cake. So here's my advice: realize that your online reputation precedes you. In writing your own posts and in commenting on others' posts, a) be yourself and b) be nice. Comment often and be encouraging! Snarkiness and pettiness will come back to haunt you. We all have days when we're feeling grumpy, of course, but I wonder if we'd all be better off if we refrained from typing too much on those days.
  • Find a roommate. Or two or three. I'm serious about this, for several reasons. Obviously the cost of attending the conference will be considerably less if you share your room expense with others. (For the record, our room at the Opryland, including all taxes and fees, cost $149 per night. We stayed three nights. Three of us split the cost, so we each paid just $149 for our entire stay.) Besides the cost savings, having a roommate makes the whole experience more fun--like a slumber party inside a conference. And most importantly, having a roommate will encourage you to be more engaged in the conference. You won't be tempted to slink back off to your room and watch TV or surf the internet--you'll stay and mingle and attend workshops and learn, which is the whole point of attending the conference in the first place.

Cyndi, Traci, Liberty, and me

I don't want to brag, but I do think I had the best roommates at the whole conference. I got to be the oldest of what I like to think of as a group of three sisters. Cyndi from Walking in His Grace and Traci from Beneath My Heart are real-life sisters, and they welcomed me into their family for the week. I'd never met either of them in real life before, but I'd formed a deep connection with them online. And I'm here to tell you: these online connections are REAL!

If by any chance you don't already read Cyndi's blog or Traci's blog, you should go visit right now. Please tell them I sent you. Tell 'em their old red-headed sister sent you their way!

And one more thing: if you'd like a chance to win all the cool swag I received while I was at Blissdom, click here to enter my giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment on that post if you want to win. I'll choose a winner on Monday morning!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Karen said...

Richella, it sounds like so much fun! Maybe one day! I had already read Traci's post about Blissdom. Isn't it amazing how friendships develop through the blogging world? I could not imagaine rooming with someone I had never met with skin on! But, hey as much as we read each other, we already know their hearts. :)

Love Being A Nonny said...

This is such great advice! I haven't been to a blog conference but plan to in the near future. Thanks for the tips!! Off to check out those sister's blogs!

Bonita said...

Everything you said is so true and I do believe I got to meet your new sisters are Relevant.

Paula said...

It's wonderful that you made some new friends at Blissdom and that you are passing on good advice to those of us who couldn't attend. Your tips are certainly good ones!

Old Barn Crafts said...

I know a gal who blogs (and makes BEAUTIFUL jewelry!) who attended Blissdom. It looks as if everyone had an amazing time!

Who knows? Maybe next time I'll join her? :-)


PS...I look forward to reading more of your blog!

Dear Lillie said...

Thanks so much for visiting our blog! Do you live right next door to my Aunt Patty? (To the left if you are facing their house). I remember Will! Looks like you had so much fun at Blissdom! What a wonderful blog you have!

HeathahLee said...

I'm so glad you had such a good time. I wouldn't trade my experience at Relevant for anything. God knew I needed to be there that weekend, and He knew I needed to meet Cyndi and Traci. Still holding out hope that you'll get to come this year. What am I saying...I'm holding out hope that I'LL get to come this year! HA!

Cyndi@Walking in His Grace said...

Hey sister!
I miss you so much!!! I hope you're doing well. I'm so thankful to have met you in person! Traci and I were sooo blessed to room with you.
I knew you had a precious heart online but it's even better in person.
Love you,

Melanie said...

I think that that is excellent advice. I would love to go next year. I have met two other bloggers in person and it is a lot of fun.

Going to check out the other blogs. Have a good week.

Heather said...

That looks like it was so much fun!

Melissa Stover said...

those are great tips. i only had one roommate this year and we still stayed busy and had fun in our room. we never touched or tv. we should have gotten a discount for that.

Rhonda @ Abide at Home said...

I'm kind of new to the blogging world....well, I'm VERY new actually - about seven weeks in so far! I've thought about going to Blissdom....and Haven....and DEFINITELY Relevant, but it's a little scary to consider going when I haven't really met any bloggers to connect with. I'm afraid that I'll be there and kind of be a loner. Any advice?

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