What I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp ATL #BBCATL


I finally attended my very first blogging conference.  Bloggy Bootcamp ATL hosted by the SITS girls to be exact.

I had no idea what I was in for, but grabbed my notebook, my phone and camera and headed out the door (at 7:15am to be exact).  That’s the pros and cons of it being in your same city.  No hotel or travel expenses, but it’s quite the trek downtown for me.

There were so many wonderful and fabulous women.  And, some blogging rock stars, too.  And guess what?  They were just like everybody else there!

Besides the awesome presentations and talks (which were just the right length to keep us engaged and give us tons of information), I figured out some blogging conference things, too.  Next time, I’ll bring a smaller purse, and I won’t lug my DSLR camera.  However, I was thankful for the handful of business cards I grabbed and the fact that I opted for good old paper and pen instead of bringing my laptop with me.  But, the camera?  Too much for me.  This is the only picture I took all day.  Nice view of the skyline from the rooftop, right?

From the Melia Rooftop

I also learned that a room full of women at lunch, can chat up a storm.  It’s amazing we ate lunch (but we did, because we were all going so fast that we needed to keep up our energy).  With all of the learning, I looked down and realized it was 4:00pm.  That was the first time I looked at the time all.day.  I don’t even remember being that engaged before.

I made so many “to do” lists and bullet points, it’s going to take me quite some time to get through them all.  Since I’m such a giver, I thought I’d pass along my main bullet points.  Of course, I haven’t done them all, but they are on my list!

  • Check my about me page.  Would you be surprised to discover this is your and my most popular page?  Make sure it’s up-to-date.
  • Add a pinterest button to my posts.  I had no idea people were pinning things from my site, but they are.
  • Leave the comments open on all posts.  I link back to older posts, but nobody could comment on them. I was worried about spam, but I haven’t noticed a difference at all.
  • Start an editorial calendar.
  • Add navigation to the bottom of my site so people don’t have to scroll back up if they’d like to go to another page.

Oh, and one last take home message, the wine tasting party at the end of the evening?  Not nearly as fun when you can’t drink any of the wine.  But, it was really nice to be able to meet more local bloggers and some not so local bloggers, too!

And, because I’ve always heard that blogging is totally narcissistic (nope, don’t agree at all), I’m including the picture they took of me at wine night.  Because it’s the only proof I have that I was there.  Wait, that’s not true, I have a notebook full of notes, a handful of business cards, and new friends on twitter and my blog!


What is the best thing you’ve learned while attending a blogging conference or get together?

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  1. All good points, especially about the wine.

    I had such a bad headache I had to miss lunch and the first afternoon session, but I still had a great time.

      1. Eh, it was what it was.

        I’m sad I missed Stacie’s presentation, but she says she’ll post her notes soon.

        I loved Melissa from MomComm and her presentation. So much awesome pack into that presentation.

  2. Very helpful tips! I’d never thought to add a navigation bar at the bottom of my page. Good idea!
    I recently took a blog e-course (from http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com) that was really helpful to me since I’m only starting out. The most important tip I learned is that I have to be happy about my blog and my blog should tend mostly to me because if not, I won’t keep up with it! Of course your readers are important… but if they want you to blog about things you have absolutely no interest in, they aren’t the right readers. You have a lose a few readers now and again until you get the right crowd for you and your blog…. That was really valuable to me.

    Also, no clue how to add a Pinterest button to posts. I just joined Pinterest and it is so much fun. Thinking that people may pin me is actually pretty exciting.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Kindness is the best accessory,

    1. Oh yes, definitely be true to yourself. If you aren’t you, I don’t think your readers will really appreciate you.

  3. I love that picture! I’m so glad that I got to meet you at Bloggy Boot Camp, so I could discover your great blog and amazing design skills.

    1. Ahh…thanks! And, I’m working on your header right.now!

  4. Oh, man…one of these days I SO hope to make one of these! Nothing better than looking at your watch for the first time at 4:00!

    Great, great, great…I can’t wait to do this myself!

    1. Yes, find one and go to it! I bet you can find a local group, too so you don’t have to fork over tons of money!

  5. so glad you had such a great time. yay for bloogy bootcamp!

    ps – do you know that when i went to cupcake i only took one picture? lame right?

  6. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing what you learned. I haven’t had a chance to attend a blog conference yet, it’s great to learn something from your experience. Really great ideas too!

    1. It’s crazy that most of them are so simple and yet, I totally didn’t think about them. Glad the tips helped.

      1. I’ve taken your advice. Working on step 1. Finished 2 & 3. Need to learn more about 4 & 5. Thanks again! 😉

  7. mrs. hils says:

    I haven’t learned anything from a blogging conference. I just wanted to say that I can see the Varsity in your picture!

  8. It’s kinda hard for me to believe this was your first blogging conference but it’s definitely a good starter! I loved BBC in Austin last year! So much info in a short time but GREAT info! And your tips here are great too! Glad you had fun but sorry you couldn’t drink the wine.

    1. I know! But, they are always so pricey and either way up the east coast or on the west coast, and I could never justify it. So, a quick drive downtown was perfect!

  9. I attended my first conferecne a little over a year ago. To me it was like meeting old friends for the first time! My lesson…don’t stress so much. Everyone was so warm and welcoming:)

    By the way, you look gorgeous!!

    1. That’s true…it was nice meeting so many of them that I’ve talked with before and connect with them in real life.

      And, yes, everybody is so real:)

      Awww….thanks! They worked their photoshop skills to the max.

  10. Great recap – but not sure if we met!!!

    It was my first conference too, and I was surprised about how friendly everyone was.

    1. It’s crazy that there were still people we didn’t meet!

      Yes, everybody was super friendly!

  11. Mr. Serious says:

    That is a great picture! You’re eyes are pretty.

  12. Mr. Serious is totally right, it’s a great picture of you!

    I had no idea that the ‘about me’ page is so important, I should really do something about that… if I could just stop being so lazy about my blog’s layout 😉

    1. Thank you! They promised they would photoshop us:)

      Crazy, right, but I went and looked and sure enough, it was my most popular!

  13. Great recap and great pictures too! I agree with you about not bringing the DSLR, especially after almost losing mine! Sheesh!

    So great to meet you in person!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. I can only take credit for the first picture:) And, yes, that camera thing made me paranoid, but I’m sure glad it turned up!

      So great to meet you, too.

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