Guys, I’m not gonna lie. Going to a conference is hard work. But if you’re dedicated, like me, this is what you have to do. This weekend I went to the BlogU blogging conference where they run a pretty tight ship. They keep you going the whole damn time. I guess they want people to get their money’s worth or something, but I’m like, “Hold up, Ladies. I’m gonna need a nap now.” Unfortunately, this year they did not build nap time in the schedule, but all that’s gonna change next year with their new added group nap session. Nicole Leigh Shaw said so and I’m gonna hold her to it. It’s pretty much the only conference in the world that will have a nap session, which automatically makes it the best conference (even though it was already the best conference).
I know not everybody who wanted to go got to go, which is why I’ve written up the Top 10 Things I Learned at BlogU15 highlighting the key elements from the weekend. It will feel like you where there.
Top 10 Things I Learned at BlogU15
10. Talk to people while in line in the bathroom. You never know who you’ll meet, and it totally speeds up the waiting process. I’ve met some of my best friends in bathrooms. At BlogU15 that’s were I ran into The Dusty Parachute at long last. (Another good strategy is to talk to people at the bar. That’s where I found Orange and Silver, but she’s lush.)
9. Bring your A game to the Saturday Night Dance ParTAY, but know that you will always be shown up by Susan Mclean. She had on her badass, ORIGINAL, circa 1985, straight-out-of-her-parent’s-attic, teal and black (because that’s always a winning color combination) New Kids on The Block jacket. And roller skates. ROLLER SKATES. Anyone who shows up to a middle school party, or any party for that matter, in roller skates is the automatic winner. That’s just how it works. The woman simply will not be outdone.
8. I can no longer party like it’s 1999. This is rather upsetting news for me. I woke up the morning after the party sore, and all I did was dance. I’m still recovering and this is Day 3. Now I’m too old to even dance? How is that possible? This is not okay, Universe. I want it rectified!
7. Do whatever Jen Mann says. That’s my new motto in life. Also, marry her husband. I’ve been plotting a way to get Jen’s husband to marry me ever since I learned he is her super fan and her #1 pimp, and he doesn’t even require sexual favors. I mean I’m sure he’ll accept them, but he doesn’t require them and that’s key. My husband’s good and all, and he cooks for me, but what I really need is someone to schedule my Facebook posts, make graphics and get me an agent. I don’t know if Jen’s into sister wives or anything, but this could be another revenue stream for the business. Think about it, Jen. Here’s my little montage of Professor Mann in action.
6. Make sure posts on your own page and anything you’ve written elsewhere link back to your main post on the topic. The more links you have to a post the more credibility it has in Google’s eyes and the better it ranks. If you syndicate a post have the article link back to your original post NOT your page URL. Again, better for Google rank.
5. Say hello to everybody. Turns out people like that. Friendliness is not frowned upon. Plus, that’s what you’re there for. To meet people. And how are you going to meet people if you don’t meet people? It took a little while for me to internalize that one. About a year. Last year even though everyone was super friendly and welcoming and accessible, I was nervous, and I didn’t want to look like a idiot or know what to say so I didn’t say anything. You know what that did for me? Nothing. This year I said, “This is one of very limited opportunities to actually meet people I know online, and God dammit I’m going to meet them.” So you know what I did? I met them. It worked out so much better that way.
4. If you compliment someone on the 80’s jelly bracelets you wanted to wear because it reminded you of your Madonna period in 6th grade and that person who is another blogger you greatly admire and may or may not be Julianna Miner so generously rips them off her arm to give to you, you will forever share an unbreakable bond.
3. Make your pins on Pinterest “rich pins.” Sadly, I have no idea what that is or how to do it. If you want to know more, you should have gone to BlogU15. I can’t do everything for you, Ok? I think it might mean adding a description of the pin with key words, though. You should also make a spread sheet for your pins so you know when you posted them and can plan when to repin them in about a month or two. Oh, and you should also have a “blog” board on Pinterest for all your blog posts, which I did not know and which I currently do not have.
2. To thine own self be true. I got that from the truly inspiring Keynote speech by Nikki Knepper. While there were a ton of informative classes at BlogU and wonderful people to meet and chat with, Nikki’s speech fed the soul. It was real and honest and what I needed to hear. So often at conferences you get the down and dirty details and the technical information, which is great and necessary, but you don’t get the sustenance you need to forge ahead. It’s so easy to get distracted and overwhelmed and paralyzed by all the information and things you should be doing that you can’t possibly do. It was so refreshing amid the million and one technical things I’m always doing wrong to have some affirmation that, yes, if you keep your head down, continue doing what you’re doing, follow your gut, you will be on the right path. Because you know what? We can’t control the Internet. All we can do is continue to do what we believe in. Otherwise, what’s the point?
1. And the #1 thing I learned is I need to go away more often. My husband texted me like 20 times asking when I was coming home and if I could move up my departure time because he couldn’t take the kids anymore. When I did get home, he had dinner made for me AND cleaned all the bathrooms. Now that’s a man who appreciates his woman. And the kids? Well, Crazy didn’t miss me at all, but The Kid acted like I’d been gone for a whole month. She was nice to me. I’ve never had that experience before. I kinda liked it.
*This was WIRL originally posted on One Funny Motha
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About the Author…
Stacey Gill is an award-winning journalist, the mastermind behind the humor blog, One FunnyMotha, and co-author of I Still Just Want to Pee Alone,the third book in The New York Times best-selling series. Her work has appeared on such sites as The Huffington Post; BlogHer; Babble; Brain, Child; Scary Mommy; Mom365; The Good Men Project; and Mommyish. In 2014 she was named one of the Top 10 Funny Parent Bloggers of the Year by VoiceBoks. Perhaps most importantly, she is the proud founder of the Detached Parenting Movement, a child-rearing model she single-handedly developed without any guidance or advanced degrees in child psychology. Currently, she’s at work on a memoir based on this radical theory. For a good time, find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
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