In this post, I am going to do a review of the BlogHer conference. As a blogger and businesswoman myself, I am coming to learn the importance of actually getting outside of your bubble and learning to network with other people. Going to a blogging conference this year was on my to-do list since I had been blogging for so long and I had NEVER ever attended one. On top of that, I really did not know what to expect or even if it would be worth my while to go.
I know there are many bloggers or business people reading this that have perhaps wasted their money or something that they thought would be a worthwhile experience and instead it ended up feeling like a waste of money. For me personally, the BlogHer conference was a rewarding experience for me to go to and I am going to give you an in-depth overview to let you know exactly why that is. Just because the BlogHer conference worked for me, does not mean that it will work for you. Which is why I am giving you my overall experience so you can make that determination for yourself. I am going to provide you with the good, bad, and the ugly. So that you can determine if you want to go or if spending your money on this conference is even worth your while.
But first. What is the BlogHer Conference?
In case you are lost about what I am even talking about let me tell you what it is. I have attended the 2018 BlogHer conference in New York. This conference is a big-time and long-standing blog conference that has been at it since 2005. In my own words, it is a place for women entrepreneurs (not just bloggers) to come to feel and to be encouraged. They have numerous speakers to come and speak about business, ownership, and lifestyle just to name a few. Some of them are bloggers, traditional celebrities, or even YouTubers (which I will talk about my favorites below). There were about 2,000 other women that you can network with as well.
What the BlogHer Conference is not
Despite the title, the BlogHer conference is not a place to learn how to create and run a blog. It is true that they do have breakout sessions and they give advice on how to build your brand. But there are no steps on how to run WordPress, what to write in a blog, how to create a post or any detailed information such as this. I do know that some women I met were disappointed by the lack of tangible steps that the blog conference did NOT have. For that, you can just out my how to start a blog post.
Who was the BlogHer Conference For
Any woman. There were some bloggers, pod casters, and Instagramers. Some women made jewelry or products and wanted to add a website to their business. There were women who owned a regular, and there were some women who were thinking about getting into blogging but did not know if it was for them. So I would say if you are a woman and you are thinking about using the internet to promote your product, yourself, or just to use it in business then you would fit into the blog conference.
BlogHer Conference the Good
I will start off with the things that I personally thought were good about the conference. There were a lot of people. About 2k content creators with gives you the perfect opportunity to network with other creators and talk business strategy. The environment of the conference will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed in the sense that if many of these businesswomen can create successful brands and business then so can you. There was also some great food. I mean what can I say, I love to eat and so the fact that you fed me is always a plus in my book. Also, the venue was terrific. It was over the water and so just being there and looking at the view was also a plus for me. Oh yes and the diversity. There were plenty of bloggers of all races, ages, and background which is to be appreciated.
BlogHer Conference the Bad
There was some good at this conference, but I am not going to lie, there was some bad as well that I really hoped that they improve on in the future.
The lack of brands
So they give you a lot of time to network with the brands, with the exceptions that there were barely any brands. And the brands were not something that I would really work with. I did have the chance to get my makeup freshened up by Honest Beauty, which I did enjoy. But that was about it. Shout out to the makeup artist who did my makeup you can check out her Instagram here.
Some of the other brands included Best Buy, Vagisel, a Women’s Health Doctor, some food places, and some other brands that did not easily fit into a niche. It is not that these brands were bad, but for me personally, none of them fit into my niche so they were not brands that I would likely work with in the future. In fact, it was like this for a lot of the bloggers there. There were not many beauty brands or even fashions brands which a lot of women work with.
Secondly, I expected to visit a brand booth in which you could partner with in the future. That was not really the case. When you visited a brand, they talked about their product, and you could take a picture. BUT they really did not ask you about your blog nor was their talk of potential partnership which was disappointing. One brand I came up to (which will remain unnamed) I felt it fell into my niche and as I begin talking to them they just looked at me like I was bothering them or something.
Too much going on
There were a ton of speakers which is not really a good thing. Some panels came on that I thought were terrific and wanted to hear more from but then they were quickly rushed off the stage so that other speakers can come on. Having a lot of speakers can be good, having too many is a sensory overload. And some of the speakers were really random. And this may be a personal thing but, we spoke about politics and some other stuff. It is not that I do not like politics but in this day and age where people are so sensitive and we are in political overload, I personally would have liked to stay away from it. There were other speakers that really had nothing to do with blogging and brand building but were there to just talk about whatever they were doing, which was not my favorite part of the sessions. Some women enjoyed this while I did not because I specifically came there to hear about brand building. And therefore some of the topics started to go left, so much so that I left early on the second day because they were no longer talking about how to build a business. Below are SOME of the speakers not even all of them.
What Did I Get From The Blog Her Conference
The Breakout sessions
There was some break out sessions that I did enjoy. The ones that I attended consisted of the following:
#BrandBaller: Learn the business of influence and how to maximize opportunities, make partnerships that last and how to become a go-to influencer.
This was a panel I did enjoy although it only provided very general information and was not as detailed as I would have liked it to be.
Every day I’m Hustlin’: #CareerGoals: A hands-on session on how to level up in the workplace and become the business baller you strive to be.
I think I sat in on this one, but honestly, I cannot even remember what it was about.
Cash Is Queen: A workshop on understanding and maximizing revenue streams.
This one was interesting, but once again it did not really go into as much detail as I would have liked. Just general information about leveraging social media and blog post to make money. And it was really GENERAL information. Nothing I felt I could put into practical everyday use.
BlogHer conference Stand out speakers
There was some stand out speakers for me that include the following:
Brand Building Speakers
She actually got a standing ovation when she came out, and I see why. In all honesty, I have never heard of her, and as soon as she stepped on stage and started talking, I LOVED her. Just a little information about Maria:
Named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation and one of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies, Marie’s mission is to help you build a life you love and use your gifts to change the world. She’s the creator of the award-winning online show MarieTV with over 37 million views on YouTube with an audience in 195 countries. She’s the founder of B-School, an online business school for modern entrepreneurs. Through her Change Your Life, Change The World initiative, every product purchased helps support a person in need.
The reason why she was one of my stand out speakers is that she really gave real advice for women who are content creators and are trying to make it. She was relatable to my struggle and gave me the motivation that if she could do it then so could I.
She was actually in a panel or people but I cannot say that I remember the entire, but I did remember her. She is so adorable, and she just stuck out to me right away. Also, much of the advice that she gave was just so relatable with her being a blogger herself. Here is a little bit about Courtney.
Courtney Quinn is a bright minded content creator obsessed with celebrating curves, color and confidence both on and offline! After earning her MBA in marketing at 21, she founded Color Me Courtney as a resume booster and creative outlet to help her land a corporate fashion role. As her blog grew, Quinn left her role creating handbags for a global fashion brand to run Color Me Courtney full time, expanding into instagram, youtube, editorials and more along the way. Since she’s become know for her saturated sense of style, weekly stop motion videos and obsession with inspiring everyone to embrace their insecurities. Courtney’s currently engaged and planning her #colormewedding while living in NYC with their fiancé Paris, and her handi-capable French bulldog, Waffles.
I have heard of Gabriel Union, but I did not realize that she was such an excellent speaker. She did not talk a lot about blogging but instead her personal issues. About being raped and fertility issues. What it did make me realize is that celebrity or no everyone has their problems and no one is exempt. And it made me realize that if she was not sitting around feeling sorry for herself then neither should I.
This was another story that touched my heart. Her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and then a few months later so was she. Once again, hard times is a respecter of no one. What was most inspiring about her story was her belief in God. I mean I believe in God, so I get it. But I thought it was amazing how she shared her faith in God and was not ashamed about that. Which is something that not many celebrities would be willing to do.
BlogHer Conference What I Learned
When I got done with the conference or as I was going through it I felt a renewed. As a blogger I LOVE the work that I do , and while you are in the process of building your brand or any business for that matter, you still have to work your regular job without really knowing if any of it is going to pay off. When I hear these women’s stories and how they made it then it remind me that I can make it too. There is no difference between them aside from the fact that they are where I want to be. And with hard work and dedication, I can get there too. I also learned that Instagram is king in this day and age and that I must learn to leverage social media.
BlogHer Conference is it worth going
For me, I would say that it was. I made new friends, found different connections, and seeing was believing for me. There are hundreds of willing out here every day being boss women, taking charge of their career, and doing what they love. The biggest takeaway is that if all those women on stage can build their brand into something successful then so can I.
BlogHer Conference How To Make The Most of Your Experience
Be ready to meet people. All the bloggers were so open to making connections that it made it worthwhile to connect with other people. There were big bloggers, small bloggers, and even business owners. So you just never know which ones you can collab with.
Remember to be in the moment and to have fun. It can be so awkward to take pictures in public with people who are wondering what you are doing, but I remember thinking that the backdrop of this place was terrific. So just taking pictures and doing things with people who understand why I am posing in front of a window taking a thousand pictures was refreshing. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.
Bring cards. I met so many people in passing that it was hard to keep up with them as the hours passed, but exchanging cards is what will help you maintain a connection over time.
Dress to impress. I am a huge advocate of dressing like success. You never know who you will meet and who you can make contact with. So it is better to dress is business casual in a way that represents you and your brand. I saw some people that wowed me with their look to the point that I wanted to know what they are all about. And there were some people who just were too far gone with their look to the point that it looked unprofessional. Be the person that other people want to meet. And if you know someone that can read this blog post, then please feel free to share it with them.