Before I get into Blogfest and what I learned, I wanted to start with a little backstory of my decision to apply. Back in March of this year, I was sitting in a hostel in Melbourne, Australia. Brian was enjoying some socializing and I just needed some downtime. I was reading blogs and then looked up Blogfest for this year. At this time I didn’t know when I would return from traveling, but I figured probably by June so I figured I could make it to Blogfest in July. I knew that as a blogger, I could apply online to go to Blogfest. I had doubts I would get accepted seeing as my blog stats aren’t that big, but I would never know if I didn’t apply. So I sat down and worked on the application. I believe it took me a couple days before I was finally confident with my answers and submitted. Towards the end of April, I had just returned to the states when I found out I was accepted. I signed up right away, even knowing that I had just spent so much money traveling and I didn’t have a job yet and what would my vacation time be like. I knew I wanted to make it happen this year. Somehow, I was going to.
Fast forward to May and I am searching for a job in a new area. I received so many rejection emails on companies deciding on other people. Still, I went ahead and found a roommate thanks to the amazing Facebook group, I booked the hotel and flight.
I started a new job in June and by starting in June, I was given 2 floating holidays, exactly the number of days I needed off to go to Blogfest. I think it’s amazing when life works out like that. I truly believe it was meant to be and am so grateful for the opportunity.
I could probably write a book about what I learned in one weekend at my first Blogfest. I really am still processing everything. I will say that I absolutely loved the event so much. From day 1, people were so nice to let me sit with them and start up conversations on what we do in the fitness industry. While my main job may be accounting for the time being, I loved hearing from personal trainers, group exercise instructors, nutritionists, social media experts, etc. IDEA world truly brings all these amazing people together. I found that IDEA World and Blogfest are about networking, learning and inspiring others.
While I have been blogging for about 3 years, I didn’t take much time the first or even second year to work on my blog and grow it. It has only been during this past year, I have brainstormed more about evergreen posts and what people want to read. I think one of my favorite sessions of Blogfest was Blog Feedback; discussing my blog with another person and getting ideas of what works and what needs improving on my site. This leads to my first takeaway.
Who is my Audience?
The first question my peer would ask me is who are you writing for? I simply didn’t have an answer and I know that is key for growing a blog. It really got me thinking and after the session, I do feel as though I am aiming at people in the age range of maybe 24-40 years old. It helped that the session forced me to describe what I talk about on this platform and I learned just by talking about it certain focuses stood out to me on where I want this blog to go. Who is my Audience is something I will now think about as I work on posts.
Blogfest and IDEA had many inspiring speakers and below I will highlight my takeaways from them.
Creating a pitch for guest blogging – Amanda Vogel
Thanks to Blogfest for having Amanda Vogel present. I can’t say that I knew her before blogfest, but I loved her presentation about pitching for guest blogging and the resources she provided. I hadn’t thought much about guest blogging before, but I definitely plan to check it out.
Write Daily – Todd Durkin
I knew about Todd Durkin thanks to Kasey and I was so excited that not only did I know who he was but also to hear him give a Keynote speech to Blogfest. Todd’s story is definitely inspiring and one of his key takeaways was write daily. I used to write daily through college and it was really therapeutic for me. I’ve noticed as I have cut way back on that, sometimes I just need a couple hours to type out whatever, even if it doesn’t lead to a blog post, I just need to write.
Little Choices add up – Darren Hardy
The IDEA world keynote during the opening ceremony was Darren Hardy. He gave a really inspiring speech about the choices we make in life and how it is not always the big choices, but all the LITTLE choices that add up. For example, if you eat fried food everyday. At first, you are young and it’s fine, but you don’t know what is really happening inside your body and then 20 years later, you are diagnosed with something. Another example is maybe you think you will never save any money because you just love shopping. Try to start small with setting aside $1 a day or something. Overtime that money adds up, eventually you can open a bank account that pays interest and grow the money even more.
The little everyday choices are important in our lives and will either help or not with setting us up for success. Something I have had to learn since returning from traveling and going into weightlifting again is being patient with increasing the weights. I have had to focus hard on form and sometimes the ego gets in the way seeing someone squat 200 lbs and I wish I could quickly go there, but truth is, it took them hard work and time to get there as well. Slowly working on form and increasing my weights, I can squat deeper than I ever have before and notice my glutes are so much stronger. Overall, my body is getting so much stronger and it doesn’t have to be by doing 200 lb squats. I will work up to that one day, but for now, I am happy to slowly see progress after 2 months.
Use News of the Day to bring up Old posts – Katy Widrick
I knew of Katy Widrick before Blogfest as I have heard her on her own podcast and others. I loved her tips on old posts, especially the tip of looking at current news and relating an old post to it. Maybe it’s something about fitness wear or maybe it’s a workout you shared. Finding that way to make old posts relevant again is great and a new way for me to look at some of my content and evergreen posts.
This is only a handful of the takeaways I got from attending Blogfest and IDEA World. I think mostly, I was just so inspired by everyone. I was inspired by the speakers who have a family at home. I was inspired by people’s background and how they got to where they are. I was inspired by old and new bloggers.
One of the greatest things about blogging is that there is always something to learn. There are different tools that people can become an expert in, whether it’s design, coding, photographing, social media, etc. There are so many different professions that can come together and most people just start a blog as a hobby, like me.
I may be mostly introvert, but this year I feel like I really have come out of my shell. At Blogfest I felt I could just be me and people loved that. As I would tell them the backstory on my blog name or why I started it (which I may need to write a post on in more detail soon), I just loved that they felt inspired by my story and what I write.
I’m hoping I can make it work to attend next year in San Diego, because 1) I have never been to California besides the airports and 2) I left so inspired and crave that learning and inspiration.
Thank you Blogfest, Sweat Pink and to the amazing sponsors that allowed me to attend the convention without cost. I did have to pay flight and hotel, but I really am so grateful that the convention was included in Blogfest and I learned so much.