Last week, I attended the Blended Conference, Arizona’s Premiere Blogging Conference, for the second year in a row. I am SO excited to recap it and tell you all about it.
The months leading up to this year’s Blended Conference, I was so excited to get back into the swing of going to local blogging events. Last year, I was about nine months pregnant at the time of the conference, so this past year I have not been able to attend a lot of blogging events that I have wanted to attend. Now that my son has started to be able to eat solid food and drink water from a bottle, I had the chance to sneak away for a good part of the conference while my mom watched him.
And boy am I glad I was able to go. I just kept telling people over and over that last year’s conference was great, but this year’s blew last year’s out of the water! I took 11 pages of notes just in the first half before lunch on the first day.
What I love most about Blended is that it’s run by a blogger who gets it. Wendy from Around My Family Table is a blogger first and foremost (and a successful one at that!) so I really believe that when she plans out the speakers, topics and even sponsors for the events that she really has bloggers’ hearts in mind! It was so evident this year with the speakers she hand picked, especially. Here’s a quick run through of the sessions I went to (there were more, but like I said I was not at the conference the whole time) on day one.
+ (Keynote Speaker) Building a Community: Aubrey from Real House Moms
Biggest take away: Your blogging community is more than your readers. Who is in your blogger court, cheering you on, holding you accountable and helping you grow? My favorite quote? “Be invested in each other’s success.”
+ Know Your Price: Danielle Liss from Businessese
Biggest take away: No two bloggers should be charging the same thing for the same project. And also, your price is based on so much more than just pageviews.
Businessese has an entire course on knowing how to price your services when working with brands. From the snippet at the conference, I can tell you this course will be amazing!
+ Pitching and Negotiating with Brands: Carly Anderson from Lipstick & Crayons
Carly gave so much helpful information on pitching brands directly, working with networks and agencies and even (gasp!) working for free sometimes. So much good information.
+ Affiliate Marketing: Kelley Wilson from Miss Information
Affiliate marketing is something I haven’t delved into a ton, but would love to start. Kelley’s information was so helpful. Biggest take away: Go wide instead of deep with affiliate marketing. It takes a LOT of links to make money.
[clickToTweet tweet=”These take aways from #blendedconf are so good! @joyfullymad shares her recap!” quote=”‘Be invested in each other’s success.’ “]
When sessions weren’t going on, there was plenty of time to walk around the gorgeous venue. The conference was held at the Windmill Winery in Florence, AZ. It was really nice to have it be a close enough location to drive to the day of but a lot of people made the whole thing a vacation and stayed the entire time. There was plenty of events planned in the evenings as well for those who stayed in town!
Day two had morning sessions and then my favorite part of the entire conference.
The Blended executive team arranged for one on one meetings with brands. I don’t know about you, but I’ve NEVER seen something like this offered at another conference. This wasn’t the typical meeting where brands are sitting at a table and you casually walk by and drop your card.
We used a “speed dating” system to fill out a profile for our blogs and times we were available to meet, then the sponsoring brands picked bloggers to meet with for a 10 minute power intro session. So I was able to sit down for 10 minutes each with THREE brands that I can’t wait to work with!
The sponsoring brands were also very present within the conference and were at their tables for people to walk by, chat, make crafts with the ladies from Cricut, try samples from Melissa’s Produce, and take photos at the GoDaddy photo booth! There was also a demonstration on using the products from Sambazon (acai smoothie bowls are kind of amazing!).
I drove up specifically to meet with the brands that I had meetings with, but I imagine that the time where people had various meetings was also a great networking time for other bloggers. While I was waiting for a few of my meetings, I was able to catch up with Holly from My Plant Based Family, who I met last year, and also get to know Laura from Laura’s Crafty Life, my new friend from this year!
Part of the reason I know that the conference was amazing is the fact that I was not counting down the time until I needed to get home to my little guy. In fact, I had to force myself to leave!
There aren’t any details for next year yet but you can bet if there’s another year of the Blended Conference, I’ll be there for sure!
[clickToTweet tweet=”The #blendedconf executive team and @myfamilytable did an amazing job with @blendedconf this year!” quote=”The #blendedconf executive team and @myfamilytable did an amazing job with @blendedconf this year!”]
A huge thanks again to Wendy from Around My Family Table for coordinating this amazing conference!