Monday, September 12, 2011

MN Blog Conference

This past Saturday was the Minnesota Blog Conference. I was so excited that I was able to get a ticket to this event as the tickets went very quickly. I have been wanting to go to a blog conference for a while now and when I heard about this one that would be right here in the Twin Cities and that it was completely free; I knew that I had to go.

The conference was held at the Allina Commons in Minneapolis, which was an amazing facility and easily accommodated a conference of this size. A big thank you to Missy Berggren (Marketing Mama) and Arik Hanson for organizing such a great event and bringing over 200 Minnesota bloggers together for a day of fun, learning and networking.

The morning started with the keynote speaker; Lee Odden from TopRank Marketing. He was a fabulous presenter and spoke of lessons he has learned from his years of blog writing; Blogs to Riches. He gave us 5 great lessons for being ‘online writers.’
     1) No blog plan is a plan to fail
     2) Adapt and thrive
     3) It is not all about you
     4) Ask- recognize- repeat
     5) The end is near, let’s start. (when you think you have run out, you’ve just begun)

And a great quote that he gave to us; “Content is King, Creativity is Queen.”

From here, we broke out into different sessions.

There were so many fabulous sessions to choose from and it was not an easy decision but the first one I chose was ‘Supporting Your Blog with Photos’ presented by Mandy Dwyer from Glimpses of Soul Photography.

She talked of the difference between a photograph and a snapshot and the benefits of each. She spoke on creating a photograph by slowing down, learning to see and to shoot intentionally. I loved this. She covered lighting, composition and perspective.

And Mandy left us with a take away for getting those great pictures :: slow down :: get out and practice :: shoot often :: change up perspective :: make mistakes :: learn from those mistakes :: get feedback from others.

The next session I went to was ’15 Essential WordPress Plugins’ by Mykl Roventine.

I am working on making the switch from Blogger to WordPress and am very interested in learning all that I can on this. This was another great session- even if it did get over my head a little bit. :) The list of the Plugins can be found here on his blog.

Next up on the schedule was lunch, which was an awesome taco bar and was also included in our free ticket thanks to the great sponsors Allina Hospitals, Kare11 and TopRank Online Marketing. It was nice to have an hour break to have some time to meet some new people and also a few minutes to process all the great information already given to us.

The next session I chose was my favorite of the day. It was titled, 'Scene and Story: Make Your Writing Sing' presented by Kate Hopper. She talked of using concrete details and using our senses (sight, sound, touch, taste) to bring the reader into the experience. She told us to “get to the point grounded in detail.” We did 2 different writing exercises that really stretched us and got the creative juices flowing. This session was so great and really motivated me to practice and grow my writing skills.

The final session of the day was ‘Moving Your Blog to WordPress’ by Tim Elliot. He did a great job breaking things down so we could understand it and he has also made his presentation available online.

My only regrets from the day are that I didn’t take more pictures and that because there was so much great stuff to choose from, I wasn’t able to get to all the presentations that I wanted to. The ones I sadly missed were ‘Building Communities’ with Jen Emmert as one of the panelists and the other one was ‘Vlogging: Lessons to Learn from TV’ with Erica Mayer. Oh well, hopefully next year. :)

The day flew by and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to spend a Saturday meeting and learning with other bloggers who all have their own story to tell.

1 comment:

kate hopper said...

Kathie, thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed the session! I look forward to reading your writing!