Blogtacular – My thoughts on what I enjoyed and what I’d do differently if I went next year

What I am about to tell you might make me a terrible blogger and make
you think I learnt nothing from my time at Blogtacular, but, I haven’t
read any of the posts from the weekend. Not one. I do have them saved up
for reading after I’ve written this post, but I haven’t read them yet. And I haven’t read them because I didn’t want to be taking on other peoples thoughts or experiences of the weekend and putting them onto mine. 
I should start by saying that I had a great weekend. I loved the road trip I took with Toni. I was so happy to get the chance to spend some time with Liz (Fickle Craftroom) at her house and at the event itself. I loved the Friday videowalk. It was so nice to grab dinner with some of the other photowalkers.  Although I didn’t take part in many of the craft opportunities had a great time at the West Elm Party.

And I really enjoyed my time at Blogtacular itself, but I’m not sure it was the blog revelation I had it in my head to be. I thought that I’d come away with my brain so full of ideas that I’d be blogging every day of the week, that I’d be on fire. That I’d suddenly becaome a super blogger. But the reality was very different. I felt  a bit deflated  (I think that shows in sporadic posting doesn’t it ). I felt overwhelmed. And I felt a bit of a failure for not being instafamous. 

But I thought it might be useful to put down the things that I took away from the day – just to remind myself about the great things I learnt and experienced after feeling a bit, well, unsure!

The Sessions

I’d already chosen the sessions I was interested in, and whilst I had a few wobbles on the day – i stuck to my guns on them, but I wonder if I ought to have been swayed into other sessions?

My first session was Building your community with Kate O’Sullivan from A Playful Day. I’m not sure that the things I took away from the session are the bits she wan’t us to take away – I was more interested in her story telling slides than the building a community. 
As it transpires I’m not sure I’m the one to be building a community here. I’m not consistent enough. But I loved her enthusiasm that everyone had engaing stories within them. I liked her thoughts on making sure that the story was right for the platform and taking yourself to where the conversation is taking place, which is relevant for everyone I think. And I liked her views on keeping the content simple. 

The next session was the one I was most looking forwards to, but maybe the one that I ought to have missed the most. It was the Pinterest Ads session. Pinterest is one of my favourite platforms and I’ve been playing with ads since they were launched so I felt like I didn’t actually learn anything beyond the fact that the optimum length for a pin description is 500 characters. It felt more like a sales pitch if I am honest. Which was disappointing as I thought it might give some real insight into Pinterest Ads. 

My final session of the day was with Laura La Monaca of Daily Breakfast. I maybe ought to picked something else here but I thought I’d really enjoy it. And I did. I just didn’t learn much. Besides the fact I NEED a polarising filter for my camera (birthday list anyone?) I loved listening to her thoughts on what makes good composition, but the ‘practical’ session was a bit basic (I know it had to be – it was a group and half an hour!) but it was still fun! 

So, I think the consensus is that I picked some of the wrong sessions. I picked things I am interested in, which you’d think was the way to go right? But it meant that I’d already consumed a lot of info on those topics and so I didn’t learn all that much. I think maybe I should have gone to the sessions on improving my writing style and that sort of thing. I think you guys might have appreciated that really. 

But despite that, there were some things I really loved about Blogtacular
  • I met some really lovely people
  • The keynote speeches were really inspirational
  • The genius bar was a great resource. I got to say thank you to Elaine for her help with my coding issues with Disqus, and had an appraisal of my Pinterest account which was super helpful. 
  • Hearing people’s stories of success. 
  • Meeting Enid from Pinterest – she was so lovely about me being one of the original 300 blog pinners

But there are some things I’d change about me if I went again
  • I didn’t network enough. Sure I spoke to some people and I branched out on my own to go to talks, but I didn’t ‘work the room’ like maybe I should have. 
  • I didn’t give out many of my blog cards
  • I’d do some more of the creative making events
  • I’d pick sessions that would challenge me

Have you been to a blog conference? What did you think about it? Did you learn lots or did you make some of the same mistakes as me?

(All images courtesy of Blogtacular and taken by Will Ireland) 

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