I’m still processing everything I discovered at this year’s BlogHer conference, held Aug. 2 – 4 in Manhattan. I learned tons, met hundreds of amazing, talented, hard-working bloggers, gathered helpful tips and a bit of swag (I left a healthy selection of the better stuff for the chambermaid – now, there’s a hard-working woman!), and felt inspired by the sheer exuberance of the crowds and the willingness of everyone to share what they know.
For those who didn’t get to the conference this year or didn’t go to the same sessions, I wanted to share some of the most inspiring things I heard from panelists during my two days at BlogHer:
6. Blogging isn’t dead – a whole medium doesn’t die, notes Elan Morgan. Media evolve. But, if we don’t gather and talk about blogging, in the way businesses discuss strategy and the future, we lose community.
5. Children can become junior board members at age 12, according to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien – while this may not be appropriate for every board or organization, imagine the eye-opening conversations about the consequences of decisions if board members had to think beyond the next quarter and out to the next generation.
4. Even in a world of Likes, Pins and Plusses, the best way to engage is still face-to-face – because then it’s not about “What can you do for me?,” but “How are you?” Real engagement happens when you’re ready to listen, says Doug French, founder of the Dad 2.0 Summit.
3. Respect your talent and price it accordingly – “I do not write for anyone for free,” states Cecily Kellogg, one of the panelists at the “How to Price and Value Your Services” session. “I support my family. I have to earn a living.” Fellow panel member Monica Barnett adds: “What you give away for free is rarely valued.”
2. If you want to work with brands, you must stay true to yourself – your credibility is based on your honesty and transparency on your blog. Smart brands want to tap into strong voices; they don’t want to change you or put conditions on what you write. Make sure you work with brands that want you to remain consistent with your values and voice.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask – virtually every panelist made this point. The social media world is incredibly open and forthright. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone says No? The next person will say Yes. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. If you don’t know, you can’t learn. If you don’t learn, you stagnate. Join in, ask, discover, and return the favor when you can!