My Reasons for Not Attending a Blogging Conference

I finally made a decision regarding BlogHer.

First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to take my poll (located in sidebar for you RSS readers). The results somewhat surprised me.


YES 14% (4 votes)

NO 48% (14 votes)

MAYBE 0% (0 votes)

WHAT’S BLOGHER? 31% (9 votes)

Other: 7% (2 votes)
(comments being: “I wish!”

For those 9 people that don’t know what BlogHer is:

BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment.

In essence, if you’re in the market to “sell” your blog to companies (put ads on your blog, promote products, etc.), then BlogHer is an organization that can help you to achieve that goal.

BlogHer has an annual conference – two days of networking, meeting potential advertisers, and of course, to meet other bloggers. This year, the conference is being held in Chicago …

Only an eight hour drive from where I live.

I toyed, I SERIOUSLY toyed, with the idea of going. I even talked to my husband and sold him on the idea of taking a mini-vacation at the end of July and I would attend the conference one day. He said okay.

So, I began researching. I looked at the conferences available. I read the descriptions. And I was a bit disappointed.

I don’t know what I expected. I mean after all, the sole purpose behind BlogHer is to introduce interested bloggers on how to market their blogs but still, I felt a little uneasy.

And then Blissdom and Mom 2.0 happened and I read a ton of posts about the events and that’s when I realized, attending one of these conferences would be a complete waste of time for me.

Please let me repeat that, for me.

And I started thinking about why I felt that way. I sat and stared out of the window for quite some time just running through the various conference scenarios in my head and the more I thought about it, the more I knew I simply would not belong.

The bottom line for me? I’m just not interested in marketing my blog. I don’t want ads. I don’t want to do reviews. I don’t want to actively sell myself to people. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know why.

It’s. Just. Not. Me.

Now granted, this is my opinion. I am certainly not going to criticize anyone else who actively markets themselves, or does reviews. We all blog for different reasons. My reason is to journal my life and to put a little of my creative writing “out there.” I’ve never had grandiose ideas of becoming a famous blogger. I don’t even think I want to be a popular blogger; I simply want to stay true to myself.

But I enjoy making people laugh, so you will see an occasional goofy post because, again, that’s simply who I am – I’m a complete dork. And you will see an occasional giveaway because I honest to God enjoy giving things away. It’s my very small way of giving back to the community. It makes me all warm and gooey inside to bring a smile to someone’s face.

IF I were to EVER contemplate putting ads on my blog, or succumbing to a vendor’s demands, I would do it exactly like Ree does at The Pioneer Woman. I simply ADORE her. She’s humble. She’s sweet. She’s nice. She’s downright classy. Her posts are always about her family and her life. And her giveaways are impressive and huge and incredibly generous. She never begs for votes. And she’s reluctant to bring attention to her popularity, so much so that she just about didn’t mention that she was listed as one of the top 25 blogs in the The New York Times! Now that’s humility!

That’s EXACTLY how I would handle myself if I ever crossed that marketing threshold. And I’ve had offers to sell things here, but I’ve turned them down. It’s simply not an avenue I’m willing to pursue at this time.

So, I will not be attending BlogHer, or any other blog marketing conference because that’s simply not what I want. I’m content to be small potatoes. I’m happy not having to answer to guidelines and rules. I’m content to write what I want, when I want and answer to no one but myself.

But to those of you out there that ARE going to a blogging conference, good luck, have fun and I hope it’s everything you want it to be!

But here’s an idea, wouldn’t it be fun to have a blogger’s conference where the sole purpose was to simply meet one another? Sort of like speed dating only with bloggers! I would LOVE to meet the people behind my favorite blogs, to interview them, to take pictures with them, and to really get to know THEM, without all of this marketing jazz, you know? And I’d REALLY like to get to know area bloggers – people who actually live close enough to visit! Is there anything like that out there now? A blogging organization with local chapters? If so, I’d be interested in learning more about it!

One more thing, Lindsay, at Suburban Turmoil, wrote a really interesting post today that really sums up how I feel, exactly:

I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend on the Internet and I want to spend the time I do have writing, and making what I’ve already written better. Not promoting my brand. Not optimizing my blog for search engines. Not seeking out partnerships with corporations.

Lindsay then goes on to say in a newspaper column she writes for Nashville’s “The City Paper“:

It’s … hard not to feel like I’m dangerously close to exploiting my family for a taste of fame and fortune.

You took the words right out of my mouth, Lindsay, I feel the same way. And I think that’s the biggest reason I haven’t succumbed to ads and marketing ploys – I just don’t feel comfortable using my family as a springboard to extra income.

Even though I can understand other bloggers that do. I mean, heck, if one can stay home and make some money, especially with the way things are now, in our economy, why not, right?

Maybe I just need to adjust my way of thinking? It’s all so confusing.

7 thoughts on “My Reasons for Not Attending a Blogging Conference”

  1. Hi Karen, I don’t really know you but I followed a link from Linday’s blog.

    I see your description about what you’d love to do and I’m thinking wait a sec…that’s what blogher is. Only with a whole lot more invitees. I’ve been to blogher for the last three years and I can tell you it’s not a conference about marketing your blog. I believe that’s what both blissdom and mom 2.0 were.

    Blogher is more an opportunity to hang out with friends, meet new ones, and then maybe learn stuff that might be fun and interesting for you as a woman and a blogger. There’s indeed a marketing track, but there’s also a mommyblogging track that takes on topics like how much to reveal, why balance is a myth, and online safety for kids. Last year I went to a cooking demo by Rocco “The Nipple” Dispirito, had great political discussions, and taped a video with a muppet that my daughter hasn’t stopped making me play over and over and oooooover.

    Full disclosure: I’m speaking there this year. But I will say I always see women saying “bah! It’s not for me!” and then the next year they go and say ack, why didn’t I go the first time? That was fun!

    (And sh, don’t tell jory but the first year I went I pretty much blew off every single panel. It was more fun hanging out around the pool with my new friends.)

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jory.

    For me, I think I would prefer a conference with more of an emphasis on meeting other bloggers as opposed to the emphasis being on marketing my blog.

    But that’s just me – if others are more interested in marketing their blogs and meeting great people on the side, then blogging conferences are definitely the way to go!

  3. Hi Karen,

    I’m sorry you won’t be joining us! I understand your hesitation. But I want to be sure you know that not everybody that goes to BlogHer is commercially driven to grow their platform. Last year, about half of attendees were newbies, many of whom just liked blogging and wanted to meet others who do too. The number one reason every year attendees say they come to BlogHer? To meet the women that they read and interact with every day. You would find you ilk at BlogHer. There are many ilks! 😉

    Co Founder

  4. Oooo, a potluck! At a park! Even better! We wouldn’t have to worry about what to wear, just show up in jeans and t-shirts, cameras in hand and sit around and gab! Now THAT sounds like fun to me!

  5. Karen, I LOVE your idea of a blogging get-together. That wold be so much fun. Maybe at a park or something… potluck so it wouldn’t cost a fortune. I’ve not heard of any blogging association with local chapters. Maybe that’s something we should consider doing (in our spare time )

  6. I’m so glad you wrote this. I’ve really wanted to go to Blogher for a long time but it just was never in the cards for me. I always hear about finding your brand or whatever and never really understood why that was so important in all these conferences, when all I just want to do is blog and meet others who share the same passion.

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