Photo by Kenny Pang
I was very excited that I was invited to a bloggers event put on by the American magazine Ladies Home Journal. The conference was all about networking, inspiration and entrepreneurial blogging! I’ve been to a few food blogging conferences before but I ended up learning the most from the this conference. For the other bloggers out there (not just the foodies) I wanted to share a few of the ideas I took away from the day. The timing of the day was perfect. It’s a little overwhelming being back in America but I left feeling that I can do it and bring my blog along for the ride. I hope that sharing these tips will be helpful to someone else.
Ladies Home Journal has an audience of 10 million. That is a staggering figure. The parent company, Meredith, also owns various other titles and websites (such as allrecipes.com) and has an enormous audience (I heard someone say 100 million but don’t quote me on that). I spoke with the editor Sally Lee before the conference started and she told me that Ladies Home Journal is a strong believer in paying for good content. The magazine subscribers pay good money for their subscription after all! Ladies Home Journal wants to help bloggers build their own brand and bring their content to a wider audience. When a PR asks you to provide content for free think again!
The first speaker was Joy from Joy the Baker. I love her blog so I was really looking forward to her thoughts. Her talk reminded me of the things that I used to do when I first started blogging but haven’t done as much of recently. Blogging is all about the internet but remember to stay connected. She means stay connected with other people. Collaborate. Bring your blogging powers together with other bloggers. Don’t be afraid to email and ask. I used to do this all the time and trust me most of my emails went ignored but someone out there will want to get in touch! You will end up learning more from each other than sat alone at your computer.
Photo by Kenny Pang
Kendi from Kendi Everday spoke about transferring her blog to an actual storefront. One of her points was very simple but also very important in my opinion. What’s happening now is just as important as what’s to come. As a blogger I’m always thinking of what I can do next and where I want the blog to go but what I’m doing now is just as crucial.
The blog to book panel was a very frank discussion. A lot of bloggers out there dream of getting a book deal or a book published (me included). The panel included The Pioneer Woman’s agent, an editor and Snack Girl. Good thing Snack Girl was on the panel because besides being a great speaker and funny person, realistically if you want to write or publish a book, she reminded me that no one can hold me back. On the other side of the fence the book pros said that a publishing house won’t even be interested in a proposal until you have 50-75 thousand likes or followers. Looks like I only have 48,000 more to go!
Gabrielle Bernstein spoke last. She’s a professional motivational speaker that’s built her business through her video blog. It’s mesmerizing to watch her talk. She’s been interviewed by Oprah and has been on the New York Times best sellers list. She’s a pro now but spent years with standard video and editing equipment. She succeeded because of her passion and commitment and it doesn’t take a professionally edited video to see that. It felt good to hear someone say that. Some of my favorite blogs are no frills and the content and narrative is what keeps me going back to them.
Cupcake for breakfast at Grand Central
I ended up learning so much from this day because there were so many different perspectives in the room. Staff from the magazine, publishers, other non food bloggers (fashion, parents, tech and beauty). The day didn’t have an overwhelmingly packed agenda. When I go to a paid conference I feel that the organizers try to cram so much in that there’s not much time to enjoy the day and let the information sink in! I left that afternoon feeling totally pumped up and jazzed to get back out there and bring my blog to America!
I was invited to attend the conference. I was in no way obligated to write a blog post. I did receive free gifts from the sponsors. This website contains affiliate links for Meredith publications.