Why Every Blogger Should Attend a Blogging Conference

posted in: Blogging, Writing | 14

Blogging Conference

This past weekend I was immersed in blogging. I attended a blogging conference in Hot Springs, AR called Arkansas Women Blogging University (AWBU). Just because it has Arkansas in the name doesn’t mean it’s just for AR bloggers. All the state groups under The Women Bloggers umbrella are encouraged to attend and I’m so glad I did.

I’ve been to two blogging conferences before and while they were great conferences and I learned a lot, this conference was head and shoulders above the others. What made it so great? Let’s break it down.

First of all the swag. When you go to a blogging conference you always walk away with freebies. The conference sponsors bring stuff and product to give the bloggers knowing that we will tweet our little fingers off about them. These sponsors brought it Bring It On style. Even though this is a smaller conference they were in it to win it. I came home with a huge jug of rice oil and eight bags of rice from Riceland Foods, Microplanes, oven mitts, aprons, gourmet balsamic vinegar from Di Nigris Vinegar, bottles and bottles of Mountain Valley Spring Water, a gift card to Robinson Lane jewelry, not to mention all the note pads, pens, emery boards, t-shirt, etc. 

Blogging Conference

Next, the learning. I came home with my head full of information about how to start a podcast, Periscope, being a better writer, writing to get hired and tons of motivation. I even had the honor of presenting my own session: Letting Go of Blog Envy. This was my first experience in presenting at a blogging conference and the perfect opportunity to try my hand at public speaking. 

blogging conference

We did something a little different and a lot awesome that I’ve never done at any other conference; we spent time giving back to a local non-profit. Conference organizers brought in The Pack Shack to teach us about hunger in Arkansas and what The Pack Shack is doing to help those in need. They brought all the supplies for 100 women to work together to pack shelf-stable, nutritious meals that will go out to families in need in Arkansas. In less than an hour we packed over 10,000 meals. Serious wow and had a crazy fun time doing it.

blogging conference

(me and my roomie, Rachel Hough)

blogging confernce

(myself, OKWB partner in crime Mari Farthing & conference Czar Stephanie Buckley)

Last (but not least) the friendships and connections. There were 4 of us from Oklahoma and it was amazing to get to spend time with them and get to know each other better. We all know each other online but that’s not the same as really getting to know someone’s personality in real life. When you read a blog you feel like you get to take a look through a window into their head. Then you meet them in real life and the door is opened to who they really are. You make the connection of what you know online with who that person really is. 

There are also all the new connections I’ve made. it’s great to meet new people who know the ins and outs of being a blogger. You all have the same struggles and victories and can lift each other up, offer encouragement and cheer each other on. 

blogging conference

(my Oklahoma Women Blogger sisters)

One thing I head over and over at this conference…women can be catty and competitive in the blogging word; but not this group. The women who attend AWBU are all about making connections and lifting each other up. If you are a blogger, keep AWBU on your radar. It will be in Fayetteville, AR next year. You can bet I’ll be there.

14 Responses

    • Stephanie Clinton

      It was great to meet you too Sarah. Thank you so much for being so welcoming. Here’s to Fayetteville!

  1. Brittney

    I agree that blogging conferences are a must-do for any blogger…and I’m partial to AWBU because of the wonderful, positive spirit that everyone has. So glad to have met you!

    • Stephanie Clinton

      It was great to meet you too. Yes, this conference was so encouraging and inclusive. Love it!

  2. Tiffany

    So glad you were able to make it down here for the conference and that we met. I agree that ARWB is an amazingly supportive, generous, and knowledgeable group of women. Love whenever we all get together. Hope to see you at future events. 🙂

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Thanks Tiffany and great to meet you too. Yes, I want to make it a priority to attend the next conference.

  3. Gina

    Your session was SO SO good and exactly what I need to hear. My little “share” at the end was an emotion that surprised me; I don’t tend to open up like that in front of people. I must confess-I really did want that book but the fear and those tears? They were real. Thank you for creating a space where I felt comfortable enough to share. And, thanks for the hug! I’ll be reading more from you.

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Oh Gina – That means so much to me. Thank you for sharing what was on your heart and being vulnerable. I’m so glad we met!

  4. Chris Carter

    Ooooh!! First of all, I LOVE your new blog home!!! It’s just soooo professional and beautiful and adorable and inviting and AWESOME. 🙂 Well done YOU.

    This conference sounds like it was really amazing, my friend. I just LOVE that you are getting so involved and active with the blogging scene…

    I have yet to go to a conference… I just haven’t reached that point. I know I need to, want to, and yet, we can’t make it happen financially, and I’m SCARED! I feel so ignorant when it comes to conferences and sessions and all that I *should* know by now… Good LORD. Someday…
    Chris Carter recently posted…Weekend Warrior- Mama StyleMy Profile

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Thank you!

      The first time at a conference can be pretty intimidating and scary. But once you get your feet wet you want to jump in. Find a conference close to you and convince a friend to go with you. Wish I was closer so I could go w/ you.

  5. Debbie

    I am so glad you guys were there—you are so creative and so much fun. I’m excited that AWBU will be even closer to you next fall. We will definitely expect to see you there! xoxoxo

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Thank you! It was so much fun to be there and everyone was so welcoming. Looking forward to next year!

  6. Jenny Marrs

    It was so great meeting you! I hate that I missed your session, I heard it was wonderful! Looking forward to following along here on your blog:)

    • Stephanie Clinton

      It was great to meet you too. Thanks for following along. I’ll do the same so I can get to know you better for next year. 🙂

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