10 Ways to Prepare for a Blogging Conference


I have never been to a blogging conference.

That will change in just under one month, when I will be attending The BEECH Retreat.    

To say I'm excited is an understatement!  

What excites me (aside from the location is sunny Southwest Florida!) is the opportunity to learn more about blogging, building a platform, and building relationships with companies and other bloggers.   

I've been doing a lot to prepare - things that I think would benefit me even if I weren't going to a blogging conference.   Many of these ideas you can use if you want to learn more about blogging and take your craft to the next level.


1.  Read Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is one of the  speakers at BEECH.   His book is full of ideas you can use and implement IMMEDIATELY to grow your blog and define your online audience.   

I read it through once, and then read it again and decided on several action steps to take with my blog.   I can whittle away at these action steps when I have spare time, so it's not such a daunting task. 

He even goes into business cards, elevator pitches, post topics and templates, and the anatomy of a succinct blog post.

{Read Michael Hyatt's blog, too -- packed with great advice.}  


2.  Read articles about blogging, social media, and other technological things that interest you.

I started a blogging tips Pinterest board where I collect helpful information.

Following iHN blogging on Pinterest has also been very helpful.  


The BEECH Retreat also has a Pinterest account.    I've read through many of the pins and learned SO MUCH.  

I have set aside about 30 minutes in the evening before I go to bed to read articles.   I consider this an investment in my small business.


3.  Make a blog planner.

The planner I chose was created by Jolanthe, at Homeschool Creations.  It is free and easy to use.   She even recommends what type of binder to purchase, tabs to use, etc...    

I'm not sure how I've survived without a blog planner up until now, but I'm really seeing the benefit of using one.  It helps me keep track of reviews, guest posting, my focus for each month, and so much more.

4. Secure a sponsor -- or NOT. 

I received some helpful advice from a good blogging friend, which was to go WITHOUT A SPONSOR if I could afford it.   I dedicated the income from my blog to pay for my conference ticket, so I'm blessed in that regard.

If you do not have a sponsor sometimes you can focus on the offerings of the conference without having any responsibilities to anyone else.

Of course, if you do have a sponsor you get to go for FREE, so it's up to you. This is a good article about how to secure a sponsor. 

I am excited that I'm working with a representative from a company  I LOVE.  I get some of their products and will be using them at the conference.   

 5. Get to know other attendees.  

I already know (through our blogs, not in person) many of the BEECH Retreat Attendees.   (This is a large part of the reason I decided on THIS conference, because I knew the organizers and many of the attendees were bloggers I had much in common with and I admire a great deal - not to say I don't admire the other conferences; I am just not as famiiar with them.)

Connect with them on their social media platforms, comment on their blogs, and strike up a rapport.  

6.  Make sure you have a good laptop and smartphone.

Last spring I got a MacBook Air.   I LOVE this computer.  (I wrote off this expense for my business.)

I imagine I'll be using my computer A LOT during the conference.  

A smartphone is almost a necessity for tweeting, Instagram posts, taking pictures, etc...   

I happen to be in love with my $7 iPhone case from TJ Maxx.   

I have not mastered the art of taking my own picture yet -- but it's not been high on my priority list. ha!



7.  Get business cards (and put your picture on them!). 

There are SO MANY places to design your own business cards.  

I ordered mine from VistaPrint for a very good price, but there are loads of sites out there.  Just search "make your own business cards" and have fun! 



 8.  Follow popular blogging hashtags on Twitter.

Blogelina has a great post about popular hashtags.    I follow some of these and it's a great way to keep up with the latest in blogging.

I have also been attending a BEECH Retreat Twitter Chat each Thursday evening from 9-10 Easten time.   Anyone is welcome.  It is a great way to learn more about blogging (using the principle's in Michael Hyatt's book).   #beechrt


9.  Develop a Media Kit (or update your existing one).

I've had a media kit for the past year.  When I made the decision to try and use my blog for making a little side income, this was the first step I took.

Amy, from Raising Arrows, has written an article: "What is a Media Kit and How Do I Make One?" that is quite helpful.

If you meet potential advertisers/sponsors at the conference you will want to be able to direct them to your media kit.   

Think about advertising rates and other creative partnering options. 


10.    ???

What about you?   

Have you been to a blogging conference, and do you have any advice for me as I attend my first?

Is there something you have done to prepare for a conference that would be helpful to add?

Number 10 is up to you!


 *Linking this to Top Ten Tuesday @Many Little Blessings