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BAM Conference: Reinvention and Relationships

Bloggers_at_Midlife_ConferenceA couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Bloggers-At-Midlife Conference hosted by Anne Parris, Sharon Greenthal, Teresa Kindred, and Beth Rosen. While the content and sessions were very good (from beginner to advanced), the attendees and the speakers were what made this conference special. There is just something about reaching a certain point in your life when you stop caring about what people think, you feel free to speak your mind, and don’t sugar coat your words.

Midlife is more about about a state-of-mind rather than an age bracket. And the chief conversation of the weekend was reinvention: reinventing yourself, your dreams, your career, your blog. There was so much encouragement from speakers and attendees sharing their stories of reinvention- losing everything and started all over from scratch, beating illness and injury, coming back stronger after loss. You couldn’t help but feel inspired.

 

The quality of the speakers, the women in the room, I’m blown away #bamc15

A photo posted by Beth Rosen (@bethrosen) on

 

With reinvention comes being prepared for what lies ahead. Keynote speakers Elisa Camahort Page (BlogHer co-founder) and Danyelle Little (The Cubicle Chick) shared their thoughts about the future of blogging and what any blogger, no matter your age, should be working on:

  1. Video – with an emphasis on short, “snack sized” snippets of 2-3 minutes. If you’re not comfortable with video, get comfortable with video.
  2. Mobile readiness – your blog or website must, must, must be mobile friendly. More and more traffic will be coming your way via mobile devices so make sure your site is easy to view and navigate on mobile.
  3. Choose your social sites wisely – you don’t have to sign-up for every new social site that comes along. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Which sites drive the most traffic to your blog? Which sites do you have the best interactions on? Concentrate your efforts there.
  4. Develop products and services that are outside your blog – write ebooks, traditional books, create courses and tutorials, become a speaker about a topic you are passionate and knowledgeable about.

Another key tip came from Mary and Lisa of GrownandFlown.com. They encouraged the attendees (and this is good advice for all bloggers who are looking to expand their writing) to be ready to respond to inquiries about writing opportunities by having:

  • An updated LinkedIn profile.
  • Updated About Page on blog plus social media profiles that are up-to-date and professional looking.
  • Two brief bios ready to copy & paste into an email or reply on social media: One that is short with 2 links to writing samples and one that is longer with 4 or more links to writing samples.

We also heard a great deal about fostering relationships and networking. I loved the tip that also came from Mary and Lisa about following editors on social media from publications that you want to write for. Interact with them, get to know what they are looking for in writers.

Of course, one of the highlights of attending conferences is getting to connect with friends and people you know from blogging, or in my case, members of One2One Network! I hung out with Tammy of Three Different Directions (who won the BAM conference ticket that we gave away), Liz of Lizventures, Pam of Simply Southern Mom. Here we are in front of the Nissan Murano banner (one of the conference’s amazing sponsors!)

I also got to chat with Susan of That Susan Williams, Valerie of Planet Pookie, Anne of Mundane Magic, and Laurie of Our Abundant Blessings. It’s always so awesome to see O2O members IRL! I’ll also point out that conference co-founder, Anne Parris, is a long-time O2O member and she gave us a lovely shout-out during the conference. Anne was doing double-duty over the weekend: conference host and blogger! She was trying out new make-up from Victoria Jackson Cosmetics as part of an O2O blogging project and she looked fabulous!

I must take a moment to thank the brands that sponsored the conference. We know from our BlissDom experiences that sponsors are a very important part of making conferences happen. So to Stouffer’s, Nissan, Collective Bias, Vibrant Nation, and Cabot, we tip our hat to you and say a very heartfelt thankful for sponsoring the first ever BAM Conference.

Midlife Boulevard has a round-up of all the recap posts, so hop on over there to read what other attendees had to say about the experience. If you missed BAM this year don’t worry, a #BAMC16 is being planned for next year! Be sure to follow @BAMConf15 on Twitter for all the updates!

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