Even if you have a thriving web based social life, it’s common for bloggers to feel isolated. After all, you’re sitting alone in a room, writing and creating content for the web (and consuming web based content). This is just one reason that attending a blogger’s conference is a good idea.
There are professional reasons to go to cons, too. Conventions are a great place to network with other bloggers, learning from the pros, building your audience and meeting the people you’ve talked to online in “real” life. You can form partnerships, get inspired and turn your blogger burnout around and maybe even make some new friends.
Of course, not all blogging conferences are created equal and going to a convention is expensive. Sure you can put the trip on a credit card (it’s easier to pay off a con over the course of a year than to spend that money all at once) and if you get a card with a travel points reward system you can help fund future trips. Even then, though, if you’re going to be using your hard earned credit card reward miles to make the trip, you want to make sure you choose a good convention, right?
Originally started as a blogging conference just for women, this convention has expanded and now both genders are welcome. Major brands represent themselves there and important names from all over the web host panels and give talks about the different aspects of blogging and the world that surrounds it. The conference/convention is held in a different city every year so if you can’t afford to make the trip maybe you can wait for it to come to you!
NMX used to be called BlogWorld and New Media Expo. It’s great for bloggers of all genres, which is great if the last thing you want is to be surrounded by a bunch of Mommy Bloggers (not that there’s anything wrong with Mommy Blogging but wow, what an intense group)! This conference is held in Las Vegas so, if you go and find that you aren’t getting as much as you had hoped (which is rare), you can still play in Vegas for a few days.
South by Southwest isn’t specifically geared toward Bloggers. The conference is geared toward the entertainment industry—from the industry’s perspective. You can meet with, talk to, hang out with and learn from experts and leaders in the industry that is built upon attracting and keeping audiences and fan bases alive (while still trying to create something worth experiencing).
The X Factor Conference
This is not a convention or conference based upon the show the X Factor (though maybe one of those exists too). What we’re talking about here is finding conventions in your own niche. On this site we talk about gaming as much as we talk about blogging. ComiCons, PAX, Dragon Con, Gen Con—all of these are geared toward gaming audiences and are great for us to attend. Pick a con that you want to go to and make sure you’ve got your marketing tools with you!
Conventions and conferences are great places to learn about everything from the latest trends in blog design to coming up with subjects to blog about and collaborating on projects. Of course, beware that sometimes cons come with unintended consequences - make sure your finances are in order before spending that money to go!