A Date with Blog World

In the dating world there are rules to be followed and rules to be broken. This seems to be true for the expo world as well. For years I worked at various expos and festivals, marketing and promoting all kinds of products. Because of this, I felt pretty confident going to Blog World & New Media Expo that I would be able to navigate my way around without any problem. I quickly learned there is a big difference between working an expo and attending one. This is where my years of dating and rules that I lived by, came in handy. 
My rules are simple:

Self confidence is key. On the expo floor, I met some very interesting companies. My main focus was to talk to companies about monetizing my blog, but in all honesty one of my favorite booths had nothing to do with that — Club Tuki. Club Tuki bills themselves as kid’s internet – a place for games, prizes and more. They also print a magazine, BYOU, telling young girls to discover their inner beauty and self esteem. Of course, being a mom of a little girl, I really appreciated their magazine. 

In talking to Cheyenne at the Club Tuki booth, I was reminded of the importance of confidence. It’s an important trait to teach the little ones, as their magazine does, because people do gravitate towards people with confidence. More than that, it’s an important trait in your business dealings. If Cheyenne wasn’t confident in her product, for example, I never would have picked it up, and she never would have made it into this blog (lucky her).

Don’t date more than one at a time.
Don’t be over zealous. Focus your energy and don’t spread yourself to thin. With so many panels on varying topics, I decided to focus on parent blogging. I learned about monetization, marketing, vlogging and podcasting. On Friday I saw three panels, and on Saturday I saw one and walked around the expo floor, which gave me the time to focus on networking. 

If you try to do too much, you won’t be good at any of it and all of your efforts will be wasted on a guy who can’t afford to pay for dinner. Sorry, I think I got my metaphors confused.

Don’t be over eager. Learn from other’s mistakes and follow your own path.

The first panel I went to was How to Monetize your blog with four established bloggers Adam Keats (@akeats), Chris Baccus (@cbaccus), Sarah Pinnix (@reallifesarah) and Stefania Pomponi Butler (@citymama). This panel was very informative, one of the first things said was “If a brand reaches out to you, then you are ready to be monetized.” I’m totally on board with brands and monetizing. But, I do think people are weird about getting brands and then feeling like they have to change their creative voice. Being overeager to make money can sometimes take away your creative voice, if you talk about what you love, people will respect it more. 

Then again, this is my path. Follow this rule and you’ll be making your own.

Listen. Sometimes listening to others opens a door for you.
The next panel I went to was Breaking into Parent Vlogging with Clay Nichols (@daddyclay) and Jenny Ingram (@jennyonthespot). This was extremely informative. I’ve been thinking about starting a vlog within my blog for awhile, so this panel was particularly interesting. I had a bunch of questions to ask Clay and Jenny, but decided to listen and they covered almost everything I wanted to learn. At the end of the panel, I asked a couple of questions that really got dialogue going between them and myself and I ended up chatting with them afterwards as well. 

So, I guess this rule should be listen until they stop talking, then talk. But that seemed confusing. This rule really is, be a person. If you’re too concerned with your own agenda, people are less likely to want to deal with you outside of their obligation.

Don’t forget to flirt. Okay…in business, networking is flirting.
 Another panel was Reaching the Digital Family…Marketing Strategies with Mom and Dad influencers. The panelists included Amy Lupold Blair (@resourcefulmom), Adam Cohen (@dadarocks), Janice Croze (@5minutesformom) and Josh Becker (@dadstreet). I walked away with some great information, not only marketing strategies, but also some good parenting advice. I also met and spoke with Lora Jakobsen of Zookies and Plum District . 

None of this would have happened if I wasn’t wearing a push up bra. I’m kidding, but a big part of what they talked about in the panel was to make sure that your digital identities communicate with others. Make friends online, those are the people that will help push your content around.

Don’t say anything Snooki would say.
The last rule is a good rule, unless you want your own reality show. It used to be “Never have sex on the first date”, but emulating Snooki is even worse. 

 The last panel I went to was Podcasting for Parent bloggers hosted by Tamara Walker (@momRN). And apparently, this rule is an important one for podcasters who deal with call ins. It would seem, sometimes podcasting involves people yelling at the podcaster. Personally, I’d rather get a nasty comment on my blog that I can delete. Though neither the commenter I delete, nor the angry caller are people with whom I would want to do business. While I appreciate the engagement, I never appreciate nastiness for nastiness’ sake, no matter how tanned it may be.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a second date with some of the companies that I spoke with on the expo floor. If not, I might need to reevaluate my dating strategy. I guess at this point in my marriage, my dating strategy may be a little outdated anyhow.

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