Over Memorial Day weekend I had the experience to attend my FIRST BLOGGING CONFERENCE, #SHECON12. When I had first heard about this conference I was unemployed and broke and totally forgot about the conference after I started working. The week of SheCon I was approached to recieve a free ticket from one of the speakers and decided it would be a great experience.
The conference was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. This was an added bonus to the conference as I’m always looking for an excuse to go down to Disney. This was my first time staying on site and was excited to finally experience the extra Disney Magic. The resort was Beautiful. It was like being in Mexico or Spain (the two countries the resort is supposed to represent). One thing we LOVED about staying on site was the bus left us right at the gate to The Magic Kingdom and we didn’t have to deal with the TTC.
There were many great speakers and break-out sessions. I even got to hear Martie from Next Food Network Star present about treating your blog as a TV show. She has had a blog about hosting parties for years. She is really down to earth and is a “celebrity” that actually responds to your tweets. I learned great tips about using video to enhance your blog, making your blog sticky, and being memorable.
The final keynote of the conference was by Miss Lori of Miss Lori TV. Her presentation was called The ME in New MEdia. She had a very inspirational story to go with her tips to inspire me to be a better blogger. Ever since I started blogging everyone has said, “You need to know your brand. What is your brand?” etc. etc. and I kind of have always blown it off. I really never knew how to answer the question. I still am trying to figure out the answer several months and weeks later. I really think your brand evolves with you. When I started this blog I started it to share my couponing tips and trips and to show that anyone can do it even young adults and not just stay at home moms who have kids. Due to the nature of couponing I have come to realize that most of my “community” are Moms and that is okay. But after a few weeks I started thinking about more things to blog about and what I’m passionate about. My Catholic Faith was the first thing I thought of and I soon started reading and networking with other Catholic bloggers and writing about catholic topics. I must have changed my blog name 100 times before I finally settled on The Catholic Couponer.
After listening to Miss Lori speak about her own brand and what she does to secure it I was I was inspired to dig deeper about what my brand meant to me. Am I selling out to get free stuff? Am I doing the best I can for my own community? I really want to start writing more about some Catholic articles I am interested in and inspired about. I also want to start writing more content on saving money and couponing tips/how-tos. I had a lot of fun writing the couponing how-to guest post for Mandi @ The Catholic Newlywed’s Baby on a Budget series and want to write more content like it. I also want to start posting more coupons and deals. I have already started posting more coupons and so far it is working out great! My life changed for the better a year ago when I started couponing and I couldn’t be happier.
The activity for the evening was a disney inspired Scavenger Hunt. Thanks to the hosts of #Pirate Radio, @WDWDads, @ACupofDisney and @hiddenmickeyguy (Steve Barrett the author of The Hidden Mickey books) for organizing and hosting the contest. It was a lot of fun to look around the parks for the different mickeys. My mom and I were winners in Animal Kingdom and below are the hidden mickeys we found! Can you see them? (Sorry the image quality isn’t that good in the last one)
We each won an autographed copy of the 5th edition of The Hidden Mickey book and a $25 Visa Giftcard!!
If you ever get a chance to go to a blogging conference I highly recommend it. I came home with a lot of swag; a lot of knowledge useful for blogging, social media, work, and my personal life; and a lot of fun memories. I hope to meet many more bloggers at future conferences!