Late last week and over the weekend, I spent an exciting, action packed few days in New Orleans. Not only did I learn a ton of information at the very first Niche Mommy Conference, I also fit in quite a bit of sight-seeing. You didn’t really expect me to travel to New Orleans and not see any of the attractions did you? I didn’t think so.
Niche Mommy was held at the beautiful and historic Roosevelt Hotel located just off Canal Street. The accommodations were perfectly located within walking district to the famous French Quarter, where I spent quite a bit of my time when not in workshops. Can I just say one word? Beignets. Muffaletta’s. Po-boy’s. Okay, maybe that’s three words but I think you’re getting the picture. I loved the food that New Orleans is famous for but I’ll share more down the road in future posts.
Instead, I’d like to focus on some of the key points that I took away from the workshops at the conference. Traveling to Niche Mommy was kind of spur of the moment for me. I hadn’t heard much about the conference until I saw a tweet stating that they were offering scholarships. I took a peak at the workshops and knew I wanted to go. I was also certain that with less than three weeks before the event, chances of my husband agreeing to buy me a ticket was slim. So I applied for a scholarship and to my surprise, I was selected (a HUGE thank you to Nadia). My husband was more than happy to pay for the rest of my trip.
I knew that the travel blogging workshop was something I’d really benefit from. I also knew that I’d pick up a tip or two from the food photography and Google+ workshops. I was not disappointed. What I didn’t count on was how much I would learn from keynote speaker, Ted Rubin, or the last workshop I attended, by the Content Kings, one I hadn’t even planned to attend. Can I just say that Ted Rubin is a very gifted speaker? I could literally listen to him all day, soaking up his “Ted-isms”, the nuggets of wisdom that he throws out to the audience. He should consider writing a motivational book. I’d seriously buy it.
I learned that it’s all about connecting. His words challenged me. Am I connecting on my site with my readers? Do I connect on Facebook or Twitter? Am I building digital relationships? I know I don’t do a terrible job at connecting, but I don’t do a great job either. This is definitely an area that I want to work on.
He also challenged me in another area when he urged his listeners to step out of our comfort zones, make ourselves visible, push back fear, and try things that we think will work. This made me think of how many times I have talked myself out of not acting on my “good ideas” because of my own fears. It’s time to remedy that. No more fear!
The Content Kings, a trio of dads (@EPaynetheDad, @MochaDad @Jeffrey_Funk), presented a wonderfully visual presentation focused on, you guessed it, content. You know what? I’ve been hearing about content ever since I began blogging and honestly, I wasn’t too keen on hearing anymore. This time, it was different. These three dads encouraged each of the bloggers in attendance to engage with our readers by telling our stories.
They also offered practical tips how to seek out people in your space and learn from them, or how to build your storytelling muscle (write everyday!), how to use headlines to pull in the reader, how to use your analytics to improve your performance and predict trends, or how to find your passion. I just sat in their workshop, soaked it all in, and may have gotten a tiny bit teary eyed over the video at the very end of the presentation.
The speakers weren’t the only ones that encouraged me. I met a community of bloggers that weren’t afraid to share their secrets or contacts and in the end, I learned as much from them as I did from the line up of speakers. Niche Mommy was a wonderful conference!
Finally, remember my friend that tagged along with me at the very last minute? She got to hear me talk about blogging ALL.THE.WAY.HOME. Did I mention that was a 15 hour drive? Yeah. I think you get the picture.
Are you a blogger? Have you been to a blogging conference? If you were at Niche Mommy, what was most memorable for you?
© 2012, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.