Getting Ready For The BlogHer Conference With The UPS Store
Over the past eight weeks, 5 bloggers have embarked on a journey to prepare for BlogHer 11 with Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology. BlogHer is HUGE and can be extremely overwhelming if unprepared. The goal of this program is to help bloggers define their brands and goals, as well as prepare their materials for blogger conferences. With the help of The UPS Store, our 5 bloggers have had all of the right materials to prepare their business cards, 1-pagers and media kits. Debba’s lesson plans have been jam-packed full of great information each week. Amy, Mel, Sara, Shelby, and Wendy have all had a great time learning from Debba and prepping for the big BlogHer weekend! We would like to share with you their personal thoughts on the program
This is my first time attending BlogHer, and having heard others’ experiences, I felt considerably overwhelmed. I was almost too frightened to even get further than thinking of how I was going to get there, let alone what’s going to happen once I arrive.
Debba’s sessions have helped me to feel like I have a fairly good grip on what’s going to happen and how I can prepare myself. My Type A personality appreciates the organization and step-by-step layout of Debba’s presentations, and I feel like I can confidently present myself in a professional manner.
I knew that I should be doing many of the things that Debba mentioned in the sessions, but BlogHer and the sessions served as the kick in the pants that I needed to act on it. I now have concrete goals, and a path to achieve those goals. I also learned how to approach sponsors and present my blog in a way that’s attractive to them, as well as several other ways to pitch myself and let companies know exactly what I have to offer.
Amy is a marketing exec turned stay-at-home mom. After her husband was out of work for 18 months, she turned into a pennywise bargain shopper and paid off thousands of dollars in debt in 6 months by living frugally. Amy blogs at Dealusional.com and FoodAllergyMoms.com.
Preparing for Blogher can seem intense and sometimes overwhelming….but I’ve really enjoyed preparing this year with help from Debba of Girlfriendology and The UPS Store. I knew in the beginning that I would need business cards and need to have my media kit updated and ready to go, but there are so many other things to prepare for.
In order to be confident, it’s so important to be prepared, and Debba’s really given us actionable steps to make that a reality in regards to being ready to go when we hit the ground in San Diego. Blogher is about so much more than great parties and dancing….although that’s a HUGE part, don’t get me wrong. But seriously, it’s about making those connections that are going to help you build your blog and brand up, whether you’re chatting with other bloggers, getting to know the person behind the blog….or whether you’re chatting with companies, getting to know their mission and what they’re about. With the help of Lovin Logistics and the sessions we’ve been going through, I’ve had the opportunity to create measurable goals for what I want to accomplish while at Blogher. One of my goals is already met, having separated my media group from my blog. Who do I want to meet, though? What sessions do I want to attend? When I walk away from Blogher, what do I need to do to make sure that I walk away with a sense of accomplishment and not one of regret? We’ve had the chance to discuss business materials and the most important info to have available at our fingertips, so we can promote ourselves while there. Not only that, but within this group, we’ve had a chance to discuss this and learn from each other.
I’m so excited for what lies ahead; last year when I went to Blogher, it was my first time, and I wasn’t in the least prepared for the overwhelming feeling I’d get as soon as I entered the doors of that hotel/convention center. It was HUGE, and I felt a bit like little ole’ me just wandering around in wide-eyed amazement. This year, I’m ready….my eyes are set on my goals, I’m ready to talk and chat, I’m ready to get to know my fellow bloggers and just plain have FUN! I’m ready to connect with brands in a whole new way.
The UPS Store campaign has been super helpful to me personally as I am a newbie when it comes to working with brands. Debba Haupert from Girlfriendology.com is an amazing teacher and has given us very detailed lesson plans to teach us new skills each week. We learned how to focus in on our brand, figure out what we want to get out of our BlogHer conference experience, learn how to research and find brands to work with, connect with brands, prepare what we are going to take with us, create a media kit, and the most important thing I learned is to be proactive. Unless you actively put into practice all of these things you won’t grow and become brand friendly.
Wendy is a full-time blogger and runs a network of blogs called The Sweeties Brand. She is married to Greg and lives in Connecticut. She has 3 grown sons and 2 granddaughters.
For the past five weeks I have been part of an intimate group of bloggers who got an opportunity to prepare for Blogher together. During these weeks I have learned so much about what to expect from Blogher. I first purchased my ticket many months ago because of the convenience of the location and the opportunity to connect with my friends who I have know over the years online. As the months have been approaching I had begun to have anxiety over what to expect.
After joining in on the learning sessions my anxiety has turned to excitement. I am now going to this conference prepared and educated. I have learned about planning, how to be organized, connections and how to make high quality professional printing products. I now not only look forward to meeting new friends, but also how to get the most out of my experience at Blogher 11.
Shelby is a work-at-home Mom to three young children, who owns her own small business Glitterful Felt Stories. She is a Family Nutrition Columnist for OC Moms with The Orange County Register and also a food writer for OC Family and OC Menus Magazine. She is passionate about food, nutrition and food allergies.
Over the past 6 weeks, we’ve been doing the #Print4Blogher series with the UPS Store and Debba from Girlfriendology.com. We’ve been going over a variety of topics that are helping us prepare for Blogher 11. We first started with branding and how bloggers should represent themselves as a brand. Of course first, we had to define our brand. Debba gave us some great tips to identify our brands based on our goals, communications and purpose!
After branding, we talked about making goals. Figuring out a game plan for Blogher is a pretty big deal because everything seems to go so quickly. One of my main goals this year is to just have fun. Attending Blogher last year made me realize, having fun needs to be a main focus otherwise, everything else just gets lost in translation! Debba encouraged us to make our goals, then research how we can make them happen. I read over the sponsor list and now have a good idea of what brands I would like to connect with at Blogher. With researching who will be at Blogher, I was also able to find out who wasn’t going to be at Blogher. This helped me put together a list of brands I wanted to contact about potential sponsorships. Debba gave us some great info on securing sponsorships: start with your strongest contacts, align your goals with the sponsors goals and always be professional!
Our latest session was the design session which I had the pleasure of covering on our conference call. We talked about designing our business cards and media kits to hand out at Blogher. Getting to share your brand in what you hand out at Blogher is probably the most important thing about networking. When considering the design make sure it’s; clear, creative and represents your brand! I’ll be using The UPS Store to print out my business cards and I know the quality will be just awesome based on what I’ve printed at the UPS Store before this. Blogher will be here quick, I really can’t wait for the experience!
Sara Blake is the editor of SuperSavingSense.com where she shares her creative thriftyness with others. She writes about living life in the cheap lane and shares crafts, recipes, deals, fashions and her favorite pastime; cupcakes.You can follow Sara on Twitter at @SuperSavingSara.
Here is an overview of the topics we have covered
- Branding / Marketing – We’ll define our blog/brand as well as our marketing plan. (June 15th)
- Strategy / Goals – We’ll get ‘serious’ on our strategies and goals for optimizing our BlogHer experience and connections. (June 22nd)
- Doing the Research – The pre-work for making connections. (June 29th)
- Making Connections – Getting sponsorships and booking appointments. Then preparing the materials for these appointments. (July 6th)
- Writing and Designing Materials – Preparing quality business cards, information sheets/media kit and additional elements. (July 13th)
- Proofing / Ordering materials – Making sure our materials are perfect and ready for BlogHer. We’ll also cover pre-party planning. (July 20th)
- Printing / Shipping / Packing – Printing, shipping and packing for BlogHer. (July 27th)
- BlogHer – We’ll all meet-up in San Diego for a special #Print4BlogHer party in #TheUPSstore on site on August 4th. Don’t miss this event and all these great bloggers that you’ll meet there!