I had the pleasure of attending the Blogger Week Unconference in May, and I must say that it was one of the best professional events I’ve attended in some time. Hosted by Black Bloggers Connect, the Unconference was part of Blogger Week 2014, a multicultural festival of bloggers, journalists, and social media mavens. Blogger Week 2014 featured both digital and in-person events such as Google Hangouts, Twitter parties, panels, workshops, and networking events.
The Unconference featured 13 engaging discussion panels and breakout sessions led by industry notables. Topics included: digital monetizing, social media strategies, the business of beauty blogging, personal and executive branding, PR, blogging in the Pan African world, using your blog to affect politics and cause change, and the power of blogger collaboration (to name a few). There truly was something of great value for bloggers, journalists, and social media mavens at all levels at the Unconference.
After blogging for 9 years and being on social media for at least 5 years, I’m far from an expert. I’m always looking for ways to learn more, improve, streamline, and enhance. So I welcome and am grateful for events like these. I honestly believe I got more value out of this one-day, $25 (early bird) event than I would have if I’d gone to one of the high-priced multi-day events.
One of the other elements that made this event so commendable were the people. There was a warm, inclusive, welcoming community vibe at the Unconference. Almost immediately, I felt comfortable and at home. It was like I was with my best friends and family. I connected with some really cool, intelligent, and talented people doing wonderful things. I would be remiss if I didn’t give some shout outs: Taiye Oladipo,MPH, Marc Polite, L. Laura Burge, Marquita Goodluck, Ananda Leeke, Caribbean Soultrekkers, Ni’cola Mitchell, and Vino Noire.
The Blogger Week Unconference is highly recommended! Thank you Jessica Ann Mitchell and Black Bloggers Connect for organizing such a FAB event. I look forward to attending many other Black Bloggers Connect events in the future.
Blogger Week Unconference Takeaways:
- Quantity is not important. It’s about the connection or relationship you have with your followers.
- Be authentic. Use your personality. Your voice is key. If you have passion, brands will come to you.
- Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this, as it will keep you focused, motivated, and moving forward.
- Make yourself your brand. Know your key differentiators (what makes your brand unique) and use them to your advantage.
- Try to keep your brand consistent across platforms. Make contact information present. Be accessible. Responsive.
- Honor your word/commitments. If you can’t do it, be honest about it.
- Don’t be afraid of your potential. Own it. It’s going to take work.
- Be your own hustleman. Create a social calendar for yourself and get yourself out there.
- Make sure your message is simple but encompasses all aspects of yourself/your brand.
- Give the people what they want.
- Partnerships (meaningful, long-lasting, mutually beneficial) can help you solidify your brand. But be sure you’re partnering with organizations that represent your brand.
- Don’t pitch people your problems, pitch them your solutions.