This weekend, I spent Saturday in a cooperative workspace with 148 Minnesota bloggers at the first MN Blogger Conference. Being one of the few (maybe the only) blogger writing on leadership, growth and HR, I had ample opportunity be exposed to other blogging topics. Yes, there is blogging beyond HR.

With three keynotes and fifteen breakout sessions, information to suit any topic, style and level of blogging was there for the taking. From generating ad revenue and editing CSS in WordPress to analytics, SEO and finding your authentic voice - there was a session for every interest.

My two favorite sessions were Growing as Writers: taking Your Blog Posts to the Next Level by Kate Hopper, author of Mother Words-Mothers Who Write and How to Get Published: Get a Book Deal Out of Your Blog by Bonnie Harris, founder of Max Marketing, Inc.

Top three take-aways for me:

  • I am not a blogger, I am a writer. I am not a blogger, I am a writer, I am not a blogger . . . get the drift?
  • PR people and their pitches can be a blogger's best friend. So, to all the pitches I ignored . . .
  • Analytics matter, links matter and @adamsinger has got this SEO stuff down cold.

Ok, here's a fourth take away. Blogs are cool but it's really all about the people. Look them in the eye and it all takes on a new meaning. Here are three "sets of eyes" that left an immediate impression with me.

  • I recently started reading The Extraordinary Ordinary. This weekend, I met Heather, the author, and heard her speak. Talk about an amazing woman, a gentle spirit, a strong soul. I will read her writing with a whole new level of meaning (and understanding) for me.
  • Another person behind the blog I met was Judy, a strong woman - with presence, who is my daily, caffeinated, up to the minute, "source for crazy things" at Just JudyJudyJudy. Subscribe. Now.
  • A new person, and blog, to me is Jennifer at Prior Fat Girl. You can't be in the same room with Jennifer and not want to know more about her. She's fun, she glows and she's real. A blog I am adding to the reader because of the person.

So, before I go, I have to mention that I did a video interview at the conference. David Erickson asked me, I said yes. After escaping and avoiding these video things for the longest time, this time I didn't. Why?

It was time to just own it and do it. 

It is what it is and now I have that behind me. Phew.  

Wonderful organizers, fun attendees and very knowledgeable, helpful presenters and generous sponsors. Looking forward to the second MN Bloggers Conference.

Cheers to the MN blogging community!