Blogging conferences are an excellent resource for new and veteran bloggers, alike – offering the opportunity to meet other bloggers, network with brands, and raise their blog’s profile.
The challenge, though, is deciding which conference will help you develop as a blogger.
Gina McCauley, founder of Blogging while Brown, says it is even more difficult for some black bloggers to find that perfect match.
“If you’ve ever felt as if you were the only person of color in the room or that you were ignored at other conferences, then our conference is a place where you’ll immediately feel recognized and acknowledged,” McCauley says.
Conferences like Blogging while Brown specifically are designed to address the needs of multicultural audiences by gathering together social media entrepreneurs, bloggers, and PR executives of color. There, they can share proven strategies for working with brands, monetizing a blog, building niche networks, and increasing site traffic, all through a multicultural lens.
However, a sense of belonging isn’t the only reason to attend. McCauley sat down with us to discuss a few of the reasons why black bloggers in particular shouldn’t miss out on the blogging conference experience:
Learn how to monetize your blog. Black bloggers need to overcome the challenge of “monetization and access to capital – the same issues that face traditional black businesses and traditional black media,” says McCauley. Panels such as Blogging While Brown’s “Six Ways to Make Six Figures From Blogging Without Ad Revenue” offer tips and advice on the subject from experienced bloggers like Lamar and Ronnie Tyler of Black and Married with Kids.
Leverage face-to-face contact. “There are millions of bloggers, but only hundreds attend conferences at the same time,” McCauley says. “You can often obtain direct contact information. We are in social media, but nothing trumps the power of face time. I can remember at least a dozen hallway, lunchtime, or break time conversations that have fundamentally transformed my blog in a span of minutes. Things that would have taken years or thousands of dollars are resolved in minutes.”
Discover new trends. “There is a knowledge transfer that happens at conferences on an informal level that surpasses anything you will ever get online,” she says. “Blogging is very technical and the technology and trends are constantly changing. Attending a conference keeps black bloggers from falling behind. We have experts, but most importantly, we have group problem-solving – formally and informally.”
Put your expertise on display. “Despite the fact that black people are very engaged in social media, there remains this idea that we are not present or we are not experts,” McCauley says. “Blogging While Brown puts our presence and expertise on display.”
Meet your blogging peers and create niche support networks. “Another issue is isolation for black bloggers who don’t blog about entertainment,” McCauley says. “Despite conferences like Blogging While Brown and the Black Weblog Awards, I still find black bloggers in niche areas that think they are the only black blogger who blogs about science and technology or parenting or financial literacy or medicine. I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they arrive at Blogging While Brown and see the diversity of black bloggers. You are not alone.”
Blogging while Brown takes place June 27-28 in New York City. Speakers this year include Markus Robinson of Interactive One; Jullien Gordon of SideHustla.com and B.P.A.I.D.; Kendra Webb-Scott with Ideazio, Inc; Lamar and Ronnie Tyler of BlackandMarriedwithKids.com; Alfred Edmond Jr. of Black Enterprise; Sarah Glover from NBC10 Philadelphia; and L. Michelle Smith with AT&T.
Jessica Alas is Media Relations Director, Multicultural Markets and Hispanic PR Wire with PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @alasjessica.