ShesConnected-2012-Teen-ConnectionShesConnected 2012 did not disappoint.  The learning sessions were beyond informative, meeting everyone that I chat with online was a blessing, and the brands were out in full swing.  In fact, this year has proven that it is the only Canadian conference to provide such a full range of information in a 48-hour period.

Of course, I love Ford and how they have treated me over the past year.   It’s always a great time to see them and have the opportunity to learn about their new innovations.  Most of the other brands were new to me, and it was great to meet them as well.

Cost/Benefit of Being a Blogger

This was an exceptional weekend but with all of this learning comes a lot of introspection.   When the lawyers spoke about trademarks, I did the math in my head and realized that my blog would never bring in the income to justify trademarking Life’s a Blog.

When the accountant spoke about declaring goods for review on my tax return…well that made me go hmm.

With all of this information, there were so many reasons to ask “What exactly am I blogging for?”  I left the conference realizing that my blog is a hobby that has become a two-cent million obsession.  It has given me a platform to test SEO and Social Media, but aside from that, it really hasn’t been a huge monetary benefit to my family.

Once upon a time, my income allowed me to go to Costco and go gangnam style.  When I go to Costco now, I’m scraping to get milk, cream, and the necessities.  Yes, the cost/benefit of blogging hasn’t worked out for this girl.

When I arrived home with my bag of goodies from the conference, I explained to my husband that I simply have to smarten up.  I either have to find a platform for my blog that will generate income or do something else, like find a full-time job.

Now that’s not to say that other blogger’s are not pulling in $50k a year and kudos to them because it’s a lot of work, a lot of rejection, and a lot of hurdles to jump.  I don’t believe I’ve ever met one yet but I could be wrong.

Telus-ShesConnected-2012Cost/Benefit to Blogging Conferences

I wouldn’t take away my weekend.  I had a fabulous time meeting new friends and old.  However, there are so many ways to get together without incurring such an expense.  For me, the weekend cost me quite a bit minus my free ticket.

Generally when I work a show or attend a show, the deciding factor is what’s in it for me?  Am I getting paid to network?  Am I working the show to generate new clients while branding my company?

As well, the business cards that I accumulate over the weekend is always followed up upon immediately if I’m working a show, but if I’m attending I spend hours looking over brochures and product to introduce to my business colleagues.  I am in the driver’s seat in deciding which brand I want to do business with.

What exactly can I do with the business cards I collected as an attendee to ShesConnected?  I can respond and say it was great to meet you. But, I’m not in the driver’s seat.  I’m an attendee begging yet again for their attention.   Grant you, it would be wonderful if one of those brands asked me to be a potential employee.  That’s just being unrealistic though.  I think that the companies who were there probably has a rigorous application process and HR departments who make the selections.

So, the Cost/Benefit to Blogging Conferences?  Meeting great brands, making me rethink blogging from the information gained, and creating great friendships.

This is the only show that I am aware of where the exhibitor is in the driver’s seat or hoping for a great write up with backlinks to their website.

Cost/Benefit of Bringing my Daughter to ShesConnected

I can’t thank ShesConnected enough for inviting my daughter to attend.  She learned so much about communicating with brands and how to present herself in a business-like fashion.

The cost of my weekend was so worth the benefit in this aspect.  More conferences should encourage this as it differentiates themselves as being forward-thinkers in this industry.   Yes, blogging will probably never die and if communities like ShesConnected works with brands and bloggers to understand their partnership and individual responsibilities as partners, then it an only make the industry stronger.  Who knows, some of these teens who attend these events may be the innovators for change.

As Christina left Day 1 of ShesConnected she said, “This was so much like high-school.  I guess people don’t grow up.”

I responded, “Welcome to business Chris.  It’s a dog eat dog world.  Most of my friends are going to supper with a big brand. No biggie Christina, I am a business woman and I’m not going to fight over that.  It’s your choice to make it high school or not…I choose not to….Besides, there isn’t a name that I can’t find. ”

My Blogging Conclusion

I haven’t really made a steadfast decision as of yet, but I do know that I need to back off for a while.  I need to find a steady income that focuses on my skills as a marketer and networker.   I believe this is the reason I’ve loved blogging so much.  It gave me the independence of doing what I do best BUT with little income.  I really need to give my head a shake and live by my words.

“Know your value” – Trina Stewart

So here are my conclusions:

  • I hand Life’s a Blog over to my daughter and change it completely to Teen Focus or whatever she chooses.
  • I work on my blog minimally and forgo many opportunities
  • I become a boutique blog (thank you “Boutique PR firm” for that thought) and write a lot about life but little about product.  So far, I have two brands I’ll write about and I’m committed to.
  • Let it die.
Either selection, it’s just common sense for me.  I’m not one of those individuals who can afford to keep doing what I am doing. I am so jealous of those blogging rock stars who can.   However, my time is ticking.  I need to return to that income that allows me to shop at Costco one a whim and attend a conference “just to make friends”.  Most of all, I need to put my intelligence to good use for the company that I’m working for rather than flipping out a half-hearted review because I’m stressed out over my hydro bill.
The day brands and PR companies see us bloggers as an advertising and marketing expense, the better off we’ll be.  I’ve seen industry magazines with 1/2 my unique visits pull in over $1k per banner ad.  The reason they can achieve this price is target market and longevity of visits on their site.
It’s not the visits folks, it’s the bounce rate that defines the quality of your visitors.  How long a blogger or online magazines keeps them on their site is absolutely the key to being a good online marketer.
I’m spent so I leave it here for now.
Thanks again ShesConnected, it’s been a blast and you gave me plenty to think about.



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