5 things I learned at the 2013 Florida Blogger Conference

Julie Deily, Lou Mongello and J from JsEverydayFashion.com at Florida BlogConMe, Lou Mongello & J!

I have been trying to resurrect my five things series and I thought this would be perfect to write about this weekend! Yesterday was the 3rd Annual Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference and the 3rd time I attended and spoke at the conference. Boy, has it come a long way!! The first year, the keynote and conference took place at a small private school in Maitland. Last year, it was at the Orlando Science Center and this year at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. (Here’s my recap from last year.)

I actually grew up a few streets down from Full Sail University and it’s definitely changed over the years. The classrooms are amazing and the backlot where we had lunch and the after party seemed like something out of the movies! It looks just like an actual Hollywood backlot.

Julie-Deily-Headshot-MacBeth-Photo-FLBlogConHeadshots by Macbeth Photography…genius idea by the way to have this at a conference. Jim from Macbeth is fantastic…so what do you think of my photo that he took?

I spoke again this year (as I mentioned before) and I was nervous again…here are 5 things I picked up from the conference…

Sunnybell and I at Florida BlogConSunnybell was really sweet!

1. Friends not fans

Again, I heard Lou Mongello speak and he’s amazing! He’s motivational and inspiring and never pretentious. Lou actually gave me a huge pep talk before my talk last year and he definitely helped me calm my nerves a little.

He talked about how he thinks of the people who read his site, watch his videos and participate on his forums as friends, not fans or readers. This really struck me because I feel funny calling people who visit The Little Kitchen; fans or readers. A friend is exactly what I think of you. I’m just sharing food I love with friends who stop by and visit. So thank YOU for being a friend and coming by to visit. :)

Central Florida Food Bloggers at FL BlogCon

2. Offline engagement fosters a sense of community

Another nugget from Lou’s talk. Meeting up and meeting other bloggers and friends of The Little Kitchen has been the most rewarding aspect of starting this site. It’s interesting how that how happens. We can do so much online but sometimes we need just need human interaction or to meet others in person to further the community and to solidify that sense of belonging.


3. I need to read War of Art

My dear friend, Jeanette, kicked butt in her session and loved the quotes she shared from Steve Pressfield’s book War of Art. I need to read it!

PS If you don’t already follow Jeanette’s blog, please check it out. She is a huge inspiration to me when it comes to fashion!!


4. Google+ — use at least three hashtags when posting

Clayton did a great talk on G+ and I loved that he said you should include at least three hashtags when posting. He said he often posts and checks out what G+ adds in automatically and then edits his posts to add more or edit the ones G+ added.

Thanks to Wanda for taking this photo!

5. A little rum helps…

Thanks to Bahama Breeze for serving a curly tail rum drink at lunch. I think that helped me a teeny bit. Last year, when I spoke, it was the first time I was speaking not on a panel. I knew I knew the material but I just got soo nervous. This year, it was a little easier but I still got really nervous. I think I had two bites of food and two sips of the rum drink. As people started coming into the classroom for my session, I started feeling more and more nervous. Once it was all over, I felt a lot better. Huge sense of relief. I’m hoping that the more I speak, the easier it will get. It’s a work in progress but something I’m willing to work on.

I had a few people come up to me afterwards and they were soooo nice and supportive! I feel so fortunate. I met some new to me bloggers who are so awesome! I can’t wait for next year!

In case you’re interested, I’m embedding my slides from my presentation below.

Taking My Blog Full-Time from Julie Deily

Huge, huge kudos and thanks go out to the FL BlogCon planning committee: Bess, Ben, Brian, Jeanette, Joe, Josh and Katy. I know they worked so hard and the event this year looked effortless and was beyond my wildest dreams. This group is so talented and giving, I feel that the Central Florida blogging community is so fortunate to have them!

A couple of things, if you don’t have a blog and have always thought about starting one, read this. And if you are a food blogger in the Central Florida area, please sign up to hear about our meet ups!

My next five things post will be about food! Read my other {five things} posts.

Disclosure: There’s an affiliate link in this post.

31 Responses to “5 things I learned at the 2013 Florida Blogger Conference”

  1. 1
    DIana — September 22, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    Hi Julie! Your talk was great! It’s awesome to be able to hear from others that are doing this blog thing full time. Thanks again for all your insights, and don’t be nervous, you were great.


    • Julie Deily replied: September 22nd, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

      Hi Diana, thank you so much for your kind words! It was so great to meet you!


  2. 2
    Wanda — September 22, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

    Julie, my pure an awesome person blogger. I’m blessed to know you and be able to take something away from you everytime we meet or from your blog posts. It was a pleasure being at your session & hear your story. Felt so connected, inspired and motivated by your journey! You’re setting a standard on the food blogging community & I’m not only learning, but doing my best so that one day I can also inspire others. Hugs!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 22nd, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

      Thank you so much, Wanda. Your words mean so much to me. Huge hugs to you!!


  3. 3
    Jeanette — September 22, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

    Julie, you did so great at your session and I’m not just saying that because you are a dear friend! People loved your truthfulness and how you were willing to dig in and share your story. I already can’t wait for next year! :-)


    • Julie Deily replied: September 22nd, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

      Jeanette, thank you so much! And I truly appreciated your talk! I learned a lot!!! I have a list of things I need to do now. Thank you for being such a sweet friend to me!!


  4. 4
    Jeanette — September 22, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

    Julie, I love your presentation and your down-to-earth honesty. You have it so right. It’s so easy to get carried away and want to be like other bloggers who are more “successful.” It’s so important to stay true to yourself and do what you’re passionate about and what you’re called to do. I’m returning to my roots of why I started my blog to begin with, and that is to help others. I feel blessed to know you and can’t wait to see where you go next. xo Jeanette


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2013 @ 12:05 am

      Hi Jeanette, I still remember the post that someone shared on twitter(?), your vegetarian pho…the first time I visited your site. I remember you telling the story about your dear friend. I love that you’re returning to the roots of your blog. I feel as bloggers, we should return to that place all the time. I think we all lose our way sometimes and remembering why we started can be reinvigorating. So glad you are my friend and I’m excited to see what you do next!


  5. 5
    Jenny — September 23, 2013 @ 12:07 am

    Great tips!! I always call the people who follow me friends! Glad to hear I’m doing it right!!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

      Hi Jenny, I believe there’s no wrong or right way. Do what makes you feel comfortable, that’s the beauty of it. I have always felt uneasy about calling people who visit my site fans or even readers so friends works perfectly.


  6. 6
    Katie — September 23, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    So glad we got to hangout together this weekend. I love what Lou said about friends not fans. So true! And I had no clue about the 3 hashtags on Google+! This is great info. You did awesome on your presentation and should be so incredibly proud of it and where you have gotten from your first blog entry!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

      Thank you, Katie!! :)


  7. 7
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — September 23, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    Julie, your presentation was awesome! I agree with Jeanette that people love how true and real you are. It’s incredibly inspiring to other bloggers. I’m so glad I was able to meet you, thanks so much for your presentation!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

      Ashley, thank you for your kind words. It was so nice meeting you too! I hope we see you at one of our CFL meet ups soon! :)


  8. 8
    Marly — September 23, 2013 @ 9:24 am

    I LOVED this post, Julie! Very inspirational. And your presentation slides were great too. I heard someone say once that being nervous before a talk is simply excitement in disguise. Then I heard a TED talk that basically said the same thing – that stress can be a really good thing, as long as we frame it that way. Which, to me, seems like was the crux of your talk – keep it positive and growth oriented. And then have a little rum too. Haha! Hugs to you!


    • Julie Deily replied: September 23rd, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

      Marly, thank you so much! Yes, keep it positive, look up to others, don’t be jealous and it’s all about building relationships! You should have seen my face when they announced they were serving rum at lunch…I think it really helped calm me a little bit. :) Just a little!


  9. 9
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — September 23, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    Just clicked through the entire presentation – WOW! You have inspired me and so many others, Julie. Thank you for all that you do for the food blogging community and beyond!


  10. 10
    Sandy Coughlin — September 23, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    You are so darling! It looks like you had a blast. Loved reading what you learned.


  11. 11
    Angie | Big Bears Wife — September 23, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    Aww Maitland, FL. My maiden name is Maitland and I remember my parents pointing out “Maitland” every time we went to Disney World when I was little haha. Loved reading about all that you learned and loved the slideshow!


  12. 12
    Kristina @Lo — September 23, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    I love your session content! You’re awesome for sharing that with “us people that didn’t get to attend”.. I know, no excuses for me but BUMMED I missed this! I remember the first time I met you was at last year’s blog con….aww :)


  13. 13
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — September 23, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    Yay, I’m so glad it went well! You know, I think no matter how used to public speaking you are, you always get a case of the butterflies beforehand. As long as you don’t let it stop you, you’re good! :)


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  15. 14
    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat — September 23, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

    Wish I could have seen your presentation! I’m sure you did great- you are such an inspirational blogger!


  16. 15
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 24, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    Awww, Julie, your head shot is adorable!


  17. 16
    Penelope — September 24, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Julie! You not only look so adorable, but your portrait is beautiful, and I had no idea you went full time with the blog (I was recently talking about you to my husband and said you still work too, lol)…he’ll be impressed when I update him that you are now a full time blogger! Congrats!! I’m going to read your presentation now….


  18. 17
    Alicia — September 24, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    Great post. Wish I was in Orlando for this conference, so thanks for posting some insights. I used to work at Full Sail and know what you mean when you describe their amazing backlot.


  19. 18
    natalie @ wee eats — September 24, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    aw, thanks for the tips friend! 😉

    and yes, rum always helps. everything.


  20. 19
    courtney — September 25, 2013 @ 12:59 am

    Such an awesome presentation.. I wish I could have seen it in person! You look fabulous and I’m so proud of how BIG the little kitchen has become :)


  21. 20
    Christine (Cook the Story) — September 25, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    It was a great conference. Every time I go to a Florida blogging event I’m re-reminded of what a wonderful community we have. Loved hearing you speak and getting the chance to talk.


  22. 21
    Mary Brady — September 26, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    Nice! I wish I could have made it to the conference! I’m sure one will be going on that is a bit closer to me. Thanks for the tips!


  23. 22
    Monica@ The Modern Mrs. Blog — October 16, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Hey Julie, Great info to share. I loved flipping through your slide show. Great info for a fairly new blogger. Thanks for giving insight into your passion and journey along the way.


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