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.

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