2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference to be held Oct. 12 at Concordia University

2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference to be held Oct. 12 at Concordia University

Exciting news—the 2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at Concordia University!

The conference, now in its fourth year, is a one-day meeting for Minnesota bloggers from all walks of life—and all types of sectors. Lifestyle bloggers. Food bloggers. Political bloggers. Sports bloggers. Tech bloggers. They’ll all show up on Oct. 12 to talk all things blogging.

This will be our first year hosting the event at Concordia University (@concordiastpaul on the Twitters). We had previously held the event at Allina Health Headquarters, and CoCo (a co-working venue) in St. Paul.

Designed as an event where bloggers can network and learn more about the art of blogging, the Minnesota Blogger Conference (#mnblogcon and @mnblogcon on Twitter) typically draws between 150-200 bloggers each year. Once again, as in prior years, we are hoping to keep the event FREE of charge!

Previous speakers at the event include a who’s who of Minnesota bloggers, including:

More information, including a schedule and details about the event, will be shared soon. We’ll also be soliciting three speakers for this year’s event—so be looking for that opportunity early next week.

For now we’re hoping you’ll circle Oct. 12 on your calendars!

Posted in Conference 2011 | 5 Comments

2012 Conference Link Round Up

Many thanks to all who attended the 3rd annual MN Blogger Conference in Minneapolis Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. We’ll use this post to share links to all the slides from speakers and round up posts from attendees. We’ll update as often as possible.

Speaker posts/slides:

Attendee posts:

If you have a relevant post you want us to list here, please send us a note to mnblogconf at g mail dot com.

Posted in Conference 2011 | 7 Comments

Q & A With Past MN Blogger Conference Attendees

I attended my first MN Blogger Conference in 2011, and was inspired by all of the amazing people in attendance. I met the following bloggers last year and wanted to share their stories with you. Enjoy this question and answer with three great bloggers, and be sure to add their blogs to your blog reader.

  

AMANDA INGLE – MS. GIGGLES

http://www.msgiggles.com

 

Tell me about your blog – when did it start, what is the intention/purpose, etc?

I started my blog last year after the Minnesota Blogger Conference. When I started I was full of motivation and excitement from all the wonderful bloggers I had met, plus I had prior blogging experience being the blog manager for Anytime Health (a health and wellness blog).

I knew I wanted to start my own blog because I have so much to say. Plus, this

blog would be mine. Ms. Giggles is all about inspiration and education with a little

random mixed in. I talk about life, design, travel, fashion, and more. It’s a true

lifestyle blog covering anything that inspires me.

I love being able to share my experiences with my readers, especially my Grandma

who is an email subscriber. She loves reading them and I know that I will continue

writing, if just for her!

Where do you see your blog in five years?

I see it growing with the next generation of the web. In regards to blogs, we don’t

know exactly where content will lie in 2016. It might still be with blogs, or it might

be something really cool that we don’t know about yet. All I know is that I intend on

making my content stand out on whatever platform it is best suited for.

Why did you decide to attend the MN Blogger Conference? Had your blog

really started then, or did you find inspiration to really get it going? 

I attended the bloggers conference to grow the multi-blogger platform I manage,

Anytime Health. I always am looking to further my education and knowledge

especially when it’s something I deal with every day! I love all of my bloggers

on Anytime Health because they inspire people to change their lives…which is

hard enough! The MN Blogger Conference really opened my eyes to creating a sense of community with the readers on AH!

What inspires you in relation to your blog?

The better question is probably what doesn’t inspire me…I love so many different

things and that makes it easier to write. Whatever you’re passionate about is what

you should be writing…it makes it ten times easier. I get inspired by other bloggers.

I love to see what they are doing in their lives and that inspires me!

Did you catch any inspiration at last year’s event?

I will bet that I was the MOST inspired person there! What an amazing group of

bloggers we have in this state. Everyone is always willing to help out with advice,

guest blogging, and more! I love that the “Minnesota Nice” translates to bloggers.

Are you hoping to attend this year? Anything in particular you’re looking

forward to/would like to learn about?

I will be attending this year, if I can get a ticket. I am always looking for how people

cultivate their communities and how they keep them in their circle.

 

JOSH BRAATEN – BIG PICTURE WEB

http://www.BigPictureWeb.com

Tell me about your blog – when did it start, what is the intention/purpose, etc?

My blog is BigPictureWeb.com. It started about three years ago with a pretty loose

goal of learning and talking about online marketing, but I’ve narrowed the scope

considerably since and now provide tips for folks using the Squarespace content

management system. I’ve also recently started ContentScientists.com to blog about

inbound marketing.

Where do you see your blog in five years? 

It would be nice to expand into tips in the design and development arenas, as I’m

primarily a marketer. I see growing Big Picture Web into a blog with multiple

authors, who would each bring their unique community and style.

Why did you decide to attend the MN Blogger Conference? Had your blog really started then, or did you find inspiration to really get it going? 

I think it was a mix of both. The first MN Blogger Conference occurred right about

the time I was starting to get the hang of things, and it was energizing to meet so

many like-minded people. The conference really helped validate certain things that

were working with my own blog, and alert me to a few things I was doing wrong

that prevented my blog from growing.

What inspires you in relation to your blog? 

I can try anything I want on my blog and I learn a ton in the process. We have

constraints in so many areas of our lives. My blog has been my chance to learn so

many amazing things by trying them out and seeing what happens. I believe this

type of kinetic learning is a valuable skill in this era where the future seems closer

every day.

Did you catch any inspiration at last year’s event?

Always. I got to know a little bit about each blogger and why they were successful.

I’m inspired that what makes each blog worth reading varies greatly. Some blogs are

amazing because they’re visual. Some because they’re articulate and verbose. Yet

some still are all of those things. Every blog is unique, so it’s inspiring to think about

what one might create.

Are you hoping to attend this year? Anything in particular you’re looking forward to/would like to learn about? 

Absolutely! I’m most looking forward to connecting with the Minnesota blogging

community throughout the day. I’ve developed friendships with a lot of the

attendees over the last two years, and it will be lively and fun to connect with

everyone through the stellar presentations at the MN Blogger Conference.

 

JAMIE AND LINDSI – TOYS IN THE DRYER

http://www.ToysInTheDryer.com

 

Tell me about your blog – when did it start, what is the intention/purpose, etc?

ToysInTheDryer.com went live on September 5, 2011.  We had both been blogging on other blogs that took up a lot of our time with little reward.  We were talking one day about ideas to help us spend more quality time with our children.  We decided to start a blog together to help us do just that.  (We know, it’s technically counter-productive, however, it really hasn’t been for us!)  Toys In The Dryer was started with purpose of being a “business” blog while helping us spend more time with our children.  We are rewarded not only with money, products, and opportunities, we are also rewarded with memories of time spent with our children!

Where do you see your blog in five years?

We would love to be big enough to have more people writing for us.  We would like to be making a minimum of $500 dollars a month.  We hope to have a large community of interactive readers.

Why did you decide to attend the MN Blogger Conference?  Had your blog really started then, or did you find inspiration to really get it going?

We wanted to network with other MN bloggers.  Toys In The Dryer had been live for five days when last year’s conference took place however, people knew our name because we had marketed ourselves and interacted with our future readers for several weeks via Facebook, Twitter, and our other blogs prior to going live.  I’m not sure if we found inspiration, per se, at the conference however we did educate ourselves and found great enthusiasm through networking.

What inspires you in relation to your blog?

Our children. Toys In The Dryer is about spending quality time with your children and making memories. Our children’s interests inspire us to become creative with ideas for them. Our blog helps us build our relationships with them as well.

Did you catch any inspiration at last year’s event?

Meeting bigger bloggers at the conference help us see our goals for our blog and what we want to become in the future.

Are you hoping to attend this year? Anything in particular you’re looking forward to/would like to learn about?

Yes, we are planning on attending this year’s conference.  We would love to see a session on the legalities of Pinterest.  Last year’s session on Facebook and other social networking sites was eye opening, however Pinterest was not as popular back then.  It has since become a huge part of gaining traffic to people’s blogs (including our own).

Posted in Conference 2012 | 3 Comments

Get a new headshot, help a charity

A first-rate headshot that captures your current look can add a personal and professional touch to your blog and your entire online footprint.  Don’t miss your chance to update your headshot this year at the MN Blogger Conference.

Get Your Best Shot!

Glimpses of Soul Photography will return to take professional headshot photographs at the conference this year. Mandy Dwyer, photographer and owner of Twin Cities-based Glimpses of Soul Photography will be on hand to take a limited number of headshots during the conference.  Mandy is an accomplished photographer, who is highly skilled at capturing real life images while putting her subjects at ease.

We recommend a minimum donation of $25, but the amount you pay is up to you. All donations will go to Free Arts Minnesota, the featured charity for the 2012 MN Blogger Conference. Free Arts Minnesota brings the healing powers of artistic expression into the lives of abused, neglected and at-risk children and their families. The nonprofit is dedicated to healing young lives through artistic expression.

A Word of Thanks to Our Photographer

Last year the headshots provided by Glimpses of Soul Photography were wonderful and we heard fabulous comments from bloggers who were thankful for the opportunity to get a professional headshot for a fraction of the typical cost. Thank you again Mandy for your generous contribution of time! Your generosity is part of what makes the MN Blogger Conference a true success!

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Sneak Peek at the 2012 Speaker Line Up

After getting input from past attendees, meeting with our core planning team of highly-engaged bloggers, and reviewing session submissions from some pretty talented Minnesotans, we’ve landed on a list of hot topics (and speakers) for the 3rd annual MN Blogger Conference. 

For the last week we’ve been reaching out to these folks and are happy to share this first glimpse at how the agenda is shaping up:

  • Opening Keynote – Rick Kupchella, Bring Me The News
  • Behind the Scenes: Brands and Blogger Relations Programs – Lauren Melcher, Weber Shandwick
  • 15 Essential WordPress Plugins (and 5 That Will Just Blow Your Mind) – Mykl Roventine, Designer of Things
  • Not just for words: Make your blog more powerful with images – Teresa Boardman, Professional Photographer
  • Blogging to be found and hired – Sara Kerr, Professor at St. Catherine University
  • Increase the visibility of your blog – Dave Folkens and Dave Schad, Padilla Speer Beardsley
  • Google+? The social network as a blogging platform – Julio Ojeda-Zapata, tech writer at Pioneer Press
  • How to gain credibility with your readers through writing – Trent M Kays, Graduate Instructor and PhD Student, University of Minnesota
  • Connecting: Blogging for a Strong and Diverse Community – Erik Hare, erikorganic.com

We’ll post full session descriptions and speaker bios soon. Meanwhile, we are working through additional topics and speakers, and have a few surprises up our sleeves. Don’t forget, registration opens Wednesday morning, August 22, at 9 a.m. The tickets moved really quickly last year, so make sure you are ready to register that morning if you hope to attend.

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Registering for the conference – tips on how to get a ticket

Tickets for the 2012 Minnesota Blogger Conference will go fast. After all, the best things in life are free.

We’ve heard you say tickets are hard to come by, so we’ve done our best to make it as painless as possible. Those who plan ahead and are serious about attending will find a way to get their hands on a ticket. Here are a few simple steps to make your registration experience a better one:

  1. Mark your calendar with ticket release days and times: Tickets will be available:
  • Wednesday, August 22 at 9 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 25 at noon
  • Wednesday, August 29 at 4 p.m.

Be ready at your computer, with the event ticket page already loaded, and hit refresh at the designated time to see the tickets become available.

  1. Have your Eventbrite account ready before ticket release times. If you have never used  Eventbrite, get started by visiting the Eventbrite registration page at https://www.eventbrite.com/signup/
  2. Watch for ticket giveaways from our sponsors. Follow our sponsors on your social media pages for Facebook and Twitter. Our sponsors include Pioneer Press, Mall of America, Allina Health, Padilla Speer Beardsley, National Camera Exchange, Strother Communications Group, Plum District, Sleep Number.
  3. As a last resort after attempting the above items 1, 2 and 3, you can always add your name to the waiting list. After all the batches of tickets are released, a waitlist will be started on eventbrite. Inevitably, people will cancel and their tickets will be rereleased.

Who Should Register

  • Because Allina Health is a secure space, all attendees must have a ticket and be registered 72 hours before the event. Please only register for the MN Blogger Conference if you know you can come to the event on Saturday, September 22, 2012. Tickets are non-transferable and must be registered in your name in order to attend the event. Switching tickets with friends, business associates or others under different names will not be permitted.
  • Speakers, the planning team and sponsors do not need to register. Separate tickets are on hold for you.

The generosity of our sponsors makes this free event possible. We appreciate your interest and hope that you will attend. See you at the conference!

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Announcing the Featured Charity for the 2012 MN Blogger Conference

The planning committee has selected Free Arts Minnesota as the featured charity for the 2012 conference.  Free Arts Minnesota is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the healing powers of artistic expression into the lives of abused, neglected and at-risk children and their families. They are dedicated to healing young lives through artistic expression. Free Arts recognizes that abuse encompasses a wide range of experiences such as trauma caused by violence, neglect, poverty, and homelessness.  You can learn more about Free Arts Minnesota and their history by reading The Blogunteer’s full profile.

We will be collecting donations for Free Arts Minnesota at the conference.  They will take craft supplies, recycled items, and variety of other items.  I highlighted some of their top needs below, but you can find their full wish list here.

Below are their top 10 donation needs, you can find the full wish list here.

  • Model magic
  • Large Clear Bins
  • Glue sticks
  • Glitter glue
  • White and black cardstock
  • Face paint
  • Poster board
  • Sketch books (Journals with no lines in them)
  • Magnets!!!
  • Sharpies

Back by popular demand: Glimpses of Soul Photography will be returning to take headshots for a cash donation to Free Arts Minnesota.

- Stacy Pearson, Charity Manager

Blogunteer.com

Posted in Conference 2011 | 1 Comment