I went to another food blog conference this year!
Last year I went to the BlogHer Food Conference 2014 in Miami, FL. This year I went to the Food & Wine Conference 2015 in Orlando, FL. This was a very bold me for me because I knew some of the food bloggers who were going to the BlogHer Food Conference; whereas, I didn’t know a single soul at the Food & Wine Conferences. I was walking on uncharted territory for sure. But you know me, I put on my million dollar smile, introduced myself to a bunch of strangers, and learned a heck of a lot of stuff that I didn’t know before. It was definitely a good time, but can I be honest with you for a second? I really needed the break and a burst of energy to get back in my blog as I was before.
Group picture! We are food bloggers learning how to save the world one recipe and social media strategy at a time. #fwcon #fieldsfoodies #foodbloggers #foodie #instadaily #foodandwine #fbloggers A photo posted by Nicole (@brownsugarfoodblogger) on
After I released my e-book this year, I was tired. I mean all the testing and retesting wore me out. Also, that the book has sold some copies but not as much as I thought I would. Anyway, I digress. So, I released my book and then I got a new job, which turns out to be awesome but really demanding. Not to mention, I have planned a wedding! Needless to say, I have had many distractions to throw me off track of keeping up with my blog as much as I usually do. Now, there are some practices that I don’t do as much on purpose because it seems to be more of a waste of time than anything.
For instance, I use to submit my food photos to Foodgawker, Taste Spotting, Tasteologie, and Food Porn Daily religiously. That isn’t even the half of what I use to do. I still submit my photos from time to time (particularly the pics I know will do well, or at least I think) but only to Foodgawker. If you are a food blogger, I am not suggesting that you don’t continue this practice. There are some definite perks to this practice. However, as you grow you learn to put more of your time into other practices like building a solid Pinterest foundation, regularly implementing SEO optimization strategies,and capitalizing on your social media activity. I have gotten better at some of it that stuff, but still kind of slacking.
I have to be honest, blogging (especially if you’re doing it as a business or you’re trying to make it a business) is hard work. There is creating content, food styling, recipe development, and market strategizing. I am saying there is a lot that goes on into blogging and it is even harder when you have other obligations that can throw you off track. That is why I appreciate food blogging conferences. First of all,it is a nice opportunity to get away (in general), you get to have conversation with people who share your passion, you eat really good food, learn awesome techniques, network with brands, and stay at a really nice hotel. I mean I know that was a lot but that is very true for the nature of these conferences. Oh! You get a bunch of free stuff! My goal is to go to, at least, one a year. I’ve experienced BlogHer and Food and Wine. Next year, I hope to attend a different conference by a different organization. That’s how you network and learn from different speakers.
After attending the conference, I did feel a burst of energy and was extremely enthusiastic about getting back on track. In fact, I have considered hiring an intern at the top of the year to help with my SEO strategizing. I’ll let you guys know how that goes. I have also
considered plan to become an official LLC! I think if you want to turn your business into a business, your business should be a business. You know what I mean? I plan to have that started or completed by the end of the year. Oh yes, the conference did me some good. I am still dragging but the good news that my wedding is next month so that will be over. After the wedding we do plan to move into our first place together and the honeymoon that we are taking in December. So there will still be some things to do but not nearly as much as it is now. Just hang in there for me guys and pray for to be able to juggle all these things.
Now a pause for the cause. When I went to the Food & Wine Conference we stayed at the most amazing resort. We stayed at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Hunnny! The resort was amazing. Anything you could think you would need or want in a resort was there on the grounds. The resort had a beautiful golf course and I don’t even play golf; beautiful pools; amazing restaurants; and it was oh so clean. It very well may have been the cleanest hotel I have ever stayed. I wanted to stay just one more day just to enjoy the grounds. I didn’t even care to visit one of Orlando’s many tourist attractions. I wanted to stay by the pool, eat good food, and sleep in my comfortable bed. In fact, I loved it so much that I am considering going back next year, just so I can stay at the resort. If you are ever in Orlando and if you are looking for an amazing place to stay I highly recommend staying at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. One thing I must say (as I did in my trip advisor review) it is pricey. You have to pay for everything! But, if you plan and budget your money right it won’t really matter. I mean (this was new), you can check bags for your flight at the hotel! If you have your boarding pass, all you have to do is go straight to security! You do have to pay for this luxury, but if you want just a few extra moments it would be beneficial! Overall, I had an awesome experience at the resort and the conference. You should totally check it out and make it a point to go to food blogging conference.