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School for Bloggers: Being Connected Matters #BConnectedConf

Attending blogging conferences has been one of the smartest things I’ve done as a blogger. They allow me to feel connected with people who “get” this crazy need to blog, to learn about a craft that is anything but traditional, and to keep up with technology that moves at break-neck speed.

The very first blogging conference I attended was a biggie: BlogHer in 2010. When I’d heard about it, I emailed a local Ottawa blogger I didn’t really know very well and asked her if she wanted to attend with me. She hesitated. She’d been blogging for many years and had never attended a conference. But then she jumped on board. So there we were: Andrea, who had been blogging since 1999 and me, the newbie. That year, BlogHer hosted more than 2,500 bloggers and was in The Big Apple! We travelled together, shared a room together, and had a blast together. Since then, Andrea and I have been to a number of conferences together. She’s a great roomie and a great friend.

Blissdom, Toronto (2011)

With Andrea of at Blissdom 2011, Toronto

Last year, a new conference launched here in Ottawa for parent bloggers: BConnected. I attended last year, and I attended again this year too. In fact, it was just last week.

BConnected Conference

BConnected Conference (2015)

Even though it was a local event for me, I booked a hotel room so that I could stay and enjoy all of the after-hours events and maximize the time I would have to connect with everyone. Because, that’s what it really comes down to. Over the years, I’ve titled conference posts as “School for Bloggers,” but really it’s more about connecting than “getting schooled.”

I really value this community of fellow bloggers. I’ve been the recipient of many tips, lessons, and support from many smart, successful individuals. They’ve been generous with me, and given freely of their time and experience.

With Angele of, Kathy of, and Chris of (2013)

More recently, I’ve started to speak at conferences. It feels a bit strange since I’m not a “big name blogger,” but I’m always honoured and see it as a way to pay-it-forward, so to speak. (Generally, speakers are not paid at these conferences, so they’re really there because they want to be there. And that’s exactly why I was at BConnected.)

My topic at the BConnected Conference was: Does Grammar Matter? (You can flip through my presentation slides by clicking here). In sum, yes, grammar matters! The only debate is “how much“?

Speaking at the BConnected Conference in Ottawa-Gatineau

Speaking at BConnected in Ottawa-Gatineau (2015)

However, there’s no debate in my mind that being connected to my blogging community matters. And how much? To the moon and back, my friends … to the moon and back.


  1. It was so great to see you again at BConnected this year! Thank you for speaking, loved your session! Community is key in the blogging world and I think us Canadians have a pretty good one! :)

  2. Hey Julie! It was awesome to see you back at BConnected this year! You were one of the first bloggers to really reach out to me at last year’s conference, and it was so great to have that connection when you feel like a new kid in the blogisphere (Thank you for that, Julie!). Your session was so much fun, and I took a lot away from it. By the way, did you ever tell us which side of the fence you were on where the Oxford comma was concerned? 😛

  3. Hi Julie: Great talk with great tips Thanks so much for your fun presentation.

  4. Thanks for the kind words Julie. I always have such a great time with you, on or off the conference circuit!

    It’s funny. I always waffle going in to conferences (is it worth it? is there anything left the learn?) but I always come home having met someone great or learned something new. It is definitely a great community, and I’m so happy to be part of it too!

    • It’s an investment in time and money to attend a conference … it makes sense to consider the decision. But yes, I always get so much out of every single one I’ve attended.

  5. I think that’s a great idea, attending blogging conferences. I’m fairly new to blogging in general and while I’m just doing it for fun/hobby, I really would love to get some tips, meet others who are more established, and network. I should definitely look into one of the conferences/conventions nearby (Ottawa, MTL, T.O etc), I am just learning about them so I don’t even know where to start. So thanks for this post, hopefully I will get to one soon. They sure sound fun as well!

  6. It was great to see you speak at the conference Julie! As a newer blogger I understand the want for a partner-in-crime for blog conventions. I did not have a roomie with me for BConnected but next time I go for a conference I will be reaching out to the blogging friends I have made. I really think that the extra connection will help me grow (though going from newbie to public speaker seems a big jump right now).

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