Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lessons from the 2011 Brands and Bloggers Summit

Yesterday Hurricane Dad and I attended the Midwest Moms Media Brands and Bloggers Summit at the lovely Double Tree Hotel in Chicago, IL. It was a fantastic conference and a day that was completely packed with useful information from leaders in the blogging community. As a new blogger, and not a “Mom”, Hurricane Dad also gained some a unique knowledge from the experience and has offered a guest post to share which I will post later.

I came away with a new appreciation for myself, my blog, and a confidence in staying true to the things that I believe in. It can be easy as a new blogger hoping to work with brands to be dazzled when a brand or network asks you to review their product or attend their event. The compliment and excitement of being the one that they want can seriously overshadow common sense and you can get lost in the process. The speakers at the conference nailed home the idea that my voice as a blogger is important, and that my time is valuable, not something to just be given away.

The confirmation I received yesterday that I need to stay true to myself and the brands that I love came at a very good time. With the support of the other bloggers at the table I made the choice to leave a network that I had recently joined, but wasn’t sure was a good fit. The network offered me a certain amount of exposure, however in return I had to tweet (a lot) about products that I had no connection with. In addition, several other Disney bloggers were in the same network, which was creating a flood of identical tweets in the twitter stream about products and services that didn’t have anything to do with our primary focus. I was annoying myself with the requirements of the network, I’m sure that my followers weren’t enjoying it any more. This morning I sent them a letter saying that I no longer felt I could participate.

I promise that in the future I will be much more thoughtful in my advertising connections. The DVC Mom Blog is moving forward and in doing so I hope to share with you, my readers, a broader selection of experiences reflecting a standard that I can be proud of.

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