Apparently I am a Gleek

Hey check it out!  I’m in the Hot Seat over at Jessica’s place, Four Plus an Angel, today!  A bunch of you asked me the juicy questions and I did NOT hold back with my answers.  Go check that out a minute before reading here.  We can wait.

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This weekend I attended my very first blogging conference.

It required me to drive 8 minutes from my house, so it was sort of hard to turn down.

Gleek Retreat {A Blogging Conference}

I have been told “Gleek” is Glee + Geek.

And it has nothing to do with the show, Glee.  Which is good because I have never seen that show (please don’t hate me.  I just don’t like my TV to be a musical.).

Anywhoodles, I learned a few things and I thought I would share them with you, my lovely readers.

1. Get there on time. As in when registration starts.  Saturday registration started at 8am and the conference started at 9am.  I left my house around 8:20 and stopped at Starbucks and arrived around 8:45.  And had to sit in the front row.

Nothing wrong with the front row if you are a front row kinda person.  I am not.  I like to take it all in from the back. Near the door in case I have to get a drink or pee.  But as you can see, I made myself comfy nonetheless.

2. Have good business cards made. I had a massive brain fart and didn’t even think about that fact that I would want my cards for Gleek Retreat, so I was stuck making mine quickly on Friday, and having Cort print them for me at home.  They were Ok, but now I have some fun ideas for the professional ones I want for BlogHer.

3. Bring a sweater. When I got dressed on Saturday, I put on a skirt, tank top, and thin sweater because it was supposed to be 80 degrees.  The conference room was probably around 40 degrees.  I wish I had worn pants or at least had a sweater or wrap.  Shivering was involved. And possibly teeth chattering.

4. I am pretty good with the social media. There were definitely some times when I was mentally patting myself on the back for already doing what some of the speakers suggested.  I have a facebook fan page, I tweet, I am trying to Stumble. I ENJOY doing the social media connecting part of blogging.

5. There are things I do not know.  Like at all. I took notes like a mad lady when speakers mentioned things about SEO or using pictures in your posts or ways to market your brand.  And now I am looking at those notes and I still don’t have a clue.

6. There is a plugin on wordpress that helps you put your pics in your post from flickr. I haven’t figured this plugin out yet, but I watched Emily use it and she told me it helps your blog load faster.  Win.

7. Nobody knows who I am. I think it’s easy to feel like all of twitter knows you when you interact with a ton of your followers on a daily basis.  But not EVERYONE in the world follows you or reads your blog.  Also?  There are over 200,000,000 blogs.  I repeat, nobody knows who I am.

8. I’m a good writer. Yes, I have to keep re-learning this.  It’s fun when someone new comes up and says, “hey, I checked out your blog last night and I REALLY like it!  You are an amazing writer.”  And then I start to say, “oh stop, whatever.” and remember to just say, “thank you!” because my writing is not too shabby.  most of the time.

9. I am shy. It’s true.  When put next to some of my blogging role models like Heather and Brittany, I  have a hard time sticking my hand out and saying, “Hi, I’m Katie.  Love your work,” and then just being me.  I do the awkward hang on the outskirts thing and smile and try not to look like a total creepy stalker.  When I finally get the nerve to say something?  My mind goes a little blank.  Thank Moses that there were cocktails involved when I finally decided that I was being ridiculous and just put myself out there.  I hope I can remember this for BlogHer.  Otherwise I will be in a corner somewhere crying on the phone to Cort.

10. The prime real estate on your blog is the left hand corner under your header. This is where the eye goes first.  If you don’t have content here?  You should have your about.  If you have an ad there?  They should be paying you BIG bucks for that spot.

 

Getting ready to get our Gleek on

 

I would say my first blogging conference was a success for me.  I am glad Cort bought me the ticket and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone (and by comfort zone I mean my yoga pants and spot on the couch), and meet new people.

And I am glad he is encouraging me to go to another conference in August (BlogHer).

I realize that this next conference will have about 3,000 more bloggers than Gleek had.  I am guessing that the more bloggers around me, the more awkward I will be.

I am hoping not though because the biggest thing I learned this weekend?  Be yourself.  People will like you.

It worked for these two:

Heather (@mamaspohr) and Meredith (@lifescrazyjoke) rock out

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Look!  Sluiter Nation is getting BIGGER! We now have a Sponsor page!  This is where I will be spotlighting highlights, doing reviews, and giving away pretty things.  Just for you.  My lovely readers.

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