Saturday was the Blogger Brunch, a brain child between Missy (from Now Listen, Missy) and I, and it exceeded my personal expectations.
Missy and I had talked about that even if it was just the two of us, we'd still have fun and enjoy the opportunity to talk about blogging. Luckily, we had a pretty good turn out. It was small and intimate but I found that helpful as we all got to talk to each other as a group.
We had mimosas and coffee (option whiskey for the coffee), because we live in New Orleans and like to have alcohol for all social engagements. ;) The food, prepared by Missy's boyfriend, was delicious (and there were some other nibbles brought by myself and other bloggers). We all plated up and got the show on the road.
We talked about sources of revenue and display ads versus affiliate links. We also touched on buying ads and if it is worth the cost. It was a good mix of veteran, middle of the road (like me), and pretty fresh in the game bloggers, which was really nice. Questions that the newer bloggers had were able to be answered by us middle bloggers and my questions were answered by the veterans. Mallory, of Miss Malaprop, was our blogging guru. Any question we had, she had a great answer and was very thorough with her explanations. I was worried, at the end, that we were scaring her off; because in the last hour or so of the brunch, we were all basically sitting around her, listening to her talk and asking her questions. Luckily, she is an amazing person who genuinely wants to help others and loved the experience.
One of the most interesting aspects of the brunch was discovering how diverse we are as bloggers. A couple of bloggers are using their platforms as a way to get their names out and promote their freelancing/non-day job professional pursuits; so their monetizing of their blogs is a very different strategy than say a blogger that wants to just earn extra/side income from it. We also had bloggers who do not monetize at all, but have in the past or are looking to go that way in the future.
We didn't just talk about revenue, though. We also talked about using social media, driving traffic, and SEO optimization. The amount of knowledge and experience at the brunch was a lot to take in. It really and truly felt like a mini blogger conference!
Megan brought her little man to the brunch, and he seemed excited to be there, too. I was super excited that Megan brought along a preview copy of the book we did together! I can't wait until they are finished printing!
As we were wrapping up, everyone really seemed excited that this little group exists and can't wait to get together again! It seems like Missy and I have stirred up a local community that is more than willing to help each other grow and support each other's endeavors. There were a few bloggers who were invited and couldn't attend, hopefully they will make it to the next brunch! And yes, there will be more of these in the future!