You already know I went to the Financial Blogger Conference a couple weekends ago. And I wasn’t going to do one of these recap posts because everyone did one and I figured readers were probably pretty sick of hearing about it.
But I wanted to at least share my two major takeaways from the conference, because maybe you’ll be able to apply them to your life, as well.
Here are two things I brought back from the conference:
1. A realization of my blogging purpose and business.
2. A stronger bond with my blogging friends and readers.
Blogging Purpose and Business
In September 2011, my earnings from this blog/freelancing exceeded the income I bring home from my full-time job. Yeah. Crazy.
Months like these are rare and it was partly a fluke and partly good timing, but it still shocked me. Not like I need to state the obvious, but it was the most successful month ever for my freelancing work and Blonde & Balanced.
It forced me to realize that I actually have a business on my hands and I need to start treating it as such. I’ve been avoiding this issue for a long time, but It’s time that I accept that writing and blogging are a real business.
I don’t anticipate my freelance/blog earnings to surpass my full-time pay again any time soon, but I think it needed to happen for me to realize I am a “business owner”.
I was overwhelmed at the conference because I kept thinking, “I don’t want to be a problogger and I think everyone around me does”.
But after analyzing my income, I’ve realized that not everyone that starts a blog is meant to be a pro-blogger, but there are places in the blogosphere for successful non-pro-bloggers, too.
Treating my writing/blogging as a business doesn’t mean things will change much around here. It only means I’ll provide more. I’ll be a more structured blogger. I’ll work harder to make it more beneficial to readers: I’ll write about what you want to hear and I’ll do more giveaways.
This may not be a business where I’m selling clothes or cooking food for people, but this is a business of interacting with others and learning from each other. And, you know what they say: if you can’t find your dream job, you should create it. Okay, I totally just came up with it, but I’m sure someone brilliant said some variation of that phrase at some point in our world’s existence.
I have a great group of blogging friends and readers that I e-mail and tweet with. I discuss blogging ideas, complain about blogging frustrations, and geek out over completely nerdy blogging stuff with other bloggers; I e-mail and tweet and laugh and joke with readers. Even though they’re online, these are all REAL friendships and relationships.
It’s a little weird only knowing these people through the Interwebs, but they’re really like my co-workers and peers, so maintaining and fostering friendships is important.
Plus, Interdependence is starting to mean a lot to me (yes, I’m still reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). It’s hard to succeed without working with your peers. What’s good for other bloggers is good for me. What’s good for other CPAs is good for me. What’s good for other Kansas Citians is good for me. I need to foster these blogging bonds to ever grow my blogging business.
Krystal from Give Me Back My Five Bucks and Cathy from Fiscally Chic are my BBFFs (blogging best friends forever). I’m not really sure what I would have done without them at the conference. Probably wandered around aimlessly in tears?
In addition, I had a lot of fun with Jeff from Sustainable Life Blog and Eddie from Finance Fox. Oh and Punch Debt was there and he was just as creepy as you’d imagine (kidding ). And I finally got to meet David from Money Under 30 and he is pretty much as cool as he seems on his blog. And I met tons of other awesome bloggers, but I can’t name them all here.
So, those are the two lessons I took home from the Financial Blogger Conference. I know many readers can’t relate, since they didn’t attend the conference, but maybe my lessons will translate to some area of your life.
If you’re making side income, are you treating it like a serious business and giving it the attention it deserves? Are you fostering relationships with peers and focusing on interdependence in your career and relationships? Let me know in a comment.
And just for fun, here’s a pic of Punch Debt in the Face if you’ve ever wondered what he looks like: