So, how many days does it take to recover from the BlogHer11 conference? Going on four days and i’m still not there. Work’s busy and when I’m not doing that I’m blogging more, tweeting more and reading blogs more. That’s what BlogHer conferences do to you. You get home with a zillion ideas swimming in your head and you can’t sleep because you’re just too busy writing posts, checking in with new friends and making your blog into the best blog ever.

Before BlogHer11, I was definitely burnt out. I’ve been blogging about shopping since 2006, and posting felt like an obligation. But BlogHer has a way of inspiring you, of reminding you why you started blogging in the first place.

So consider me sufficiently inspired. It’s so great to meet new (and old) bloggers who are still in the midst of blog-love and catch a little bit of the fever.

I miss BlogHer! I missing the crazy non-stop from session to lunch to expo to meeting all kinds of great bloggers! I miss all blogs all the time. I miss walking around with confidence, smiling at everyone and feeling like I belonged. Like I was part of something and like these were my people.

So now all I can think is how can I keep the BlogHer feeling? How do I keep from getting burned out? What can I do to stay true to what made me a blogger to begin with?

Count down the days to BlogHer12. T-minus 356 days until lift-off!

Tell me again why BlogHer is only once a year? What can we do to remedy that?

BlogHer11 was amazing. I’m  happy to say that I followed each and every one of my 15 Ways to Get the Most Out of BlogHer11.

Here’s a list of things I learned at BlogHer11.

  1. Being outside is good.
    For about 5 minutes I was irritated that I had to walk outside to go to the conference center. Then I discovered that…
  2. San Diego has the best weather on earth. 
    I want to live there.
  3. The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina is an excellent hotel.
    I didn’t get a fancy ocean view, but I did get a corner room with lots of space. The bed was killer. Real down pillows and soft sheets.
  4. It’s good to own your beauty, but you don’t have to love it naked.
    I loved that there was no mirror across from the bathtub. I’d rather not have that view right after I get out of the shower. Granted I did go to the Own Your Beauty BlogHer session and I appreciate all that makes me unique, but I still don’t want to be faced with it post-shower.
  5. Room service can be good, fast and cheap.
    I loved that room service at the Marriott was amazing. They told me it’d be there within a half-hour and it was there in less than 20 minutes. The food was really good, and reasonably-priced off the kids meals (which even I couldn’t finish.)
  6. Starbucks makes everything better.
    Thank heavens for Starbucks in the Marriott. And another Starbucks in the conference center. Heck, I didn’t even mind standing in the long, long lines.
  7. Check-in can be painless.
    Not every hotel offers granola bars, strawberry water, hot towels and hand lotion on check-in. The Marriott did!
  8. Naps are not just for kids.
    I am convinced that the only way to survive BlogHer (i.e. attend the sessions, visit the expo, meet new people and party hard at night) is to nap as often as possible. I had a three-hour nap before CheeseburgHer and boy was I glad I did!
  9. Kindness is appreciated.
    One of my favorite BlogHer11 moments was at Sparklecorn when I hunted down BlogHers that were standing by themselves and brought them over to a table full of other single BlogHers. It made them happy and that felt good.
  10. Not all women are catty.
    Contrary to popular opinion, women are not always catty with each other. In fact, I’ve never felt so much positivity and openness in a group of women. Walking down the hallway, sitting down at a table of random strangers, hanging at the parties -I always felt welcome. Ladies were quick with a smile and compliments and they really made me feel good. I could walk up to someone and already have something great in common.
  11. I love BlogHer newbies.
    I absolutely adore new BlogHers and bloggers new to BlogHer. They have such fresh energy, are so open to learning and meeting new people. I love making them feel like part of BlogHer!
  12. Don’t miss the meals.
    Saturday was a busy day for me – I met with a brand in the morning and didn’t have a proper meal. Then I missed lunch because I needed a pedi (Thanks Scrubbing Bubbles), so I hit the expo and munched on Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick (yum!) and Dove Bars.  I skipped room service that night and had McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries as a late CheeseburgHer dinner. Two days later, I just now feel like I’ve been properly nourished.
  13. Don’t be a swag hag.
    I’ll admit it – last year I was a swag hag and ended up dragging a car-full of swag home and don’t you know that half of it is still sitting in my basement. This year I focused on the brands, listened to their pitches and took only the swag that I could use (and fit in my carry-on). I went through my swag and recycled everything that I didn’t need/want and picked up a few extra things for friends and coworkers.
  14. Get some sessions in.
    Last year I only attended one session and I was so disappointed in myself. This year I attended a nice selection of sessions including old-school blogger burnout (how do we keep from burning out, again?), Change the World | Malcolm Gladwell is Missing the Point: Revolutions Are Happening Online (so inspiring!) and Change the World | Owning Your Beauty: If We Change the Conversation Can We Change the Culture? - that was a fantastic session – I think we can always use a reminder to be good to ourselves and love what makes us unique.
  15. Brands are smart.
    Last year Proctor & Gamble had a great “booth” (it was actually a small house!) where you walked around, learned about products and picked up samples. This year, the house was back, but instead of dragging all of these samples back home, they sent them to your home. I haven’t received mine, yet, but you can bet I’ll be all over THAT swag like white on rice. Yahoo Contributor Network did the same thing with the books they were giving away. Even better than that? Jimmy Dean made a donation on behalf of each BlogHer in attendance. (Thanks Jimmy Dean – I love you AND your sausage-cake-dogs. )
  16. Brands are stupid not always smart.
    Two of the smart brands above are also in my not “smart” category. Proctor & Gamble, for instance – they’ve got an amazing brand and great products and obviously a great marketing strategy. Or do they? Browsing through the P&G house, I happened upon the Febreeze section. A young lady ushered me over to a computer and asked me to enter my name and email and a bit of motherly advice. B-b-b-but I’m not a mom. Oh, you can just enter some advice from your mother. Umm, OK. What does this have to do with Febreeze? That’s my point. I’m not learning about a mom-related product, not a mom-focused booth, they’re not just selling products to moms – why limit your audience? Why market directly to moms when not all of the women at BlogHer are moms. Why risk offending even one potential customer? Why risk offending even one BLOGGER who can potentially influence thousands!? Silly, silly brands.

    Yahoo Contributor Network did the same thing. One very nice young lady was suggesting some topics that I could blog about for YCN and included my children. W-w-w-what children? Is this MomHer? Are you recruiting members for the Yahoo MomContributor Network? Riiiight. That’s what I thought.Marketing 101, people! Do your research. Know your audience. And do not offend bloggers. Yikes!

  17. QR codes are taking over the world.
    RedPlum won my prize for best use of QR codes. They had visitors scan a code with their phone to sign up for the RedPlum newsletter and then scan one of the hundreds of QR codes on a big board to win the prize behind the code – from movie tickets to iPads!
To be continued…

I heart Zoot!BlogHer is really special to me. The first conference I attended in 2006 when I was invited to co-present on blog improvement. It was an amazing time. Not only did I meet a ton of great people and have some excellent conversations, I left BlogHer06 inspired to blog about what I was passionate about (shopping!) and try to make a go at it.

It was that blog that helped me shift my career into overdrive. I had always wanted to work on the web – designing, managing, writing – but I was stuck in a job where I was pigeon-holed as a marketing writer when I wanted to (and could) do so much more. My blog added to my resume an entrepreneurial spirit and the proof that I can build a successful web site from the ground up.

Me & Magno!After BlogHer06 I attended BlogHer Business 07 and then BlogHer Boston 08. I missed BlogHer09, but I came back at BlogHer10 and boy did things change! I will be the first to admit that I got more than a little swag-happy and completely distracted from the conference as a whole. I was invited to a party or two and did my thing, but like many attendees I caught party-envy. I came home disappointed that i didn’t really let myself enjoy the conference.

This year, things will change.

  1. I will NOT be one of the first to hit the exhibit halls and I will limit my time there and my swag hoarding.
  2. I will NOT be  a swag-a-holic and stalk the swag exchange for the best swag available.
  3. I will attend sessions.
  4. I will make new friends.
  5. I will have great conversations.
  6. I will attend those parties to which I am invited and will not pout when I’m not included in others.
  7. I will seek out other uninvited peeps and start our own public party! Everyone is welcome!
  8. I will seek out deer-in-headlights first-conference-goers and make them feel comfortable.
  9. I will seek to remind myself why I am there and enjoy every minute.
  10. I will not be overly concerned about the number of business cards I give and receive.
  11. I will not go broke on a new wardrobe to impress the other girls.
  12. I will dress simply and comfortably
  13. I will compliment all my beautiful BlogHer sisters as much as I can.
  14. I will not get overwhelmed.
  15. I will live in the moment.

What’s your plan for BlogHer11 in San Diego?

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