Last week, I attended BlogPaws 2017, held in Myrtle Beach SC. People have asked what BlogPaws is, and it’s always a hard question to answer. This conference is like no other, due in large part to the various animals you encounter.
I don’t know of any other conference where you can meet therapy rats, bearded dragons, ferrets, and dogs and cats in various garb. If you aren’t an animal lover when you arrive, you’ll be hard pressed not to be one by the time you leave!
BlogPaws 2017 Networking
Since the BlogPaws community is online, it’s easy to build relationships with fellow pet bloggers. The conference provides the opportunity to strengthen those bonds by meeting online friends face-to-face. As many of us said during the conference, it’s great to be with others that “get” the love for pets.
Networking at this conference isn’t solely the business card passing variety (although cards are exchanged for follow-up later). While there, I attended a Paint & Sip event (thank you to Red Roof Inn for sponsoring this, it was fun!), and a kitty birthday party (more on both of these later)! Networking, yes, but the fun, relaxed kind!
There were opportunities to meet pet product company representatives. This is a chance to learn more about brand products, get samples to try, and begin building relationships.
BlogPaws 2017 Knowledge
Where do I begin? This year, I learned a lot about the legalities of blogging (contracts, negotiations, privacy policies) and was amazed at what I didn’t know!
Sales funnels was a term I hadn’t heard before, until this BlogPaws. For those of us striving to earn money blogging, sales are essential. This is another gap I learned needs to be filled on my site. I came to realize sales isn’t a “sleazy” thing, but if done correctly, can be a big benefit to my audience.
When it comes to branding, there are many elements to be considered: images used, color, fonts to name a few. I learned the importance of choosing images carefully and consistently. This helps communicate your brand to others more effectively.
This was also a time for figuring out what holds me back, to not be afraid of failure or rejection. I learned I have a voice that can be valuable in helping others. It’s important to take action rather than simply complain. That’s how change begins.
BlogPaws 2017 Giving
How many business conferences do we attend where giving back is a major objective? This is an aspect of BlogPaws that makes it special.
Several rescues/shelter groups were awarded donations by BlogPaws. In addition, one keynote presenter, Kathleen Gage, does many charitable events to help various animal rescue groups around the country.
We also saw several videos from Hope For Paws, a non-profit organization that travels around the world to rescue pets in need.
Bayer Animal Health spoke about their efforts to spread the word about the PAWS initiative, to help abused women and pets.
Merrick spoke about their work with K9S For Warriors, to help pair veterans suffering from PTSD with assistance dogs.
BlogPaws strives each year to be a zero waste event. Myrtle Beach, SC, location of this year’s conference, does not currently have a sustainability program. Our conference introduced sustainability to Myrtle Beach! A great way to give back!
BlogPaws 2017 Fun
When a group of pets and bloggers get together, it’s always fun! This year, I and many others had a great time at a Paint and Sip event sponsored by Red Roof Inn. As evidenced by my painting, I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon!
I also attended a birthday part for Sophie the Cat from Kitty Kat Chronicles. She got many gifts and it was fun hanging out with her and many of her friends to celebrate.
As a longtime cat lover, I was so excited to have the Cat Lounge to visit! The Lounge was better than ever, with the latest, greatest and coolest in cat themed products for felines and their people.
BlogPaws 2017 was a great opportunity to meet so many fellow pet bloggers in person! The knowledge I received is spurring so many changes in my business (stay tuned for news on this in the days and weeks to come!).
These are the highlights, I could go on and on about all the great people I met and everything I learned.
Next year, BlogPaws will be coming here in Kansas City. If you’d like to learn more about BlogPaws, go to BlogPaws.com