#BlogHer16: One Man’s Perspective
By Brian Baxter
BlogHer is the largest conference for women content creators in the world. This year’s gathering, #BlogHer16: Experts Among Us, packed heaps of wisdom, passion and creativity (and women) that permeated through the rooms of the JW Marriot Hotel in Los Angeles from August 4-6, 2016. With so many amazing panels and insightful sessions occurring at the same time, it’s just not possible to attend every one. Nevertheless, there are some key takeaways I’d like to share, although it’s likely that my experience of the conference may slightly differ from 99% of the other attendees.
I can’t write a blog post about BlogHer, a conference that began over a decade ago to answer the question “Where are the women bloggers?” and not acknowledge that I am a man. I may not be the target audience for this event but by no means should that stop me from taking away meaningful marketing lessons.
- In the above few lines I try to honor one of the key themes I took away from #BlogHer16: authenticity. We can’t fool our audiences. We all bring a unique perspective that we must acknowledge and embrace. We can come up with interesting strategies on how to increase our social following or number of impressions, but what resonates with people most is truth. You can’t fake it and you can’t buy it. It’s real and it’s honest and it’s what makes content (and co-created content) meaningful.
- Passion cannot be measured and cannot be underestimated. Passion is the spark that can encourage action that will change the world. Whether it’s about mental illness, anti-bullying or any number of other meaningful issues, passion for change is evident in the blogging world and it is helping improve the real world every day. As Jennifer James, founder of Social Good Moms, said during our Merck for Mothers (client) panel at the conference, “We can use blogging and social media to do good in this world.”
- We live in constant change and this is extremely apparent in the world of blogging and social media. It was enlightening to listen to panelists talk about the latest and greatest trends but what was even more eye-opening was speaking with a few pioneering influencers and hearing their perspectives on how blogging has changed over the years. Now self-described as “dinosaurs,” they remarked on how new tools, technologies and the popularity of social media have completely changed the blogging landscape they knew 10 years ago. You no longer simply write an article and post it. So much more thought and strategy goes into every piece of content (time of posting, length, hashtag, platform). The only constant is change and we must always keep an open mind if we want to stay relevant and meaningful.
The BlogHer ‘16 experience taught me many valuable lessons beyond blogging. Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace change. You don’t always have to fit in – that’s often when we learn and stand out the most. Create meaningful conversations with the right audiences. And finally, if all else fails, invite Kim Kardashian and you’ll be sure to get people talking.
Brian is an Account Supervisor, Online Media & Influencer Relations at MMC. He has a background in healthcare, lifestyle and tech PR, and has worked as a journalist for various newspapers in the greater New York City area.