Why You Shouldn’t Look At The Big Picture In Blogging

Blissdom 2012

@TheDanaK and @KimberlyAMuro live tweeting the party at Blissdom.

After I went to BlogHer, I came home feeling very deflated about blogging.

I spent a lot of time talking to other bloggers and exchanging business cards.

While I was there networking it hit me that there are a shit ton of bloggers out there and they all want to make money with their blogs and be the next big thing in the blogosphere.

Reality is that not every blogger is going to make it to superstar status.

After I got home all of those connections I made at BlogHer led to nothing for me but a few new Twitter followers who maybe clicked on my blog once or twice.

This time, when I went to Blissdom, I decided to not look at the big picture of the conference.

I wasn’t going to focus on the 700 or so bloggers there trying to make it big.

Instead I concentrated on a handful of women I really wanted to meet. People whose blogs I had been reading, talking to on Twitter, texting, and Skyping with for months.

I spent hours with these woman, talking, sharing drinks, and even dancing (or planking) on stage.

I handed out maybe 20 business cards and brought home about the same from people that I had met at the conference.

For me, this was perfect.

I now have real life connections with bloggers. Memories that we will share forever. These are better than business cards and knowing someone as an acquaintance.

So, the lesson I am trying to pass on to you from my experiences at these two conferences is that the blogosphere is a massive place. If you focus on how many people are out there you will be unhappy or maybe even quit blogging. You will realize you are a very tiny fish in the big huge ocean.

Instead, focus on yourself, your blog, and building solid connections with people you enjoy reading and talking to online.

These will be the people that always read your blog, talk to you on Twitter, comment on your Facebook page, support you when you need it, and think of you when they see opportunities that are perfect for you.

Quality over quantity. 

For more quality head over to One Martini at a Time and check out our S’mores Martini recipe.

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Hi and welcome! My name is Jessica Torres and I'm a homeschooling mom of two adorably insane girls on the path to greener living. I'm also self declared iPhone addict and lover of all things Apple. When not attached to my kids, my iPhone, or my laptop, you can find me creating cocktail recipes. Subscribe by RSS Feed or by email to join in the fun over here.

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109 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Look At The Big Picture In Blogging

  1. This is so true. Sometimes it’s hard to let go, at least for me. But it’s a happier place to be.
    Natalie @MamaTrack recently posted..Adventures in Air Travel

  2. Mariann
    Twitter: ShiningEarth

    This is some great advice! I absolutely love this blog. Very insightful! Thank you!

  3. Elena says:

    This is so true. Those deep connections are what makes our day to day blogging so important. The rest, may or may not happen over time, but it is those connections that we share that make the community so special.
    Elena recently posted..Empowering Artists in Haiti with the Artisans Business Network

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Those deep connections can go farther for us than the mere acquaintances can in my opinion. Plus, it’s always nice to have true friends.

  4. Alison@Mama Wants This
    Twitter: AlisonSWLee

    I’m considering attending BlogHer in 2013 – only because it’s a long way for me to go to any conference in the US and if I did, it’d have to be for something pretty significant. And if I did go, I’ve got your advice right here in my pocket. To focus on what matters.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Freaky

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Once I find out where BlogHer 13 is I will decide whether or not I will try and attend. I will also have different expectations if I do go (and I’ll probably spend more time at happy hour). ;)

  5. Kimberly
    Twitter: KimberlyAMuro

    We’ve already talked about this, so you know my opinion. I completely agree here. I went in with the same mindset (thanks to your advice after the summer) and I had a great time. For me, this whole thing is about making those connections that are real and have the potential to last.
    Kimberly recently posted..They Need To Know I Love Them

  6. Galit Breen
    Twitter: galitbreen

    Bravo, my friend.

    This post? Is perfection.

    Galit Breen recently posted..Well Practiced Love

  7. By Word of Mouth Musings
    Twitter: ByWordsMusings

    Love that you describe these two different experiences … this, this here is why I head to conferences. After my first, I wasn’t sure that I got it, or that I wanted too.
    Now its the camaraderie, the meeting of bloggers that you thought you may like and then wanting to be their irl friends.
    You saw the light my dear … maybe even bouncing off a disco ball ;)
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently posted..Pinkalicious a la Victoria’s Secret

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I did see the light and I’m sure it had something to do with a disco ball and planking on stage.

  8. Elena
    Twitter: elenawollborg

    Quality over quantity is what I believe now too. Couldn’t agree more with this post! If I had still gone to Nashville, I would’ve had this same mindset and it’s what I have going into any other conference I attend. It’s amazing how big the blogosphere truly is, but you can make it cozy if you want to. I’m glad you’re part of what makes it cozy for me. :)
    Elena recently posted..How Did This Happen? The Berenstein Bears Edition.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I can’t believe how many bloggers there are. It’s completely overwhelming when you look at the big picture which is why I’ve stopped doing that. I’m glad I have you in my corner of the internet, crabs and all. ;)

  9. You totally found the right way to conference!
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Theme Party Ideas: Star Wars

  10. Denise
    Twitter: acctodenise

    Great advice! I’m heading to Bloggy Boot Camp in Philly and this is helpful to keep the experience from being overwhelming.
    Denise recently posted..What if they get it from me?

    • Jessica Torres says:

      BBC is so much smaller than most conferences so I think it’s a great conference to start with. I’m going to BBC Vegas in October.

  11. Kate
    Twitter: smiley_soleil

    I paid to attend BlogHer 2012 in NYC. It will be my first conference and I will admit that I am extremely nervous. I haven’t a clue what to expect nor do I have any expectations. I just want to learn how to navigate my way through the blogosphere and hopefully meet some of the women whose blogs I follow and make some lasting connections. I am so glad I read this… even though I will still be nervous, I have more of an idea on what to expect and what I should take away from it all. Thanks :-)

    • Jessica Torres says:

      BlogHer is very overwhelming as a first conference but it sounds like you have the right expectations for the conference. Go there and try and meet some people that you talk to online and don’t be too concerned with all the parties and private events.

  12. Kate
    Twitter: smiley_soleil

    Oops forgot to add this…
    Kate recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

  13. Shell says:

    The blogosphere really is a HUGE place. It’s impossible to know everyone, so I value the friendships I’ve made.

    LOL @ that pic. It’s so true.
    Shell recently posted..Nine Years of Marriage

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I have a picture from BlogHer of two bloggers doing the exact same thing at one of the parties. It really is how we live it up.

  14. Natalie
    Twitter: corp2domestic

    Great advice Jess…I’m so glad you had a great time at this conference and yes quantity over quality every time!
    Natalie recently posted..Is it Ribbons and Bows or More Trains and Trucks?

  15. angela says:

    The picture makes me giggle, and reading this makes me happy :) Your post-BlogHer posts last year really impacted the way I looked at conference-going in my head. I’m glad I went in with the mindset of meeting people and experiencing what the conference had to offer to me, right now. I loved spending time with you.
    angela recently posted..They Seem to Have Fun in Bugtussle – A Book Review

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I’m glad my BlogHer recap didn’t scare you away from conferences. I had a great time hanging out with you and everyone else.

  16. MommaKiss
    Twitter: mommakiss

    Yep yep yep. The one and only conference I went to was Bloggy Boot Camp. Because I knew there would be a few bloggers I really wanted to hang out with. The sessions were informative, but I don’t give a shit about monetizing. If I’m asked to write for compensation, I’m not doing it unless I like the issue and can write totally as ME. So. BBC was perfect for that – I connected with people I’d like to actually hang out with in the future.
    MommaKiss recently posted..Balls

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I’m not into monetizing my blog either so I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. But the connections with people I like at blogging conferences. The real connections, not the ones that just want something from me.

  17. Kirsetin Morello
    Twitter: KirsetinMorello

    Yes! This was my first Blissdom, but I’ve been to other conferences and I totally agree with you. I think it can be hard to connect, sometimes, because everyone comes with different goals and hopes. It sounds like you got it just right this time.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I think it’s impossible to connect with every single person at the conference so instead it’s best to focus on a few and make those connections strong.

  18. Debra
    Twitter: theharriedmom

    This is great advice, especially to a newbie like me. It can be so overwhelming – there are so many great bloggers out there. You can’t do this if you don’t love doing it. I’m just looking to make some new connections with other parents/moms!
    Debra recently posted..Crock Pot Buddies – Pork Ribs In Tomato Sauce

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I’m glad you found my post helpful. There are so many bloggers out there it can be overwhelming.

  19. Dana K
    Twitter: TheDanaK

    Love this post & the picture LOL. I may have been tweeting Carri at the time, too. BAHAHAHAHA

    Your BlogHer experiences helped shape my expectations for Blissdom & it ended up exceeding my expectations. I was so happy to meet y’all. I networked some, but not a whole lot…and I am okay with it. My connections with people were solid and I feel like I made some new friends. In the process, I learned some stuff and got nap.
    Dana K recently posted..Nice to Meet You! You Suck!

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I would much rather have a conference exceed my expectations than come home feeling let down by it.

      I’m sure your tweet was saying something about Hey Girl….

  20. Dr. G
    Twitter: AskDocG

    You really give great conference advice Jess. I kept my expectations reasonable because of your posts after BlogHer and had a really positive experience personally and professionally. Amazing women!


  21. Natalie says:

    YES!!!!! I admit, I get upset over the numbers. I don’t understand how some blogs have 800+ followers but yet write nothing of substance, but yet I try to write actual posts & can’t even break 300.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I honestly don’t even look at my numbers anymore. I just write and connect with people instead of worrying. It is so much better now.

  22. Bridget
    Twitter: Twinisms

    Excellent advice. I’ll remember it if I ever make it to one of those conferences:)
    Bridget recently posted..Teen Logic

  23. Jackie says:

    I want to make it big (don’t we all!), I want to make money off of my blog or through blogging someday just like everyone else. But is it a reality for me? Maybe, who knows.
    But I think when it comes to conferences you may have hit on something. Smaller is better… it gives you more time to make real connections with friends, talk with brands, and really come home with something you can work on.
    I’ve been pondering going to BlogHer this year and maybe now it will fall to the bottom of my list.
    Jackie recently posted..Bloggy Bootcamp ~ Why I want to go

    • Jessica Torres says:

      BlogHer can be a good experience if you have your expectations at a reasonable level and you are prepared for a massive amount of people. There are a lot of brands there but you need to have a clear sense of what you can do for them before going to the conference.

  24. Totally get this. Even though I haven’t been to a conference, I’ve been stepping back & focusing on blogs/friendships that are meaningful. It used to be a numbers game for me, but not anymore. And I’m happier for it.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..Guest Post: The Other Side of Bullying

  25. My Inner Chick
    Twitter: krrobi

    —Sooooooo many bloggers!

    I believe we need to focus on why we started to blog to start with….

    For me, it was to bring awareness to Domestic Violence.

    Great Post!!!! xx

  26. Sarah
    Twitter: MamaRiceCake

    This is great advice. I wasn’t at BlogHer but just the photos, posts, and videos that other people shared were overwhelming to me! It didn’t look like a good time to me. Then again, I’m definitely NOT one for schmoozing.
    I LOVE that you girls had so much fun at Blissdom! It sounds like a great way to hang with the people who really matter to you and learn a little more about ways to make things work for you online. That’s definitely the way to go!
    Sarah recently posted..Follow the Yellow Brick Road with my Naughty Ninja

  27. Mad Woman behind the Blog
    Twitter: madwomandiary

    Also, this SOOOO explains the look of “deer in the headlights” I spied on the faces at Blogher.
    Mad Woman behind the Blog recently posted..One short but very cute super hero to the rescue

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I’m sure I had the deer in the headlights look the first night I was at BlogHer walking through the expo by myself. I was so overwhelmed.

  28. Roxanne says:

    I am so new at blogging — reading and/writing. I don’t even really know about the conventions, but what you said makes sense. In many things — it’s all about the personal connections. Good luck!

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Just focus on connecting with people and not playing the numbers game and you will enjoy blogging.

  29. Elaine
    Twitter: elainea

    I agree with this SO much!! My first BlogHer was completely overwhelming for much the same reasons. After attending a more intimate setting at BBC Austin I realized I did not need to connect with a 1,000 people, WAY too crazy and stressful. It’s kind of about finding your “tribe” as they way… :)
    Elaine recently posted..Not a lot

  30. Mrs. Jen B says:

    This is why I’m so glad Blissdom was my first conference – all weekend, I heard from so many people that it was a totally different experience from BlogHer, that there wasn’t as much a sense of “Who and how many can I meet”, but more of a “We’re all in this together” feeling.
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..Used To Feeling Bad

  31. Kir
    Twitter: thekircorner

    I am so unhappy that Blissdom was NOT my first conference for exactly this reason. I do so much better in little groups, getting to know people and exchanged ideas etc.

    What you wrote here is PERFECT, because it tells the story from both places and does it with just the right amount of advice.

    I think blogging like anything else is what you make of it and sometimes when you start small it’s nice to stay that way. in the company of friends.

    I loved this post Jess.
    Kir recently posted..Proud Mommy Moments: A Proud Daddy Moment From John

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Thank you Kir. It was eye opening for me to compare the two conferences. I’m glad that I went to both.

      I did miss you a lot though. Maybe one day I can meet you.

  32. Gina says:

    Well said my friend. I know that the only time I really get discouraged is when I focus on the numbers, or start comparing myself to others. I don’t even want to think about the mass of all that are out there doing what I do everyday. It’s too much & I will lose sight of what my focus should be. It is so important for us to stay true to ourselves & be authentic. That is what our visitors are coming to us for.
    Gina recently posted..Black & White Cupcakes

  33. Rusti
    Twitter: rustilyn

    great info Jess!! I hope to someday be able to go to a conference SOLELY for the purpose of meeting and connecting with all my fav bloggers… I swear, someday it WILL happen! :) (and hopefully I’ll NOT be knocked up at the time and will be enjoying adult beverages with y’all!) ;)
    Rusti recently posted..blessed, and thankful

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Thank you Rusti. I hope you can make it to a conference one day too. I’ll even buy you a drink if you do.

  34. Carri
    Twitter: carribrown

    WORD. And Dana is right… She was probably tweeting me even though I was standing on the other side of the table from her.
    Carri recently posted..I Bet You Want to Know What This Is.

  35. Frelle says:

    I’m so glad we got the chance to spend some time together, and I do far more conversating and networking with bloggers I know from online than I do working to build my brand and give cards out. the relationships are the whole reason I attend. Im glad you wrote about this!
    Frelle recently posted..Sorry To Hear That…

  36. Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful}
    Twitter: SharonPfeiffer

    It is a big, big world out there. That point hits home everytime I read through new blogs with 59 comments, or hit the stumble button. While I’ve never been to a conference, this seems like the only way to get some personal enjoyment. It’s almost like just looking at a conference through the eyes of “you” rather than your “blog”. That might be a weird way to put it, but having a few strong connections is always more satisfying than getting 100 business cards.

    Well said, Jessica!
    Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} recently posted..Making Homemade Laundry Detergent

    • Jessica Torres says:

      It’s a huge blogging world out there which is what blogging conferences make you realize. There are so many bloggers out there but each one of them has a person that fills the site with words and pictures. I think the right way to attend a conference is as you rather than your blog.

  37. Stasha
    Twitter: NorthWestMommy

    I am so with you on this one. Perfect!!
    Stasha recently posted..Marriage proposal

  38. Maureen | Tatter Scoops
    Twitter: tatterscoops

    Oh can I admit that I am only slightly jealous? No! I am jealous LOL. I love your different perspective on this. Knowing I might never go to one of the big hype bloggy conference, I live voraciously through bloggers like you and the cool bloggers I adore.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I do hope one day you can make it to a blogging conference although I know they are all very far away from where you are.

  39. For me my blog is a journal of sorts for my kids to know me and our life when they are older, so I feel no pressure to network. I feel as you that time is so precious I only want to connect with friends.
    Marie@feedingfive recently posted..$23 Well Spent

  40. Kimbelry says:

    Dude, totally my thoughts.
    I’m in it to write for me…to help others with mental illness…to write some good shit…to make friends…
    I’m not out for world domination.
    Although it would be cool.
    You have to enjoy what you’re doing and if you are enjoying it, then that’s all that matters.
    Kimbelry recently posted..Just Beat It. Beat It. Beeeat It. Beat It.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      You do an excellent job of helping spread the word about mental illness and writing good shit. I’m glad to have befriended you.

  41. Jessica
    Twitter: Spitupchronicle

    This is what I needed to read before Blissdom. I came home still kind of in shock, and Im still trying to process. I think when I go to BBC Im going to have a different mindset. Im still trying to decide on BlogHer, I just dont know if my comfort level can handle all the bloggers that will be there. Thanks for this advice. Im definitely going to keep it in mind for next time.
    Jessica recently posted..Meet My Neighbor Friday: The Kir Corner

  42. Devan @ Accustomed Chaos
    Twitter: AccustomedChaos

    I felt the same way going from Blogher to a Blissdom event (Canada). Blissdom felt much more intimate and more about how to better yourself & your blog vs how to scrounge for jobs, money and fame through our blogs.
    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos recently posted..7 Ways My Toddler is Just Like My 15 Year-Old-Cat & 1 Way They Differ

  43. Practical Parenting
    Twitter: katiefhurley

    I couldn’t agree more. The bug picture stresses me out…but the people who keep coming back and cheering me on help me find my place. I almost quit a month ago. I came very. very close. But a really nice email from a reader made me stop and think twice. Sometimes that’s what matters most…
    Practical Parenting recently posted..Letting Go

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I have many times thought about quitting my blog but I never do. Something always brings me back. I hope that you don’t quit because I always enjoy reading your words.

  44. Stephanie
    Twitter: supermomboots

    This is absolutely true! In any area of life I believe. Focusing on what you want and what your goals are is always better than trying to keep up with everyone else.

    So happy you enjoyed your second conferences more than the first :)
    Stephanie recently posted..A new one and an old (but good) one

  45. Bruna
    Twitter: beeswithhoney

    Good advice. So true … and I have yet to go to a bloggy conference:)
    Bruna recently posted..Let’s BEE Friends with Jen !

    • Jessica Torres says:

      Thank you Bruna. I hope that one day you make it to a blogging conference. They are good experience.

  46. Bonnie Way
    Twitter: KoalaBearWriter

    Great advice – thanks. Sometimes, when I think about all the blogs out there, I get overwhelmed too. Yet I keep coming back to the fact that one of the things I like about blogging is the community I’ve discovered. Getting to know a few bloggers so well that we feel like friends, even if we only read each other’s blogs. And if that’s just twenty other blogs, as you say, that’s great. :) So thanks for sharing!
    Bonnie Way recently posted..KBW Talks to Madeline Sonik

  47. Christine @ Quasi Agitato
    Twitter: csiracusa

    I’ve chosen quality over quantity even just in my blog reading and commenting. I can’t be everywhere at once without feeling utterly depleted and lame. So I visit about 5 blogs regularly, trying to catch every post. And I hit others when time permits. I know I am missing so much great stuff…but this is the only way I can enjoy my time in the blogosphere. The fact that more bloggers are on FB now than when I started is helpful for me if I’m looking for something different to read. I click through from FB a lot.
    Christine @ Quasi Agitato recently posted..I’m “It.” Because I Say So. And I’m Desperate.

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I started out with 200+ blogs in my reader and I tried to read/comment on all of them and it really drained me. I’ve since changed my ways and have about 70ish in my reader but I don’t read/comment on them everyday. It has been so much better for me. I also have time now to visit other blogs that I find on Twitter and FB.

  48. Ado says:

    Oh I’m so glad to have read this. Going to Blogher (1st conference ever) this year. This was great
    Ado recently posted..An Easter Craft for Dummies: Panoramic Eggs

  49. Jennifer
    Twitter: jlweinberg

    Thank you for writing this! I was wondering how it would feel to be at a blogging conference. Competitive situations make me really uncomfortable, but going to see friends would be amazing! Thanks for reframing the experience. So glad you had fun!
    Jennifer recently posted..Strike the Steel Strings

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I’ve found it’s all about the expectations. When I changed my expectations for Blissdom I had a much better time.

  50. Theresa
    Twitter: amountainmomma

    So glad you had a nice time, sounds like a much better strategy!
    Theresa recently posted..They’re Harder To Kill Than You Think…

  51. Tonya says:

    I like this post very much and have read it a couple of times over the last few days.

    I left BlogHer with a very different feeling than you, but I know what you’re saying. I left feeling like there are others (bloggers/writers I truly admire and respect) that are exactly where I’m at and that sense of camaraderie was invigorating to me.

    From a blogging sense, I’m happy right where I’m at and feel no need to get any bigger. And mark my words, I’ll never “sell out”, as in turn my space into giveaway central or a place full of sponsored posts.

    I’m thrilled to be freelancing now and out of BlogHer, that was what I had really hoped to gain the most. It took a few months and my current position literally fell into my lap, but it’s good. And in no way about growing my own personal blog.

    I could go on and on, but basically you and I think alike and I’m glad you wrote this.
    Tonya recently posted..Motherhood

    • Jessica Torres says:

      I won’t turn my space into a giveaway central either. If that was the case, I would just stop blogging instead.

      I’m so happy to hear about your freelance opportunities and that you are achieving your goals with blogging.

  52. Kristy @PampersandPinot
    Twitter: PampersandPinot

    I love that picture! Ha! It is a whole hell of a lot of work to actually make money off blogging, so yes, I enjoy the other social benefits of it. It’s fun.
    Kristy @PampersandPinot recently posted..Party Animals

    • Jessica Torres says:

      It is so much work to make money from blogging. I would much rather drink and have fun with my friends.

  53. Robin | Farewell, Stranger
    Twitter: FarewellStrangr

    So true. Meeting people and getting to know them was the best part of both conferences for me.
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Sliding Towards Happy

  54. Elizabeth
    Twitter: mommonsenseblog

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your experience last year! I’m still getting my feet wet in the blog world and it helps to gain a little more perspective. Otherwise, it’s just all so overwhelming!
    Elizabeth recently posted..For Your Birthday: Reasons I Like You

    • Jessica Torres says:

      It is very overwhelming when you look at the big picture. Instead focus on your blog and a few solid connections. You can grow from there.

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