I attended the Build Your Blog conference in Salt Lake City, Utah this year for the first time. Although I travel to many WordCamps, this was the first event centered squarely on blogging in order to generate a full-time income.
Traveling to the Build Your Blog Conference
I had already planned my travel to Salt Lake City for LoopConf, a WordPress developer-focused event. I then learned about the Build Your Blog Conference in this post from my friends at millioneyez. By sheer luck (or was it fate?), the BYBC was the weekend before so I changed my departure flight and added a few more days to my hotel stay.
The attendees were different from your average WordCamper. Although I would guess 90% of people were using WordPress as their website platform, they didn’t seem to be interested in “the nuts and bolts” of open source software and how the platform worked, but rather what “tools” were available for WordPress in order to accomplish the goals of their online businesses.
100% of participants were either already making decent incomes from their blogs or were there to learn how to do just that. There were fashion and lifestyle bloggers, recipe bloggers, Mommy (and Daddy) bloggers, travel and photo bloggers, and I’m sure some other general categories of niche bloggers.
Everyone was there to get inspired to keep creating (better) content and to do it in a way that earned them a full-time income.
Making Connections at the Build Your Blog Conference
My goal at this conference was to learn the needs of these bloggers, and more specifically, to learn what importance they placed on securing their sites from malware and malicious hackers. I do work for a website security company after all. I learned that very few of them had preventative measures in place for securing their sites, although I heard many stories of being hacked and therefore losing daily income.
It became clear to me that website security was an underserved topic at this blogging conference and perhaps others, and I said as much during an impromptu conversation in-between one of the sessions with someone sitting at the same table. It just so happened that I was discussing this with one of the organizers of the Snap Conference, a conference for creative entrepreneurs and lifestyle influencers, also held in Salt Lake City.
Long story short, I’ll be holding a workshop at the Snap Conference in April discussing, you guessed it, the importance of website security (along with my favorite image and video gallery plugin).
Exploring Salt Lake City
When I arrive at any city, I do my best to make time to explore, and as my friend Anthony D. Paul taught me, the best way to do that is by foot.
I spent many afternoons and evenings exploring the city by foot and saw some interesting things I might not have seen simply riding in an Uber.
Skiing at Park City
I grew up in Michigan. We don’t have mountains, we have sand dunes and really big hills. So when I found out I was heading to Utah I HAD to plan a ski trip, even though I haven’t skied in over 25 years.
When I told my friend and fellow conference traveler Mike Demopolous from BoldGrid my plan to ski, he contacted a friend and we ended up with discount tickets to the Park City Mountain Resort for the one day off I had in-between the Build Your Blog and LoopConf events.
Truth be told, I was really nervous. Would I remember how to ski? Would my behind-a-computer-for-too-many-years-chicken-legs survive?
I’m happy to report that skiing is like riding a bike and the skills came back immediately, although my leg muscles were burning and shaking after the first run! Mike and I were joined by another fellow conference traveler, business owner, and all around great guy, Aleksander Kuczek.
The Build Your Blog conference was a great event and one I’ll make sure to attend in the future. In regards to business, I think SiteLock would do well with a sponsor booth and a speaking session in order to convey just how important preventative security measures are to a website that’s generating income.