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NEPA BlogCon like bootcamp for bloggers

Brigid Edmunds, News Editor

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 The annual NEPA BlogCon proved to be both a success and a worthwhile experience for social media butterflies in the area.

As a novice blogger myself, I have been frantically trying to polish my writing and acquire new skills to improve my content and marketing tactics.

Over the summer, I decided I needed some more development and I stumbled across the NEPA BlogCon. It’s a blogging convention that was started by a group of four women from the Scranton area; Mandy Boyle, Karla Porter, Leslie Stewart, and Michelle Davies. They held the first-ever BlogCon last year. The second annual event was held on October 5 at Luzerne County Community College.

I was stoked. What’s not to love about a day devoted to being a part of the online community?

When I arrived at Luzerne, I got my itinerary and strategically picked the sessions I would attend. The convention was split into three sections: marketing, technology, and business. I stuck with technology and marketing seeing as I’m a student writer and do it for my own personal growth, not as a business.

All the sessions I went to were extremely helpful. I learned the importance of domain names and what they tell your audience about you. I blog through Blogger, so I don’t have an official domain. My blog web name is my full name, Brigid Edmunds. If you want to use your name though, it is important to buy the domain name from .com and .net so people don’t buy a different domain with your name and write or produce something you would not want your name attached to.

I also learned how to navigate the sticky situation of marketing yourself in a positive way even when you are writing about controversial topics. Justin Vacula is a blogger from the area who focuses on separation of Church and State. His blog is geared toward talking about controversial issues that may cause a lot backlash. Vacula said that if a blogger is going to comment on an issue that is considered controversial, to do so with respect. For me, I often talk about pop culture or government happenings that I disagree with, which has the potential to cause some distaste with readers. Now, I know to tread lightly when covering these issues.

The most helpful part of the day was an hour dedicated to networking. As a college student, this is a perfect opportunity to talk with people in the industry you are a few years away from entering. I met great people who have been in the communications business for years, and I was able to exchange information. It was a very rewarding experience.

At the end of the day, I was able to sit down with Karla Porter to talk about the event. Porter expressed that she and the other women in charge want to reach out to a larger group of college students and get them at BlogCon in the future so they can also learn valuable social media lessons for professional work.

Overall, the day was both successful and worthwhile. I learned valuable lessons I can apply to my writing and to the way that I market myself to the professional world.

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