The first ever Aussie Bloggers Conference is sold out, however organisers are planning on making proceedings even bigger by adding to the list of sponsors. This list currently includes Kleenex Mums, Disney, Ogilvy 360° Digital Influence, Rubbermaid, Guardsman and Billie B Brown who have grabbed prime spots to target and engage with Australia's mum, parenting and personal bloggers.
Organised by five successful Australian bloggers sick of waiting for a conference like BlogHer to come to Australia so they just did it themselves, The Aussie Bloggers Conference has all the ingredients of a great online success story.
Aussie blogging heavyweights Sydneysider Brenda Gaddi, Tasmania's Veronica Foale, NSW South Coaster Tina Gray and Melbournites Nicole Avery and Karen Andrews joined forces to launch a conference for bloggers from all over the country.
Brenda said the conference organisers were thrilled tickets had already sold out because the day was all about sharing knowledge and experiences and meeting up in person.
"There are so many bloggers across Australia who communicate online and have fantastic communities, but want to be able to add to those networks with some real-life meetings. This conference is the chance to do that and more," Brenda explained.
"Our panellists include some of the country's most respected bloggers who have built up communities that hang off their every word. These people really own their online space, know the secret to networking effectively and are able to make an income from their writing," she added.
Topics for the Aussie Bloggers Conference includes creating content, social media, sharing stories, monetising blogs, building a community and live blog readings followed by a dinner and dance into the night.
The conference runs between 9am and 5pm on Saturday, March 19, at Bayview Boulevard Sydney, 90 William Street, Sydney.
For more information about the conference visit www.aussiebloggersconference.com.au
Veronica Foale is a writer, a mother and a blogger. She currently runs three blogs, her main blog, Sleepless Nights, a writing blog, with all her favourite pieces of writing and a food blog. She is also the Co-Founder and Administrator of Aussie Mummy Bloggers. She lives in Tasmania with her two small children, both with special needs, her partner and a slowly growing menagerie of animals. Writing helps to preserve her sanity, without it, she'd be twitchy and incredibly grumpy.
Question: Why did you originally choose to start blogging?
Veronica Foale: I started to blog in August 2007 and I started because I was home alone with a very small and screaming baby, I was really, really lonely because I was living in the middle of nowhere. I discovered other Australian mother's blogging and thought 'Oh wow! I can do that too' and I started a blog and three and a half years later, here I am!
Question: How many blogs do you have and why did you start numerous blogs?
Veronica Foale: I have three blogs but one of them is pretty sorely neglected. One is for writing, for when I feel like writing without having to tell a story. One is family and life based blogging and my poor neglected one is food based.
Question: What do you mostly blog about?
Veronica Foale: For the food blog I normally write about what I am cooking at home. Sleepless Nights used to be like a diary, nowadays I am more conscious of privacy for my children, so it is less of what I am doing on a day-to-day basis and more about blogging, life in general and parenting in general. I blog on whatever issues are going on in my mind at any given time, it bounces from parenting to self image to current affairs and all different types of things.
I really enjoyed Mona Foma in Tasmania, the opening of the Mona Museum and that was lots of fun because I attended Mona Foma for the entire week as part of ABC's Micro Critics. I looked at the Mona Museum first and then came home and blogged about it. It is good to be able to do different things and move away from the 'Mummy, Mummy Bloggers'.
Question: When do you write on your blogs?
Veronica Foale: Ideally I try and write first thing of a morning, but that doesn't work out so well. I tend to write after my children have gone to bed.
Question: Do you continually take photos of different things for the purpose of uploading them to your blog?
Veronica Foale: I do. Sometimes if I have nothing to write about I grab my camera and wander around and see if I can photograph something that will then spur me to write about something different. I find photos are a really good tool when I am having trouble with writers block.
Question: Why do you suggest Mums start writing a blog and where should they start?
Veronica Foale: I started on Blogger because it is free and easy; I liked Blogger for the flexibility. I do prefer my own self-hosted Wordpress now, with even more flexibility. If people are going to start, sign up for Blogger. If Mum's want to blog it's about the connection and the community. We are lacking community in our day-to-day life nowadays; we can't just pop over to the neighbours for a cup of tea or pop down the road and have cake and coffee. I think blogging gives us back a lot of the community that we thought we were missing, we have other woman with children of similar ages and you get what each other is going through. For me it is about the community and connection with other women.
Question: Can you talk about why you decided to start the Aussie Bloggers Conference?
Veronica Foale: Brenda Gaddi and I started Aussie Mummy Bloggers together and we had been talking and saying we wanted something similar to BlogHer in America and that we were jealous of the Americans that had BlogHer and all the different blogging conferences and we thought 'why not do our own?' We then bought the other three girls (Tina Gray, Nicole Avery and Karen Andrews) on board at the same time and started our group and basically said 'we want to organise a conference'.
Question: What should attendees expect from the Aussie Bloggers Conference?
Veronica Foale: The conference itself is based solely on blogging; it was geared towards the Mum and personal blogging communities. However, the actual panels and the speakers are not really mum or parenting based. It is all about blogging: how to make your blog better and how to do things a little bit better; we are hoping that people walk away having learnt something as well as the networking opportunity it gives everyone because people are coming from all over Australia.
Question: Can you talk about Aussie Mummy Bloggers and your role in the company?
Veronica Foale: Brenda Gaddi created the Ning Group, the Aussie Mummy Bloggers, which is run on the Ning platform and she then bought me in by saying 'I would like some tech help, I'd like some design help and would you like to be a full partner?' Brenda and I co-founded it together and currently I do most of the back-end management, all the tech help and sort out any problems people are having. I am not fantastic at forums but I tend to manage the members so that no one is having issues and everyone has the tech help that they need as well as providing fairly balanced blogging advice. I feel that I give quite balanced blogging advice because I have been blogging for a lot longer than most of the woman who have just started, I probably have a good two and a half years extra blogging experience.
When I started blogging I was watching the USA Mummy Bloggers and there were very, very few Australian bloggers back then. The Australian blogging phenomenon is new and is catching on to what the Americans have been doing for five or six years now. It has been interesting to watch the evolution of the Australian bloggers after watching the same thing happen to the Americans - it is identical stuff happening that I watched happen three years ago for American Blogging that is happening now in Australian blogging.
Interview by Brooke Hunter