Can You Afford To Attend BlogPaws 2014? Can You Afford NOT To?

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

I recently returned from a BlogPaws Executive Team Retreat and my head is still spinning from all of the
557982_10151602268476721_1926018053_n ideas that were put forth, the walls of Yvonne and Tom’s house that were covered with our white board brainstorming sessions and the plans we have in place for the who, what, how and why (the when and where have already been decided) for the BlogPaws 2014 Conference.

Cost may be an issue for pet bloggers that want to come to the conference — just as cost may be an issue if you’re going to grab another Starbucks coffee or the special dog food your pet needs because her tummy can’t tolerate any other brand. In a discussion with our BlogPaws Special Projects Manager Kristin Dewey she said, “when I first came to BlogPaws all I saw was how much it cost then I realized I was doing this for me… for my business…”

The questions you may need to ask and the way in which you look at your attendance at a conference — any conference — are:

  • What are your plans for your pet blogging business?
  • Do you want to grow your pet blog into a potential money-maker?
  • Are there brands with whom you’d like to work?
  • Do you feel your blogging has reached its pinnacle and you need that extra oomph to propel it forward?
  • Do you want to meet and interact with other pet bloggers and find out how they do what they do?
  • Are there individuals in the pet industry that you want to meet and talk with?
  • Are there stumbling blocks in your path to higher blogging success or recognition or is there a technology that you simply can’t master? The speakers we bring to a BlogPaws conference are those that are well-versed and well-respected in myriad areas from: how to write a book; what is SEO?; where can I find funds or work with brands for my shelter?: how exactly do I blog and what am I going to blog about?: to what WordPress plug ins are most beneficial.
  • Networking with brands. Networking with fellow bloggers. Learning how to network!
  • Take a few minutes and browse through the past BlogPaws conference list of speakers and programs and figure out where your pet blogging business fits in, where it can benefit, and what direction you may want it to move into and grow.
  • If you work from a virtual office you know it’s sometimes difficult to meet in person those who share your interests… BlogPaws conferences are a great way to get out of the office and mingle.
  • If you blog part time and work another job but are itching to move into full-time money-making blogger, then you definitely need to interact with those who were in your shoes but have now made the leap to full time pet blogger
  • _________ insert your reasons for attending here (we’d love to know what they are!)

Regardless of your reasons, and if you include any of the above reasons, being at BlogPaws is a way for you to do all of the above and more. If you’re involved in the pet industry chances are you have read or are friends on Facebook or Twitter with, a pet blogger that you’d just love to meet and that is what we see at a BlogPaws conference — people meeting face-to-face with other pet-loving people.

Now comes the part that may be stopping you. Cost. Consider that the cost of this conference is $169 for the entire conference (including food and many programs and sessions from which to choose) and you can see that the price of the conference alone worth it. Compare the price of BlogPaws 2014 with other conferences and compare the programs they offer.

Now into that conference fee of $169 include your hotel fee; the cost of the hotel we’ve reserved is $139 a night (not inlcuding taxes, etc.) If you’re planning to stay for three nights the cost would be approximately $417 + the conference cost of $169 and you’re at $586 (again not including taxes or other hotel fees) While I certainly can’t put a dollar amount on what your travel will cost, the $586 (or round up to $600) for the conference and hotel fee gives you a starting point on how much you need to save in the next six months in order to attend BlogPaws 2014 and if you look at it as a business expense (helping to grow your pet blogging business) you can see its value. If you want to save expenses on the hotel room invite friends to room-share; last year in the BlogPaws Community we had a room share and a ride-share group that bloggers chatted in and made plans to carpool and share rooms to help defray expenses. Consider that option.

Planning to attend a conference is like planning for any large expense. Look at the total overall cost
Picture1 (estimate your travel costs by looking at airfares now or considering how many miles it would be for you to drive there and the cost of gas for your vehicle) then divide that out. How much will you have to save per month in order to make attendance at BlogPaws 2014 happen. Sometimes saying “if you give up your designer cup of coffee every morning will save you X amount of dollars a week” isn’t helpful — especially if you don’t indulge in that treat, but when you break down the total amount of the conference and travel and room reservations into monthly or weekly chunks it may be possible to find a way to squirrel away a bit every week and make it happen. (Plus, holidays and birthdays maybe coming — why not tell your relatives that you’d like to attend BlogPaws 2014 and ask for a donation toward your trip rather than another reindeer sweater under the tree!)

What can you do, or what tips do you have to offer, other pet bloggers that are looking for ways to make attendance at BlogPaws 2014 a reality?

(Emma, pictured above from BlogPaws’ Facebook page is working on her daily blogging duties!)