Top Takeaways from BlogHer15

This weekend I attended my first BlogHer conference in beautiful Midtown Manhattan. Shout out to Cherylyn Harley LeBon for making it possible for me to be a part of things.

Instead of taking notes, I live-tweeted my sessions so everyone could benefit from what I was learning. #imagiver

Here are my tweets and retweets from the conference.

From the social media tools talk:



Gweneth Paltrow said something profound at her Q&A during Friday’s lunch:

The session on how to turn your blog into a book:

From the session on how to find a brand to sponsor your blog:

The Saturday lunch keynote was super boss. I love how BlogHer is so unabashedly feminist.

My last session was on video:

I had one really interesting back and forth with a sex blogger at the conference I hadn’t met yet, and a reporter I paneled at SXSW with. Click through to see the whole conversation:

And then I not only met Kait, but August as well!

August gave us this tip:

And my retweets from my sessions and sessions I couldn’t attend:

Let’s talk about the swag bag for a second. Wins:

Hanes has basically created a boxer brief for women. My sister wears men’s boxer briefs because until now no such product has existed. The benefits of this product, as laid out in the tri-fold brochure, include reducing chub rub and eliminating panty lines without having a strip of fabric literally lodged up your ass. Wins all around. And this product placement is a double win because people are traveling! And people who are traveling often forget their underwear/slip/thong, whatever, and so are more willing than usual to try a new solution. I definitely wore my sample pair.

Shea Moisture shampoo

Again, we’re traveling. Our willingness to try new toiletries is high. Great idea.


Lyft stuffed moustache. It’s too little to be useful as a pillow. Trash, immediately.

Bottle opener. I don’t even remember the brand. But it was heavy, and I had enough to haul around, no need for a bottle opener, and about six at home. Trash.

Expo wins:

It’s difficult to think of a better fit than a blog platform at a blogging conference. But I was shocked at how great the people were. I went to the WordPress booth with a problem. I needed a way to get my Tumbler and Twitter post to auto-post to WordPress. It would have been easy to say, go find a plugin. But instead, Sara Rosso took my laptop and looked at my install. Sara diagnosed my problem as my multi-site install, found out whether I needed one, then looked for the easiest way for me to go to a one-site install for me.

On the other hand, I saw Intellilinks on the sponsor list before showing up and signed up. When I arrived at their booth wanting to know more about how to get the most value our of their service, they gave me a business card and told me to email them. Why the fuck would I want to email someone about a problem when I’m standing there talking to them about it and have a laptop? Pro-tip: No one wants to email customer service. Huge missed opportunity.

I don’t know much about BlogHer. I definitely liked the social justice aspect. The fact that they had sessions and even keynotes on #blacklivesmatter is awesome. Their overt feminism is awesome. But it seems like their bread and butter is recipe, cleaning, decorating, and parenting blogs. Those things are all awesome. And they definitely perfectly align with content marketing for brands, which I think is the future of publishing.

BUT, they’re not interesting from a social change perspective. Brands don’t want social change. They want to sell products to suburban moms. In one session a brand rep from a home appliance company said she stopped working with a blogger because she posted pictures of her unshaved armpits.

Unshaved armpits aren’t exactly challenging the oligarchy or overthrowing the government. I mean, women are important and their voices should be elevated, but not if the only thing they have to say is how their new fridge kept their cupcakes fresh.

The challenge is monetizing revolution. Hell, the challenge is challenging bigotry without alienating normal people who have bigoted social norms. Making money off them is another question entirely.

One Comment

  1. J.

    Great report.
    “Fashion blogger got 100,000 views on a 3-min video uploaded directly to Facebook. Quick recipe vids do well too. ”

    Two questions: 1) how can I find out what does well on YouTube (not including Taylor Swift and other pros), 2) Any idea how quick “quick” is?

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