When I started this blog in July of 2011, I never imagined how much it and the personal finance community would affect my life and my career.
There are not enough words to describe how I feel. But thankfully, I took a lot of photos to help explain how this one conference changed my life (and this blog) forever.
The Financial Blogger Conference Changed My Life (again)
Last year the Financial Blogger Conference was held in Chicago and when I walked away from that weekend, I knew I’d be a financial blogger for life.
I owe everything to Phil from PT Money, because 1) he’s the genius behind this whole thing and 2) he encouraged me (plus gave me a discount) to attend the conference last year when my blog was only 2 months old.
Here are some of the other personal finance bloggers that paved the way for me to be a successful financial blogger and freelance writer.
As much as I loved last year’s location, this year the meet-up was held in Denver! And if you know anything about me, you know that I love Colorado. My family and I have been there about 10 times over the past few years to ski and snowboard the beautiful snowy mountains.
Colorado has always had a soft spot in my heart, so when they announced the conference would be there, I was thrilled. The weather was awesome but the people made it even more amazing.
The hotel keys were custom made for the conference!
On the first day the conference started, Sofia from Caviar and Quarters, set up brunch at a local eatery called Snooze. I’m a huge foodie and of all the different foods in the world, I love breakfast the best! So of course I had to go.
I highly recommend this place if you’re ever in the downtown Denver area. The food is all natural, farm raised, free range and local which makes it absolutely delicious.
Having brunch at Snooze with Cait from Blonde on a Budget (and my roomie). I ordered the “donuts and coffee” pancakes!
Meeting People in Real Life is Awesome
While last year’s conference was big and slightly overwhelming, this year I felt like a veteran. It felt like those summers at camp when you’re a returning camper, so you already know what to expect and can help other newbies.
I couldn’t wait to connect with all the amazing bloggers I met last year, and finally meet some new bloggers in person. Here are some of the people that are just as cool in person as they are online.
Best Swag and Favorite Brands
One of the coolest things about going to a sponsored conference like FinCon, is all the free swag companies and bloggers are giving out to bring awareness to their brands.
Last year my favorite swag were the Credit Karma sunglasses. I even started a trend of taking a photo of yourself in the glasses which was posted on Credit Karma’s blog.
This year, the absolute best swag came from RetailMeNot with their stylus/pen combo, Power Wallet with their phone/tablet fingerprint cleaner and Ally Bank’s mini mouse. Awesome marketing!
I had a blast chatting with these awesome ladies! I even got to be part of a Q&A panel during the Women’s Mixer (a big thanks to ImpulseSave for sponsoring it).
As of September 1, 2012 I am officially part of the Payoff.com team. I’ve been working with them behind the scenes for the past 4 months and now I’m a part-time employee working as the Community and Content Manager for their blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
This promotion came at the perfect time because Payoff was the sponsor for Ignite FinCon and I was proud to be a part of it! It was my favorite presentation and many of the other bloggers thought the same thing.
Most Memorable Presentations and Lessons Learned
The personal finance blogosphere has been dramatically under-serving the general population. Too many of us write to people who are unemployed or looking for jobs, but that’s only a small fraction of the population’s problems.
Most Americans have kept their jobs and are just trying to balance work, life and money in a successful manner. These are the people we should be focusing on.
Thanks to Ramit when someone asks where I work, instead of saying “I work from home” now I’ll say “I work from my home office”. Because it gets a totally different reaction!
“The blog is not the website, the blog is the writer; the person behind the site” – Gregory Go
“Social media is to blogging that coffee shops are to coffee. We’re building a community” – Janet Stauble
“Hard work trumps talent” – Barbara Friedburg
“Be more specific about your time and you’ll get more done” – Kylie Ofiu
These are just the key points from everything I learned from FinCon. Being a personal finance blogger has changed my life for the better and connecting with all the other amazing people at this conference every year has impacted me more than I can express. For this introvert, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.