Bloggers gather in Salt Lake City for conference

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Bloggers pose for a picture at the 2014 Build Your Blog Conference. The Conference provide workshops for beginning, intermediate and advanced bloggers. (Photo courtesy Build Your Blog Conference)

More than 500 people are gathering in Salt Lake City this weekend with one thing in common: blogging. The Blogger Network and Six Sisters Stuff are hosting the Build your Blog Conference on Feb. 20 and 21 at the Little America Hotel.

The third annual conference will provide classes and workshops for hundreds of bloggers from all over the country. The speakers are some of the most successful bloggers in America and have chosen topics, such as working with brands and building followers on social networks, to help bloggers expand their own blogs, the conference website explains.

“We choose the speakers from experienced bloggers,” said Larry Adamson, CEO of The Blogger Network. “We think you can learn the most from someone who has experienced what they teach.”

The two-day conference also gives bloggers a chance to connect with other bloggers and even advertisers.

“I love attending conferences like this to network with fellow bloggers as well as learn the latest tricks of the trade,” said Taralyn Parker, a blogger at keepmovingforwardwithme.com.

Blogging originally began in the late ’90s and early 2000s but has exploded over the years. Typical blogs feature topics from how-to’s and DIYs to personal stories and product reviews. One increasingly popular type of blog is the “mommy blog.” According to mashable.com, there are nearly 4 million mommy blogs in America alone. Mashable.com defines mommy bloggers as “women who have at least one child in their household and have read or contributed to a blog in the past 30 days.”

Being labeled as a mommy blogger does not mean one is a typical housewife. Fifty-two percent of mommy bloggers are likely to have a college degree, according to mashable.com. Some of the top mommy bloggers have also received rewards and recognition as high as a personal invitation to the White House.

Thirty-five percent of the mommy blogging market resides in Utah, with the next highest state following at 23 percent, which may be why the Build Your Own Blog Conference in Salt Lake City is one of the largest blog conferences in the West.

“Utah has a very high entrepreneurial spirit, and blogging can become a full-time job for many,” Adamson said.

The conference appeals to a wide audience by having beginner, intermediate and advanced tracks. Guests can choose a track and attend the classes most beneficial to their experience.

“Any blogger, of any size blog, will come away with new knowledge, contacts and enthusiasm for their blog,” he said.

For teenage blogger Colby Cruden, this is an exciting opportunity to take her blog to the next level.

“Learning about photography, media and working with brands are probably on the top of the list of things I am looking forward to,” Cruden said.

Unlike past conferences, this year will feature a gala on Saturday night. The semi-formal dinner includes awards and prizes up to $20,000 for the winners, Adamson said. There will also be live entertainment featuring the band The Str!ke and an introduction to the Tyler Robinson Foundation for childhood cancer research.

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