The Realization of Stepping up My Blog Hit Me at #BLOGex 2016

Blogapalooza, Bloggys, Blog O’ Speak, Blogopolis, iBlog: these are just some of the blog conventions I have attended this past two years. In case you are not a blogger yourself, let me walk you through what a “blog convention” is.
 
According to my own dictionary (read: BRAIN), blog conventions are events where bloggers are provided with an opportunity to meet new brands, make new connections, learn how to improve their craft, and expand their network in the blogging community. It is also a venue for brands to reach out to us so we can help them with their marketing endeavors. Each convention has a different offering for bloggers. But the bottom line is, it’s a fun event: always full of games, food, and prizes.
 
Even if I have attended a lot of these conventions, I rarely write about them. I mean my readers wouldn’t be able to relate to the nitty-gritty of blogging, right? For #BLOGex Manila 2016, however, I am compelled to write about my experience as this is a matter of national emergency! LOL
 
Sharing here some of the things that made #BLOGex Manila 2016 different from all the conventions I have been to. Please read until the end, I would need your suggestion(s) for a very, very important matter.
 

1. #BLOGex had a small participant turnout

I arrived at around 11AM at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Taguig. I was at least two hours late, but was surprised to find a small number of people, both on the seats facing the speakers as well as those in the brand booths. I was surprised at first because most of the time, blog conventions are packed (literally) with both bloggers, social media influencers, and people marketing their brands.
 
A lot of my blogger friends were also not able to attend the event, and apparently, there were not the only ones who had other plans. But you know what? For me, it turned out to be a good thing.
 
Since there were just a few brands, maybe a little over 20, and there were not that many people, I was able to listen to the speakers. And that was a first: I usually go crazy over the booths and just sit down when I am already tired.

My takeaways?
“Always keep your blog positive. And never, ever rant online”
“A viral video is the holy grail of social media”
– Pompee La Vina, Social Media Director for the Duterte Presidential Campaign 2016

2. #BLOGex awarded the best blogs across categories

I am very happy with the result of the #BLOGex awards! Partly because some of the winners are my friends. I like that #BLOGex only had a few categories as well as nominees, so the voters were able to scrutinise them properly. A round of applause for these bloggers please:

Yogo and Cream
yogoandcream.com, Best Food and Drinks Blog
Oh Oh Leo
ohohleo.ph, Best Arts and Culture Blog
The Soshal Network
thesoshalnetwork.com, Best Lifestyle Blog

3. I won one year FREE DOMAIN REGISTRATION through #BLOGex

I told you that blog conventions have a lot of raffles going on right? This is actually one proof that I enjoyed #BLOGex: I actually stayed until the closing ceremonies! This is very rare, I usually go home before everything is finished, and thus never won in any raffle.
 

Back to my story. I actually won ONE FULL YEAR of domain registration! Woohoo!

As a blogger, of course I want to have my own domain name. However, I am very frugal and I have a lot of things to pay for #travelfund. But with a godsend like this, who am I to refuse? I’ve asked some of my Facebook friends and here are some of their suggestions:
 
pengandpaper.com
airinaapril.com
readmylips.ph
 
I thought “Read my Lips” has served me well for almost six years (wow!), and some people mistook it for a beauty blog because of the name. Also, upon searching on Facebook, there were about FIVE pages with the same name! Hwatt?

I am totally leaning towards pengandpaper.com! If you do not know me personally, my nickname is Peng (name’s history will require a longer blog post, so let’s leave it at that). Since I still couldn’t find my blog’s niche, pengandpaper.com provides a blank canvass on just about anything I want to write about. It’s as blank as my plans for my future and whatever it is that I am doing in my life right now. I actually love the creativity and wit of this name. It describes me perfectly as a writer. In fact, I’m having some sleepless nights just thinking about it!
SCENE: Next blog convention
Me: “Hi! My name is Peng, from pengandpaper.com” *faints of giddiness
So there, what do you think?
If I am to change my blog’s URL and overall look, what suggestions can you give? 
I want you to be part of this decision process. Thanks, mwah!