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Yesterday was the Irish Blogger conference and as I sit here munching my Mars bar (courtesy of the Meaghers Pharmacy to remind us how to pronounce their name) I can’t help but contemplate all that was said.

With a long list of speakers it was clear that no everyone was going to be to my taste, especially those who spent most of their time self-promoting their wonderfulness, I was surprised how impressed I was with others.

The #TwitterForBloggers and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) masterclasses were extremely informative, helpful and well presented in easy to follow language. Even the Legal Guide for Blogging was succinct and useful.

But the two speakers that stood out for me were Oonagh O’Hagen, MD Meaghers Pharmacy, and Anne-Marie Tomchak, UK Editor Mashable. Both of these women spoke with passion and enthusiasm, were authentic and clearly are both very hard-workers. Their words were inspiring, proof that having a vision, a goal is a good thing and even if  it takes a few risks and a lot of guts, hard work will pay off. They weren’t afraid to admit to making mistakes and showed that it’s what you learn from them that makes you succeed. It was just refreshing to listen to women who ‘had made it’ in their own rights and not because they were beautiful (which they were) or because they had somehow achieved some vague celebrity for the sake of just being known, but because they believed in themselves and in what they were doing and were willing to put in the hard graft.

The biggest let down was Johnny Ward, the creator of blog OneStep4Ward. I enjoyed his unpolished presence, his enthusiastic presentation and obvious enjoyment of what he does (how can one not when traveling the world and making money doing so?). But somehow I found it distasteful the way he was just blatantly making money for the sake of making money. He said he had given up working for others, that 9-5 grind,  as he found it soul destroying and encouraged everyone to do the same, but he now owns 200 blogs and employs people to write for them. He basically has become the CEO at the top of the pyramid he claims to hate.He even admitted to breaking copy right laws in the past and didn’t seem to find it a bad thing, and now he told me he relies on ‘free stock images’.  And when I asked him if those who write for him know what they are writing about he said ‘they write what they are paid to write’ going against the grain of authenticity, personality and strong content. It just made me wonder if his success isn’t, at least partially built, on the backs of others.

However I thoroughly enjoyed the day, met wonderful people, lernt lots of things and enjoyed being in the company of so many others, who like me, enjoy the world of blogging. And when I got hope I unpacked my wonderful goodie bags (yes plural) and was thrilled with what I found inside. I was most excited about the transportable phone-charger from Snap Printing and a JustEat coupon. I even won a pretty travel electric toothbrush by Sonic Chic (courtesy of Life2good).

But it was the Meaghers Pharmacy‘s generous gift-box that was the highlight for me. Filled with beautifully wrapped goodies it was a little bit like an early birthday surprise. And while I may not be big into make-up I am really looking forwrad to trying out some of the lotions I found. Especially the Chocolate Whip body lotion looks like it is perfect for my delicate skin.

Meaghers gift-box - an unexpected and generous gift

Meaghers gift-box – an unexpected and generous gift

everything wrapped with care in the Meaghers colours

everything wrapped with care in the Meaghers colours

handpicked goodies from Meaghers, can't wait to try them out

handpicked goodies from Meaghers, can’t wait to try them out