Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Financial Blogger Conference: 2011 Recap

After taking a couple of days to think about what the Financial Blogger Conference has meant to me, as well as reading everybody else’s trip recap, I can honestly say that this conference was one of the most inspirational events I’ve ever been to. I initially just went there to network and meet other bloggers, but now that I’ve taken a step back and reflected on what I’ve learned, I’m completely energized and ready to focus my attention on my freelance writing.

The trigger moments for me were listening to keynote speaker Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich), as well as Adam Baker (Man vs. Debt), and Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income). Truthfully, before I heard their presentations, I didn’t know much about them. But each of them were able to inspire me in their own way. And even though they all make huge amounts of money off of their blogs, brand, and products – it was their passion for what they do that really motivated me. I’m not interested in turning this blog into a huge money-maker, and realizing that the majority of people at the conference wanted to turn their blog into a business was kind of a shock, yet now that I think about it, not really unexpected. We’re personal finance bloggers, after all. :)

People at the Financial Blogger Conference were talking about sponsored tweets, selling products, affiliate advertising, creating e-newsletters – doing anything to generate more income from their blogs. Me? Even though I do make a little money off this blog, I’d rather earn through writing, and that’s where the majority of my freelance income comes from. Sure, sometimes I’ll post up some advertisements, and the odd time I’ll throw up a sponsored post. But this blog was created with the intention of holding myself accountable for my goals, and creating a community to share, laugh, and learn from our mistakes and achievements – not to become rich off of it.

Anyway, I also met up with some fabulous friends at the conference – Blonde and Balanced, Fiscally Chic, Finance Fox, Her Every Cent Counts, Punch Debt in the Face, Budgets are Sexy, as well as my Canadian pals, Dividend Ninja, Mike Holman, and my editor, Adam Mayers. I’m hoping that next year, more of my PF friends will be able to make it to the conference. It is truly amazing to meet the people I’ve been connecting with for the past few years online.

Also, seeing my editor again was great. He always has a way of motivating me to be better. I can be quite critical of myself and my writing (and perhaps with good reason), but when the person who matters the most actually thinks I have talent and believes in me, well it gives me the confidence to keep going, despite whatever negativity comes my way.

FINCON11 Spending Recap:
$515.13 flight
$45 checked luggage ($20, $25)
$150.39 hotel (3 nights)
$45 taxi rides
$62 miscellaneous (food, drink, tips, etc.)

TOTAL: $817.52

Considering my original goal was to stay under $1,000 for the Financial Blogger Conference I think I did fairly well. Drinks were free for the entire weekend, and there were always snacks available during breaks. Shout out to Eddie from Finance Fox for buying us all dinner on Friday night (so nice of him!), and Justin from AWeber Communications for picking up the dinner tab on Saturday night. :)

Thanks for the great memories, and I can’t wait to see everyone again next year.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. SavingMentor says:

    Wish I got to meet all those great people too. However, my main goal would have been to meet all the Canadians, so I’m glad you guys are putting on a special meetup for us Canadian personal finance bloggers next year.

    I hope everyone can make it!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yeah, I wish more Canadians could have come to the conference this year, but Preet and I are both totally psyched at the idea of building out the Canadian PF Conference. Looking forward to meeting you! :)

  2. Michelle says:

    Sounds like great conference, hopefully one day I can go!

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m new on the scene, but Ramit, Baker, and Pat are three of the bloggers that I knew best! I was inspired by all of their talks, too. While each of them have been largely successful in turning their blogs into a business, they’re also among the best in helping others and changing lives with both their free and paid content, in my opinion.

    Even if you don’t want to fully turn your blog into a business, there’s a lot to learn from the three of them. They all release fantastic content in every post they publish.

    I’m into freelancing, too, and I enjoy your writing, so I’ll be sticking around to read more!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I think it’s because I’m Canadian. While I have heard of Ramit and Adam before, I hadn’t heard of Pat Flynn. And when I think of the “big” bloggers, I always tend to think of Canadians, and read from Canadians first, since we’re obviously from a different country.

      But I totally agree. It’s not just about making money for them, it’s about helping people and changing lives. So motivational.

      I’m also hoping next year there will be a bit more of a focus on writing. Maybe some workshops for people to improve their skills.

  4. SP says:

    Sounds like it was very much worth it for you!

    I think when you don’t have another job and you rely on all your income from a blog and freelancing, the alternate business steps are more important. please don’t start doing sponsored tweets. ;)

  5. Money Rabbit says:

    This is great, Krystal!!! I love the positivity radiating out from this message, it seems like it was worth every penny for you. Super pumped for Toronto next year :)

  6. LC says:

    This post-conference post is my favourite so far. (Try saying that 10x quickly.) I don’t ever plan on making money off of my blog… writing opportunities would be great, but BOAB is personal and not written to make profit off of.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. And I’m glad you’re feeling motivated and re-energized!

    I can’t wait for both conferences next year!

  7. Cathy says:

    Hi Krystal! It was great meeting you too! And I loved hearing Ramit, Adam, and Pat share their stories and words of advice and encouragement. I’m trying to figure out ways to be better and more epic! By the way, Pat’s presentation is on his website if you ever need to refer back to it for encouragement.

  8. Mike Holman says:

    It was great to meet you, Krystal!

  9. Pat says:

    Thank you so much, Krystal, for the shout out and kind words! I’m sad to say that this is my first time on your blog, but now that I’m here, I love it. Design looks great and I love your writing style.

    I had a blast and I feel very fortunate to have been invited to speak. I hope to do it again :)

    Cheers, and all the best to you!

  10. Krystal — It was great to meet you at the conference! Thanks for splitting the room with me and hanging out over the weekend. I’m glad we got to meet finally. See you next year (and on the blog throughout the year.) :)

  11. Philip says:

    Great recap and explanation of costs. Hopefully next year will be even more affordable. Glad you had such a good time. I hope that investment returns 10 fold for you.

  12. Glen Craig says:

    The conference was SO informative. My regret is I couldn’t meet everyone. Thanks for your recap. I love hearing everyone’s take on the conference.

  13. I regret not having time to meet all 250+ bloggers, too. We’d need a week to do that justice. But I sure had a great time. It was great to hang out with people who don’t roll their eyes or put on that pained smile when you want to talk about PF writing.
    Next year will we meet, Krystal? I hope so.

  14. Just like Donna, I wish I would have been able to meet every person who was there. It was great being able to communicate “live” with you on Twitter, even though we didn’t get to have a real conversation in person.

    I’m glad that you felt your investment was worth it, and I can’t wait until next year either!

  15. Cyril says:

    I predict you’ll be single and looking again before the next conference you go to. But, maybe you can meet with other geeky, broke bloggers too?

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