Blogalicious gathered a large group of Latina Bloggers this year.

The number of Latinas online is sky-rocketing. And with more and more of them turning to websites for ideas on what to buy and where to buy it, bloggers—specifically Latina bloggers—are finding themselves in a potentially influential position. Realizing they represent an emerging platform to reach large number of consumers, brands are reaching out to connect with these bloggers.

The third annual Blogalicious conference in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21–23, 2011 attracted more than 300 multicultural bloggers, including myself. (My thanks to Mamiverse, Latina Mom Bloggers, and Bren Herrera.)

Blogalicious was created three years ago to celebrate diversity in social media. Each year, it has offered bloggers a chance to connect with brands—and vice versa—and attend workshops and breakout sessions that help them learn new skills, such as improving your writing, maintaining your integrity, understanding SEO and stats, and how to create your own app.

“Surround yourself with people who will stoke your fire…not soak your fire,” said Syler, whose comment elicited a round of applause. “Not everyone will like you. Let that be their problem.”This year’s conference included motivational speakers, such as former Early Show co-host, Rene Syler, who talked about her battle with breast cancer and the importance in life of being careful when choosing our friends.

An official Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Ambassador, Syler is a breast cancer survivor and author of The Good-Enough Mother, a humorous look at modern motherhood. Her blog by the same name is a community for moms who know perfection is impossible and that being imperfect is good enough.

I especially enjoyed learning about philanthropic organizations that are doing much needed good work around the globe. The United Nations Foundation’s [email protected] initiative is an incredible program dedicated to increasing awareness of the benefits of immunizing children in developing countries. The American Cancer Society was also present with a very moving presentation promoting the organization’s work to create less cancer and More Birthdays. (And it didn’t hurt watching their video of Ricky Martin singing “Happy Birthday.”)

And finally, it was great connecting with brands, such as Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Hanes, and Sears, who are trying to reach out to Latino families and market to them in a way that is culturally sensitive and inclusive. I was impressed by the number of educational programs these companies support, such as J&J’s Text4Baby—a free bilingual mobile information service to promote maternal and child health—and McDonald’s scholarship opportunities for Latino students.

Attending conferences like these provides me with so many resources to share with Mamiverse readers. I’m looking forward to writing more about the companies and programs that your family can benefit from and enjoy.