i am a little late in writing about the Build Your Blog Conference that i went to,
{now a few weeks ago}, but having a little more time to think about it has given me even more perspective on why i enjoyed it so much and why i think conferences in general are so so valuable.

initially, i felt a little silly at the idea of even going. i thought, “i don’t have a HUGE blog or anything…” which is stupid. really dumb thinking now that i know how things go down…
especially at this one. what a great first conference to go to. the six sisters are fantastic and really keep things down to earth with lots of fun. it was organized, and the classes were great.

with the six sisters and friends.

there are a few reasons why i think conferences are important and incredibly useful for blogs of all kinds and sizes:

1. i felt at home among other people equally as weird. whatever you do in life, if it’s unique {and the blog community is a bit unique}, you probably like sitting down with other people who do what you do. they understand you, they know the quirks. it’s why we have girls’ nights, and play dates, and work parties.  blogging is a quirky quirky business.
i met 2 people on my way there that both said to me, “you’re going to a WHAT conference?” i know i know. it’s random. and lots of people still don’t realize that all of the content they read on the internet is created by someone, and that those people make money doing it! we don’t have a “workplace” to go shoot the breeze with people who get us. so conferences are the venue to do that.

2. i realized i’m not as “small” as i thought. in fact, meeting advertisers and getting emails from them has been great. the fact that i am growing rapidly as a blog AND a blogger, means advertisers want to jump in while they can. we are infuencers and can do more for a product than commercials can in most cases. even my blog that isn’t “HUGE” can be a powerful resource for someone. and that’s motivating. motivating to be myself, and to keep pushing myself to get better and put quality content out there.

3. networking. i met so many other bloggers. bloggers that i knew from online, facebook groups, online conference, or that i have shared and gawked at their posts and recipes too. there is a great sense of community. “email me and i’ll share your posts” or “let me know if you want to guest post” – these women understand that blogging is NEVER a competition, it’s a network of women growing together. we help each other, link and share and pin and prase each other because it helps everyone. and because the validation and support builds us up and motivates us to create more. a beautiful cycle really.

4. learning that these are not blogs. they are bloggers. humans.
even the best of the best and the most money-making bloggers can and do feel insecure at times. i was worried it would feel like high school with the “popular” ones making me feel like i wasn’t “in” or something…

then i talked to one of my favorite bloggers. one that i have shared numerous times and stare at her photos to figure out why they look so great. i’ve modified and posted recipes of hers, and i love everything about her rapidly growing blog. we sat at a cafe and ate with some other blog friends and someone casually mentioned they liked such-and-such post she posted and her reaction was a humble surprised, “oh… thanks”. she admitted that her earliest photos were shot with a point-and-shoot- in the dark, and that she doesn’t love EVERYTHING she posts. i was floored. how could she NOT? but everyone that i met has that same moment of insecurity, or at very least, humility. we put ourselves out there, our words, our thoughts, our “art” and stand back to see if anyone cares or likes it. that can be scary. even if you have a few million people a month coming back to see what you’re doing, it’s still scary. and knowing that everyone has and does feel this way that’s on the same side of content-creating, is oddly comforting.

5. friends. real friends. i have a few friends that i have made online. people that i connected with pretty instantly and that i have a lot in common with. one is this cute ashton-face. she blogs over at something swanky {also named after her name} and posts desserts mainly. we have lots in common from designing to college to our husbands’ names. in the last year or so, we’ve exchanged emails, even been up late nights chatting online about designs we were working on for clients…etc. we spent a good few hours while everyone else was meeting sponsors just chatting like sisters. cause she truly feels like one.  i’m going to HAVE to go to more conferences now just to reunite with my friends that i have made, that i now can say i know in person too! she and i have a few collaborations we will be sharing soon too! 😉

i stayed with cute sarah from high heels & grills, another friend of a few years that used to be my neighbor. we had a ball and i loved reconnecting with her. also like a sister to me.
and cute sandra from dash of sanity. she started her blog in the last 3 months and it’s BLOWN UP! and watching her throw all caution to the wind and meet everyone within a mile radius of that conference hall is proof of why she has and will be successful.  another sister of mine for sure! and cute christina from mother’s niche. check out her blog because she is super cute and has a billion ideas for moms! what a great find, so glad i could connect with so many amazing women!

cute camille of six sisters stuff

6. obviously the other great reason to go to a conference is the classes. there was a few valuable gems that i gained listening to other experts. things from advertising to google+, youtube, how to drive traffic, and how to stay consistent… lots of great ideas and notes and i learned so much. lots of what i learned was in talking with bloggers outside of those classes as well! i came home and made lists and lists of more that i could be doing, got overwhelmed, and started prioritizing. it’s a lot to take in, as most conferences are. they remind you what you should be doing, how to be better, and it’s inspiring. there almost needs to be a follow-up conference to deal with the info-overload because my brain is on hyper drive– still!

7. after learning everything and talking to lots of bloggers who support entire families comfortably blogging i am extremely motivated now to grow and to push myself and the blog. i’m determined to get to a place where we can use the blog as a main source of income and relax financially. we have a long way to go, but it’s possible. and as the dozen couples, whose husbands now work from home {on the blog!} taught me, anything is possible! in the few weeks that i’ve been home, i’ve grown my blog reach by about 30%! after i grow some more and test some strategies, and i maybe post about that as well, but for now i’m just scheduling and networking and working my tail off to keep up with these women i call peers.

side note reasons: this one was in utah {BYBC}, which meant a trip to see sweet family that i love and don’t see often. my little nieces and nephew who let me play with them really sealed the deal on that uber fun trip!

i’ll be signing up for more of these in the future because the experience was amazing and invaluable for me for sure.