There are so many things I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition that I can’t even begin to describe. My book of notes is so full from incredibly useful information from Blissdom (see recap 1 & recap 2!) and Bloggy Boot Camp, both of which I’m thankful to have attended this year. There are so many valuable things to gain from blog conferences: new friends, old friends, meaningful connections and conversations, inspiration, and how to be more dedicated. Bloggy Boot Camp has given me the time to reconnect and rediscover the focus of my blog and just get to know people that love the same thing as I do.
Earlier this year I went to Blissdom and felt it was the best conference I could’ve ever been to. I still believe it was amazing, but for a totally separate reason from Bloggy Boot Camp. Blissdom is more about making connections with other bloggers and brands, not so much the content. However, Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition focused less on corporate sponsor connections (although there were two of my favorite companies: LG and Mirassou in attendance) and more of the “meat”/content. It was about taking your blog to a whole other level, which is exactly what I want to do.
Some things I learned:
If it’s not a “Hell yeah!” it’s a no. These words of wisdom come from my newest friend, Danielle Smith. I actually met her at Blissdom, and took her advice for a video interview earlier this year with the Huffington Post. This woman knows what she’s talking about. Plus, she is incredibly honest and I loved having a honest conversation with her, Neely, and Ashley at BBC Dallas. These words really made me take a look at the partnerships I am considering forming and really put them into perspective. Bottom line? You probably won’t see as much sponsored content around here..and if you do, you better believe that it’s because I’m working with a brand that I absolutely believe in and not half-heartedly care about.
Content is KING! Weave in your own stories. Sounds simple, right? I think many times bloggers get caught up in the “free stuff” and forget about content. Heck, I’ve done it before! BUT no one will read your blog if you just post a bunch of sponsored stuff that has zero meaning to you. I plan on weaving in more of our stories (which means Mathew and I are going to make it our mission not to be boring married people all the time!) so you can really get down and get to know us…if you don’t already.
What’s your end game? I’m still wondering what my end game is, but I know this- I want my blog to be meaningful, full of a strong readership with tons of friendships that have stemmed from it, and I want it to be successful. As for the rest? I’m not certain and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be certain what I want my end game to be.
Google + is important. It’s an internet COMMUNITY that can help your blog in a ton of different ways! If you’re not following me on Google +, please do! I’ll make sure to follow you back on my circle.
Your reputation matters! You better believe that companies are watching you on social media. It’s POOR TASTE to bash or complain about a company online. If you feel the need to do it, text a friend instead to rant. You’ll be happy you did.
Tell your story. I’m a BIG fan of Lisa Leonard (I feel like such a nerd around her and just about died that she remembered me) and her story…well, her son David’s story. Her story is what draws me to her. Sure her jewelry is amazing, her thrifted clothes are far cuter than I could ever put together, and I have NO idea how she gets her curls so perfect (mine never cooperate!), but at the end of the day, I am in such admiration over her story. I want my friends…my readers…to connect with me as I tell my story. There are so many times I want to be raw, real, and honest with you all about things. I realize that many people I know in “real life” read my blog, however, and I feel like I need to shelter myself from telling certain things. Likewise, I feel as though my story is so small because I don’t lead an amazing and adventurous life, I’m not a mom, and I pretty much work, spend time with Mathew, and sleep. I’m going to work harder to break out of my shell and delve into the things that make me, ME, and begin to interpret whatever my story is.
Power down and be present. Sure, social media is important to just about everyone nowadays, but it isn’t EVERYTHING. It’s important to step away from the text messaging, Instagramming, Tweeting, and Facebooking and get to the heart of conversations in your daily life. Pay attention to your loved ones and live your life. You don’t have to be on your phone or computer every second of the day. Because…at the end of the day, do you want to say “I lived my life” or “I lived my life always on my iPhone”? Something to ponder. Besides, how could I adore this handsome face that I got to come home to after Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas was over?
So there you have it- Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas: Brand Edition in a nutshell. Trust me, I’ve barely skimmed the surface and have 25 pages of notes, but there’s just too much good information! I really encourage you to attend BBC Dallas next year. Tiffany and Fran know how to throw an awesome blog conference full of laughs, tears, and a whole lot of knowledge. Psst- I’ll be there!