I hear all you girls talking about getting up at 5am to go to Boot Camp and every now and then I think to myself “Kristen – you should get yourself to Boot Camp”. So I finally did it! Except it was MY kind of boot camp. The kind where I sat in a room full of like minded people (women) working out our blog concepts instead of our biceps and the only curls going on were the ones on my head and the ones on our faces from smiling so much.
THIS is Bloggy Boot Camp, y’all!
Remember back at the beginning of the year when I set my goals for this year? One of them was to go to a couple of conferences so when I saw that the SITS Girls were bringing their traveling roadshow to Charlotte, I was like HELL YEAH!*, I’m going! So I bought my ticket, rounded up some of the BWTs (woot! a conference that I didn’t have to plan and we’d still get to be together.. bonus!) and we headed down.
There were so many great things that Tiffany and Fran did from making us rotate tables to making sure we met new people (bloggers can be bad about cliques), to making sure we were well caffeinated (I was one of 5 ambassadors for Keurig/Brew Over Ice..more on that later) and well fed (hello, Salsarita’s?!) to bringing in some amazeballs speakers. I learned so much more than I expected to and came home with a homework list that you wouldn’t believe.
While the learning was good, the lovin’ was better.
My favorite part about these kind of conferences is finally putting faces to names, blog titles and Twitter handles. It’s awesome to be surrounded by people who don’t look at you odd when you talk about things like bounce rates, analytics, commenting plug-ins and when you talk warmly about your “online friends”. Today’s social media friendships are viewed about as favorably as dating services in the 90′s. Until you do it, you just aren’t going to get it.
I got to meet Michelle over at A Dish of Daily Life, who is one of my newest favorite blogger friends AND she’s also who won the Uncommon iPhone case earlier this month!
I met new friends who are awesome writers & funny as all get out. Who like to pretend they’re Reese Whitherspoon when told there’s a 3 hour wait at The Cowfish but who can’t follow instructions to save their lives. Like when I told them to walk in a straight line so we could totally get an Abbey Road shot…
I have some great take-aways from the conference.. one of the BIGGEST is that I will be putting a lot more focus on Ten To Twenty Parenting. Blogging is a VERY crowded market and after spending some time talking to Tiffany of SITS, she confirmed what I knew – the need for advice and writing in the teen/tween market is big. I’m not disappearing from here, but will be actively looking for new things for that site.
The other thing that I took away is at least 60 new friends who can all share and help each other grow. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to introduce them ALL to you one at a time. Thinking about having one a week come and guest post… hhmmm… sounds like I have more homework!
To all you ladies who I met this weekend, I loved meeting and getting to know you! I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!! To Tiffany, Fran and everyone else at SITS and Bloggy Boot Camp – thanks for an awesome weekend. You girls sure know how to put on a show!!
* One of the best lessons of the day was from Tiffany and Danielle of Extraodinary Mommy when talking about taking on too much.. “If it’s not a HELL YEAH! it’s a NO!“ Those are words to live by, friends.