5 Things I Learned from Planning a Blog Conference

5 Things I Learned from Planning a Blog Conference

photo by Tim Becker

Holy crap, we had a blog conference. If you haven’t heard yet, PHLBloggers planned its first blog conference two weekends ago, The Blog Connect. Our team was comprised of three people: me (the conference mastermind, a name given to me, not chosen), Sarah from smoorelovin’ (the conference creative director), and Melissa from Skinny Affair (the conference sponsorship coordinator). The best team a girl could ask for when planning a blog conference. I started to think about the idea of hosting a conference last year around October and actually put it into action in December. Once we decided on a headcount goal and venue everything else started falling into place. I remember the moment when I realized that no matter what happened next and what planning did or didn’t happen that we were still having a blog conference. That was very cool.

People keep asking how I think it went. The answer? I thought it went really well. Logistically it went off almost without a hitch (a small microphone situation happened, but after that we were home free), almost everyone knew the conference hashtag before they showed up, and when surveyed everyone said they had enough food and beverage throughout the day (which as an Italian is kind of a big deal in my life).

That’s not to say that there’s not already a huge list of things that we want to change for next year. Actually, we were saying it while we were planning this year. Next year we’re aiming for 100-120 people (this year it was 50); we’d love to have a keynote speaker; we’re considering hosting a party the night before the conference; and we’re already brainstorming the best way to keep all the emails, sponsorships, and other details organized (hint: it’s not all in the same email chain).

4.16.16_PHL_CROWD SHOTS_19

photo by Tim Becker

Everything about planning a blog conference was a learning experience. From beginning to end. I’ve planned 50+ person events before, but they’ve been 4 hours, not 8 hours; I’venever needed to set up a speaker line-up before; and I’ve never has to coordinate multiple vendors before. And I’ve definitely never had a creative director. It was always amazing to me how I would have this very basic vision for something in my head and the next thing I knew everything would arrive in my inbox in tropical colors with innovative execution ideas behind it. It was so fun to watch Sarah’s creative vision for the conference come to fruition. The girl knows her shit.

The Blog Connect Crowd - photo by Julia Dent

photo by Julia Dent

Here are my four biggest key takeaways from planning my first (of hopefully many) conferences:

The conference line-up should look like the group of attendees you’re trying to attract.

We’re about to get real. This was a big one for me. I’ve never needed to prepare a speaker line-up before, so I did it the most efficient way I knew how. I emailed our entire PHLBloggers mailing list and said “hey! I’m planning a conference, who wants to speak at it?!” Well, everyone who volunteered to speak was white. At the time I didn’t think twice about it, especially because it was a pretty fantastic lineup. I said yes to almost every person who volunteered. I figured this was the most fair way to do it.

Well, this line-up caused some not so good feelings outside of the PHLBloggers community. The actual worst part of the whole thing was that nobody was asking me about how the speaker line-up was chosen, they were asking the other PHLBloggers members who had no idea how it had happened, they only knew that I probably had the best intentions.

So then I/we ended up stuck in a conundrum. Do you change the great speaker line-up that volunteered and already committed? That didn’t seem like the right way to go. We ended up changing the overall conference schedule a bit and decided to offer a few more openings to speakers. This time only women of color applied. Our line-up coincidentally ended up balancing itself out, but that doesn’t change the overall message of this lesson.

This is me admitting my own ignorance to all of you. At first I didn’t really understand why the entirely white line-up was a problem. I asked a very diverse mailing list if they wanted to speak; the whole group had the same opportunity. It wasn’t until I started looking at other conferences that I realized what the problem was. If I looked at a conference and the line-up was all women of color, I automatically assumed that my presence wasn’t wanted at that specific conference. All of a sudden it made sense, embarrassingly much so.

And let me pause to say that I really enjoyed all of our speakers this year. They were amazing. They had great content to share, people left feeling inspired, and they all had a fun story to tell. That is not, and was never the problem.

It’s never that I wanted only white people to come to the conference, I just assumed that everybody would automatically know that they were welcome because that’s how PHLBloggers works. But if you don’t know our group, and have never met our people, that may not have been overwhelmingly clear.

What’s going to happen next year? Well, this year I set the entire speaker line-up before the conference was even announced because I wanted to make sure that somebody would want to speak at this conference. Next year we’re going to be opening up speaker applications. If you felt there was a perspective missing from the conference, whether that’s a difference is race, gender, or age, I would love for you to apply to speak, because I would love to hear what you have to say. And so would the rest of our group. And when we go to choose the line-up we’re going to choose the best people for the job, and I guarantee you that the best people for the job are all going to bring their own diversity to the table.

Alright, onto the other things I learned now.

The Blog Connect Workshops - photo by Julia Dent

photo by Julia Dent

When you’re planning a blog conference you’re not attending the conference.

This was something I realized about a week before the event. I realized that I was planning a blog conference, not attending a blog conference. I didn’t expect there to be a chair for me, I didn’t think I would have a bunch of notes on what the speakers said, and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to meet anybody new. My purpose at this blog conference was to make sure that everything happened when it was supposed to, that everyone felt prepared to do what they needed to do, and to make sure that all of the people had access to the building at all the right times. And that’s how it happened. I barely sat in a chair (by the end of the event I had my shoes off, prom-style though), I have no notes from the conference, and I didn’t meet anybody. That said, I was so glad to know that somebody had logistics on their mind all day.

It’s not possible to plan one of these alone.

It’s just not. I don’t know what I would have done without Melissa and Sarah. Melissa did all the sponsorship outreach and coordinated all of the deliveries of swag bag and giveaway items. Sarah designed everything that had our logo on it – from the logo itself, to the website, to the conference brochures. I literally couldn’t have done it without these ladies. We’re trying to figure out what other roles we want to bring into the team for next year, because we’re sure that as it continues to get bigger we’re going to need even more hands on deck.

It’s not over when it’s over.

So you do all this planning to make sure that the day of the event goes correctly. You get the design stuff down, you drop off everything that you need, you execute the day – and then you’re flipping exhausted when you go home. What you want to do is crash on the couch immediately, but what actually happens is that you need to send out follow-up emails, thank you notes, and sponsorship statistics, which I’m super excited to do all of. And you need to write down what went well and what you would change for next year right after it happens, because it’s going to become a blur very quickly. All that said, next year I might take the week after the conference off of work.

The Blog Connect Panel - photo by Tim Becker

photo by Tim Becker

I love nice people.

This isn’t something that I learned, this conference just reitterated it. The speakers, panelists, and workshoppers were all fantastic. I emailed Schmear It to see if they would give us breakfast for the conference on a whim one evening before I even had any conference material written up yet. And you know what? They said yes. They looked at our PHLBloggers conference, knew it was going to be something special, and said yes right off the bat. I met the General Manager of Snap Kitchen in Philadelphia at a Casino Night event in the city. My friend had mentioned the blog conference to her and the GM within the first 5 minutes of meeting me said, yeah, I’d love to talk about that opportunity with you. My accountant, Tamara from Creative Business Accounting & Tax Service, heard about the conference and immediately wanted to donate to the cause. They sponsored our swag bags (the literal bags) with a donation. At this point I time I hadn’t even considered that businesses would want to sponsor our event that didn’t have a product to sell. I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor as she offered. The Saxbys team was SUPER on board from the second it started and were incredibly helpful before and during the event. I couldn’t have asked for a better venue for our first conference. The Philadelphia Brewing Company folks also immediately said yes and reminded us that they make both beer and cider, so we got to work with Commonwealth Ciders as well. And then I emailed Sarah from XO Sarah who I’ve taken classes with before (and had lunch with in San Diego!) to see if she wanted to get in on the fun and she gave copy of her e-book, Double Your Blog Traffic in 90 Days or Less, to everyone at the conference. Pure awesomeness. It was just cool watching all of these things come together. It felt really good. And it made me really flipping happy.

Please note that I didn’t work directly with most of the swag bag or giveaway speakers, that was all Melissa’s jam.

I definitely learned so much more from planning this conference. So many things that are captured in my “Blog Connect Master Plan” document that has been a living document for the last 4 months. Melissa, Sarah, and I are sitting down next week to do our overview and recap of the event and I can’t wait to get all of our ideas for next year in the same place. Thanks again to everybody who came out to the event, I can’t wait to make it even bigger and better next year.

10 Tips for Boosting your Brand with Jessica Lawlor

Boost Your Brand with Jessica Lawlor

Last Thursday night, PHLBloggers got together at Good Karma Café to learn about how to Boost Your Brand: Use Your Current Platform to Find New Opportunities with Jessica Lawlor. The girl knows her stuff. She worked in PR for 5 years, quit her job in January, started working for herself in February, and in March she made more money than she would have at her day job. Yeah, I think we call that winning.

I wanted to take this chance to recap 10 tips that I took away from her presentation, tips that I hope you are able to take with you to boost your own brand. Also, if you happen to be in Philadelphia, we’d love to have you at a PHLBloggers event – actually, even if you’re just stopping by. Without further ado –

Boosting your brand requires you to become a storyteller.

Not only that, but you need to know what story your brand is trying to tell right now. Your story can change, but whatever your story is right now needs to be consistent across all platforms. Maybe life right now is about your new apartment, finding a house, or learning how to build your business. Whatever it is, make sure to pull your readers into the story with you.

You need an email list.

That is all. Even if you’re not using it, collect the email addresses. You never know when you’ll need them in the future.

Share other people’s content.

I used to know this one. And then life got really busy. And then I forgot. The worst part is that I still am taking in a lot of content, I just stopped sharing the parts I love. That’s something I need to get better at again.

Remember that bloggers are not normal people.

Bloggers read their blogs in RSS feeds, they “right click, open in new tab” all of the links in the post before leaving the page, they pin things for later – this is not normal behavior of the usual population. You need to find a way to get people back to your site, you need to find a way to keep them there, and you need to make everything really pretty so they’re inspired while they’re there.

Track your network.

I actually can’t believe I’m not doing this already. Write down a list of everybody in your personal network that you’ve ever met. Yes, it’s kind of daunting, but think about how useful that would be if you’re starting a new venture and need some help with it. Your network wants to help you. Let them help you.

Create a content round-up.

This is a great way to share other people’s content and ideas. It’s a great way to have them link back to your site. You can just share links, or share interview questions, or ask opinions about things – whatever works for you.

Create a “notice me” list and a “community list” on twitter.

Never thought of this one before. “Notice me” is a list of influencers in your life. “Community list” is a list of people who are active on your blog. Emily of Her Philly pointed out that she sometimes uses that list to come up with blog ideas. So useful!

Create a blog media kit and work with me page.

Make sure to include who you are, who your followers are, how many followers you have, what types of campaigns you could run, and consider including the logos of other brands you’ve worked with. The goal is to get other people just as excited about working with you as you are with them.

Pitch yourself to the media.

Because why not? If you have an idea or big thing coming up, tell the media about it yourself. Especially if you live in a small town and you’re doing something nobody has ever done before. Who knows, somebody might want to write a story about you?

Reach out to a brand with your own partnership ideas.

Step one: brainstorm partnership ideas. Step two: email the company about them and include your media kit. That’s it. Go for it. You have nothing to lose yet again.

And that’s it. Definitely some great content in there – and some content I haven’t heard before, which is always great inspiration. (That said, even the content I have heard before doesn’t always sink in the first time… or the second.)

What tips do you have for boosting your brand?

The Lady Project Summit 2016

Key Takeaways from The Lady Project Summit 2016

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to another conference, The Lady Project Summit in Providence, Rhode Island, hosted by The Lady Project. If you haven’t picked up on it yet I love conferences. I love getting to meet people, I love getting to hear people’s stories, and I love getting to take notes. (Yeah, I’m that weirdo.) This conference was not just a blog conference, it was a women’s empowerment conference.

First of all, it was incredibly inspiring for me to be there because although this was their fourth year, only three short years ago it was a group of 60 people. And that’s really cool to know, because maybe one day The Blog Connect will become a conference that has 350 people and is hosted in a huge theater. That would be cool.

Second of all, there were two things about this conference that made it stand out from other conferences and networking events I’ve been to.

  1. (Almost) Everybody introduced themselves as “this is my day job, and this is my side hustle”. What a cool feeling. Other than the bloggers in my life, I don’t know too many other people like this, but these people all have a side hustle or a passion project that they do in addition to their nine-to-five gig. (Although I did meet at least a few people who made their passion project their nine-to-five gig, and that’s really cool too.)
  2. It was incredibly genuine. And felt really good. I’ve been to a bunch of networking events where everyone’s in a suit and tie (except me). And it feels stodgy and intimidating. You don’t really feel comfortable saying hello to anyone because the person that they’re portraying on the outside is not someone you can relate to on the inside at all. This was not that conference. Everyone was incredibly approachable and looking to make genuine The two best things I heard all weekend were “you should really come over for a cup of tea sometime” between two ladies who had just met each other (seriously, how wonderful of an offer is that?). And at the end of the day Carley came up to me and said “You’re really awesome, I’d really like to stay in touch. You just have good energy.” What is that? Who says that? It’s exactly what I was thinking about her, but didn’t have the chutzpa to say it out loud. That’s the kind of network they’re cultivating at The Lady Project. I think you call that winning. (Good job, Sierra.)

So without even finishing reading this blog post, the moral of the story is that you should find your local Lady Project chapter and join them. Now onto my four key takeaways from the day.

“Embrace the mess.”

This is a direct quote from Ann Shoket (you may recognize her name from Seventeen Magazine or Cosmo Girl). She told an incredible story about finding your path in the working world. Here’s my summary of what she said. When you get out of college get a job, any job, it doesn’t matter if it’s your dream job. You will learn so much at this job just by listening. While this is happening, you’ve probably got a side hustle going on. This is a way to learn what you’re capable of, you’re learning things on your own terms in your own time. You can screw up, and it doesn’t really matter if you’re not the next best thing it just matters that you’re learning something. Eventually you may find yourself at the third job itch. This is when you start saying yes to everything. Things, like birthday cards or cleaning your house, fall off the plate, but this is the time for you to learn what works for you, what feels good, and what feels like crap. But you’ve know you’ve made it when you start to figure out what you like and you are able to bring all the pieces together. Then start saying no to the things that make you feel drained, but you don’t know until you try it.

The Lady Project Summit 2016 Key Takeaways: Ann Shoket Quote The Lady Project Summit 2016 Key Takeaways: Ann Shoket Quote

You can be assertive without being aggressive.
(plus a lesson on feminism)

There were so many pieces of information that I took away from the Assertive Communication session – and so many things to look up. I met our speaker, Emilie Aries, the night before and I knew she was the right person to talk about this topic. We learned about intersectional feminism, “a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.” (Source: Geek Feminism Wikia) We watched this video by Nicki Minaj on Bossing Up (worth watching and only 1:21) and then answered the question, “what is your pickle juice”, what is the thing that you put up with that you really shouldn’t be and how to assert yourself better in those situations. Being assertive is saying or doing what you want while talking the opinions of others into consideration, while being aggressive is saying or doing what you want while not taking the opinions of others into consideration. (Click here for further video explanation.) An attendee named Heather pointed out that she asks herself three questions before asserting herself:

  1. Do I need to address this now?
  2. Is this helpful?
  3. Am I the right person to address this?

And if the answer is yes, she does something about it. Other tips include leading with your intention and then the content; pause, think, and then answer; and don’t be accusatory.

Things to look up: The Harvard Business Journal paper on Second-Generation Gender Bias, The Power of No Tedx Talk by Emilie Aries, & Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy.

When finding you people and place, start by looking for compatible values, then personality.

We had the chance to hear from Ruma Bose about her career progression. She had the chance to work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta for a year. It was during this time she solidified her most important life value: helping other people. After she left her volunteer experience she became an investment banker and then ended up in the finance industry. When her father died she realized it was time for her to make a change in life. She realized she “never aligned [her] core values with the work [she] was doing.” When you’re looking for a job find a company that matches your values, and then find a group that matches your personality, and then consider the skillset, because values are the most important thing. Find your why, find your purpose, and find your values, and then do something with it. “Dream it simple, say it strong.” “Find your why, then get practical.”
Things to do: Buy and read her book Mother Teresa, CEO

The Lady Project Summit 2016 Key Takeaways: Ruma Bose Quote The Lady Project Summit 2016 Key Takeaways: Ruma Bose Quote

Find your own way to play by the rules.

Elaine Pouliot, who started her career with IBM, was the first woman to hold two different positions while she was there, and who has a BS in Chemistry and Business. She talked about being the best person for the job, taking risks, and saying “yes, I can do this job”. She spoke about how 80% of the men will apply for a job they are 20% qualified for, but only 20% of women will apply for a job they are 80% qualified, and how that needs to change. She talked about how being assertive is raising your hand when you do know the answer and raising your hand to ask the question when you don’t know the answer. She talked about what it was like to be a female coming up in industry when there was a distinct “Boy’s Club” (especially in the financial community, she said). She also talked about standing out for the right reasons instead of the wrong reasons. Somewhere near the end of the speech a segment of the audience got riled up about the fact that she said (paraphrased) it is still a boy’s club out there and you’ll need to play by their rules for a little bit. To all of those people who got a little bit riled up, I’ve got to tell you, in the financial industry, in a large corporation, and especially in a Big Four accounting firm, that’s absolutely still true. It’s not just the “boy’s club” rules though, it’s the culture of the company you are working for. If you want to wear your own style of clothing or make your own rules, those are not the industries for you. Those companies are definitely getting better though; they’re getting more progressive and they even have liberal values, but if you want to make it to the top, you have to play by the rules. And hearing how somebody managed to play by the rules and make it to the top was a story I liked hearing.

There were so many great speakers, and I had a chance to be on my first panel – all about blogging. A panel moderated by Brittany Taylor, featuring Abby Capalbo (co-founder of Style Me Pretty), Carley Barton (Renegade Rulebook – coming soon), Carly Heitlinger (The College Prepster), and Vivian Nunez (Too Damn Young). It was so great to be up there with those ladies. And our blogging experiences spanned the gamut, so I think the people in the audience really got to hear a good array of thoughts.

If you ever get the chance to go to The Lady Project Summit I highly recommend it. It was a great day full of meeting women of all different backgrounds, with all different ideas, and a whole heck of a lot of heart. I’ve already invited my mother to come with me next year. (That’s a thing right?) I’m excited.

10 Blogging Tips from Thrive Blog Conference 2016

The best blogging tips I learned from the speakers at Thrive Blog Conference 2016 including tips about making money, pinterest, knowing your why, and how to talk to brands.

This past weekend I attended Thrive Blog Conference in Houston, TX. SUCH a cool experience. Meeting cool people and getting blogging tips in real life are some of my favorite things to do. How did I end up there you ask? Well in 2013 I went to Texas Style Council in Austin, TX because there was a blogger that I really wanted to meet. Then I went to Texas Style Council again in 2015 to hang out with all the awesome people again. And then I decided that since I’ve had such a fun time with the Texas bloggers that I wanted to go back to meet cool new people all over again, this time in Houston.

It also didn’t hurt that I met Whitney (one of the conference’s founders), Nicole (the conference’s emcee), and Alice (the main conference sponsor’s awesome marketing gal) at Texas Style Council 2015. Yay for cool people.

View More: http://megcady.pass.us/thrive-blog-con-2016

Alice on the left, Nicole on the right, Photo by Meg Cady

One of my favorite thing about going to conferences is that it doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have there’s always more to learn, someone else’s story to hear, or someone really cool to meet.

I left with a to-do list that is over 30 items long. Everything from “look up what Michaels makers is “ to “change the alt text for all of your gift guide pins on Pinterest” to “buy some of those flipping awesome meringues for people in my life that I love”. I can’t wait to get started.

But in the instance you weren’t able to attend, I wanted to share my top 10 blogging tips from the conference, as a 4.5-year blogging veteran with you.

Write down your why.

I’ve heard the phrase “know your why” a million times. Know why you started blogging, remember who you’re doing it for, remember what your goal is. Somehow, the write down your why didn’t really hit me until Alissa from Diary of an Addict said it. I think the reason that this is so hard for me is that the reason I started my blog was to give myself a creative outlet and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough. Sometimes I feel like it’s supposed to be about working with brands or making money, but it’s not. It’s to provide balance and keep me sane because the right side of my brain kind of dies a little bit as I spend my day (essentially) auditing at the office. My plan is to write down my why and post it right above my computer ASAP.

Sometimes it’s okay to pivot.

This was also something that Alissa said. Her original blog was Rags to Stitches and somewhere along the lines she stopped talking about crafty things. So after a lot of contemplation she changed her blog name. She emailed everybody she knew and said (paraphrased) “hey, I’m doing this new thing, I’d really love if you would check it out, and if you like it and could share it that would be really really awesome”. I love that. I love that she took the leap and I love that she reached out to her already existent networking to make it happen. I don’t think there’s a pivot coming for Chrystina Noel, but I also think I’ve been avoiding exploring that outcome out of fear, so let the brainstorming begin.

Ask for a brand’s PR contact.

As somebody who doesn’t know much about business I never knew who to reach out to at companies to do sponsored posts. It’s their PR person.

Lay out all the details from the beginning when you reach out to someone about a sponsored post.

Jessica and Sarah from Pretty Provident pointed out that nobody really has time during the day to answer a million back and forth emails with a potential sponsor. A: Would you like to work together? B: Sure what’d you have in mind? A: I was thinking about X. B: That sounds great. What do the details of that look like? A: Well… You can see how this would get old fast. Start by laying it all out at the beginning. Dear Sponsor, In exchange for X, we’ll give you Y. If this works for you, great. If not, that’s totally fine, I’ll absolutely still be continuing to use your product.

If you do work with a sponsor, send them post links and stats.

Jessica and Sarah also pointed out that if you create a sponsored post for a brand and the post did really well, it’s great to send the brand those details so they will be inspired to work with you in the future. And don’t forget to mention that the post will continue to gain traffic for them.

If there’s a brand you love, offer to create free content at the beginning.

As a blogger, you definitely deserve to get paid. But if you’re starting at the beginning and you need a few pieces to put into your media kit to prove that you deserve to be paid, consider reaching out to a brand you know that has a lot of followers and offer to create free content for them. Ashley from Sugar & Cloth reminded us that they always need content and this can get your name out there at the beginning and help to put together a great portfolio for yourself.

Do something with your Google Analytics.

We all know we’re supposed to set up our Google Analytics account when we start our blog, but it’s also our jobs to look at those numbers and make changes accordingly. Mallory from Miss Malaprop listed off the most important questions you should be able to answer from your Google analytics: where is your traffic coming from, what websites are sending people my way, what content do people like the most, and how are people reading my blog. Once you know this information you can create an e-book with your most popular posts, upcycle your content, reorganize your affiliate links, or even remove your sidebar if it’s getting in the way.

Create vertical image collages for Pinterest and then hide them.

This is something I knew before, but I somehow always forget it. We all know that vertical images do best on Pinterest, but sometimes it’s a little gaudy to put them inside your post. So what do you do about it? You put the image in your post, but edit the html so that it is hidden. You put <div style = “display:none;”> before the image and </div> after the image and you’re good to go. Thanks for reminding me of this, Kristyn from Lil’ Luna. And for reminding me that it’s okay to go back and create new Pinterest-worthy photos on posts where they kind of stunk before. (Just don’t delete the old ones from your media library.)

Ask sponsors what their budget is for working with bloggers.

And I would like to thank Skye from Your Texas is Showing for giving me the blogging tip that pretty much blew my mind the most. If a brand or sponsor reaches out to you, but doesn’t mention compensation, you should be asking “What is your budget for working with bloggers?” That’s it. It’s so simple. It’s not super aggressive, it’s just asking a question. I always knew you should ask, but I never quite knew what to say. I’m definitely going to be considering this for the future.

Think about the money.

This was one of my overall takeaways from the conference. We all understand the necessity of creating authentic, original content – and we can still do that while working with brands. Not only that, but we can (and deserve to) do it working with brands for more than just free product. When you start thinking about how many hours of your life go into creating a sponsored post (from writing to photography to promoting), you realize it’s something worth getting paid for. The general consensus was once you get about 10k page views per month you can start charging for sponsored posts (although it can definitely happen earlier). Just make sure to say at the top of your post that it is sponsored. And if you do it in a genuine way, your readers will probably be okay with it.

Bonus Thoughts

  • If you’re looking for something to brighten your day, watch this video where Krstina Braly’s husband does her make-up. (She blogs/vlogs at Pretty Shiny Sparkly.) You’ll probably want to watch all her videos after this just like I did.
  • Megan Weaver, who talked about photography, has a mailing list where she gives out free photography, marketing, and shoot tips, which I’m super excited about as well.

And that’s it. So many things buzzing around my brain right now when it comes to blogging. I love that when I leave these conferences I come out so psyched up to keep blogging. Four-and-a-half-years in and no intentions of stopping any time soon.

What were your biggest takeaways from Thrive? Or what was the most helpful tip above? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.