10 Things I Learned at Texas Style Council 2013

I could honestly go on and on about how awesome Texas Style Council was.  If you happen to be free next March and are looking for something cool to do and some awesome new people to meet, you should absolutely consider going – whether you’re a blogger, or a brand, or a creative.  There are always so many things to learn and so many people’s stories to hear.  I think hearing the stories are my favorite part.  When other people tell their stories about things that have happened on their blog or with their shop it makes you think this can absolutely happen for me.  So inspiring.

2013-08-08 Mattie from Mattieology

Mattie from Mattieology

I’m going to tell you all about Texas Style Council in list form.

10 things I learned at texas style council 2013:

  1. When you read a bunch of other people’s blogs it’s really easy to capture their voice (instead of your own) – Jenni from Story of My Life
  2. When pitching a story proposal, give 3 ideas and a few sentences about each one of them. – Tolly from Austin Eavesdropper
  3. Go buy “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky, it will change your life. – Jessie from Style & Pepper
  4. Consider speaking engagements and awards to get your name or your brand’s name out there. – Lisa from Newton O’Neill Communications
  5. You should have a media kit to show that you’re serious about your blog. -Tieka from Selective Potential
  6. Create blog features and habits that make a better life. – Emma and Elsie from A Beautiful Mess
  7. On Pinterest, 50% repin, 30% unique pin, 20%  self-pin for a good balance. – Moorea from Moorea Seal
  8. Russell+Hazel stationery is flipping adorable. – Danielle from Give the Glory
  9. Decisions are greater than excuses. – Mattie from Mattieology
  10. The second your blog starts making money, look into an LLC. – Emma from A Beautiful Mess

3 things I would do differently next time:
Take more real-camera pictures.
Research more of the speakers before attending.
Live tweet more.

3 goals that I now have:
Do a greeting card feature every week.
Feature some new blogging friends in some interactive posts.
A little rebranding, maybe with the help of Maiedae?

Confessions from Texas Style Council

texas style council last session

This picture is the best picture to represent what I’ve been doing for the last three days.  Welcome to Texas Style Council, y’all.  A three-day extravaganza of bloggers, brands, and creatives, dressed absolutely adorably, in Austin, TX, run by Indiana Adams, where people come to be inspired, to learn, and to meet some awesome new people.

First of all, can I please say I am SO PROUD of myself.  There were only five people from the entire northeast and I didn’t know know (similar to the emphasis of like like) anybody at the conference.  I had read a bunch of people’s blogs beforehand so I felt like I knew them, but that was about it.  But I went.  And I introduced myself to people, and I had some great conversations, and if I didn’t feel like being outgoing I just entertained myself for a little bit.

I’ll do the actual recap from this event a little bit later this week after I have time to go over all of my notes and really think about everything I heard and learned, but for now, I figured I would let y’all in on some secrets of the weekend.

I kind of really thought that all of the bloggers that I had heard of beforehand were going to be taller.  I know this sounds weird, but it’s kind of in the same way that I think that all celebrities are tall (not that bloggers are celebrities really…) – and they weren’t.  They were normal height people.  Weird.

It kind of blew my mind how pretty much everybody at this conference was dating, engaged, or married.  I don’t know if this is a Texas thing, or if once you find somebody to settle down with you have more time think about other things so you blog better, or because they’re all such awesome people no wonder they’ve all been taken already, or just a mere coincidence.

In Philadelphia there’s a pretty big scene around mommy bloggers.  I went to a conference last year and I actually felt a little bit out of place that I wasn’t a mommy blogger at some points.  At this conference there were plenty of women around the room who had had children (actually I read Indiana’s second child’s birth story while at the conference after being prompted by somebody else, absolutely crazy), but I didn’t feel out of place at all for not having children.  Everyone had someone managed to find a way to incorporate style blogging into being a mother without coming out the other end as a mommy blogger.  I’m impressed.

After losing the amazing Amelia Beth ring that I bought myself I went and bought two cupcakes from Sugar Mama’s.  The chocolate one was my favorite.

I didn’t actually drink much at any of the events because I didn’t want to get dehydrated (and die).  As a hypochondriac I find that it’s better to not mess with my brain.  Especially while alone at a conference.

I took my own book home from the book swap.  I admit it.  We were supposed to swap, I get it.  But it was the end of the night, and there were only twenty books left on the shelves and nobody was really browsing through them anymore and my book looked so sad that I decided to take it back home with me.

I forgot to pack any underwear for this conference.  That’s right.  And this isn’t the first time that I’ve done this!  Literally, I’ve bought more underwear on vacation in the past two years than while not on vacation.  After the opening night’s ceremonies I went into one of the boutiques to look for underwear and the thongs were $20 a piece!  Goodness gracious, at that rate I was going to blow my entire vacation budget (maybe I should have made a budget…) on underwear.  So I went up to one of the ladies working there and explained to her that I had forgotten to pack any underwear, and I really couldn’t afford to buy it all here, but asked where she would go if she just needed to get some to get her through the next few days.  That’s right, that happened.  I was directed to Urban Outfitters only a few blocks away where I met a nice man behind the register who I am now following on Instagram.  Oh, and please don’t ask how I washed it all, that was another hot mess.

– – – – – – – – – –

Alright, that’s all for now.  Anybody have anything else they’d like to share?

Bloggy Boot Camp Recap

It’s only been nine days since I went to Bloggy Boot Camp in Philadelphia (#bbcphilly) – but somehow in blogger world, that seems to be an eternity – so much has happened since then!  I finally found time on my train home from New York on Friday to look at all of my notes and think about what I learned and what actions I wanted to implement.  Now, lucky for you – I have it all written down in outline form.  Aren’t you excited?

what I wore.
this is clearly important.


6 word identity recap.
You may have seen my post entitled “My Blog and I are having an Identity Crisis” recently.  It was pretty true.  I came back from that conference and had NO idea what the purpose of my blog was.  I’ve narrowed it down to two options for my six word identity right now:

engineer by day, hostess by night, &
hostess in training: finding her style

Now, two people had recommendations on option #1.  A friend from college said, “what about engineer by trade, hostess by vision” and Virginia from Yes, Virginia… said to add the tagline “and everything in between”.  We’ll see what I decide on, I feel better having a direction.  Also, I find it funny that people kept commenting that “hot mess” didn’t really seem to describe by blog – there are some days when my head is all over the place, everything seems to go wrong, and I’m even more clumsy than usual – but I guess everybody has those days and I guess we’ll call them the exceptions to the rule.

2 favorite quotes from the event.
“never second guess a fun idea” -used in a session called Top 10 Blogging Success Tips, by Laurie at Tip Junkie
“if you’re going to put yourself out there, don’t do it in a small way” -used in a session called Proven Methods to Grow Your Site and Increase Your Influence by Sharon at Mom of 6

9 traffic increasing ideas for when I (you) need a little inspiration.
1. do a top 10 posts
2. do a q&a session with your readers
3. make printables to give to your readers
4. do/accept guest posts
5. interview others
6. vlogging – video blogging
7. add some of your best quotes & photos to pinterest
8. look at your favorite brand’s blogs
9. participate in link ups

7 things on my to do list because of this conference.
1. create a 12-month calendar for my blog: this will help prepare me for upcoming holidays and major events so that I don’t end up missing something or let something sneak up on me.
2. swap blog buttons with other blogs (that are around my approximate size): months ago, let me know if you’re interested 🙂
3. follow only the people on twitter & instagram that I want to follow – this involved some “unfollowing” (aka stop randomly clicking on people to follow in airports because I’m bored)
4. label all of my blog pictures with real titles so that they can be easily searched on search engines
5. learn more about google analytics: google seems to be the way to get things done in search engine optimization (anyone surprised?)
6. update the titles of my posts to make them more descriptive of what’s inside
7. write a great bio about myself: to update my about page & in case anybody ever needs it for anything 🙂

10 new blogs I got a chance to enjoy because of this conference.

Any questions, comments or thoughts, let me know.  Right now, it looks like I have some work to do.