On Friday, we just happened to be sitting at the same lunch table as two of my most favorite bloggers, Kari Anne from Thistlewood Farms (second from the right below) and Laura from Finding Home Farms (second from the left below). They were both so kind, funny, and gracious! It was such a thrill for me to chat them up and get to know their personalities. Honestly it was the highlight of my time spent at Haven! The other two women in this picture are currently starring on the new HGTV series Beach Flip, so it was great to meet them too, I will definitely be tuning in to catch them on the show!
I also had the privilege of attending a class called The Power and Profit of Moving from a Blog to a Brand, and Kari Anne and Laura were presenter, along with Jenna from Rain on a tin Roof, whom I am also a follower of. I learned that my blog is a brand, and that I need to define my brand and develop my brand. And they gave us so many good tips to actually start that process. They also gave us great tips for working with sponsors and brands, and I left that class with a long list of things to work on. I can’t wait to get started on the things I learned! These ladies were hilarious, entertaining and knowledgeable, so I thank all three of them for sharing that knowledge.
I also learned a lot about making money with affiliates from Mandy Rose of House of Rose and Cindy Spivy from Grace and Beauty. They gave so much great advice and tips for making money with affiliates, and I walked away from that with so much information and a list of things to do as well.
I have been wanting to start a newsletter for a while now, but felt overwhelmed with it and gave up, so I attended a class about newsletters, presented by Kristen from Sweet Tea and Saving Grace. Wow, she was a wealth of information, and although I still feel overwhelmed, I got some great tips from her and feel like I can tackle it soon. The most important thing I realized from listening to her speak was that I need to get to know my readers. I realized I don’t know most of you at all, you are virtual strangers to me, and that is going to start changing pronto. I need to connect with the people who read my blog, I need to know who you are and what makes you tick, and I am going to be asking you guys some questions very soon.
I also attended another make and take class sponosred by HomeRight and presented by Gina from Shabby Creek Cottage. We used a heat gun to make this cute little iPad stand. It was so easy too! And Gina was so sweet and totally down to earth. hers is another blog that I read a lot so it was awesome to meet her!
At the end, we got to hear Mandy from Vintage Revivals Speak, and man, she was awesome! I really felt connected to her because she has a husband who is a recovering addict, she made me cry, and I wanted to walk up and tell her all about my own story, so there was that. But it was ore than that. She talked about being authentic, and believing that what we have to say is valuable. And one thing she said that really resonated with me is “don’t be a bad version of someone else’s blog”. I wanted to hug her so hard after she finished. She gave me so much food for thought, and I know it will help me grow my blog.
So was Haven everything I thought it would be? It was all of that and so much more! I got to meet and lay eyes on so many bloggers whom I admire, I got to meet so many new bloggers who I did not know about, and have yet to visit their blogs. And I was even approached by one blogger who knew who I was and is a reader of my blog! That really made my day, it was the first time that had ever happened to me- that a perfect stranger recognized me, so that was awesome! I learned more than I can even convey in this post, and I walked away with a burning passion to make my blog all that I want it to be, and no one else can do that but me.
Have a great weekend, I will be back to my regular blogging schedule next week, so please stop by !
This is where I party:
Found and Foraged
Project Inspired// Inspire me Tuesday // Totally Terrific Tuesday// Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party//
Show and Share// Tutorials and Tips// The Scoop// Brag About It// Tuesdays at Our Home// Tweak it Tuesday//
Hit me With Your Best Shot// Talented Tuesday//
Think and Make// Inspiration2// Share Your Cup Thursday// Thursday Favorite Things