This past weekend I attended my very first blogging conference. I had heard about this particular conference last year but sadly found out about it too late. So I made sure to follow the conference Instagram and Facebook pages so I would know the moment tickets went on sale. And boy am I glad I did.
To say I had a fabulous time at the conference would be understatement. Same goes if you ask me what all I learned. I had such a good time and learned so much that it's taken awhile for me to come up with the right words to describe how I felt after the conference. I mentioned all the things I was most looking forward to in this post and I'm happy to report that the whole weekend completely surpassed my expectations.
The goal of Thrive is for bloggers of all ranges to come together and support each other. We are all in this crazy world called blogging and so we should be supporting and uplifting each other rather than bring each other down and completing all the time. The creators of the conference, Whitney and Bree did a phenomenal job of ensuring that each and every one of us left with something that would encourage, inspire, and connect us to the community that is the blog world. They encourage each of us to find the tribe of women who will be your biggest supporters and cheerleaders. And I'm happy to say that upon leaving the conference I found the beginnings of mine.
So what all did the conference teach me? Let's break it down shall we?
This conference was a bloggers/Instagramers dream. The decor, provided by a local Houston company, Vintage Indulgence really went above and beyond to create some really beautiful backdrops. The flowers, provided by Whole Foods, were simply gorgeous and Francesca's (my personal favorite boutique in the whole world) set up a nice little photo booth area complete with flower crowns and a photographer to snap some photos for us. It was the the perfect back drop for the amazing lineup of speakers.
(All of the gorgeous photos were snapped by Meg Cady Photography. You'll also see a few snapped by Bertuzzi Photography}
Each and every speaker has some wonderful wisdom and advise to share with us. But when I left the conference and read through all of my notes (yes I took a ton) I think the speaker that really helped to inspire me was the Key Note speaker, Alissa Click. She is the co-owner and operator of the Pollinate Media Group and Weave Made Media and also a fellow blogger over at Diary of an Addict. She reminded us to "Remember Your Why." Remember why you started blogging.
So that got me thinking, why did I start? I started this blog at the end of 2011 because I was about to embark on student teaching but I also knew that I intended to apply for several professional internships with the Walt Disney Company. So I started the blog to help me chronicle the time in my life where there was no telling where I would end up. There was no telling what job I would be doing post-grad. There were a ton of potential, "Places I Would Go", thus the inspiration behind, "Places I Will Go." And boy have I gone a lot places since then.
But the point is, I didn't start this blog to make money, I didn't start this blog to become a famous blogger and have thousands of followers and page views and comments. Which to be honest I've found myself obsessing over the last few months. I started this blog for me. Because I wanted to have something to go back to and remember. But it has morphed into so much more than that. And after attending the conference I know that there are even more, "Places I Will Go." That right there is all the inspiration I need to keep going. To keep posting even if I think that no one is reading or that this post or that post is silly. I also know that if I wanted to attempt to make this blog of mine a little more lucrative, I can do it and maybe even do it well.
FINDING MY TRIBE
What I was most excited for as I drove away from the conference was the friendships I knew I had made at the conference. Everyone was so warm and easy to talk too. And thankfully I had zero trouble at all introducing myself to different ladies around the room. I was a little intimidated at first but going in I knew at least two of the other bloggers at the conference, Meg from Everyday Meg and Michelle from Elle Talk. Meg I've known for just about 4 years now and Michelle I had the pleasure of stumbling upon her blog, Elle Talk, when I was searching for posts about Thrive. It was so nice meeting her in person and thankfully we were seated at the same table. We talked like we've been friend forever and I know she'll will be a great person to go to for support and inspiration!
As will all the girls I met!
No matter what stage of blogging you're in I highly recommend attending a conference. Especially Thrive. You will leave feeling such a strong sense of community and belonging. You'll be so chalk full of great ideas that you'll come home, look at the posts you have drafted photos and all and be inspired to make them better. If you're nervous about taking the plunge, don't think about it and just do it. Or as Alissa told us to do.....JUST START!
You won't regret it and pretty soon you'll have found your tribe and you will THRIVE!!! :)