So excited to be sharing the inside scoop of my first Blog Conference, Thrive! I have to be honest and tell you that I had to go back and edit this post many times. I learned so much and trying to share it all led me to writing a novel so I have decided to take a different approach. Today I am sharing with you all of my biggest takeaways from this conference and linking up all of the must know additional details from the ones who said it best, the Thrive conference speakers.
**all of the beautiful photos above were taken by the talented Meg Cady
After you read this (and have enjoyed all of the oh so pretty pictures!) I hope you will be more motivated than ever and be ready to Thrive! Whether that motivation means taking your blog to the next level or just starting one up! With that being said….JUST START. When keynote speaker, Alissa Circle, said this during her presentation it really made me smile. I had held back on launching my blog and when I say “held back” I mean I actually thought about it for years. I kept asking myself “what if I run out of things to say?”, “what if no brands want to work with me?”, “what if no one wants to read my blog?” then one day I finally came to my senses and remembered who I was doing this for. I wanted to do it for myself and I wanted to do it for that girl I run into in the restroom that stops to ask me where I got my dress from! That excitement that I have when I answer “it was only $20!” is exactly what I want to share with my readers.
So take Alissa’s word for it and don’t wait years like I did. JUST START you guys! It is not going to be 100% at first, but you’ll get there. We learn from our mistakes, we are creatives so content is inspired from everywhere and if in a few months down the road you find that the color scheme, blog content or name needs to be change, that is totally okay. We are human beings, we change, we grow, we rebrand.
Speaking of changing and growing, Kristina Braly, who is not only a seasoned blogger and founder of the Bloggers Do It Better movement happens to be killing it on YouTube. And.. oh wait, did I mention she is a doctor too?! Gaaaah…girl crush!
“YouTube is where it’s at” Kristina stated. Her authenticity, passion and enthusiasm had me pumped to get home and start my vlog! But then I heard my voice play back on an 8 second snapchat clip and completely reconsidered! LOL. I really do agree with her on the YouTube era and I love watching my other vlogger babes, but give me some time maybe I’ll get there. For now, please enjoy Kristina’s fabulous self here.
Kristina also spoke very strongly about authenticity which was the perfect segway into what the next speakers, Jessica and Sarah from Pretty Providence, discussed. Their presentation addressed working with sponsors and ensuring you were staying authentic while you do it. I mentioned this in a post earlier this week. You want your readers to hear your voice through your written posts, you want them to really trust that even when you have sponsored posts it’s because you really believe in the brand you are writing about not because they are paying you to write about it. J & S reminded us to ask ourselves, “Does this product fit into my brand effortlessly?”
**the 3 oh so pretty photos shown above are from the Sugar and Cloth Instagram page. Be sure to check out S&C for additional details and many more photos like these!
“If you aren’t following Ashley on social media, what are you doing with your life?!” said emcee Nicole. I couldn’t agree with her more! Sugar and Cloth’s Instagram has me dreaming of a world full of laughter, love, endless vacations with yummy treats that won’t make you gain a pound and unicorns. Check her out and you’ll totally understand what I am talking about! She spoke to us about killing it on social media because DUH she’s nailed it! She shares some really great tips on her blog which also includes different ways to monetize so be sure to check her out here.
Next up was Mallory Whitfield who discussed optimizing your blog by understanding Google Analytics and SEO. I’m linking her information here because she tells you everything you need to know and as a new blogger I’ll be honest and say I cannot explain it as intelligently as she does!
And that my friends, is why I cannot stress this enough… FIND YOUR TRIBE! Whether you have been blogging for months or years there is always something new to learn. You need your tribe to speak to, to learn from and to consult with.
With that being said, I would like to take a quick commercial break to share with you my Thrive Tribe.
They are gorgeous, I know!
From left to right (because you’ll definitely want to check out their blogs for outfit details as well as their thoughts on their first experience at Thrive)
Brittany – Hello Honey
Hope – Tassels and Tabbies
Erin – Style Spies
Margret – Style the Girl
Sara – Haute and Humid
Dede – Dress Up Buttercup
Shelbi – It’s All Chic to Me
Dawn – Dawn P. Darnell
**All photos of my Thrive Tribe above were taken by Diamond Oak Photography
Okay, so if schedules or funds keep you from hiring a fabulous photographer like Diamond Oak Photography then you’ll want to click here to subscribe to the ever so talented Megan Weaver’s newsletter. She shares tips on getting those perfect photos. Actually, now that I think of it I should share this link with my Instagram husband so he can learn some tips. 🙂
Kristyn Merkley talked to us about killing it on Pinterest. Check out her blog here for more details because I am so not killing it on pinterest, YET. But with her tips I have faith I will get there and you will too! Three things I did have on my “to-do immediately” list were 1) switch over to a business account 2) sign up for rich pins and 3) join pinning group.
So now that you have a to-do list of all the things that are going to make you a better content creator, photographer and social media expert you may be asking yourself “how and when can I start charging?” Skye gives us some great media kit tips here. As far as rates, this can vary by company and by individual. If you are contemplating what your rates should be, decide on your projected overall earnings goal. If you want to make $30,000 in 12 months break it down from there. For example, you would need to make at least $2,500 a month to achieve that goal. You can break that down to 3-10 sponsored posts. That will help you determine how many sponsored posts you need to do/are willing to do each month. Remember this is different for everyone there is no solid black and white formula. Know your end goal, know your worth and you shall achieve!
So…are you ready to Thrive yet?! I sure hope so because I am looking forward to meeting you at the conference next year!
A special THANK YOU to Whitney and Bree for putting together such an amazing event! You guys nailed it!
Thank you so much for reading through my short story! You are still there right? 🙂 If you have ever attended a blog conference I would love to hear your feedback and if you have any questions, please JUST ASK!
And don’t think I forgot 🙂 My outfit details are below!
Affiliate Links: Dress | Vest | Shoes (similar) | Clutch (similar) | Sunnies | Bracelet
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂