I just spent the weekend in Atlanta for my very first blogging conference, Haven! If you're not familiar with Haven, it's a weekend conference full of home decor and DIY workshops to spur you on to continue your creative passions. Blogging is fun, but it is a lot of work and anything I can learn to help me do this job a little bit better and easier, I am all for it!
I was extremely nervous to go! I'll be honest, I am an extroverted introvert (?) That just means that I like people a lot, but I also recharge when I spend time by myself. Can anyone relate? Knowing I was heading out to a weekend jam-packed full of meeting new people and activities made me feel really unsure.
The weekend is over and I'm back to reality, but my head is still spinning with all I learned! I can't wait to continue digesting it and sharing it with you moving forward, but for now, I thought I'd give you a quick Top 10 list of thoughts I walked away with.
These aren't in any particular order!
10- Bring a sweater, you'll freeze to death. It may be pushing 100 degrees outside, but inside it's like an icebox. Always come ready for sitting in a cold room all day.
9- I have no idea what I'm doing. LOL. Yes. Like really know what I'm doing. There are a whole lot of people who know a whole lot more than me about SEO, affiliate marketing, branding yourself and email lists. Take heart, though. You can learn it and people are willing to help you.
8- Getting swag is like an Olympic sport. Some have been practicing the art of getting swag for a long time. Follow them around and you'll be all set!
7- You need a water bottle. With talking, parties, and lack of drinking fountains, you'll wish you had a water bottle with you at all times to guzzle. I was really dehydrated by the end of it all.
6- Your blogging idols are real people. I was over the moon to meet, Lucy from Craftberry Bush. It turns out she is the nicest, warmest, loveliest person you could meet.
5- You will need a vacation when you get home. I haven't stayed up that late and ran around that much for consecutive days since I was in college. I just really didn't want to miss anything! I don't regret that one bit, but I do think though that a beach vacation should be mandatory after the conference.
4- Bloggers know how to dance. Who knew? Saturday night was a soiree complete with a DJ and a dance floor. Seeing everyone busting a move was a highlight for me.
3- Everyone loves a cute business card. Bloggers have some WAY cute cards. Are you going to a conference? Use this as an excuse to be creative. Want that square card? Go for it. Each one I picked up was cuter than the next. I seriously can't wait to go through them all and see who I met.
2- Be prepared for one of the most amazing weekends of your life. Being in an atmosphere with others that do what you do is energizing and fun! Never underestimate the power of community. It is absolutely necessary (and a blast!)
1- You really can be friends with people you've never met! This was the biggest revelation for me. For about a year, I have been blessed by a wonderful group of women in a home decor/DIY/craft tribe. We talk almost daily about the ups and downs of blogging, share personal stuff, and encourage one another. It was truly wonderful meeting them in person and realizing that virtual friendships really do translate into “real life” meaningful friendships.
Case in point.
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