Why You Need to Attend a Blogging Conference

why you should attend a blog conference and how it can help your blogging
It’s no secret that two weekends ago I attended Thrive Blog Conference. (Couldn’t stop snapchatting and Instgramming about it!)

The 411: Prior to going to my first conference, I loved meeting other bloggers. I made it a goal that for every new city I would visit, I’d have coffee with a blogger who lived there. It all started when I met my blog wife, Rachel, (that’s what we call each other because we are virtually inseparable) in Boston last summer. After that, I went on to set up more coffee dates. I’ve chatted it up with Emma right here in Fayetteville and had a 3-hour breakfast (oops) with Hannah in Houston. In Dallas, I love stopping to see my blog gal pal, Tiffani. She’s actually the one who told me about Thrive and ended up being my roomie at the hotel that weekend.

Wait a sec, is it ok to go to a conference solo? Heck yes!! Don’t worry, you will meet tons of friends in just one weekend. Our conference even had us sit as assigned tables during the sessions, so that we got to mix and mingle with new faces.

So anyways, if you didn’t know, Houston is my home. (Well, the northwest Houston suburbs are to be exact.) I really wanted to get to know bloggers in my area as well as learn more about the industry and what steps I could take to growing my brand.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ve come to the right place, lady! You should attend a blogging conference because….

You get to meet like-minded individuals

Blogging is a lonely job. I spend many (many) hours at my computer where the only human interaction I get is virtual: an email here or an Instagram comment there. It’s great, but it’s nice to be in a room with 150+ ladies who share a common love.

thrive blog conference 2016

photo by Meg Cady

Thrive Blog Con started off with a welcome party Friday night, so that all of the attendees and sponsors could get to know each other over drinks and sweets. Above is a picture of Tiffani and I chatting with Marla of The Blonde Pantry! Francesca’s (yes…Francesca’s!) was there to put on a fashion show, Whole Foods taught us how to make DIY sugar scrub, and there were plenty of sweet treats!

I gave out TONS of business cards, got TONS in return, and made some sweet new friends.

You get to meet with brands (!!!)

Working with brands is one of my personal favorite parts about blogging. I like getting to know a company and getting to promote beneficial products to my readers. I want to be your fairy-blog-mother and working with brands helps me to do that.

Thrive blog conference 2016

Talking to the sweet Francesca’s team. Photo by Meg Cady

Like I said, Francesca’s was there (still not over it) and I got to talk with their sweet team. Did you know they started in Houston?! Now there’s another cool thing about my town besides Beyonce. Haha!

They even took a picture of me wearing their skirt and put it on their snapchat story Friday night! I died. I floated away on a cloud. Blog conferences are gold ya’ll.

You learn about what really works

There is no University of Blogging. Anything I’ve learned, I’ve picked up straight off of the Internet and it’s up to me to apply it and see if it even works for me and my blog.

Thrive blog conference 2016

photo by Meg Cady

This works, but it is SO much more beneficial (and enjoyable) to attend a conference and hear first hand from successful bloggers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs who have a lot of knowledge about blogging.

Someone finally explained Google Analytics to me, another speaker shared her secrets for a successful Pinterest, and one even taught us how to shoot in manual. I learned a lot that you can’t find on the internet or on e-courses. There’s something special about getting to sit in a conference room, sip on lemonade, and hear from inspiring women.

You get a TON of inspiration

I walked out of the conference with a full heart and a long to-do list of things I wanted to do for my blog. Every speaker I heard from and every person I met had taught me to believe in myself and my work.

Alissa Circle, CEO of Pollinate Media Group and blogger at Diary of an Addict, asked us to define our “why”. Why do we blog? Why do we do what we do?

I learned how important it was to know your purpose for the hard work you do, and to let it motivate you further.

Photo by Meg Cady

thrive blog conference 2016

photos by Meg Cady

I shared the photos above on Twitter and Instagram, but you’re going to hear it again because I totally almost ruined my mascara during this moment. (#crybaby)

Alissa asked us to write down the lies we tell ourselves; the lies holding us back. After we took a moment to do so, she asked us to tear them up. So naturally I choked back tears because THIS WAS SO INCREDIBLY FREEING.

Motivated? Yes. Inspired? Yes. Thankful for Thrive Blog Conference. Hell yes!

You have fun

The week before Thrive I had two tests, a speech, and a paper due. My semester has been crazy and with me also trying to further my blog career, it’s been a doozy. I was excited to go to Thrive, but I was nervous that I would end up feeling discouraged that I still had so much to learn.

Boy, was I wrong.

thrive blog conference 2016

photo by Meg Cady

First off, I had a FREAKING BLAST. Tiffani and I shared a huge hotel suite and got to chat about school, boyfriends, and shopping for a full 24 hours. #Blessed. Then, every blogger I met was quite possibly the sweetest, chicest thing ever. I guess there was just something about getting a bunch of bloggers together mixed with an endless supply of macarons that had everybody feeling…happy. Rejuvenated. Excited. I fed off that energy all weekend and it left me so full.

Plus, I came away knowing that I was investing my time in the right places and the right people. I’m on track to accomplishing the goals I’ve set for myself (big and small) and I have a ton of new friends to support me as I cheer them on as well.

You build a community

Next time I’m in Houston (or Shreveport, or New Orleans, or Dallas, or any of the areas some of those lovely ladies came from) I have someone to have coffee with. Someone to talk about blogging with. Someone to ask what Wordpress plugin they prefer for email lists.

This is huge, ya’ll. If you’re a blogger or any human with a pulse, community is so beneficial in your life.

You remember why you started

Before Thrive, I had definitely forgotten my “why”. I wasn’t that I wasn’t happy with blogging because I was totally head-over-heels in love with it, but I had been spending so much time working hard to try to grow that I forgot why I even started. I forgot what I wanted for this blog back before anyone even read it.

Going to that blog conference made me remember. I remembered the 18-year-old girl who pulled out her laptop one night and made a blog. It had awful yellow polka dots as a background and the fonts were all wonky, but she made a blog to leave her mark. To inspire. To create. And to hopefully meet some friends along the way.

Long gone are the yellow polka dots, but I still have the same dreams and the same love for writing and telling stories. I just needed to remember why I started to be motivated for where I’m going.

Pull out your phone right now and Google blog conferences. I swear to you, it was worth every penny and more. The next Thrive Blog Conferences won’t be for another year, but you can follow @thriveblogcon on Instagram to be ready.

There are also two blog conferences that I heard of while at Thrive if you want to check those out!

Blog Elevated Conference is in Houston, TX on October 21-23, 2016. Follow @blogelevated on Instagram.

The Blog Connect is in City Center, Philadelphia on April 16.

If you’re still curious, (you little curious cat, you!) here are some re-cap posts about Thrive from some of my fellow Thrive ladies.

Moms Without Answers – The One Wear I Learned to Thrive 

Seven Graces – How to Thrive in Life and Blogging

Elle Talk – Thrive Your Tribe

Grrfeisty – Thrive 2016

Meg O. On The Go – Community: The Key to Growing Your Blog’s Audience

One last thing, all photos in this post and at the conference were taken by the amazing Meg Cady! She’s the cutest thing and I’m glad she captured these moments so beautifully. 

Ok ya’ll, sorry for talking your ear off! I just had the most amazing time at Thrive and I wanted to let ya’ll know that you a blog conference needs to be on your to-do list!

X,

Cristina

 

  • Absolutely loving this post Cristina! I’ve always dreamt about going to a blogging conference, but the ones I’m always interested in are during time frames that I can’t attend! Bummer, I know. In due time!

    XO, Rachel
    http://www.seashellsandsparkles.com

  • Thanks for the link! It was great meeting you, too! 🙂

  • Sounds like it was so much fun! I’m still learning the ropes of blogging but I can’t wait til I can attend a blog conference, you’ve got me convinced!

    • cristina

      Yes you should definitely go to one! A lot of people there had only been blogging for a couple months. I think it’s great to go while you’re still growing… teaches you valuable things to put in place to really be able to grow! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Ahhh! I just got excited for whatever future conference I go to because it seems like a blast! Super jealous you got to speak with Francescas, I love all their stuff. I definitely need to get myself some business cards! Thanks for sharing (and answering my is it weird to go solo question!)

    xo
    Sami
    http://www.theclassicbrunette.blogspot.com

    • cristina

      Hey just roadtrip it on over to Houston next year and we can go together! 😉

  • Olivia

    I really want to attend a blogging conference!! Looks like an amazing experience
    -Olivia
    Miss Olivia Says

    • cristina

      It was super great! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • I want to go to a blog conference so bad! I’ve been waiting for a year or two, but now that I’m moving to a more populated area, I’m hoping to attend one! This looks amazing, I’m so happy you were able to find your why again! We all lose it at some point!
    xoxo

    • cristina

      Blog conferences are the best! Hopefully you find some near you when you move! 🙂 In the meantime blogging facebook groups and networks are the best for staying inspired and meeting other bloggers! 🙂

  • I am wanting to attend a blog conference, but have no idea how to find these type of events. They seem like a lot of fun!

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com

    • cristina

      Just do a quick Google search for blog conferences in your area or surrounding areas (ones you wouldn’t mind driving to). Joining in on Facebook groups is great because sometimes they grow into a conference. 🙂

  • Sara Kate

    This was a great post! So informative! I have been debating going to one for a while now, but this really helped convince me. Just meeting the brands alone would be invaluable. Thanks for sharing.

    Xo
    http://sarakatestyling.blogspot.com

  • I went to LuckyFABB once and it was so fun I completely agree!
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

  • Amy

    I didn’t know blogging conferences existed! This was super informative and may consider going to one in the near feature. Thank you so much for sharing this!!
    xoxo
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • I was literally just thinking today about how I want to attend a blog conference either this year or next- it seems like such an amazing experience!! 🙂

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • I have only met a few bloggers over the years but I would love to attend a blog conference, it would be so cool and inspiring to have so many bloggers in one space!

  • Ashley

    I’ve always wanted to attend a blogging conference and this has made me want to go even more! Thanks for the super informative post!!

    xo Ashley

  • Sounds like an amazing experience! I’d love to go to a conference one day.

    Southern Soul

  • Chronicling Home

    I have been dying to go to a blog conference and I am most certainly going now! I just haven’t found one that fit quite right into my schedule. I really loved hearing your thoughts and seeing your pictures! Jealous of your meet with Francescas I love them!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  • I love meeting other bloggers and conferences are so important. I’ve been to two and each time I have learned so much valuable information.

  • Hannah

    I’ve always wanted to go to a conference for blogging! I’d love to here your suggestions for ones on the East Coast!

    XO,

    Hannah from HMS Jewels
    http://www.hmsjewels.com

    • cristina

      I bet if you do a Google search, you’ll find some blogging societies/groups that may end up having a conference! I’ll hang on to your email and be sure to contact you if I hear of any 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, girl!

  • Sounds like it was such a fun experience. I would love to go to a blog conference soon. I am adding it to my goals for this year.
    Marly
    http://www.GirlyLove.org

  • I’ve been itching to attend a blogging conference. I’m moving to the city in may, so I’ll surely have a ton of opportunities then!

    • cristina

      Yes, crossing my fingers for you that one is in your area! Such an amazing experience 🙂

  • Great Post! I need to attend a conference!

    Laura B.

  • Wow I really need to go to a Blog Conferences. I’ve heard so many great things about them! I love that you actually got the opportunity to meet with Brands! Ahh and so jealous that you were on Francesca’s Snapchat!

    • cristina

      Conferences are super awesome! Hope to see you on the Francesca’s snapchat one day, lady! 🙂

  • I wish I could’ve made it to Thrive! It looked awesome on Krystina from Pretty Shiny Sparkly’s vlog! Hopefully we can meet at a future conference!

    • cristina

      It was amazing! Krystina gave a great talk at the conference, she’s the coolest 🙂 Yes hopefully we can meet at a future conference – that would be a blast!

  • I LOVE this! I’m a member of the Birmingham Bloggers and I’m hoping they’ll put together a conference soon 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  • I have not yet attended an official blogging conference but have hosted several meetups of my own… love meeting like minded individuals!

  • Thanks so much for mentioning The Blog Connect, I really appreciate it! It was great to meet you at the conference and I’m really enjoying reading your blog so far! And yes, you’re totally right about those like-minded individuals, that’s how I ended up starting my meet-up group to begin with.

  • I’m just now getting to sit down and read everyone’s Thrive post. Sorry for being so late on it! I really enjoyed getting to read your side of getting to know the conference and your experience. I’m with you on being in the boat of needing the hard talking to about remembering your “why”. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I hope to run into you sooner rather than later.

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