Barn Love

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BlogU14 is a wrap, hon.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my very first blog conference,  BlogU14. As a brand new blogger, I was definitely nervous to be in attendance with so many seasoned writers.  But, as my luck would have it, my dear friend Steph over at Binkies and Briefcases was the founder and convinced me that it would all be fine.

Steph welcoming everyone on Staurday

I was one of the few people that didn't have to travel far to attend. The conference was held at Notre Dame of Maryland University, where Steph and I are alumnae. The difference would be that we were both staying on campus for the weekend, an experience that we didn't have 10 (eek) years prior. So, I packed my (3) bags and left the farm and the boys for the weekend.

Soon after check in, I found myself a little embarrassed because I was standing right next to a pretty well known blogger and didn't even realize it! I'll keep who this was to myself, as to not pour more salt into my wound.  Honestly, after I came to grips with my embarrassment, I realized that just treating everyone equally and not being "star struck" was the best for me. Though, I did totally geek out when I met Anna from My Life and Kids. I also wound up in 2 sessions that she taught (not a stalker, I swear) and she was completely amazing!
Above with Steph and Teri from Snarkfest. Photo Courtesy of Snarkfest

I met so many incredible ladies during the cocktail reception: an entrepreneur, a life coach, authors, teachers, students, moms... I could go on and on, but the point is that I was getting PUMPED for the rest of the weekend.

These are the sessions that I attended.

Session 1: Graphics featuring Robyn from Hollow Tree Ventures.

I came out of this session and was ready to go home and get busy! I was so excited about all of the new things, and new tricks she showed us.

Session 2: Making Money with Your Writing featuring Anna from Random Handprints and Nicole from Ninja Mom Blog

I'm really happy that I went to this one, because it made me realize that while most bloggers say "I want to make money", they actually have very little idea what actually goes in to that process.  For now, I'm not quite ready to spend the time to find clients, and I know that I definitely haven't written "that piece" that will make me famous.. yet.

Session 3: Pinterest & Instagram featuring Anna from My Life and Kids and Ilana from Mommy Shorts

This session was a complete game changer! I almost didn't attend because I had no interest, and I mean NO interest in Instagram whatsoever.. to the point was annoyed that it was first, instead of the Pinterest part. Little did I know, I would be beyond inspired.  This would allow me to not only take pictures, which I love, but also potentially be spotted by a brand and offered a sponsorship? That seemed like a no brainer to me.

The Pinterest segment was fantastic. I'm still just as confused by the world of Pinterest as ever, but now I have some ideas about how to get my site hopping and my page views increased.

Session 4: Writing Sponsored Posts also featured by Anna from My Life and Kids and Ilana from Mommy Shorts

This was the sister session to Making Money with Your Writing.  I feel a lot more confident in my ability to be sponsored with my work from Instagram than I do with writing a "killer blog post".

I particularly enjoyed their advice about how to not be a sell out, and to break your readers in gently to seeing ads - especially unpaid ones at first. Other gems from this session was the Media Kit "how to" and their guide as to what to charge for a sponsorship.  Maybe once I figure out Pinterest, (ha ha) I'll get right on that one!

All four of the sessions that I attended were equally educational and inspiring.  There was an option for office hours and a cupcake bar in the afternoon, but I was feeling a bit under the weather.  I went back to my room to rest up for the NickMom Retro Prom.

The Prom was nothing short of totally awesome dude - most gals dressed up in 80's garb. I chose to pay a little homage to my local roots circa 1960 something and wear my mom's Baltimore Hon outfit.  Yes, that was ME in the Beehive wig!

The bubble furniture and the balloons were super neat, as well as the cassette tape centerpieces. I also particularly enjoyed the videos of the songs while they were playing. It took me back to the world of "yes, that's a neat song, but have you SEEN the video?!".

Cassette Tap Centerpiece

Of course in true fashion, I'm only sick like 2 times a year and of course my weekend away had to be one of them - so I had to ditch the prom and come home and sleep - which i did/have done for the last two 2 days.

In closing, the entire conference was honestly nothing short of amazing!! All of the women (and 1 man) coming together for a common cause was truly fantastic - and for nothing other than to help their fellow bloggers! Where else in the world do people do something for someone else and expect nothing for it?  I had an awesome roommate that wore like 10 essential oils to bed (ha ha) and dorm neighbors ahem, Amy (you know what) Mayo.

And, a huge hats off to Steph, without her this whole conference would have never taken shape. I am so lucky that we've been friends for half of our lives!



  1. Thank you! This was the most detailed wrap-up post I've seen yet. It's really helpful to see which sessions everyone attended and what they thought. Sorry you weren't feeling well, but so glad I got to hare most of the weekend with you!

    1. Thanks lady! I couldn't and wouldn't have done it without you!! :)

  2. Your costume pretty much ended me. Yay you for taking the chance to come to BlogU14!

  3. I was wondering who was in that wig. That was the bomb - I was totally jealous.

    1. Thanks!! I totally stole it from my momma!