I’m still catching up on sleep and emails from my trip to Utah for SNAP blogging conference, but it was so worth it! I met so many fabulous people, got inspired and learned a ton. Here are a few things I learned this year (you can find my list from last year HERE).
1. Just be nice. I was happy to hear so many speakers speak to this at the conference, because it’s always the biggest lesson I take away from conferences. I must say that SNAP is one of the most welcoming blogging conferences out there. However, you always find that one person that you were looking forward to meeting and they weren’t as warm as you would have hoped. I hope to never come across that way to others and work hard to be approachable to others. You never know who you are sitting next to or what connections they may have, and you definitely don’t want to burn a bridge and possible opportunity. Besides opportunities for yourself, it’s just easier to be nice than it is to be grumpy. In the words of Conan O’Brien, as quoted by Susan of Freshly Picked during her presentation on branding: “If you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen”.
What this pregnant gal wore to SNAP
2. Meet new friends, but keep the old. Anyone remember that song from their Girl Scout/Brownie days? Besides the swag, you’re probably attend blogging conferences to meet other people. Being an only child, I’m a natural introvert. I love my friends, but I also love my alone time. When I go to blogging conferences, I try my best to step out of my shell and network my little tushy off and it’s well worth the effort. The bloggy friends I have met in real life have turned into some of my closest friends. They get this crazy thing we call blogging. It was so nice to reconnect with old friends like Hollie of Little Miss Marmalade, Becky of Babes In Hairland and of course all of my Arizona gals! I loved finally meeting Lindsay of Artsy Fartsy Mama, Jessica of Pretty Providence, Crystal of A Pumpkin And A Princess, Marissa of Rae Gun Ramblings and so many more!
3. Make a to-do list. While at the conference, I have 4 lists that I keep in the back of my notebook. The first list is for “blog changes”, filled with things that I ascetically want to change about my blog and will eventually pass on to my design team. The second list is a “blog to do list”, filled with things that I can immediately start working on myself. The third list is for “blog goals”, things that I want to change or accomplish over the next year. The forth list is a “honey do list”, things I need the hubby to do for my blog haha. If you are a list girl like me, you’ll appreciate this at the end of the conference when your thoughts are one big jumbled mess.
4. Find an awesome roomie. This was on my “what I learned list” last year, but it’s totally true. I was super sad when Kelsey (who I roomed with last year) couldn’t make it due to a family emergency, but we had planned to also room with Skye and she rocked! It was super convenient that Skye is also pregnant and her idea of a late night is 10pm. Yes, we were total grandmas but it should be noted that most days we were up by 5am thanks to these early bird babies we’re growing.
My roomie Skye and I in our Mail Chimp hats
5. Be brave. Don’t be afraid to go up to someone you recognize and introduce yourself to them. Not only will you make their day, you’ll probably make a new bloggy buddy. Plus, at least for me, it’s super difficult trying to pair a tiny instagram pic with a real person so I appreciated when others would introduce themselves to me! Try not to attend every session with your friends either so you can be more open to meeting new peeps.
6. Be unique. Whether it’s your awesome fashion sense or your fun business cards, find a way to stand out in the crowd. I met so many people at SNAP and the ones that stand out the most are the ones that made an effort to be creative, especially when it came to branding. SNAP’s a conference especially for creative people after all. This year I made little button paper clip bookmarks that I attached to my cards (by I I mean I put my friend Nicole of Petal Wishes to work). I also handed out cookies with my blog logo on them that my mama made.
7. Don’t be afraid to monetize. Money is sort of a taboo topic in blogland, but I’m going to say it – many of us spend countless hours giving away a free resource to our readers and we should be compensated for that time. Don’t be obnoxious about it, like with affiliate links in every post or huge ads that play music when your page loads. I’m going to take my own advice and make a few (hopefully non-obnoxious) changes around here that won’t impact my content quality.
8. Schedule your pins and instagrams. Who knew that the best time to instagram is from 8-10am, 2-4pm and after dinner time (any time zone). And apparently the best time to instagram. Pinterest gets its most traffic on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday from 7-11am and 7-11pm EST. You’ll still catch me instagramming/pinning on off hours because that’s too much info for a pregnant girl to remember, but it is helpful to know.
9. “Bacon is so in”. At least it is according to the hilarious and fabulous Michelle of Maddycakes Muse. In her Parties That Wow session, she chatted about how dessert tables are out and unique stations or bars are in. For instance, instead of a candy bar try a yogurt parfait bar or a make your own trail mix station. She totally inspired me to do something different for an upcoming party I’m planning. It won’t be bacon, but it will be fabulous!
10. Find an awesome sponsor. I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to represent Fat Quarter Shop for the second year in a row at SNAP. If you are in need of anything fabric related, this shop rocks! And I’m not just saying that being they so awesomely sponsored me, I’m an actual customer too. This year at SNAP, I did a couple instagram giveaways and the first person to find me and say “fat quarter shop” won a fun bundle of fabric squares from Fat Quarter Shop. Sara of Clever Pink Pirate and Lindsay of Artsy Fartsy Mama were the lucky winners!
A huge thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for partially sponsoring me and allowing me to have this amazing experience!