August 1, 2013

#BlogHer13 Session Recaps

I was lucky enough to attend three sessions and one keynote speaker this year at BlogHer. I really felt like I got a lot out of two of session and the other I felt like was kind of so so. The keynote breakfast with Sheryl Sandberg was just unreal.  
 
The first session I attended was a workshop on moving your blog from Blogger to Wordpress. The session was led by Kelly Phillips and I found it very helpful. I have wanted to make that move for almost a year now, but I have been holding back. Hearing all of the awesome features of Wordpress and knowing that I own my own content (not google) really sold me on the idea of moving to Wordpress. Plus, now that my designer is making Wordpress designs I am really looking forward to the move. Quick shout out to my amazing, fabulous and simply wonderful designer Tiffany - you know I could not do this without you and your constant support!

The second session was an awesome Room of Your Own panel with Tabatha, Shannon and Erin. Their talk revolved around balancing your blog content with your goals, or basically how to do sponsored posts, reviews and giveaways without being totally obnoxious about it. I've been struggling with my blog for the past six months. I stopped all reviews and sponsored content in their tracks. I'm sure you could all tell something was up. Brutal honesty? I put a lot of pressure on this conference to help me figure out what I wanted to do here. I went in knowing that I needed something to give me clarity, something to speak to me or I was going to walk away. Say good-bye yes, hang out on Instagram of course, but here, this place, I was going to close shop. Not because I didn't or don't love all of you, but because I stopped loving what I was doing here.

I told you that story to tell you this one. My moment of clarity came during this session with these three amazing women. It was funny, and somehow sincere and irreverent at the same time. Tabatha cursed a lot. Shannon was sweet in a way only she can be and Erin was openly honest. They talked about mission statements and why we started blogging in the first place. They spoke about honest engaging content and transparency. What I got out of the session wasn't really what the titled stated at all. What I got out of it was that I want to continue to blog. I got my moment of clarity. That moment of clarity led to a lot of other little moments and ultimately big changes in my blogging future over the next few months. I've already set some of those wheels in motion and I feel like after six months of blogging doldrums I've got my mojo back.


 
The third session I attended was on Pinterest and Facebook. I was really disappointed with this session. It was the most non-linear thing ever. It seemed to me that the leaders never even really talked about what they were going to say. As a result the session wasn't very cohesive, and it was really impossible to take notes. I am going to go back and read through the transcripts and see if I can get some value out of it.

Sheryl Sandberg's keynote was amazing. I agree with her "lean-in" concept to a certain degree, but it was really inspiring to hear her talk. My two favorite take aways were, "the next time you want to tell your daughter she's bossy, take a deep breath and say instead, 'She's got executive leadership skills!'" and "What would you do if you weren't afraid? Go do that!" As a mother of a daughter with great executive leadership skills I really appreciated her message about empowering our girls.


I really wish that I had been able to attend more sessions and keynotes, but I feel like four overall had a nice balance with networking, parties and spending time in the expo hall getting to know brands.
 
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