It’s been a little over a week since I attended the Texas Style Council in Austin, a conference solely for women bloggers, business owners, and creative types alike. Not only did I get to mix, mingle, even shake it on the dance floor with some of my favorite bloggers/internet crushes, but I got to network, make new friends, and build upon those already semi-established internet friendships. Now we are friends in real life!
I attended several workshops and discussions over the course of the weekend. It was pretty much like blogging school, except social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) were encouraged during class time. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement! Here are a few recaps from the weekend:
Life Blogging 101 by Jenni of Story of My Life
Jenni is and was a total ray of sunshine the entire weekend. For the most part, her presentation focused on making your blog successful by remaining true to your own voice. You do not have to fall into a certain niche. There are several components to a successful blog: an identifiable aesthetic, quality over quantity when it comes to posts, a unique voice, relatability or the willingness to open up to your readers and share the details- even the not-so perfect ones, and embracing your audience. I am sure I am forgetting a few other things she mentioned… Oh yeah, she gave us all super cute knuckle rings!
Self Photography 101 by Elizabeth of Delighfully Tacky
I recently started following Elizabeth’s blog. As fellow part-time introvert, full-time big hair enthusiast, I had to attend her workshop! Plus, she was speaking about self photography, more commonly known as THE SELFIE! (Taking selfies are one of my favorite hobbies!) Elizabeth mainly focused on the use of natural light and a tripod and photo composition. She also touched base on some of the more technical details like ISOs, aperture, shutter speeds, and manual vs. auto settings. As an owner of a new old DSLR camera, that part of the presentation was particularly helpful. Good thing I am usually home around the golden hour, the best time to photograph!
Freelancing 101 by Tolly of Austin Eavesdropper
When I think of freelancing, I normally think of journalism or writing of some sort. For some reason my mind used to not encompass event planning, graphic design, or other skill sets into the term. Tolly’s blog started out as a side project focusing on the wild yet sometimes eclectic ATX nightlife. By way of her love for the city and collaboration, she was able to grow her audience.
When it comes to freelancing, sometimes you have to offer your services for free, especially when first starting out, and use your blog as a portfolio. It should be an adequate representation of your work and capabilities. It wasn’t until 2 years after the fact when Tolly got her first paying freelancing gig. Her advice: be patient and don’t quit your day job right away!
Big Impact PR on a Micro-Budget by Lisa, co-owner of Newton O’Neill Communications
What makes your brand newsworthy, or, at the least worthy of other people’s time and attention? Lisa gave her tips of the trade on how to make a big splash into the infinite depths of the internet. She also focused on how to accomplish such a feat on a budget slim to none. For the most part it all boils down to knowing your media markets, trends and patterns in the industry, and knowing your readers/users. As a blogger, you should not be afraid to ask for feedback. Also, persistence is key- attend & present at conferences, network, make contacts, and try to always be on the cutting edge! The blogosphere, hosted by the past faced and ever changing world wide web, is constantly in motion! I’ve got to try my best to keep up the pace!
After a day of attending back to back workshops and constant human interaction, I had to skip the last session and retreat to the hotel bar. Decompression time was much needed before prom! That, too, is a whole different post!
The above covers only my Saturday at the conference! In an effort not to bore your with lots of information and for the sake of not dragging this post out, I will catch you up more tomorrow!