25 September 2013

BlogPodium 2013 | Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

BlogPodium 2013 happened this past weekend, and was a HUMONGOUS success. Kudos to Jen Flores and the entire BlogPodium team for pulling off one hell of an event.

Many of the more than 250 bloggers in attendance have published incredible recaps of the day's events, and have done it more justice than I ever could. You can find all of them here, and you should read every single one.

As for me, I'm late to the gate with my round-up (like always) because I've spent the past three days processing, digesting and occasionally being overwhelmed by the information and the generosity I received from experts and fellow bloggers alike.

It was a transformative experience; I'm a changed blogger, and I promise you this is not an overstatement. I'm not waxing poetic. This is nothing but truth.

I have been to BlogPodium before; in fact, I've never missed an event. And each conference was amazing in its own right. I was equally reassured (that I'm not just wasting time, that my efforts are valuable and worthwhile) and inspired. Many of the promises I made to myself came to fruition afterwards; some did not. But each contributed to small, meaningful changes in how I blog.

I think because I'm at a crossroad in my personal and professional lives, BlogPodium '13 struck a powerful chord, more powerful maybe than conferences passed. I see my path more clearly than before. I've come to fully accept these intrinsic truths:

  1. My blog is important to me, and therefore I must treat it importantly.
  2. My goal is to create connections, build relationships and positively impact the people around me, and my blog is my vehicle.
  3. I am in complete control.

There were several moments of super-fandom when I nearly lost my shit and had to be sedated. Sarah Richardson taking the stage was one of them. She is just as charming, witty and engaging in person as she is on television; arguably more so because here, she played off the crowd. But the best element of her keynote was her message: work hard, believe in yourself and just do it.

Exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it.

Don't take yourself too seriously. Creativity is supposed to be about fun and experimentation. ~Sarah Richardson

If you look at your blog as a business, it will become a business. ~Karen Bertelsen

If the audience is going to invest time in you, they want to know
you're going to show up. ~Rhonda Riche, on consistency

If you invest yourself, do what you love and support your brand, you'll realize your dream. ~Sarah Richardson

You have to be able to deliver (products that) you're proud of. ~Giulia Doyle

You need a lot of traffic to make a living off your website,
so you need to invest time to build it. ~Karen Bertelsen

The best thing you can do is get out there and do it. ~Sarah Richardson

It's perfectly OK that blogging is important to me. It's more than OK, actually. It's perfectly glorious, and should be celebrated. No more embarrassment, no more shame. Only pride that I am one of a privileged group of people who put themselves out to the world, and invite the world back in. How cool is that?

My blog can be a powerful tool in helping me realize my life goals, both personal and professional. However, a tool is only as effective as the person who wields it. I can and should empower myself to be thoughtful, deliberate and dogged in pursuit of my goals.

To reach my goals I have to look critically at what I'm putting out in the world, and build a plan around it. Success (however I define it) won't happen accidentally. I have to approach this process like it's my job. Especially if I want it to be my job.

If I want others to take my blog as seriously as I do, I have to let people know I'm serious about it. This means no more stock photography, logos or URL. 'Custom' is the word of the day, and I'm excited to say I've already engaged a good friend of mine who's an amazing graphic artist to help me create my branding. Blogger has been wonderful to me and for me, but it's time to take the next step in Money Pit Love's evolution.

It's possible. ALL OF IT. Everything; anything I want. It's all possible, and it's up to me to make it happen.

Oh, and then there are these ladies, and all the amazing chickadees who launched the fab Canadian Blogging Belles. There aren't words to describe their awesomeness, or how lucky and blessed I feel to be surrounded by women such as these. They are the BOMB.

I should tell you we're now a hoodlum gang, and we are taking over the world . Consider yourself warned.

all photography by the amazing, incomparable AnnaWithLove