Build Your Blog Conference 2015

 
It's pretty obvious from my dwindling blog posts that things have been a little crazy this past few months/year-ish. The biggest deterrent to posting has been that I've started back to near full-time work as an Adjunct Writing Professor.

Here's where the irony comes in.
The more I teach about writing, the more driven I feel to write more - while having less and less time to write because I spend all my time with the duties of teaching. Oh, and taking care of those amazing 5 kids - let's not forget that ;)

So when I had the opportunity to be sponsored by Taste of Home to attend this year's Build Your Blog Conference,  I knew it would plant even deeper in my soul the inspiration to get serious again about blogging.

Build Your Blog Conference


The conference had over 700 bloggers attending at the Little America Hotel. My biggest difficulty was choosing among the all the classes. If you know me, you know I just want to do it ALL!!

Classes 

My favorites/highlights start with iBlog magazine, and their course on growing a blog. It was hilarious though because I was texting Tysen with a few of the things the speaker was saying about Podcasting, and it made for some crazy responses. Tysen's a little passionate when it comes to Podcasting ;)

Next was the information rich Taste of Home seminar on current trends. James Schend, the food editor, explained to us all about what is hot and what is not in the online world of recipes. Surprisingly, chicken - ALWAYS hot :-D

Then there was the fantastic and even inspiring class on creating content, with Katelyn Carmen from Family Share.  I was worried that, as a writing instructor, I'd be bored hearing the same stuff I cover, but it was an excellent and well-focused course. Having been invited to be a writer for Family Share at its inception (when it was still Family How), I was fascinated to hear about the site's progress.

Saturday I had to teach my writing class at the college in the morning, so I only got half a day in. Started with probably my favorite class of the conference from Susan Werner Jackson from Ahalogy, about Pinterest. As a Pinterest junkie, it was fun to hear about all the nitty-gritty of the Pinterest machine.

Sponsor Booths

Outside of classes, I had a great time visiting sponsor booths - where I learned about a bunch of cool business, like Chatbooks, MyCore, and Modify Ink. (Note, this is not a paid post - so I'm just loving and sharing these products because I think they're fun.)


If you don't know about these, Chatbooks makes your instagram pics into fun 60pg bound books. I love it because it doesn't take any extra effort - I just do what I do on instagram and get pictures out of it. My kids went even more crazy - maybe it's because they've hardly ever seen our pictures in print. (I'm such a slacker mom!)

MyCore is sort of a scheduling program - but a lot more. It helps convert a schedule into a system that keeps you on track with priorities and goals, plus provides access to experts in many fields. Links with google calendars and everything. Pretty awesome stuff, and I can't wait to get my life in order!

Modify Ink offers a whole bunch of art that you can customize to your room and taste, then they ship you the finished version for your wall. I'm totally fascinated, and want to re-decorate my whole house!






Slay Cancer with Dragons

Dinner that night was a Gala that included an extremely touching presentation from the Tyler Robinson Foundation. We heard from Tyler's brother, Jesse, about the origins of the foundation and about their March Fo(u)rth campaign. If you're unfamiliar, the Tyler Robinson Foundation is backed by the band Imagine Dragons, and it was inspired by the inspirational Tyler Robinson who lost his life to cancer. The foundation fights pediatric cancer specifically, as well as cancer in general. The March Fo(u)rth campaign aims to raise a gigantic awareness event worldwide on March 4th. We were asked to participate in the social media blitz - so expect to see lots from me next week!
By way of explanation, the dog-tag in my photo was one of hundreds placed at each seat. They are imprinted with the names and types of cancer each child supported by the foundation is fighting. It was overwhelming.

So that's the blogger conference. I'm still processing a week later.
I'm so grateful to have been able to attend, but I felt a lot of disconnect with so many serious bloggers with such focus and passion.  I love to write, but I've always felt this blog as a hobby.
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