Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bloggy Boot Camp Saint Louis 2012 Recap

I returned Sunday from Bloggy Boot Camp in Saint Louis, hosted by the SITS girls and let me tell you, my head is STILL spinning. Those girls are incredible! Tiffany Romero just has a passion and energy about her that is so contagious you just want to be a part of it all. Francesca Banducci is such a sweetheart and compliments her so well. I love these girls! Together they are incredibly empowering and inspirational to listen to. I left feeling so very motivated and ready to take on so much more than I even thought possible. In that room Saturday, I came up with a good five ideas, not just for this blog, but for ANOTHER blog (yes, I’m in trouble) and other aspects of life as well! I’m so glad that this was my first conference as a blogger. If you are a blogger or are just interested in joining a community of 15,000 women there to support one another, then you must go over to TheSITSgirls.com and check them out! 

I got to meet some amazing girls this weekend and it's been great to be able to put a actual person where the computer screen is!! I got to finally meet Jacinta from mybeautyboxes.com! We didn't get our start in blogging, but we have a developed an online relationship over the last few years, so blogging was just one more thing to throw into the "common" pile for us! She was my roomie for the weekend and we had a lot of good laughs. 

 Some of the others that I now have a face for are the incredibly sweet and fun Debbie from debbiedoescreations.com, the hilarious and like-minded Kelly from livelaughrowe.com, the uber talented Che from thatswhatchesaid.com, and the artistically inclined Erin from howtonestforless.com. It was so nice meeting all of them on top of all the other girls there!

So, of course it was a fun time where we laughed, was awed, and almost shed a tear or two, but I want to share some of the top things I took away from it with you. In no particular order they are:
     1) Okay, so maybe I'm not being entirely truthful when I say in no particular order, because truthfully this one has been on my mind since I left. Wordpress, Wordpress, Wordpress. I know I'm not the only one. I know I should and I get why, and while I was there I was feeling  it. However, now that I'm back, I'm back in lingo over it. I don't know exactly what it is. I'm thinking maybe that unbelievable intuition I have is telling me not to jump into it and to do it right because WP feels right, but something feels off. Any thoughts about the process would be GREATLY appreciated! 
     2) You're only as good as the company you keep, from Laurie Turk the amazing TipJunkie, who is a blogging guru from out of this world! You hear this throughout life, but it's so true. She was one of the most energetic and fun women I've had the pleasure of listening to. 
    3) Understand your strengths and surround yourself with those who have the opposite strengths, from Tiffany Romero. Such a great tip that I wondered why I didn't think of that! I think we sometimes do that subconsciously to avoid the "too-many-chiefs..." scenario; however we also get pulled into the atmosphere of like-minded individuals and want to be a part of what they are doing, not realizing at the time that it may not work.
     4) VLOGGING-Duh!! Danielle Smith, pioneer vlogger, if you will, from daniellesmithmedia.com, spoke with us on the importance and power of vlogging. This woman knows her stuff and in the back of my mind, I knew that different forms of media was important and I have been looking for ways to incorporate it, but I've been avoiding vlogging. Probably for the same reason many have. Worried about what I look and sound like and not being comfortable in front of the camera. Also there's the issue of the kids running through every thirty seconds, but then she made the point of that's part of our lives so go with it! So I'm going to do her 7-day challenge and get on with it!
     5) When you look good, you do well, from Cynthia Nap at napwarden.com. This was the base of her segment on the importance of appearance on your blog (and other aspects of life as well). Now, we all know looks can be deceiving, but at the same time, we also know how small-minded the world can be, so being presentable is important in order to captivate and hold an audience. That's the key idea I took away from her segment. She had so many other good things to say and such fun ideas that I'll probably be visiting her for some designing in the future!

This is no where near all of what I took away from it. We had a segment on SEO and on the importance of Pinterest/Stumblr as well. The business portion I couldn't even begin to cover what I took away from that because I'd be here all day! Allison from Sway Group had some great advice and tips on pitching and connecting.

So as you can imagine, I now have a to-do list a mile long, a to-do list that I haven't even started yet, and a to-do list for my to-do list. When Tiffany said we were all going to go home and think "Oh, sh**!", she wasn't kidding. I literally thought that and then I literally LOL'd.  

If you have never been to one of these conferences, I highly recommend the SITS girls. This was just their first stop this year, so you can catch them a few more times! Check out Bloggy Boot Camp for more details! If anything, you can go just so Tiffany can take amazing pics of you ;) 

For more pictures of the event, go to the SITS girls photostream for a recap! 

Come chat with me on Twitter about your experiences in conferences or ideas on anything (such as my WP conflict). Twitter handle @SBasanAW.

Or come like me on Facebook to keep up with fun there! Southern Belle as an Army Wife Facebook Page


  1. Such a great recap!

    Don't worry about moving to WP until it feels right. Intuition is everything. I had such a wonderful time in St. Louis- thank you so much for coming!!!


  2. Great wrap up! So nice to meet you as well. I've felt the same away about WordPress. Haven't made up my mind yet. Thanks for stopping by and saying "hi" on Facebook!

  3. You wrote such an amazing post! You may as well just take this opportunity to do a guest post on my page so I do not have to compete with this! Lol! I seriously has an amazing time, in large part due to you! I am SOOOOO glad we had the opportunity to FINALLY officially meet and you are just as lovely in person as I knew you would be! Thanks for being my bloggy partner in crime! You look so pretty in the pictures!

    Also, as far as the Wordpress thing goes, I will be honest with you and tell you that it has been a little bit of a headache for me. It can certainly be done on your own, but know I understand why they say to just pay someone to do it for you. There are domains, hosts, plugins, theme changes, etc. to deal with and it is a little overwhelming. I sort of miss my Blogger page, but am going to follow through with Wordpress since I paid the big bucks! ;) I made the mistake of starting out on Wordpress.com rather than through Bluehost and now I have to create another one on a tester site that will get switched over to my real site. Yes.... a mess!!

    I am serious about the guest blogger thing, though. Since you have already written this, if you want to tweak it and link up, just let me know! I have a few favorite quotes I could add, but I love everything you have to say.

  4. "When you look good, you do well" I loved this quote! So much goodness, a week later and I'm still trying to catch up on it all! Wish I could've met you!

  5. Amazing post! I just attended the online version of BBC. Great group of women.



I love to hear from ya'll!! It's always nice to hear from friends, new and old. I love to chat back, and I usually like to through email, so make sure you are not a no-reply comment. It makes me sad :(