I went to my first every blog conference almost two weeks ago, and I'm still processing all that I learned there. Mamas Write is an annual blogging conference that is swiftly growing (about 80 ladies this year) for Christian women who blog. I've been on the fringes of their network for a while, but hadn't jumped in with both feet until now. I could not believe all the information, encouragement, and instruction I received, not to mention the swag. Oh, the swag! We'll come back to that. If you've ever thought about going to a blog conference, I would strongly encourage you to consider it. Mamas Write was not at all intimidating, and I learned so much, met so many great people, and came away with renewed vision and passion for this vehicle of blogging. The day was so full, starting with breakfast sponsored by Chick Fil A, so many great sessions, lunch sponsored by Firehouse Subs and Nothing Bundt Cakes, more awesome sessions, and then an after party sponsored by AT&T.
So, what did I learn? So much. I'll share a few of my favorite nuggets with you.
From Kat Lee of Inspired to Action:
Think about WHY you blog? Who are you blogging for? Inspire others. Change the world. Get up early. :)
Do or do not. There is not try. (That one is really from Yoda, but Kat reminded us.)
Play your position. Don't chase after everything that comes your way.
Write first. Pin, tweet, and Facebook later.
From Mandy B of Biblical Homemaking - The Many Ministries of a Writing Mama:
Things that matter the most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.
How do we balance? ID our core relationships. When our eyes are on God, the other stuff falls into place. The enemy is a master of destruction and distraction. (So true.)
Let go of perfectionism. God works in our imperfections. Don't be afraid to be different. Don't compare ourselves to others. Leave behind what is less important. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Take the 12 hour challenge - 12 hours of awake time with no technology. (Why is that so scary?)
From Crystal Van Tassel of Crystal and Company - How to Make Money Blogging:
With good content comes readers, with readers come pageviews, with pageviews comes income. Love your work, then you'll find pleasure in mastering it. She gave us 16 ways to make money blogging, too many to list here. Several of them don't apply to me, but a few do, including my dream of publishing ebooks. I'll keep you posted on that one.
From Amy Lynn Andrews of Blogging with Amy - Eight Years of Blogging Lessons:
Why are we here? Matthew 5:13-14 Blogging is our vehicle. Re-Vision - Think outside the box. Be you. Know what you're good at and what you're not good at. Focus. Do a few things well. Relationships - It's all about people. Have no fear and don't be starstruck. Be wise. Redemption - God likes to flip things upside down. Do it. If you see a hole, fill it. Share your story.
From Stacy Buck of In the Trenches - For the Millions:
Pay attention to the marketing strategy of Jesus. He knows the perfect seasoning (Matthew 5:13). He knows the size of the appetite. He knows His audience is thirsty. He knows His audience (Matthew 9:36). He knows me.
My brain was so tired after taking everything in. Then the swag bags came out. I couldn't even look until I got home. The bags themselves were supercute totes by Dayspring. All the sponsors threw in great goodies. I'm most excited about free adult tickets to the Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Aquarium. We got notebooks from Blue Moxy, another tote bag from Hari Mari, books, coupons, and too much stuff to name. Gotta love a swag bag.
I hope and plan to go back next year to the Mamas Write Conference, and to be involved with Mamas Write activities in DFW throughout the year. I am so thankful to the Mamas Write team for sponsoring me to attend. It was a truly life changing experience for me.