I know, I know. My website is not about blogging. I would much rather be writing about my latest parenting woes or our fun trips we have planned this summer. But, just for today, I need to write about blogging.
I began this blog back in April of 2011. You probably had no idea I’d been blogging for that long, and, if you’re new to my site, I’m kinda glad you didn’t find me before this year (if you’ve been around awhile, thanks for sticking with me when this place was a mess!). You see, I started blogging as an online journal of sorts about my girls and their growth. I posted a lot of pictures and wrote a lot of innocuous things like “Caroline ate green beans today!” or “Mackenzie held her own bottle today!” It was pretty much only stuff that close family and friends would care about.
Fast-forward to fall 2015 and the realization that, in just over 1 year, I will be home alone again. Both girls will be in school. What am I going to do then? Well, you better believe there will be a good bit of Netflix watching and lunching with friends (to somewhere other than Chick-fil-A….PRAISES), but I also realize that will probably only happen for maybe the first week of school. Then what? Time to get a job right?
Sort of. I still plan to be very involved in the lives of my kids, and it can be difficult to balance that desire with a traditional 8-5 “office” job. Neil and I thought long and hard about what I could do that would give me flexibility and still bring in some income, and I asked him to trust me because I had a crazy idea: I would start taking my blog seriously and use it to support our family.
One of the biggest ways I helped myself when I decided to start taking things more seriously last July was to join blogger networks. There are literally hundreds of them out there and, while I’m not advocating you to join every single one of them, they are each unique and offer different opportunities that I would have a hard time getting on my own. The first network I ever signed up for was Social Fabric. SoFab, as the cool kids like to call it, was the first network I joined and they were the first network to give me a chance at writing a sponsored post. I will forever be grateful for that first opportunity, and I believe I have come a long way since that first opportunity. One of the biggest reasons for my growth as a blogger was being able to attend their series of conferences called “SoFabU On the Road.” I attended the conference in Atlanta, and I walked away from that conference with so much practical knowledge on how to make my blog better. I had no idea I would also walked away with new friends and lasting connections that I still maintain to this day. Above all of the talk about editing photos, making videos, SEO, and page views, I felt a real sense of camaraderie among all the bloggers I met last year. My friends and family are very supportive of my blog, but they don’t always “get it.” It was inspiring and encouraging to be in a room full of people for an entire day who “got me.”This year, SoFabU On the Road is putting more of a focus on quality rather than quantity by paring down to 4 cities to host their events in. The 4 cities are:
Unfortunately for me, every single one of them is a plane flight away, and we just don’t have it in the budget this year to pay for a plane flight and hotel and the cost of attending the conference. That’s where this blog post comes in. SoFabU is having a contest from now until next Friday in which TWO winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to either the Brooklyn or Chicago conference. Say what?! You mean I still have a chance to go if I just tell you why I want to go? Sign me up! I was so excited to receive that email a few days ago, I couldn’t wait to participate. Thanks to Joyce Brewer‘s encouragement at last year’s conference, I’ve been feeling braver about making videos (yes, even ones where I have to be on camera), so I decided I’d talk about why I want to go to SoFabU On the Road again and what it would mean to me to be selected for this opportunity.
SoFabU On the Road is an extension of the Social Fabric community and Social Fabric University, an online educational forum for members of Social Fabric. SoFabU On the Road strives to bring education and connection opportunities to influencers in person in addition to their online resources.
If you are a new blogger like me, and you’re trying to get started, I would highly recommend joining the Social Fabric community and attending one of their conferences. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills to grow your business, but, more importantly, you’ll make lasting connections and friendships that you will cherish in the many years to come.