It was late at night and I couldn’t sleep, so I began clicking around on the interwebs searching aimlessly. I have no idea where I saw it, but somehow I got on a website called The Blogcademy. It is a blog training workshop run by 3 prominent bloggers Gala Darling, Kat Williams, and Shauna Haider. They travel all over the world giving weekend seminars to groups of women. After watching a few of their stylish videos and hearing the glowing reviews from past attendees, I knew I needed to go! I saw the next one was in Austin 2 weeks later (a place I’d always dreamed of visiting), so before my practical self had time to talk me out of it, I booked a trip to Texas!
I know it might sound strange, but I really love going to new places by myself. There is something so exciting about arriving somewhere I’ve never been before and walking around and discovering new sights, sounds and tastes. Don’t get me wrong, this is fun to do with another person, but when I do it myself I feel brave. Developing a sense of fearlessness and adventure is something I have worked on consciously for a while. I think it makes you a better entrepreneur because you might be scared, but you know you can handle whatever comes your way.
Arriving in Austin was a surreal experience. The intensity of the heat literally took my breath away! Walking around South Austin on my first morning I was blown away by the number small and colourful shops, food carts and restaurants. There is a strong vibe of independence, counter culture and creativity. I didn’t take me long to fall in love with Austin.
On the first morning of The Blogcademy I had the first day of school jitters. What are the other girls going to be like? Am I wearing the right shoes? Will the material be too beginner, or too advanced? Did I make a mistake by coming all this way? Will I find anyone to have lunch with? I knew the only way to get over this brain chatter was to put on my cutest summer dress, slap on some sparkly lip gloss and walk in with confidence!
Vuka, the venue for The Blogcademy was unbelievably chic and contemporary. Just walking in, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. The 30 other women were equally stylish, warm and welcoming including Gala, Kat and Shauna. We were all given goodie bags with lovely treats, but the most exciting part were the sparkly kitty and bunny ears courtesy of Crown and Glory. We all immediately put them on and giggled which was the perfect way to break the ice and feel the girly connection.
If I told you everything I leaned at The Blogcademy I would be writing for days, so I will do my best to include the best nuggets-o-sparkly-wisdom. Blogging is something I knew was always important for my business but I didn’t always have the best grasp of how exactly to do it. The Blogcademy ladies broke down the nuts and bolts of how to structure your blog in a way that was simple and easy to digest. They also talked candidly about their own experiences and explained exactly how they were able to grow their blogs to the point they are today. All three ladies were equally encouraging and inspiring and made us all feel like we could do exactly what they did.
- Just start. It is really easy to get overwhelmed and tell yourself that you’ll start A when you have B, but so often perfectionism leads to procrastination. Just start writing and the rest will follow. You will eventually look back at what you have now and think it sucks, but that’s just how progression works
- Writers are readers. Improve your writing by reading as much good writing as you can. Religiously read the blogs you find most interesting and pay attention to what they are doing
- Make it easy on your reader to know what you are about. Keep in mind you will have new reader finding you every single day so don’t assume they have any background knowledge of who you are and what you do
- Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Reader connect with you when they can relate to your life. Share some insight and let them get to know you
- Think about what makes you different and unique. This will be your competitive edge so own it. Stop trying to be like everyone else because it is boring
- When you can define who your reader is, it is much easier for you to create content they will love and find useful
- Keep on going. Your readers want to hear from you (even if it’s just your mom, dad and cat to begin with!)
One thing I am certain about is that learning from true pros is the only way to go. If you are ever interested in sharpening your skills at something, my advice is to find the best person out there and then learn from them. You will save so much time and be miles ahead.
Overall my experience at The Blogcademy was incredible. I am so glad I just went for it instead of rationalizing and coming up with excuses not to go. The next time you feel pulled to do something, I would encourage you to just sign up and commit. It might be expensive, inconvenient, or (insert excuse here), but by going for things is how we learn and grow. It’s so easy and safe to sit on the side lines of life but you will never truly feel the magic of being brave. Have a comment or something to share? I would to hear it!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!