The Blog Societies Conference 2018 Recap


amanda marshall erica ligenza the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

I'm finally getting things organized and back on track today at PMHQ. Yesterday I played catch up and clean up after a long weekend away in Atlanta where I attend The Blog Societies 2018 Conference. It was an incredible experience where I learned more than I ever thought I would and made amazing new blog friends I look forward to traveling with and staying in touch with regularly! Today I thought I'd recap what the conference was all about in case any of you are interested in going in the future. 

So for all the fun details just keep reading!
BTW all of my outfits are linked under SHOP THE POST.

SHOP THE POST
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the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

Okay, you may be wondering what is The Blog Societies?
 Well, it's a community of influencers (i.e. bloggers) who network, gain resources, and access tools to grow their blogs. It was founded in 2013 by two fashion bloggers, Cathy Peshek of Poor Little It Girl, and Jessica Camerata of My Style Vita. A two-woman show that is incredibly impressive! I couldn't believe Cathy and Jessica put together such an amazing conference and fab organization by themselves - talk about boss bitches (excuse my language)! The Blog Societies is a closed organization so if you're a blogger and want to partake, you'll fill out a short survey with information and stats that will be reviewed for acceptance. I'm not sure of the exact criteria, but it is really important that you blog consistently!

#tbscon happens once a year and all members are invited to purchase a ticket to attend! This year's conference was held in Atlanta, GA and made up of 75 women. A great number because you get to meet almost everyone and the sessions are nice and small so you can ask questions and really learn. We spent the weekend at The Hotel At Avalon in Alpharetta and Oh Em Gee, what a beautiful place to attend an event! It's a brand new luxury hotel and conference center right in the middle of a huge outdoor shopping & restaurant center. We never had to leave the area and were able to walk to everything. They even had a Starbucks connected to the hotel!

The Hotel At Avalon
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

nordstrom bp black and white plaid shirt

The first day didn't actually start until 7 pm at night. Most of the day was used for travel so attendees had plenty of time to settle in before the festivities began. After my horrendous travel troubles attending the RewardStyle Conference earlier this year, I took the first flight out and enjoyed my downtime while waiting for my roommates to arrive. We had a full house with four girls in our room but everyone got along SO well! I was seriously super lucky to room with Helen of Hel On Heels, Danielle of Sparkling Southerner, and Victoria of The Victoria Jane.

BTW this plaid shirt was crazy comfy for travel (I own two in xs)!

the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

amanda marshall erica ligenza the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto
DAY ONE WELCOME

The welcome party was absolutely amazing. There were tons of brands in attendance to welcome us and share new products from their companies. We enjoyed the evening with Vera Bradley, LaCroix, Yankee Candle, Kendra Scott, Goody, Dry Bar, and Red Dress. I was in awe of how many brands wanted to take part and look forward to hopefully working and fostering relationships with a lot of them. It was a great chance to have face to face time with the marketing and influencer managers! They were even kind enough to gift us new swag from their recent launches and let me just say, it's a good thing I left room in my suitcase and brought an extra bag to carry on the plane lol!

One of the highlights of my trip was meeting fellow blogger babe Erica Ligenza of Coming Up Roses. We actually already followed each other so it was really fun to put a face with an IG name. Erica runs an amazing course all about pitching to brands (called BossPitch) and all of the girls at the conference raved about it. I know I'm going to sign up to take it and I encourage you to look her up if it's something you're interested in learning. She's also a total wiz at the blogging game. I seriously have so much on my to-do list now and I joked with Erica that she's going to get tired of all my messages and emails once I start making tweaks to my website.

I wish I had enough space and time to mention everyone I met at the welcome party. I was in awe of all of the talent, motivation, creativity, and girl power. Lawyers, health professionals, photographers, businesswomen, stay at home moms, full-time bloggers, part-time bloggers, aspiring bloggers, you name it, you could find someone to admire or feel at home with. The conference is a great place for influencers with different backgrounds and home bases to come together for a common purpose.

express high waist flared jeans

the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

express high waist flared jean

the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

nordstrom bp white tiered cami

DAY TWO CLASS SESSIONS

Day two was full of INCREDIBLE class sessions. I chose to take classes in areas I knew I needed help with. Mostly on the business side since this is my first year as a full-time blogger and LLC. I didn't plan to go full-time this year so I've constantly been playing catch and knew there were things I didn't know and needed to learn. And thankfully I learned so much I could make a mile long to-do list and spend two weeks trying to organize it all haha! The sessions were run by expert professionals (i.e. accountants, lawyers, travel experts, well-established influencers, etc.). 

The sessions I took were SEO (search engine optimization), accounting, photography (the most fun!), and contracts. SEO was all about blog site performance and optimizing so the most people possible see your content. Basically, striving for the first page of Google... always lol. Accounting is exactly as it sounds. And boy did I learn A LOT! We learned about what we can use as deductions (and what we can't), how to file quarterly taxes, examples of spreadsheets we can use for income and expenses, software to keep track, how much we should be saving throughout the year, and so much more.

Photography was taught by the amazing duo Rach Martino and Noelle Downing. They are both influencers with an incredible following on social media and have a crazy awesome knack for photography. I highly encourage you to head over to their IG pages and take a look for some photo inspo. They both love to travel together and play a huge part in each other's feeds which I think it really cool - every girl needs a blogger bestie! They taught us a couple of photography tricks including one I had no idea about and probably should have... live photos. I had no idea you could take live photos on your iPhone, capturing real-time movement in super short bursts.

Day two's lunch featured MudPie and Goody and was absolutely beautiful. Then, at the end of the day we met some more brands (Colleen Rothschild, Mary Kay, Ball, Waiting on Martha Home, Crock Pot, L'Occitane, aerie, Sharpie, Paper Mate, Calphalon, Rubbermaid, Pureology, Rachel Parcell, and Pureology) and then dispersed into smaller groups. My roommates and I headed out for margaritas and Mexican food. The wait for a table was two hours, but never fear! Everyone took that time to take outfit photos and shop haha - being with other bloggers was a blast. 

black amaryllis dress

black amaryllis dress
Left besties with Riley of Yes Please Daily (@rileysitton) and Lauren of Simply Holifield (@lauren_holifield)! 

grace atwood speaking
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

attending the blog societies conference
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

the blog societies conference speaker
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

the blog societies conference panel
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

the blog societies conference group photo
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

birdie and boe flowers
Photo Cred: xxiiiphoto

wearing flower crowns

DAY THREE KEYNOTES & PANEL DISCUSSION

Day three started out with a fabulous breakfast by LaCroix (and Ball) who seriously went all out for the entire conference. They had the BEST photo setups, boomerang stations, cool swag, and for breakfast, a make your own fruit-infused drink station. It was serious eye candy and I'm definitely planning to make my own berry bar at home for breakfast one weekend! I opted for a super comfy, but super chic little black dress with criss-cross detailing. It's under $35 and omg y'all... SO soft! I knotted the front for extra detail and it was really easy since the fabric is nice and stretchy. 

Our keynote speaker was Grace Atwood of The Stripe. I truly enjoyed listening to her speak and could identify with so many things that she said. She had a well-rounded perspective on the world of blogging and some great unbiased opinions on different influencer networks. She shared some of her favorite blog/social media tools and her personal journey to where she is today. It was evident that she became successful through years of late nights, strict scheduling, staying innovative, and listening to her followers. Even today at over 100k+ IG followers and TONS of blog readers, she still answers her comments and DMs which is something I highly admire and place importance on myself.

Grace's presentation was followed by a really important (and sort of scary lol) presentation on FTC Guidelines. Brittany Stevens of Lawyer Lookbook, an impressive speaker, blogger, lawyer, AND elected official shared with us all of the current and new FTC rules and regulations for influencers. If you didn't know, bloggers and influencers are governed by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to make sure we disclose partnerships properly and are being transparent with our followers about products we share that are gifted and/or sponsored. It's not anything new to those of us who attended, but there were some updates that had us all feverishly taking notes... no one wants to be on the FTC's bad side.

The presentation portion of the day was concluded with a panel discussion where we got to ask anything and everything we were wondering about the blogosphere. There aren't many opportunities for most of us to talk to each other and gauge our progress or practices. So this was really enlightening and an experience I am very glad I didn't pass up. My girl Alicia Tenise was on the panel - she specializes in travel blogging and her and I randomly met at Tyson's when we were working on the same campaign! 

Our lunch featured Joules and the conference ended with a flower crown making class which I LOVED! My new found twin Amanda (yes, same name among almost everything else) who writes the blog Strawberry Chic and I made almost the exact same crown and we weren't even paying attention.

shopbop agolde black sophie cropped skinny jean

A group of us gals who weren't leaving until Sunday got together to hang out one last time Saturday night. We indulged in chicken strips & fries, tons of girl talk, blogging Q&A, and lots of laughs. Again, I wouldn't trade the experience and am really grateful I was able to learn so much and meet so many new friends. I feel like I will be so much more prepared for 2019 and found new, much-needed blogging motivation. So many influencers are leaving their blogs, distancing themselves from their blogs, or just aren't blogging anymore since social media has grown to huge heights. BUT I will always be here on the blog because my blog is the home of everything I do and is a platform no one can take away from me (i.e. if IG disappears one day... but let's hope not lol). 

Pardon Muah is without a doubt my greatest achievement and my saving grace. What once was a hobby has given me the ability to find my happy, to motivate others, to share my passion for fashion, and to take a chance on myself. And that's not all without thanks to ALL OF YOU. The readers who continue to come back week in and week out to see what's new. THANK YOU!

If you are interested in The Blog Societies make sure to check out their site HERE for more info!


SHOP THE POST


2 comments

  1. GIRL STOP I AM CRYING hahaha omg seriously, you are the sweetest babe ever! I'm SO happy we finally met in person - you're sweet as a friggin' peach, and I cannot wait for all of the adventures in our future.

    Coming Up Roses

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are too sweet!! It wa so nice meeting you and having you as a Roomie. Such a fun weekend!

    Keep sparkling!

    Danielle
    Sparkling Southerner

    ReplyDelete