Chasing Davies: Go Blog Social: the Recap

April 7, 2014

Go Blog Social: the Recap

{Just some of the cards I got from some of the awesome people at GBS! If you were there, link your blog in the comments below!}

Last Friday, I took a vacation day from work and hit up the Berg Event Space in downtown Kansas City for the 2nd annual Go Blog Social conference.  It was a long day, but I was excited to spend the day with some already good friends, and meet other inspiring women (a lot from around here, but many that traveled as well). The speakers and attendees alike made this experience rewarding, beyond just for blogging. I was reminded and inspired to be more supportive to others, even in the same field (like blogging) and that together we can all be more successful than alone.  

{Sandy (Chanel flats), me (leopard flats) and Erin (Vans sneakers) kickin' it at GBS}

Here are a few highlights from the conference that I just had to share:

Jessica from How Sweet it is reminded us all to share the love!  Seriously - step out from yourself and the self-promotion once in awhile and share something that you genuinely love form someone else!  (You know who is really great at this?  Meagan from Because of Jackie).  In other words, be supportive of other bloggers.  You'll not only provide value to your own readers by sharing great pieces from around the web, but you might make some friends, too!

Kelly of Kansas City Mamas made my hand hurt.  Seriously, I couldn't write fast enough.  She is bursting with tons of knowledge about working with brands, starting with building a media kit.  No matter how bit or small your site is, she insists everyone should have one - and don't over stress on this - it should be simple and one (maybe two) pages max!  The biggest benefit of having one is that is starts the conversation of compensation.  In your media kit, you should include a rough cost, or where your sponsored opportunities start so when PR agencies or brands reach out to you, you can send them your media kit and no one's time is wasted if they were hoping to squeeze something out of you for free.

Friday's GBS session ended with keynote speaker, Jessie of Style and Pepper (and a million other things this girl has her hands in). She is just as down to earth, loving and friendly as you would guess from her blog (and a former KC resident!).  She is just such a savvy lady, who has turned her blog into an all-around career with tons going on in the background (like consulting with other bloggers and brands). She inspired me to pitch back to basic outreach that companies/PR agencies send through.  Don't be afraid to ask for more for the value you are pitching them.

Friday ended with a mix and mingle party, and it was great to meet more bloggers/attendees!  There were some brands there, but I think it was more of a pop-up-shop for them.  I hope in the future the brands that participate come more prepared and wanting to actually work and collaborate with bloggers vs. just sell some merch.  That is my only suggestion. :)

Saturday I didn't join in on the fun until later in the afternoon.  I spent the morning with my family and then once Liam (my 2-year-old) went down for a nap, I decided to bring baby girl Nora me, so that my husband could nap, too.  She's getting an early start to a potential blogging career, attending her first conference at the ripe old age of 4 months.

{Baby Nora's outfit by Cherokee, here; hat was a gift to Liam back in the day, I believe babyGap}

I'm glad I came for the little of Saturday I did, because I loved the two sessions I heard. Here's a recap of those:

I've been a longtime reader of House of Earnest, so loved meeting and hearing Erin speak.  Her session was so helpful, filled with actionable takeaways.  She broke down how she gets such great photos to really showcase her DIYs, but her tips can be applied to anything!  You don't have to have an entirely perfect house or even room, you just need to find one spot you can make work.  One spot that has great (or at least the best of your home) light, then couple that spot with props, and you too can get photos like Erin's!  She uses white foamboard (which I've recently been using myself, like here), slab of marble, printed paper for a faux-wallpapered background (or backdrop), even getting some scrap tile and creating a small board to use for projects. Definitely makes me rethink how I shoot products, home decor, details, etc., and things I can move around and get to make it all photograph better.

The keynote speaker for Saturday, and grand finale, was Kaelin from Better Homes & Gardens.  She was very forthcoming as to what it takes and things you can do to pitch and work with a magazine.  She was also pretty honest that working with a magazine (online or off) is very different than a typical brand sponsor... aka, they don't pay!  But they DO provide tons of valuable site traffic and quality links back to your properties.  And while she went into much more depth on how to pitch a magazine or online property you want to write for or be featured in, the gist was: get to know the property you wish to pitch first and foremost, then pitch a very specific idea (that's related to the property, a current feature, with their specific tone, etc) and do so briefly and visually.

Saturday and the conference closed with a party at the KC Garment Collective, which Nora and I did not attend. I'm sure it was great though, as was the entire conference.  I had a great time meeting so many new faces and bloggers!  Now I can't wait to go check out everyone's blogs!

I'm pretty sure Nora had a great time!  So did I! Huge thanks to the GBS team for putting on such a fabulous event, and being so receptive to me bringing a baby...! 

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