I keep having to pinch myself to believe that the two days I spent with blogging royalty actually happened. The two days were totally surreal and inspiring and I've walked away with so many new ideas and a newfound focus and determination to make something of this little space on the internet. I digress - let me start at the beginning
What is the Blogcademy?The Blogcademy is a two-day workshop run by Gala Darling (www.galadarling.com), Kat Williams (www.rocknrollbride.com) and Shauna Haider (www.nubbytwiglet.com) that is designed to help aspiring bloggers gain the insight and direction needed to take their blogs to the next level. It's the ultimate insiders guide to blogging from three very successful, talented and amazing women.
Why did I go?I love blogging (something I can proudly say, and something I would have felt weird saying a few years ago). I began blogging on my myspace page (back when it was still a thing) and moved to this URL in 2008. I love that it gives me the freedom to write about things I am passionate about and love - I've just never really been super dedicated to this space. I've posted sporadically and have been one of those bloggers who is always apologising for my absence. I want to change this and I needed the direction and the "how to" which I believed I could gain by attending this course.
What did I learn?These headmistresses know their shit. I learnt so much in two days that my head is still spinning. I'm a processor so I'm going to have to give the information some time to sink in BUT there were a few key things that stood out from the rest.
1. You must have a plan and goals for your blog - here I am, a 30 year old professional woman who creates business plans for work every year and I didn't think that this was something that would be important for my blog. I work in a very goal oriented business with budgets and plans for everything I do, so I'm surprised I have never looked at my blog in the same way.
2. Consistency is key - for EVERYTHING you do. This is something that sounds so simple but is probably the hardest thing to maintain. I have been guilty many times of neglecting this space and I had a great conversation with Gala about this. I just need to see this space as something I should be proud of and give it the attention and love it deserves and that means applying the work ethic I have in my job to this blog. It's going to be hard work but I'm ready to get it done.
3. "Don't be that guy" - This was a common saying throughout the two days. I think this saying applies to everything that I want to achieve in my life and on my blog. I try to be a positive person and make sure the things I put out into the world are worthwhile. I now have this written on my desk at work as a little reminder. It's simple, yet effective.
4. Build yourself a blogging support network - these ladies are serious BFF's. Their relationship was built online and solidified in person. The great thing about this course was that there was a room full of talented, diverse and AMAZING women that were all in the room because we wanted to learn more about blogging. We've got a fabulous forum and have a Facebook group that is alive with questions, help, suggestions and support. My Instagram follows went up very quickly and I'm back on twitter (with tweetdeck downloaded on my laptop). I'm excited to have people to chat blogging with and I know I need to make the effort to keep in touch with all these awesome women.
5. I CAN TAKE A DECENT SELFIE - My many selflies that I have shared on Instagram helped me WIN the best Instagram selfie award (the photo above on the right was the winner)!!! I scored some super cute tea towels. I'm not sure if I showed exactly how excited I was at winning this (I was a bundle of excited butterflies on the inside) - I take a lot of pride in my photos and to be recognised by three super bloggers is an AMAZING feeling. I'm going to own that win for a very LONG time.
Was it worth it?
HELL YES!!! There are so many other things that I have learnt but I don't want to divulge all the secrets. The biggest thing I gained from this course is to trust and believe in myself and my blog. I was a little shocked and amazed when Gala told me that she had seen me "pop up" online over the years. I guess I've never really taken the time to realise just how far my online presence has reached. I've reached more than just family and friends and that's really exciting to me.
I have so much to share and so much to offer and so many ideas swirling in my head. I have my sparkly magical blogging ears (from Crown & Glory) that when I put them on empower me to be the best blogger I can be. All of this - the inspiration, focus and excitement - is all because of the Blogcademy.
A massive thanks to the headmistress for the time and love that they put into the two days. It was surreal and unreal to meet you all and this was an experience that I won't ever forget. An even bigger thanks to the lovely ladies I met over the two days - you guys are radical, inspirational and so lovely.
If you're thinking about going to the Blogcademy my advice is to JUST DO IT. Don't let the fear hold you back from something so special. Everything that you've read about the course is true, everything you hope to get out of the course you will as long as you're open to listen and learn. I was nervous, worried and scared when I first arrived but when I first walked into the venue I was greeted with a smile and "love your hair colour" from Kat and that eased the nerves (a little). The space you enter becomes very comfortable very quickly and it's a place of positivity and encouragement.
I feel like I'm a part of a very special group now, I'm glad I was brave and hit that "Register Now" button. I can already feel that this has changed my life for the better.