My history with blogging goes way back:
7 years ago, it hadn't even occurred to me that I could monetize or grow this blog to what it is today! I can remember the first email I received from a company that wanted to partner with me. I thought it was some kind of scam at first! This blog has come a long way since then and I truly love what I do.
Some things I see as milestones in this blogging journey of mine were a couple of campaigns I worked on that involved getting together with other bloggers. In 2014 I worked on a campaign with Nikon and met several bloggers who I still keep in touch with now. Several months later I was a part of a campaign with KFC where I met more bloggers and heard them talking about blog conferences they had attended. At the time, I just wasn't willing to put money into my blog beyond what I absolutely had to (like paying yearly fees to own "raisingmemories.com"), but that little conversation was like a seed planted for something that finally bloomed this weekend. ;)
My First Blogger Conference
|All photos shared in this post were taken by Mostafa Photography (unless otherwise noted)|
I drove into Toronto on Saturday morning and walked into the Renaissance hotel (which, by the way, is PART of the Rogers Centre (aka Sky Dome) which was pretty cool!
|I took this photo on my phone as I arrived at the conference in the morning.|
Meeting Friends "In Real Life"
I walked into the conference room and found that I was an early arriver because there was only one other blogger in the room! The photographer caught this shot of Erin (from Fashion Mama Aquarius) and I getting acquainted.
We were soon joined by these three adorable ladies (from left to right, that's Erin, Dana from Style Cause, Adeleye from Style & Beauty Mum, and Nandita from My Style Expression). I was surrounded by fashion & beauty bloggers! ;) These four ladies were all so sweet and I was able to connect with them later in the conference as well (Dana and Nandita walked me to my car at night after dinner and we joked that they were my body guards).
Before the speeches got started, I spotted Cyn from Creative Cynchronicity and her daughter Sam from their shared blog, Gagen Girls. I met Cyn at that KFC event I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and we're in touch frequently online, so it was really nice to meet again in person!
We sat together for the rest of the conference and now we're hoping to get together and talk blogging again soon. I can't tell you how nice it has been to make "real life" connections out of the virtual ones I've had for so long!
We were joined at our table by two other ladies that I'm happy to have met in "real life" finally after years of knowing who they were online. On the far right is Aeryn from Geek with Style and next to her is Deanna from Maple Leaf Mommy. What you may not know about Deanna is that she has the longest hair of anyone I've ever met (you can't see that in a profile picture!).
Learning More About the "Behind-the-Scenes" of Blogging
Monumetric and father of "The Six Sisters". This was all about advertising and he shared the experiences he and his daughters went through with their blog which was really interesting to hear. His speech got me thinking about some changes I need to make in the future, on this blog, and answered some questions I've had about advertising so it was really informative and helpful for me.
The second speech that really stood out to me was by Dani from thelikebutton.ca. This one focused a lot on Instagram (which you may have noticed is where I like to hang out ;) so I was very interested to hear what she had to say about it all. If you're following me over on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I've done more Instagram stories in the last 2 days than I ever have and it's because Dani got me interested in using them more. I'm looking forward to playing more with them!
The Positive MOM. I did a little research before the conference and was surprised that I didn't already know more about her! If you're a mom, you'll probably want to check out her blog. I loved her speech! (If you're on Instagram, you've heard me talk about it there already). It was great motivation, encouragement, and inspiration for me as a blogger and also just as a human being ;).
Making Special Connections
Photography & A Take-Away
The above photo was taken with my phone, but most of the photos in this post were taken by the photographer at the conference, Mostafa of Mostafa Photography. He took head shots for some of us (that's mine on the left). I'm excited to have an updated photo of myself to use! The photo I have been using is 8 years old, so it was about time for an update. You'll see my social media profile photos change over the next week or so as I get things updated, and I'll update the photo at the top of this blog as well.
You know, there's one thing that really stands out to me above everything else that I learned at the conference. It's not a coincidence that the conference I attended was called BConnected because the best part about it was making person-to-person connections!
That's one reason why I love to hang out on Instagram- it's easier for us to communicate and I think everyone's more likely to leave a comment or click "like" on a photo there because it takes more time to leave a blog comment. I totally get that and I'm the same way. We're busy and we're trying to rush through things so we can get onto our never-ending to-do lists. :)
So I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I so appreciate you reading here and I would LOVE to hear from you when you have the time to leave a comment or send an email or message me on Instagram. It means a lot to me to connect with you and I hope to be able to do that more often!