Open yourself up to meeting blog authors with different size influences. Don’t be afraid to approach someone just because their blog might be more visible than yours. The “smaller” blogs will become the “bigger” blogs in time! Keep in mind that everyone at a blog conference is just a person who loves blogging. If you happen upon someone who acts distant or cold, it may just be their own nerves. But, it’s easy enough to just move on if you’re not connecting.
I was intimidated at my first blog conference to meet the women who I looked up to as mentor bloggers like Centsational Girl and Thrifty Decor Chick. They both couldn’t have been more gracious as I approached and got to tell them how much their blogs inspired me to start my own. I introduced myself, looked them in the eye and offered my sincere words of thanks. Our first in-person conversations were only a couple minutes long. That’s okay! At Haven this year, I got to chat with Sarah many times and she felt like a familiar, old friend. If you continue in the blogging world for a consistent amount of time, you’ll probably have the opportunity to meet up with many bloggers repeatedly, and the more contact you have, the more “natural” it feels to interact each time you see each other in person. Three and a half years ago, the Haven ladies had no idea of who I was, and last year I was honored to be invited to speak at their conference.
If you have ambitions to grow your blog or work with other bloggers, simply be genuine and kind, continue to build your own great blog content, share it on your social network outlets and with other bloggers, and make yourself visible to bloggers by thoughtfully commenting on their blog posts, Facebook pages, and Instagrams.
Over time, some of the bloggers you once admired from afar can turn into your best girlfriends!
Haven offered classes on everything from woodworking to working with brands. I went to four classes: Blogging Trade Secrets: What We Wish We Knew When, How to Achieve High-End DIY, Photography Styling: Creating Beautiful Shots, and Let’s Make a Book Deal (eBook Writing). The classes were super informative and I took notes on my phone.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Let’s make sure our blogging experience is an enjoyable one.
Brainstorm what makes you unique.
You don’t have to have a big blog with huge pageviews to earn money blogging. A smaller, well-engaged audience is better than a big blog with less engagement.
Let's be friends!
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Anything gold or glitter looks great online.
Spread the love, feature other bloggers.
There was audible gasping from the audience when Craftberry Bush and The Hunted Interior shared their gorgeous photography. Getting to hear how they approach styling and photographing a space or vignette was eye-opening.
Using the grid in your camera or mind’s eye, move things to center, off center, left or right.
Move things in your home around- they don’t have to live in only one place.
Utilize an accessory closet for staging your shots.
Make your photos approachable, humanize the experience. I.E. shoes laying casually by the sofa, food partly eaten.
Photoshop elements has everything you need to edit your photos and is much less expensive than Photoshop.
Actions – Kristen uses Mullet God’s actions and
contrast without color shift.
Take photos that appear a bit over and under- exposed on the camera screen because sometimes they look different on the computer.
When styling a vignette, thing about the subject, story, tone, and mood.
Have props on hand to help set the stage, tell the story.
Plywood can make a beautiful, natural background.
Thank about the composition of a photograph.
Use layers and pattern, but edit if the shot gets too cluttered or busy.
PicMonkey (free online photo editing site) is great for editing photos. Use the Dodge tool to remove shadows and the burn tool to darken areas, great for flowers.
For most blogs, 650×900 is a good photo size.
Use a tripod and timer to take photos.
Good photo apps: Afterlight, VSOcam, A Beautiful Mess, Snapseed
Be good to people. Editors move around often and you will run into them over the course of your career.
THANK YOU TEAM HAVEN!
This was amazingly helpful! Thanks for sharing and helping me cheat with the Cliff Notes! I hope to go to Haven someday, and hopefully meet some of my favorite bloggers (you!) as well 😉 ~ Kim
So glad this helped! I'd love to meet you too Kim!
Thank you so much for taking all the time to post this! I have been writing my blog, Old House to New Home, for about six months and I am trying to improve and grow it everyday. I loved all of these tips and hope someday I will have a big enough blog to go to a conference!
Congrats on your new blog! You don't need a "big" blog to go to a conference. I think I went to my first conference when my blog was about 6 months old too. 😉
Thank you so much for sharing your notes. I am a beginning blogger and truly appreciate your knowledge of blogging.
Good! I've never written any posts on blogging, but these classes were so good I had to share!
This is great Megan! I'm booking marking it and going to really study it! So many great tips I feel like I was there!! Love your blog!! Best~Kathy@The Daily Nest
I'll be re-reading it too! Love hearing you like my blog Kathy!
Thanks for sharing what you learned Megan! Hoping to make it next year.
That was the biggest bummer, that I didn't get to meet you this year Lauren. 🙁
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing so much of what you learned. I seriously need to get my booty in gear and get to this conference next year.
Yes! I came back all energized to put more effort into my blog and blog content.
This was super helpful Megan! Thank you for taking the time to do these recaps for us.
No prob! 😉
Thank you so much for the cliff notes! I was actually sitting right beside you during the blogging trade secrets, but was too shy to say hi. i'm not a shy person, but i just didn't want to bother you! haha, i know, i know! silly huh?! Thanks again for the notes and your recap 🙂
I understand, but now I'm wishing we introduced ourselves to each other! Next time! Did I miss anything from that class?? I tried to get it all, but there was so much info.
Thanks for sharing Megan! I would love to attend the conference.
Megan! Thank you so much for sharing all of this great info with us! I was hoping to make it this year, but I think next year I'm going to do it! I'm normally so "behind the scenes" and reserved that I would totally feel out of place at a conference like this, but your tips and advice make me feel like I can attend and not feel too out of place. Thank you!!!
We'll have to look for each other next year Samantha!
Thanks for sharing, great suggestions!!!
Sounds like you had such a blast! Such great information thanks for sharing.
I'm loving these recaps of yours! I am super sad I couldn't make it to Haven this year (silly newborns!), this recap makes me feel like I was there 😛 Love the cliff notes too. I can't wait for next year to meet you and all these other inspiring ladies!
Baby fever!! Next year for sure!
Thanks for sharing all the knowledge you learned at Haven! Looks like you had tons of fun too!
Loved this! Thank you for sharing what you learned at the conference! Love all the pics and your advice for what to expect and what you should do!
So glad this was helpful Jessica!
Love your Cliff notes! I am pinning this! Now I can even benefit from the classes I missed at Haven. Thanks for sharing!!
Your recaps were so good
You took awesome notes! Thanks for sharing!
Great tips sweetie! Love everything! I'll need to go next year if you go! We should plan on it! XOXO
I'd love to see you again Desiree!
Great Recap of Haven! I started blogging in February and attended my first conference (Haven) this year. I agree about mingling. I found it a little difficult just because of the way things were maybe set up, but I met some wonderful ladies with awesome ideas. Would love to meet you… NEXT TIME!! ~Emily @ 11gables.blogspot.com