What I Learned at Blissdom

Blissdom is the blogger conference to attend if you need to recharge your bloggy battery. The keynote speeches alone will send you home with enough juice to hit the keyboard typing for months!





  • Jon Acuff, Keynote Speaker at Blissdom 2012:


This year’s keynote speaker was Jon Acuff, the author of Quitter. His talk was truly inspiring! If you ever have a chance to hear him talk, it is well worth the effort to get there. Here are some of my favorite quotes from his speech:

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how grand this statement is to a new (or not so new blogger.) Every single blogger started at 0 page views, 0 followers, and 0 readers.

Don’t compare your blog to someone else’s middle. A culmination of months or years of blogging can lead to varying results. You never know where you will be in a month or more. So, focus on today. Focus on your blog mission and your content. Put on those blinders and stop the comparisions!


“Finding your passion is rescuing something from your past that you loved doing.”

Jon says you should think about what gave you joy as a young person. Explore those things that you loved at a younger age, and focus on how you can turn this into a business or your dream job today.

“When someone tells you something you {can’t be}, they are predicting a future they don’t own.”

This statement is a summary of what I believe happens to young girls who grow up afraid to pick up a power tool. Somewhere along the line they were told that it was dangerous, don’t touch that, or that only men use power tools. Please don’t tell your children that they “can’t” do something. Help them, or let them know that you will show them how to use that power tool when they are a little older. In the same vein, don’t let anyone tell YOU what you can’t do either! You control your own destiny.

I am grateful for the confidence my parents bestowed upon me that allowed me to push forward and learn new skills to build and fix anything I put my mind to.


“Take advantage of hinge moments in your life. Little turns can lead to big realities.”

 Jon talked about “hinge moments” being ideas or slight changes in direction that can lead to a big change. Allow your life to be directed by these small things. You never know where they will lead. Jon raised enough money to build TWO elementary schools in Vietnam, after one question from his little girl.


“Why does 1 insult = 1,000 positive comments?”

Why is it that the one negative comment on your post can stand out like a sore thumb in your mind. It  can ruin the joy that thousands of positive comments have brought you. Don’t let that 1 insult carry as much weight as those 1,000 positives!

“90% done and shared is worth more than 100% perfect in your head and not published.”

Don’t spend time trying to perfect your posts. Be okay with good enough and go ahead and release it to the world!







•  How to Think like an Entrepreneur and turn your Brilliant Idea into a Real Business by Holly Hamann (founder of BlogFrog)

Want to know what scares me most as a DIY blogger? It isn’t those big dangerous power tools, or falling off a ladder. The most fearful thing I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis is asking for money. That’s right, asking for money.

Holly Hamann talked about this in her workshop at Blissdom. Women have a hard time talking about money. Why is this? Is it a self worth issue? A taboo subject? If you know the answer, I’d love to hear your theory.

Holly urges us to learn how to talk about money! I know personally, it is hard for me to ask for money for advertising, sponsored posts, giveaways, etc. I find myself typing an email to a potential sponsor that includes my price, and I hesitate to send it. Inevitably, I will need to take a big breath and then hit the “SEND” button. This one simple task puts knots in my stomach and makes me want to quit blogging. But, I won’t quit. What I love more than anything is to empower others to be able to complete their own project. This love far outweighs the discomfort I feel when discussing ad rates.

I’m begging all of you out there to inflate your self worth. Ask for more than you think you are worth. Not only will you be helping yourself but you will be helping me and other women and bloggers! Let the world know that we have a voice and our platform is worth every last penny when we are talking about a product, service or company to our readers!

“100% of the shots you don’t take don’t go in!” – Wayne Gretzsky

If you don’t ask, you won’t have the opportunity to receive that “YES!” response. Just keep in mind that the worst a potential advertiser can say is “no.” No big deal, right?! I’m challenging myself to go ahead and ask for money to continue to blog. If I don’t ask, it will never happen and I risk having to close up shop.


“Who you choose to team with will be the single most important business decision you make.” – Holly Hamann

Partner with other bloggers, support them, promote them, share with them, and ask for help from them. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to network with other bloggers. You don’t have to meet in person. Email, tweet, facebook or skype are all viable forms of communication in the blogging world. Form your own facebook or Google+ group and invite a few bloggers to join. Make this your private sharing platform.







•  Do Less as a Life Strategy by Christine Koh


“Yeah Right!” was my reaction when I first read the description of Christine’s workshop. But, I sat down to listen and she had me engaged within 2 minutes.

She talked about getting rid of the unnecessary in your life to allow your creativity to flourish. If you remove clutter, paths will emerge. Without a clearing you won’t be able to see that new path. I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of both physical clutter and mental clutter. My goal this year will be to simplify.


“When you aren’t driving with the brake on, creative tsunamis happen.”

Stop over-scheduling yourself, your children and your life. If you don’t stop speeding through your life, there will be a disaster eventually.  Slow down and pace yourself. Allow for the freedom to let something new into your life. That new “thing” may just be the golden opportunity you never thought was possible.


 “Cut yourself some slack, you are a work in progress.”

While building your blog focus on the following:

  1. Content: Focus and consider a metrics sabbatical, stop obsessing over monetization
  2. Relationships: Focus on connecting to others and paying it forward
  3. Selectivity: Desirability – be selective about the opportunities that you take
  4. Patience: Marinating is good







•  Igniting the Spark by Justin McCullough

I want to close up with this quote from Justin:

“Don’t keep yourself a secret, that is no way to build a business. Share what your purpose is. Those that care about it will align with your purpose. Those that not interested don’t need to be in your life.”

I believe you shouldn’t blog in secret! Be proud of your accomplishments and share them. If your friends or family don’t “get it” — so what! Then again you may be surprised that they end up being your biggest fan.

If you want more nuggets of blogging wisdom, you can read my Words of Wisdom from Blissdom 2011.

This post and my trip to Blissdom was graciously sponsored by Tomboy Tools, Inc. I’ve been using their tools for a little over six months now and I can honestly tell you that I’m really digging them. I especially love the Magnetic Hammer,  Pliers, Tool Belt and Level.

Tomboy Tools are made to fit in a woman’s hand. No more stretching your fingers around a grip to get a handle on a man’s tool! But, what I like best is that I never lose my tools in the dirt or grass anymore. The pink color makes them stand out and be noticed.


  1. I bet if I had a pink level my husband would be less likely to borrow it … lol

  2. Pink tools! I LOVE it! Thanks so much for the words of wisdom from Blissdom. I thoroughly enjoyed it! There is so much in life that tries to keep up from accomplishing what Love. It took me a long time to realize that I can still build stuff without a perfect workshop and all of the “right” tools…sure my stuff is not totally square and perfect, but I’m stepping out with BOLDNESS and someday, I’ll have the tools to really make things beautifully. For now, I’m just going to use what I have and practice for when that day comes. Holla, holla!

  3. Thanks for posting this, it was very interesting! I especially liked the “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

    It’s hard as a blogger starting out to stay consistent and keep posting things I worked hard on, when it feels like no one is reading. But I am reminded by what you said, that I can’t compare myself to bloggers who have tons of readers. I just have to be patient and keep posting stuff I am passionate about!

  4. Thank you for this post! You touched on a few things I am really struggling with as a new blogger, and gave me a positive boost. Figuring out how to connect with other bloggers for support was one….off to FB to connect.

  5. I would love to see a post about how you got where you are today, how long you’ve been blogging, how long it took to get your first sponsor etc. Unless you’ve already done one!

    • Laura,
      1. I’ve been blogging since June 2010
      2. I didn’t start monetizing my blog (searching for sponsors) until I’d been blogging for about a year. Highly recommend you wait that long to get readership and experience and to hone your blog.
      3. I plan on writing all the things I’ve learned while blogging down one day for y’all.

  6. so, so true. And i love jonathan acuff–he’s awesome!

  7. Great post! It’s nice to hear inspiring and motivating people speak – it definitely gives you that extra energy to get back to doing what you were doing and being excited about it. I loved that first quote about not comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. What a good point! My blog is new and that’s definitely a good quote to keep in mind.

  8. Great post.I loved reading all of the inspiring stories. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Stacie Czech says:

    Hi Brittany… I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and love it! I’m not a blogger but I am a small business owner and I want to encourage you to release feeling “funny” about asking for money from your advertisers. Those of us that read yours and others’ blogs are looking for advice. We receive tips, instructions, and encouragement from you. We embark on projects that we otherwise wouldn’t have without that encouragement. I personally bought a Kreg Jig after reading Ana White’s blog… I’m now going to see about getting myself some Tom Boy tools. Your readers listen to you… over the last two years I’ve come to realize what a powerful platform this is… Thanks for all your effort and your wonderful blog!!

  10. Hi – first time here. I have not been to a conference yet and am pretty intimidated by the idea of them, but you are the first blogger I’ve read who made me actually want to go to one! Sounds like you really got a lot out of it and I really appreciate you sharing some of the highlights. Thanks!

    • Iris,
      They are fun, but I’m not going to lie and tell you that I wasn’t intimidated the first time I went to Blissdom. It really helps to have networked ahead of time with some other bloggers. But, there can be that high school element of cliques happening too. Ultimately, you just have to recognize that there are a lot of people feeling the same way you do and the ones that seem comfortable had those same feelings the first time too ;-). Go for it, blog conferences are a great way to learn and network.

  11. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I just started my blog 3 days ago and was not sure if it was the right thing to do. You have given me some hope to keep going forward. And to make my husband share his tools!

  12. I don’t have a blog and am happy enough to read wonderful blogs like yours instead. I certainly appreciate all the hard work that is evident in the blogging world, knowing that there’s no way I can fully know the extent of that work myself. I almost skipped over this post since I don’t have one, but read it and am glad I did. The advice you garnered at Blissdom is applicable to life in general. I know that women are reluctant to put an appropriate value on their worth in just about all areas, but please know that you and other women bloggers are clearly worth more than you’ll ever know — monetarily and in the support you give others. Not only do you help empower women to take on tasks that they might think are beyond them, but you help build our confidence in making even the smallest attempts (successful or not). I find myself sticking with bloggers who are supportive of other bloggers, not in competition with them. I wish you and anyone who takes on the monumental task of blogging and making tutorials and videos continued success, along with all the riches you deserve coming your way.

  13. Hi Brittany, Thank you for a timely and very encouraging post. I’ve been following you for a while and between you and other bloggers (that were also at Blissdom)I have been inspired to start my own blog(launching in April). I have alternated between nervous excitement and paralysing terror at the thought. This post has been filed under “Encouragement” in my email account to read (over and over and over) when the urge to bury myself under a pile of blankets occurs.

  14. Love the recap Brittany! It really sounds like it was a motivational experience and that you got a lot out of it. Thanks for letting those of us that didn’t get to go in on some of the happenings!

    Gotta say–love those PINK tools 😉 Maybe I need to change my blog to Pink Toes and PINK Power Tools, ha ha!

  15. Melinda says:

    thank you for this post! I’m new at blogging (1 post) and you have inspired me to continue on regardless of anything…I already thought you rocked cause of the power tool usage but you ROCK even more now!!! Blessings to you!

  16. Robin Steinmeyer says:

    Don’t count on it! I have a set of pink tools in a case. My husband uses them because I know where they are AND he doesn’t have to walk out to the shop!!

  17. Melinda KE says:

    So much truth in this little post!
    “When someone tells you something you {can’t be}, they are predicting a future they don’t own.” I can totally relate to this because I grew up in a family telling me only men fix things, use power tools, this and that, ect. I remember my very first project was replacing a wired-in smoke detector and my mom actually said “Don’t you dare try that, ask one of your guy friends to do it!” Women bloggers like you are the reason I started learning to do projects on my own. Seeing what other females could accomplish gave me the courage to give it a try, and I’m so thankful for the empowerment and support of the blogging community!

  18. Beautiful wrap-up! I’m inspired to attend one of these often talked about conferences – it sounds like Blissdom was wonderful this year.

  19. Great post!! I agree, I could have left Blissdom after listening to Jon Acuff and felt like I got my money’s worth. 😉


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