Words of Wisdom for Bloggers from Blissdom 2011

{Disclaimer: This post is a departure from my normal DIY tutorials.
If you are craving the usual familiar Pretty Handy Girl posts, you may want to leave now and come back when our regularly scheduled program returns.}

I arrived home from Nashville on Saturday. It was so wonderful seeing the smiling faces of my boys at the airport.

I had a week I will always remember. A week where I absorbed enough wisdom, information, and friendships to make my head swim. A week that made me need a 2 hour nap early Saturday evening.

A week where I met my sister in looks.

Me (aka PHG) and Cindy (My Cottage Love launching this summer)

And my sister in soul.

PHG and Sandra – Sawdust and Paper Scraps

And many more women who I can truly call a sister in spirit. (Unfortunately, they aren’t all pictured below. If I missed taking your picture, you know who you are!)

Marian, Kristen, Kim, Sandra, Layla, Erin, Ashley

In summary, this week was so inspiring to me, that I felt the need to share some of the pearls of wisdom I took away from Blissdom.

What is your intention, your purpose, your goal?

Write down your goal for blogging. YOU MUST HAVE A PURPOSE or you will be unable to stick with it for the long haul.

  • Blog for money and your account will run dry.
  • Blog for fame and you will find yourself alone.
  • Blog for attention and you will be ignored.

“If you can be yourself on your blog, then you will have no competition.” - The Nester

  • Don’t be someone you’re not on your blog.
  • Don’t copy anyone.
  • If you do use a photo, idea or portion of another blog, be sure to ask permission and definitely link back to their blog.

“Start as you mean to go on.” - Old British expression.

In other words, start your blog as if it will be a huge success. Be prepared to be BIG one day.

Be professional from the start. Set your intention and stick to it. Determine now if you want to share photos of your children or your real name.



“Post the Awesome! Don’t post mediocrity”Scott Stratten

We all feel the pressure to keep on a schedule, but don’t just post to post. If you aren’t feeling inspired, ignore the pressure to put something out there.

Lack of inspiration? Take a break, lay down, go for a walk, get outside, call a friend. Or take a longer hiatus to re-group your thoughts and find your intention again.

…you are responsible for your happiness and you are responsible for the energy you bring to everything.” - Oprah Winfrey

As a blog writer, it can be difficult to keep your spirits up. There are days when it seems that no one cares about you and your blog. Or worse yet, you receive a comment from a Troll.


About Trolls: 

   {a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response…} – Wikipedia

Emotional currency: “Let’s say we have $100 worth of emotional currency a day. Give it to people you care about, not to trolls. Don’t even give them a $1 of your emotional currency.” - Scott Stratten

Don’t whine, complain or post negativity on twitter, facebook or your blog. Think about it before you rant. “Would you put those words on a 30 ft. billboard for your mother to see?” - Scott Stratten

“Let them hate you because they fear your success and their lack of success.”- Scott Stratten

Make a short list (even if it is only one or two people) of people whose opinions you value above all others - Brené Brown, PhD

Taming the Green Eyed Monster:

It is so hard to read anyone’s blog without your eyes wandering over to the Google friend follower or feedburner counters. You may find yourself measuring your blog against theirs. Or, wondering what makes them better and able to have more followers, comments, advertisers, etc. etc.   

STOP! It is so important not to get sucked into feeling envious of your fellow bloggers. We all need to support one another and be happy and thrilled for another’s success. Those that have succeeded are only paving the road for the rest of us. 

If you do find yourself comparing. Turn your follower widgets off or hide them at the bottom of your blog. Pull out your blog intention statement and remind yourself why you are blogging.

Remember that no one reached 200,000 page views the first week they started blogging. Your blog will grow, give it time and recognize that it is a slow and steady incline if you stay true to your intent. But, also ask yourself, how will you measure the success of your blog? Refer back to your intention. 

Re-think what is important in your life. Is it your followers, stats, income and/or readership? Or is it your physical family and relationships that are concrete and there for you even if you stop blogging tomorrow? 

“Thank you for being a Friend that would Move a Body” - Brené Brown, PhD

We all need friends. But, as a blogger, we need good friends that also write blogs. Choose a network of blogging buddies that you can rely on:

  • as a sounding board
  • as someone to help you when you are stuck
  • as someone to help promote your blog
  • as someone who will be completely honest with you
  • as someone who will share information with you
  • as someone who will listen with a kind ear but won’t dish about you later

This is probably the most important thing I learned at Blissdom. The need to create a network of other bloggers.

This may seem a little daunting. I admit going to a blog conference can help immensely with networking. But, it isn’t mandatory. Email bloggers that have blogs similar to your own or that you admire. Email bloggers whose blogs are bigger and smaller than your own.

If you don’t get a response or the out-stretched hand, don’t sweat it. Just recognize that everyone is different and they may have their own support networks or just don’t have the time to invest in a good friendship. Don’t let it hurt your feelings.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of networking with newer bloggers or those with less followers. You may be surprised what they can teach you.

Case in point: This wonderfully smart and sweet blogger taught me more about advertising and WordPress than anyone else at Blissdom:

PHG and Kristi (Creative Kristi)

Kristi was a business major, but she is also hard-working, determined, and one smart cookie. I urge you to check out her blog.

Build Each Other Up and Support One Another:

I have a song that has been running through my head since I heard Brian Walker and Crystal Bowersox (husband and wife singers) perform it the last night at Blissdom. It speaks to me about what we need to do for each other:

“I wanna be your mason baby, I wanna build a life with you…Bridges burn and buildings fall and time can tear down walls…but you will always have a home with me.” – by Brian Walker with Crystal Bowersox

So, to my new blogging friends: I wanna be your mason baby, and I want us to support each other as we build our blogs together.

PHG and Kate

Cleared for Takeoff
The Cottage Chick
Creative Kristi

Erin, Sandra, Kristi and PHG

Decor Chick
Dr. Baby Mama Drama
Frugal with a Flourish
Heels and a Hammer

…and any other bloggers I met and forgot to mention, call me out on it and I’ll add you!Now available! Watch the Blissdom seminars from home:

Couldn't make it to BlissDom? Get it all here.
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Comments

  1. Kristi @ Creative Kristi says:

    Brittany- oh how I love you! You got this post organized and written in such a short time & so beautifully!
    I love it & I love you! I'm so glad that I got to meet you & chat with you & just hang out with you! I am completely surprised that you learned more from ME than anyone else lol! (maybe it's because I talk a lot?)
    Talk to you soon,
    xoxo

  2. Centsational Girl says:

    Awesome post Brittany, I echo your sentiments! Thanks for sharing what you learned, we could all benefit from that sage advice.
    xo
    Kate

  3. Michelle @ Dream Home DIY says:

    What a great post! As a relativly new blogger, I find myself falling into a few (or most)of these traps more often than I really should admitt. I have to shake it off and remind myself why I joined this amazing blog community in the first place and why I love being a part of it.

    Thanks again for the reminders!

  4. InMyOwnStyle says:

    Hi Brittany-

    xo for posting this. I could not attend Blissdom and was very sad to miss out on all the fun and friendship. I feel a bit more connected now – seeing your great photos and reading what you learned. Thanks for sharing it all with us and helping spread the word in true Blissdom spirit.
    My best- Diane

  5. That is an AWEsome post. I can't believe how much I learned last week about so many different things. So great to meet you, too!

    But I gotta say, you left out my favorite quote from @UNmarketing's talk. "It's your pool. Don't let the trolls pee in your pool!" ;)

  6. Pam @ Our Adventures in Home Improvement says:

    Thanks for all of the great information! I am a brand new blogger–I started just last week! I have been reading blogs for a couple of years and have learned so much.

    It looks like you had such a fun time at Blissdom! I recognize most of the faces from the blogs I follow. :)

    Have a great day.

    Pam

  7. Heather@The Black's Best says:

    Thanks for involving all of your readers in the Blissdom experience. It looks like it was a fun, informative time. Also, thanks for sharing the key points. As a new blogger, this is great advice.

  8. Sweeter Hours says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. This was just the pick-me-up I needed.

  9. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Hi, Brittany, this was a great recap on the conference. I think these are great points to ponder for bloggers to remember. So great to meet you & hang out some.

  10. To Dog With Love says:

    Great post and inspiration! So glad I found you!
    Diane

  11. thanks for sharing!! The photos are awsome and so is the recap! Glad you had a good time

  12. Colleen @ MuralMaker&More says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your guidance on blogging came at just the perfect time for me. I'm going to bookmark it – right next to Pioneer Woman's 10 reasons. It'll help – when I see someone with a ton of followers and I've been stagnant, when I just don't feel inspired to write, when I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'll click back to this blog, and thank you once again!

  13. Sawdust and Paperscraps says:

    Yes, I was a little overwhelmed from learning so much so fast so I'm glad you recapped things here in such an organized fashion so I can look back frequently. p.s. thanks for not posting any of the really crazy pics. You know what I'm talking about!

  14. What a great dose of perspective, Brittany! Thank you and I'm glad you had such a wonderful experience at Blissdom. :)

    Erin

  15. Melissa @ The Inspired Room says:

    So nice to meet you and it was great to have you a part of the Home Tribe!! xo

  16. Erin @ Two Story Cottage says:

    Wow – good recap girl! Sad I missed the last night – looks like you guys had fun. :)

  17. Jessica @ Decor Adventures says:

    What a wonderful summary of your trip. Love that Oprah quote and all of that advice.

    What about your plans for the Wildhorse Saloon? :-)

  18. I have been blogging since 07, but have not been true to my self. Only recently have I figured out what I am doing. I love this post and glad I got to read it. Great advice and information.

  19. Something Nice and Pretty says:

    Oh, so much fun,love the pictures of all of you! Thanks for this post, it helped ALOT! I had one troll (I think) didn't care for the short and snappy comment and I could have deleted but felt it would just start a ball rolling that I didn't want to chase so I left it! Glad I did now…I didn't let her pee in my blog!

    Rondell

  20. Funky Junk Interiors says:

    Wonderful post, Brittany! Not many have posted yet about what they've learned from Blissdom, so I really appreciate you sharing what you did. Invaluable for those wishing they had gone. :)

    Donna

  21. I just found your site a few days ago and have really enjoyed it! I looks like Blissdom was wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing what you learned!

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