What I Learned From My First Blogging Workshop

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Over the weekend, I attended my first blogging workshop. I’ve toyed with going to blogging workshops and conferences before but never have because they’ve always conflicted with my schedule or because I’ve decided that they were too expensive. However, neither of those reasons diminished the fact that I wanted to attend one at some point. The workshop I attended was put on by Bloguettes. I decided to do the Bloguettes workshop for a number of reasons. For starters, it was in LA so I didn’t have to spend any money on travel, which was a huge draw. I also know one of the founders of Bloguettes (Sakura) and I trusted her completely with the time and money I knew I was investing in the workshop. So, here’s what I learned from my first blogging workshop:

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{Taking headshots to practice on with Lightroom and Photoshop}

The main reason I decided to do this particular workshop though was the fact that it was a workshop instead of a conference. While I would definitely like to attend a blogging conference someday, I’ve heard time and time again that they aren’t always worth it, other than for networking purposes, because the training they offer is often entry level and delivered in short segments. As a result of the Bloguettes workshop being a workshop and not a conference, it was a hands-on experience, which I was super drawn to! After doing the workshop all weekend, I’m SO happy I did it because I learned SO much (particularly about Photoshop, holy moly!). The workshop was so hands-on because Bloguettes modeled everything for us, we worked through everything in real time on our computers, we were able to ask questions at any point, and the materials they provided were amazing. I seriously came away with a whole packet on Photoshop and Lightroom… it’s like a blogging Bible.

Rhyme & Reason What I Learned From My First Blogging Workshop

{Yummy workshop treats: acai bowls by Amazebowls}

Bloguettes outlines exactly what you’ll cover in the workshop each day so I knew ahead of time that the workshop would include some entry level training but would also build upon it as the days went on with more in-depth training. I really liked that format! The workshop is also 3 days so each of the 3 main topics of the workshop gets it’s own dedicated day. The schedule went as follows: day 1 covered blogging, day 2 covered social media, and day 3 covered photoshop and lightroom. Unfortunately, I could only attend days 2 and 3 (Saturday & Sunday) because I couldn’t take work off on Friday to attend day 1.

Rhyme & Reason What I Learned From My First Blogging Workshop

{The space Bloguettes designed at the workshop was super cozy and inviting!}

Because it was a smaller workshop and not a conference, I didn’t get to network with brands. However, I still met some really great, interesting, and creative people. Bloguettes also brought in Annie Lawless to speak, which was awesome. Her story about founding and selling Suja Juice (to Coca-Cola) and her story about starting her fashion blog (Blawnde) were really inspiring!

Rhyme & Reason What I Learned From My First Blogging Workshop

{Hanging with Sakura during a workshop break!}

My Takeaways:

1. Sakura and Lorena (the two founders of Bloguettes) are powerhouses!

2. A “workshop” is very different than a “conference.” Without having ever been to a blogging conference, I’d say that they both have pluses and minuses. A workshop is hands-on and allows you to get your hands dirty but doesn’t allow for opportunities to network with brands. However, the Bloguettes workshop did teach us HOW to be in a position to work with brands. On the other hand, a conference doesn’t allow you to really get into the nitty gritty of learning new tools and strategies but will give you more general inspiration to stay motivated and find your niche + there are usually more opportunities to network with brands. It’s important to decide which type of event is right for you.

3. Your blog is your brand is your business is your baby. Yes, blogs are wonderful side projects to keep us engaged and learning but in reality they are also businesses. I appreciated being reminded on this (hello inspiration/motivation!). I’m also always open to any feedback y’all have – anything you think I can do better, anything you’d like to see on R&R, etc!

4. Listen and take notes. Not to brag or anything but I’m an excellent note taker. My majors in college required that my hand cramp up in every class I attended as a result of taking copious notes (you feel me if you are or were a history or psychology major). I took a lot of notes at the workshop on my computer and on paper (they gave us great templates to work with) so I feel like I’ll be able to keep everything I learned with me instead of forgetting everything.

5. Do your research. Determine what you and your business need more, a workshop or a conference. Then determine what you want to get out of your experience and make a plan. If you’re attending a conference and your goal is to network, then research who will be there and determine which brands and bloggers you want to connect with. If you’re attending a workshop, then decide which days you want to go to and be prepared with questions you have on the topic of the day.

6. You are your own recipe for success. No conference or workshop will give you a special recipe for success to help you grow your readers, numbers, and/or engagement overnight. That’s a fact. However, as I said above, do your research to help you match up with the best conference or workshop for you and what you need to grow. Don’t expect any workshop or conference to hand you success but do expect to learn the tools to help you achieve success yourself (especially if, in my opinion, it’s put on by Bloguettes).

P.S. this post was in no way sponsored by Bloguettes. The praises I’m singing are because I really enjoyed my experience and because I feel like I learned a lot. If you’re thinking about doing one of Bloguettes workshops then definitely reach out to me with questions. I’d love to help and share more about what I learned from my first blogging workshop!

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