BlogHer15.

What do you get when you throw a bunch of bloggers in a room? No wait...what do you get when you throw a bunch of women, feminist, activist, brilliant bloggers in a room? BlogHer15.



I was sent to the conference by my job, prepared to gain insight and hear a few nuggets that would help me excel in both my role at work and also in my own personal blogging life. I set goals for myself and decided what I NEEDED to learn while I was at the conference, and forced myself to step outside of my comfort zone and take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

And that's exactly what I did.

Coca-Cola Life, I like! 

I spotted women who sat alone and volunteered to keep them company. When our CEO graced the stage as the first keynote of the day, I left my seat and made my way front and center to snap photos amidst the sea of women who sat around tables to listen. I decided to make myself comfy in the front of the ballroom and met women who ran interesting blogs (I'm so used to reading fashion, hair, and lifestyle blogs) and exchanged information, promising to keep in touch.
Our CEO with two incredible Girl Scouts

While this may seem trivial to some, it's big for me. Though I'm an extrovert, I have the tendency to withdraw from situations where I'm surrounded by strangers. I can become antisocial, choosing to socialize only with my group and anyone who decides to engage with me. Very rarely do I take it upon myself to introduce, spark conversation, and suggest following up, so to see myself blossom into the initiator was beautiful for me. I made it a point to speak with the panelists after sessions, and followed up with attendees who asked questions during sessions that I had answers to. I was, for lack of a better word, fearless.

Through two keynotes and two sessions, I heard from bloggers who encountered the same struggles, triumphs, defeats, and moments of self-reflection that I had/have.  I learned about the importance of personal branding and discovered this foreign concept called "focusing." In the same session, I got tips on organizing my time, which is much needed as I begin juggling both personal and professional brands. To say this conference was a godsend is an understatement.

One of the biggest takeaways I got from BlogHer was that my story (or yours) is one that needs to be told, and told honestly. Whether it's a story about having separation anxiety or struggles with dieting, it matters, if not to someone else, then to me. You never know who you can touch (even if it's one person) by being completely candid and authentic. In addition to that, I realized that doesn't take a certain number of followers or page views to see yourself as an expert, whether it's an expert at blogging or an expert at a specific topic. The only validation you or I need is knowing that we've lived it or are living it. What better expert than someone who can speak from a place of experience?

I'm excited to see how my blog develops and grows as I apply all of the tips and tricks I learned at BlogHer15. Most importantly, I'm excited to return next year with a lot more to offer my fellow blogging buddies.


Sponsored by Lyft.

So excited to hear that Gwenyth was a keynote!

3 comments

  1. Looks like a fun event, and great photos. Greetings!

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  2. Janna -

    Great Post! I had the pleasure of meeting you at BlogHer15 and hope to see you at 16!

    I felt I walked away with many of the same things you did. I went to learn how to grow our blog (for a brand) and as I told the brands story and the reason for the blog... I realized I was telling my story too!

    YES... I thought.... I have a story too.

    Look forward to watching your blog grow ;-)

    Mary Pryor

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mary!

      It was so nice to meet you at BlogHer. We should absolutely stay in touch and reconnect next year (I'll DEFINITELY be going :) )

      It's so easy to forget our own story while we're so busy telling others', but we have a duty to share it. It's always surprising who else can relate!

      Thanks for stopping by! :)
      Janna

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