I just got back from Create & Cultivate in Seattle. Create & Cultivate is a full day conference for female bloggers, creatives, influencers, digital marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. Each quarter Create&Cultivate hosts the conference in a new city. I missed Create & Cultivate when it made its way to Atlanta last fall. I was already planning a trip to Seattle to visit my best friend who lives there this fall so when I found out that Create&Cultivate was happening, I had to purchase a ticket.
Weeks leading up to conference I had been under the weather and was concerned I wasn’t going to be able to attend. But everything worked out and I boarded a plane to Seattle from Atlanta last week. I’ve been looking forward to attending this conference for months because I had heard so many good things about it from other bloggers.
Create & Cultivate was amazing and unlike any other conference, I had attended. The energy was awesome and it felt good to be in the company of so many amazing women who are doing great things in the industry. Everyone was invested in helping each other flourish.
Attendees were broken out into two separate tracks during the day. One track was focused on women looking to launch a business or take on a new career path and the second track was focused on content creation, social media and blogging. I attended the second track. Panel session covered topics like how to create snackable content, how to stay creative in a fast-paced and digital world, and advice from the blogging veterans like Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere and Gala Gonzalez. Some of the themes from the day were focused on encouraging women to think outside the box, find other mediums than social media to tell your story and be prepared to disrupt your industry.
The one thing that attracted me most about attending Create & Cultivate was that they paired you with a mentor during the conference. My mentors at Create & Cultivate were Maxie McCoy and Adrianna Adarme from A Cozy Kitchen. I’ve followed both of their career paths for a while now, so it was amazing to be able to chat with them in person and ask them for advice.
The keynote lineup was the amazing! The keynote speakers were Brooklyn Decker, Mandy Moore, and Issa Rae. All millennial women changing the game in their particular industries.
If you are a female entrepreneur or a woman in the creative space, I highly recommend that you attend Create & Cultivate when it comes to a city near you.The next city should be announced soon on the Create & Cultivate Instagram account.
About once a week I have someone reach out to me asking me for advice about how to start a blog. I flattered but I don’t have time to sit down with everyone to tell them how to start a blog. So today I’m launching my new blogging 101 series. Today’s topic focuses on everything you need to ask yourself before you start a blog.
When someone tells me they want to start a blog I say, why? Today’s series answers all the puzzling statements I’ve heard from aspiring bloggers.
1. I’m in it for the perks! : Wrong answer! I have so many people come to me and say I want to start a blog so I can get free stuff and make money. When I started my blog 5 years I can only remember a handful of bloggers that were making a regular income or doing partnerships with brands. I started my blog years ago because I wanted an outlet where I could share my passions about food, shopping, design, and things to do around Atlanta. Everything I share on here is what my best friends come to for when asking for advice. It’s took 3 years to really get this off the ground to make it a brand. Others have been more successful in a shorter amount of time but that all comes with hard work and dedication. Lots of long hours. If you aren’t will to stay up until midnight this isn’t for you. Blogging isn’t an easy feat.
2. I want a blog but I hate writing. Well why do you want a blog again? Good content drives traffic. Your blog needs to be searchable by the Google gods. If you don’t have a lot of content how will people find you.
3. I just want to launch my blog right away. Make sure you have a vision lined up first. I played around with branding and names for at least three months before I revealed it to the public.
4. Invest! I hate seeing bloggers who have good content but a horrible design. Invest! Invest! Invest! You have to have a clear focus on what you want your brand to say and mean. Your blog is like your outfit it’s says everything about you before you open your mouth. You want to stand up but want to look good and you also don’t want to look like a copy cat. Hire a designer or find a good clean template. ( there are so many resources on etsy and Pinterest)
5. Be active on social media. Sign up for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Follow all of your favorite bloggers and see what they are doing. Participate in Twitter chats and Pinterest parties about what you love. This is a great way to grow your social media following. Social media growth is all about engagement. I grew my Pinterest following to close to 10k because I’m always pinning.
Part two coming soon: Your blogging tool kit