I've returned from the Gold Coast where I spent three days in blogging heaven - two days at the Problogger event and socialising before and after. My mind is so thinky. I'm jumping about with ideas - ones I can implement now, in a month, in six months and in a year. I hope to do more posts about this event in the coming weeks - bear with me. There's just so much goodness.
There are such talented, generous, focused people doing great things. It was great to be among people who just get it - understanding the importance of blogs and telling our own story, affirming it's ok to believe in your dreams, write them down and achieve them, and being ok with a real life conversation simultaneously happening during an online conversation.
There was so much talk of community and making a difference. And that's what blogging is about, yeah. Using your blog to make a difference and to make friends.
And I met Amber Melody - who is gorgeous inside and out.
And I finally saw Tash! Oh I have missed her! We hung out a lot, it was nice. (Also see my eyebrows?! Totally fake!)
Pip Lincolne introduced me to Lucy from The Design Files. Lucy and my sessions were on at the same time (and I really wanted to be at her session!). We had a quick chat and a photo and she was so wonderful.
I got back to my room and Tamsin said I was on Lucy's Instagram feed.
I cried at her kind words about me - so so lovely. And she's sent a heap of her dedicated followers over to see what I'm about.
Thanks so much Lucy! You're the epitome of what Problogger is about - sharing, kindness and love.
These were just a few of the wonderful people I spent time with over those three days. To be honest though I did feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people. Lots of people. I can see why people need to retreat. If I didn't have a long conversation with you or didn't get to say hello, I apologise.
(Pic via Lou from World Vision)
The room was engaged, asking questions in person and tweeting about the event. We were trending at one stage! Bloggers are doing amazing things for social good. Read Emma's post and linky here - add your social good to the linky! Emma said "If your blog is getting the better of you, use it to do social good". Eden said that "all the humans on the planet are your peers. What are you doing to help?"
We all suggested working with charities and causes like you would with brands. Find a charity that aligns with your niche and pitch yourself. I love that Nikki Parkinson from Styling You works with Dress for Success - to help disadvantaged women dress for job interviews. I love that Digella Bakes started Baked Relief - delivering baked goods to regions affected by natural disaster. I love that Smaggle is doing silly things for a bus for kids with special needs. I love that Jim Butcher from Mr and Mrs Romance had no idea how to get involved in doing social good before the session but has some inspiration now.
I shared some of the anecdotes from those who participated in the Ichthyosis Awareness Month Blog Project and testimonials from Sam and Connie from Love Your Sister. Their words about how sharing their stories in my blog made them feel empowered in awareness raising, confident in telling their stories and part of a community is the reason I blog.
Here's Eden's attendee selfie (nicked from this post).
And our awkward panel photo! Too funny! Too awkward! Here's the storify of our tweets.
The Problogger team is so very generous - three bloggers were invited on stage for Problogger to showcase their story - The Merry Maker Sisters and Jules from Zippy Zappy Life. These bloggers are the new superstars - and that was recognised when they received mentoring and pampering from the Problogger team. Jules has a huge family, is a foster mum and blogs about sensory issues. The MM Sisters have recently quit their jobs to blog full time. They are so enthusiastic and willing to learn. And SO lovely :)
The conference was well planned - I was in the green room for an hour and saw the amazing work that went into the social media. I also saw the team cuddling babies so their mums could get a massage. Us speakers had a wonderful dinner with the event team on Saturday night. And I'm still pinching myself that I was able to speak there!! Thank you to everyone who made the conference happen. Thanks especially to Darren Rowse - Problogger himself - for being so generous, so community minded and so knowledgeable.
Also thank you to you - my friends, family and readers for being so supportive and for giving me the confidence and drive to keep at it. There's a little giveaway happening on my Facebook and Instagram. Pop over to either one and tell me how you look and feel your best.
The conference spurred me on again to write down my dreams. I have many, and I will make them happen. Darren and many of speakers the other talked a lot about how when we wrote down our dreams, we are more likely to them happen. This is one of my dreams. Wish me luck!