It’s been awhile since I put up a cringe-worthy terrible selfie, the only kind I take. I had a good one the other day outside the Food Blog Success Summit in Kansas City. This is my look as I realized I was the first attendee to arrive and I couldn’t figure out which door actually led to the River Market Event Place.
Let me tell ya, the whole she-bang made me nervous. I have a horrible habit of acting like a grade A dork when I’m out in public by myself. As expected, there were some major awkward Amy moments. After other people showed up I dumped hot coffee all over my dress. I might have slipped a few words that started with a son and would have ended better with “of a gun,” but I didn’t end it like that. And then, still reeling from the shock of my mess, I stole my neighbors napkin off her lap to try and get the coffee off before it soaked in completely. Luckily she was understanding of the whole thing and I brought her a new napkin as a peace offering.
Other than that one very clutzy mishap, I didn’t do too bad. In fact, there was a moment when I got a round of applause for one of my creative ideas. In my mind that brought it to an even balance of good/bad behavior for me.
The food blog success summit is part of the Chopped Con conference put on by Marly McMillen. If you are a food blogger and you’ve never heard of Marly, look her up right now. She has THE BEST podcast ever. FBSS was a day long mastermind session with Marly, Tessa Arias from The Food Blog Academy and Kathryne Taylor from Cookie and Kate. The panel looked at several attendees blogs (not mine). They went over things each blog did well and also pointed out practical ways to improve, like changing the sidebar or making text a darker more readable color.
A whole day of listening to them brainstorm left me antsy to get home and put some ideas brewing in my head into action.
Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.
No one starts out knowing what they are doing on their blog. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. Blogging is a learning process, every day has a new challenge, a new skill to hone.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be shared.
Probably my favorite quote of the day, I’ve been telling myself this one almost daily since then. I really want my blog to perfect because I work so hard on it and spend so much time on it, but that is never going to happen! And when I try and chase that unattainable goal, it just leaves me frustrated, unhappy and unmotivated.
Focus on small tweaks, not giant leaps.
When you look at changing something around with your blog, you don’t have to go all out. Make small changes, then in a week or two analyze whether the response to the change as been positive or negative.
If you can’t be better, be different.
There are a lot of ways to stand out as a blogger. Perhaps you have great photography or an excellent voice as a writer, but there are other areas where you really struggle. If you are looking at your fellow bloggers work and thinking, I can’t do this as well as them. Okay, wonderful, fabulous, great! Do it differently. Do it your own unique way.
Don’t allow your beliefs to limit what you give to your readers.
Just because you don’t like a certain photo, or feel like a story about a certain recipe lacks that wow factor isn’t enough of a reason not to share with your readers. Everyone values things differently and places importance on different things. We can’t let our own beliefs shortchange us by thinking everyone feels the same way we do.
Spending the day with a group of food bloggers talking about what we do felt great. I’ve grown to love blogging as a whole. When I started AHB in March my goal was simply to get it up and running as cheaply as I could because I didn’t have much to invest. After listening to these inspiring women, I realize that it’s time for me to invest a little more than only time and passion into AHB. My focus and direction are much clearer than when I first began and I’m ready to take some action. I’m excited to say that I’m going to be doing a little revamp around here in the coming month or so, including some new photos of mwah that aren’t 5 years old.
I wish that I could have done all the workshops and both days of ChoppedCon, but I had to be back home to watch my daughter cheer at a football game. Next year I’d love to do both days. The workshop had a great small group environment that I would recommend to any blogger, but specifically newer bloggers who, like me, can be easily overwhelmed…and socially awkward. Lol.
PS. Many thanks to my brother for putting me up for the night, playing chauffeur, and for taking some photos for me!