The top 11 things I learned at FitBloggin' 11 in Baltimore, Maryland
(yes, that totally rhymed but I'm leaving it).
11. Stay real and true to yourself.
When I bought my domain name, I had the hardest time deciding on a name. I had lots of suggestions, but ended up going with the name I proudly wear today. My goal in life.
Live Life to the Fullest. Laugh Often. Run Free. And Just Breathe
10. Zumba can be fun.
I can honestly say I had a great time during the Zumba class. And who wouldn't have fun with Thea Zumba-ing (yes, it's a verb) next to you!
9. I need to communicate with my readers (That's YOU!)
Katy Widrick and Jess Milcetich said in their "Branding Basics: How to Be a Social Media Susperstar" presentation how important is to show readers that I'm listening. I've always just used the standard Blogger comments, but my biggest complaint was the inability to respond to your comments. I now have Intense Debate and CommentLuv. So, please use it and I'll talk back to you! (It is a work in progress and may not be working at 100%, but it'll get there.)
Update: the comments are not showing up, but I'm getting them in my email - I'm working to fix the problem but any suggestions would be appreciated.
8. Size doesn't matter - at least in regards to my camera
According to Jim Doran, I need to work more on "The Art of Seeing" vs the "Act of Taking a Picture". I can stop obsessing about using my little iPhone and Canon Power Shot cameras for my blog photos. Sure, a big girl camera would be nice, but unless I'm printing poster sized images, it just isn't necessary. The rule of thirds, angles, lighting, practice taking pictures, and good editing software are more important. Plus, I can take a pretty decent photo with my iPhone when I want to.
7. Going to FitBloggin' doesn't mean you have to eat roots and berries (unless you want to).
The food from sponsors Attune Foods (yummy cereal with lots of fresh fruit), Egg-Land's Best eggs (the best hard boiled eggs I've ever had - and I don't even LIKE eggs), LaraBars, Nature's Greens, popchips, the list goes on and on. I wish I'd taken pictures of the food!
6. FitBloggin is the only place you can put a couple hundred women and a few men (Woot! to the Men of FitBloggin) in a conference center and everyone interacts like old friends.
The blogging community really is a community of friends. I don't remember which session it was, but someone (maybe Katy?-sorry I don't remember) talked about how we shouldn't be in competition with each other, but should help each other learn and grow as writers and bloggers. I loved this.
|photo credit: carriedphotography|
5. I need to be more consistent in my blogging.
This goes back to Katy and Jess's presentation. I plan to start more of a consistent schedule for my blog. Sure, I usually do the posts for the Shrinking Jeans challenges on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (and I wouldn't have even BEEN at FitBloggin' if it weren't for one of their contests so I owe The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans BIG TIME - THANK YOU!!!), but I need to add some other regular posts. I've been posting my 365 photo posts randomly throughout the weekend, but from now on they will always be posted on Mondays.
I would LOVE suggestions from you for some other regular-type posts. Please-leave me some ideas in the comments and I'll see what I can do!
4. Jack Sh*t, Charlie, and Sue are just as funny in real life (if not funnier) than they are on their blogs.
Plus, that Jack Sh*t fellow is a real dream-boat (someone "anonymous" said that on one of my previous posts).
3. You will leave with no shortage of swag if you go to FitBloggin'.
Seriously, next year I am packing an entire separate suitcase, just to bring home the swag. The New Balance shoes and capris were awesome and all this other stuff was just
icing on the cake I mean hummus for my carrots! This isn't even all of it. Most of the food-stuffs were consumed in an effort to close my suitcase.
2. Running with friends while wearing a tutu freaking ROCKS! I'm a total tutu convert.
|Christy, Kirsten, ChristieO, Lisa, Me, Thea|
1. Plane tickets $, Hotel Room $$, Cocktails $$$, A weekend with Friends: Priceless
|ChristieO & April|
|Me & Kirsten - on the shuttle ride to the airport - so sad to say goodbye|
After the recaps have all been read, new blogs have been added to Google Reader, and the session notes have been reviewed, in the end there are some memories of FitBloggin that will forever stay in my heart. I thank The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, Roni and the organizers of FitBloggin for not only helping me become a better writer/blogger, but for the memories I will cherish for a lifetime.
I went to a little conference last weekend to learn about blogging and run a 5k, but I gained so much more than a little knowledge and a workout.
Until next year, FitBloggin'!