Friday, June 20, 2014

BlogU14 Wrap Up

I’ve been attending the same big blog conference for years.  I keep saying I’m not going to go, but when no other conference catches my eye, I inevitably end up going.

Which is fine, I have fun and learn a lot; but after a huge year of transition with the move and job and helping the kids adjust to a new school, I just didn’t want to do a cross-country trip. 

I also had been craving a more intimate conference that focused more about the craft of writing, freelance, and the  art of sponsored posts.

When I saw the announcement for BlogU come across my Facebook feed, I became really excited!   It totally fit the bill.

Here are the top 6 reasons (in random order) that I am so glad that I went to BlogU:

Business Strategies for Freelance Writers

I have a deep love for writing.  Whether I am typing away on my computer or scribbling away with a pen, I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do.  So sometimes that feeling overrides the business side of things.  You know, like money, format, finding new freelance opportunities. 

Thanks, Anna from RandomHandprints, Nicole from Ninja Mom! I have a whole new way of looking at freelance opportunities.  The first rule of freelance club: Tell people you are a freelance writer!  It was also extremely insightful to hear what the editors at Huffington Post Parents and NickMom had to say about freelance writing.

I also want to thank Kim from Let Me Start by Saying, Nicole from Ninja Mom, Allison Hart from Motherhood, WTF?, and Alicia Steffann from Naps Happen.  They all helped me feel at peace with my writing process that requires notes, drafts, and time away before publishing.  You all validated my labor-intensive, creative process.  I do not feel so alone now. 

Finding Community

Speaking of not feeling alone, this conference helped to make the big blogging world a little smaller and friendlier.  All 200ish attendees had the same passion for writing and story telling, which was quite refreshing.  You would think it might feel competitive, but it was not (at least for me).  In fact, the keynote speakers Susan from Divine Secrets of a DomesticDiva, Jenn from People I want to Punch in the Throat, Illana Wiles from MommyShorts, and Karen Alpert from Baby Sideburns emphasized the importance of all working together to raise each other up.  I love that!

The Art of Sponsored Posts

I have been thinking more and more about pursuing sponsored posts, but was not sure how to go about it and keep the storytelling aspect intact.  After listening to Illana from Mommy Shorts and Anna from My Life andKids, I am inspired to do more kinds of these posts.  Again, I’m not always business-minded, but these women were able to give some practical advice to help navigate around negotiating and pitching.

The Importance of Graphics

I am no graphic designer, but I love design.  The good part is that I love it; the bad part is that my designs do not always turn out the way I would like.  Thanks to Robyn Welling from Hollow Tree Adventures, I now have a better handle on that!

Being on a College Campus

I loved that BlogU was on a college campus.  It was easy to get around without maneuvering around a city.  I also felt that it was this safe little haven that was inclusive rather than exclusive which can happen when outside events overtake the official conference.


The great thing about blogging and social media are the friends I have made.  The bad part is I don’t get to see them in real life all that often.  It was awesome seeing my friend Annie from Real Mommy Chronicles!  I met her five years ago and have been friend eve since!

What else was added to the fun?  A candy bar, delicious cupcakes, and the NickMom Prom party.  I may have been too tired to participate, but I loved seeing everyone dress up!

Thanks so much, Stephanie Giese from Binkies and Briefcases, for creating such an amazing conference!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Easy Parenting Tricks Segment on Live in the D

This week has been crazy, crazy I tell you!

I was featured on Live in the D talking about quick and easy parenting tips with Karen Drew. I was very excited in case you couldn't tell by my frantic hand movements.  Check it out here.

live in the d parenting tricks mommy on the spot erin janda rawlings
I had a lot to say about these random supplies.

Also, I use the juice box tip all.the.time.

In addition to this exciting nit of news along with the end of the school year wrap up that includes a special event almost daily and doing yard work since the previous owners let creeping myrtle take over the whole front yard and putting together a family vacation, I didn’t get a chance to really write a blog post this week.

I feel when life gets hectic like this, I *need* blogging and writing and get cranky when I can't fit it in.

Also, did I mention I am at BlogU conference this weekend?!  We are staying in dorms and learning all sorts of cool stuff about blogging and writing!  I have been looking forward to this for months, and it is finally here!  I will be tweeting and instagraming at #BlogU14 if you are curious what it s like to go back to college living after having kids.

college living snacks mommy on the spot erin janda rawlings
Back in the day, this would be Cheez-its and  a Mountain Dew.
My tastes have evolved.

How are you faring the beginning of June?  Just as crazy as the beginning of May?