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Mar 17, 2012

#2 Panel Discussions: Lessons Learned!


My only frustration with the TX Style Council Conference was that I could not be in ALL of the panels…there were a few I missed and I would love to read what happened!! The next one I attended was BLOGGING LESSONS LEARNED! The panel was moderated by Molly of Smart Pretty Awkward; and the panel included J of Js Everyday Fashion, Jen of Jen Loves Kev, Elizabeth of Delightfully-Tacky, and Kyla of Blue Collar Catwalk.



 These are seasoned bloggers who began with amazement at how the fashion/style blogging community has grown since they began; and, how supportive and accepting the community is of one another. They discussed how their blogs had taken them through difficult times in their lives…through moves to other cities, relationship breakups, and readjusting priorities.




Here are some of the highlights:


1. It takes time to learn what works and what doesn’t. Jen shared how she went through a time of blogger burnout, but she took a step back, readjusted her priorities, evaluated closer her guidelines for monetization…and now she is prouder of her blog than ever. Discovering how to make money means you “kiss a lot of frogs” in order to see by trial and error what works and what doesn’t. It’s OK to benefit from your hard work, but there are some marketing strategies you may not want to be on board with, because they require changing your writing or your design or your voice.




2. You have to find your voice and that takes time. There will be growing pains as you discover what you bring to the table.


3. Kyla said that she doesn’t want to be a watered down version of who she actually is. It is important to have off line relationships with other bloggers to help work through things. Develop your own community. Have people around you who will tell you the truth about your blog.


4. You will always have moments of WHAT WAS I THINKING? It shows growth …it is ok to have those moments. Don’t be ashamed of them…after all (Jen said) If you still love the art that you did in high school then you haven’t grown? It is good to look back with no regrets.




5. Don’t hold back with your ideas….be braver!


6. Remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. Do not let negative comments get to you. Learn from them if you can, but do not see them as a reflection of yourself. Molly will remove the negative comment and then send them an email to tell them how much their comments hurt! She added, “I often get an apology!” J remembered one hurtful comment which stung…but upon reflection she used it to make some changes on her blog that eventually made it better!! J said to remember that the crazies and some of the venting have nothing to do with you…they, perhaps, had a bad day and are taking it out on bloggers!! The biggest lesson learned was not to internalize mean comments.


7. Changes they made they believe are important?? Upgrade your camera. If you are not a photographer, become one!


8. Improve in all your areas of weakness…whether it is writing, photography, technology…learn it! Google for help…there are excellent resources online.


9. Your blog design speaks to your professionalism. If you have had the same one for a long time, refresh it. Google ways to manipulate what you already have.




10. The content needs to be stress-free…you must enjoy what you do and not be stressed by it.


11. Have courage. Dare to be different. You are different…celebrate it!


12. DO NOT COMPARE OR CHANGE TO BE SOMEONE ELSE. Stay true to who you are. Elizabeth said that the posts where she is raw and brutally honest make her feel the best. “That is when I connect with people who are going through the same experiences and they can have hope, because they see I came out of the mess,” she said.


13. J said to have set priorities each time you sit down at the computer. She begins with her post, answering reader questions (because readers are a top priority), and then her work with monetization.


14. Be careful what you write about your family. One of the ladies use to poke fun at a family member, only to find out that it really upset another family member!!  She meant know harm, but it did create some uncomfortable moments!


15. Molly advised if you have a tag line you love, GET IT TRADEMARKED!


16. Never write what you personally do not agree with!




Kyla summed it up best…."It is a really cool feeling when you receive a comment from someone who says YOU MADE MY DAY. That keeps me going!"
This post went longer than I first believed it would, so I will have the final wrap up tomorrow…then on to VISIBLE MONDAY! Make sure you enter my book giveaway (top of the sidebar)…would you like to be Fabulous? Learn how in this wonderful book!!


Downtown Austin was booming with those in for SXSW!
Happy Saturday Everyone!!



10 comments:

  1. I am enjoying this as I am trying to learn how to become a better blogger. Although my forte is not necessarily a fashion blog, there is something to be learned from your conference notes. Thanks!

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  2. What a great recap! Thank you so much for listening to all of us. Hope to see you again next year!! Xoxo

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  3. So have been enjoying your post on the conference! Trending link up is back. Try to stop by.

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  4. Thanks for this Pam. I really am working on #5, to be braver. My favorite blogs are the most honest and daring. And #11 - dare to be different!

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  5. THIS LOOKS like it was so fabulous to attend!!! HELLO THERE PAM dear! I love meeting blogger pals. I love Blogland. It has literally changed my course and God willing, there is more to come. But much has been learned and now MORE will be learned as we all venture out to dream bigger, and like that saying goes, "IF your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!"

    DREAM BIG !!!! And thank you for visit today dearest! Anita

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  6. I have been following fashion blogs for 2 months now. I have followed yours for about a month. There has been a lot written about how blogs can be better....due to the conference. Here are some of my thoughts....I LOVE it when the pictures are taken outside,with a background that is interesting. I live in the Midwest where there are neither mountains or beaches, so it's great to see them. I also like it when the blogger writes something about their life. It doesn't have to be real personal.....just interesting. I also like the blogs that the reader wants to know how to style an article of clothing they have just purchased. Either the blogger or any readers can comment. I have benefitted a lot from these type of blogs. It gives me some fresh ideas, even with clothes I have had awhile. Things I don't like....mean, hateful comments. Also, small, dark pictures that DO NOT showcase the outfit very well. I have enjoyed your blog very much. These are just some of my opinions......

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  7. Ashley Behnke (Onyx + Pearl Scarves)March 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    You did such a great job documenting nuggets from the TxSC panels! I am working on number 11 myself and to be quite honest it is a hoot running in a lane that feels yours.

    It was great meeting you and thank you for the mention!

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  8. That's such an informative post.You made me feel like I was there myself .I also struggle to find my own voice but i don't go down the monetize path so things are more relaxed around here.I like that you take time to keep us informed.

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  9. Pam,

    This was a great wrap-up of our panel! I'll be sending it to my family and friends who weren't at the conference. So glad you liked it!

    Best,
    Molly

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