Last week I attended the 5th annual Haven Blog Conference in Atlanta. I have been privileged to attend 3 of them. I had to miss last year because our sweet grandbaby girl arrived that same weekend! Having attended three Haven conferences, I can say that this year’s was the best! From the moment I stepped through the revolving door of the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, I felt at home. I was with ‘my people’!
Benefits of the Haven Blog Conference:
No doubt, blog conferences can pay big dividends for a blogger. Some of the ways a conference can improve a blog are to:
- Educate. It only took a few months as a blogger to realize it might not be as easy as I had thought! The process alone involves much more technological knowledge than I had when I started. There is the techy side – setting up, maintaining and expanding a blog – and then there are subjects like photography, video and working with affiliates and sponsors… which can take your blog to the next level. There is so much to learn and I can honestly say that I have learned something new almost every day!
- Engage. The friendships I have made blogging are some of the best I’ve ever made. It is so fulfilling to spend time with other bloggers who speak the same language and genuinely ‘get’ me! Blogging buddies understand staying up till the wee hours of the morning to tweak a blog post; they know what it’s like to adjust the camera settings because it’s cloudy outside; and they totally get the fact that things like SEO, optimizing images, and email lists matter! And beyond fellow bloggers are the wonderful brands who come to Haven to connect with bloggers; brands like Home Depot, Ryobi, Moen, Shaw, Cricut, Amy Howard and Decoart… and many others
- Employ. This is always the hard part – making it a point and a habit of using the knowledge and tapping into the new connections that you’ve made. Whether it is upping your photography game or learning a new photo-editing software; whether learning to monetize and work with affiliates and sponsors, or deciding whether or not to branch out into podcasts or video, it is imperative that one puts into practice whatever knowledge she has gained.
Sessions at Haven 2016:
Some of the sessions I attended were:
- Photography with the extremely talented Aniko of Place of My Taste
- Watercolor with the lovely Lucy of Craftberry Bush
- How to use Lightroom with the amazing photo-editing guru Beth of Unskinny Boppy
- Monetizing with Affiliates with the savvy Tasha of Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body
Fun and Swag at Haven 2016:
There was so much amazing decorating eye candy everywhere you looked! You can click here to watch a video on my Facebook Page!
The incredible folks at the MOEN booth had contracted with a fabulous caricature artist, and he did this for me:
And can I just mention the SWAG. For those not familiar with the term, it is synonymous with LOOT! The Haven sponsors really know how to do SWAG! Here are a few shots of some of the goodies I bought back with me (fortunately, I live close enough to drive – lots of attendees fly in and I don’t know how they get it all back home!):
What happened HERE during the Haven Blog Conference:
So, you will see me stretching myself here on these pages: striving for more and better. No, not perfection… we all know that’s unattainable, but just the best blog Sondra Lyn at Home can be! As a plus – I am so grateful to have the opportunity to guest post for Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality while she was so busy with the conference! Here’s a peek at the mantel and you can see that post here: A Mantle Design for Any Season.
Well, if you’ve hung with me through this long post, thank you!! And thank you, dear reader, for making this job that I do possible. I truly love it and blogging has become my passion!