Goal Setting – Blog Business

Overcoming obstacles in blog business.Sometimes the things that you think are holding you up, really aren’t. For years, I’ve felt stuck with my blog not growing like I want it to. I’ve blamed it on my branding needing to be redone. I’ve blamed it on the fact that my head doesn’t understand all the backend, coding, SEO, type stuff. I’ve blamed it on my kids and the fact that I don’t have enough time to really focus on the blog. And those things are all true to a certain extent. But recently it hit me. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the commitment to really take it to the next level. And the possible failure. Fear really is an m effer.

After Bash Conference I had such a clear picture of what I want this blog to be. Finally, after at least 2 years of struggling with it. But it wasn’t anything revolutionary. I simply discovered I was afraid of so many things. Of putting myself out there, of not measuring up to what other people are doing and to not succeeding. I excel at everything I do (or at least I’d like to think that I do). So the thought of putting work in and still coming up short was paralyzing. I think of all the whining I’ve done about not knowing what I wanted the blog to look like or why I’m not being contacted by more brands and I feel sad. Mostly for my friends who had to listen to the whining, but also sad that I couldn’t see what was really going on.

I really credit Coryanne Etienne with helping to open my eyes. In her Bash session, she was able to lay out goal setting in such a way that it wasn’t daunting or scary. Her goal setting comes from a really personal place. And that was exactly what I needed to hear. Success is different for everyone. My numbers don’t have to match another blogger’s to mean success for me. My business goals are directly linked to the things that make myself and my family happy. Once I figured that out I felt ready to tackle my business. This is all still very new and I’m working through obstacles, still. But I feel like I have things that I am working towards and that feels really good.

I am currently trying to come up with a new name for the blog. It is a huge task and I can feel it slowing my progress. It is SO hard to come up with a name that not only shows your personality and won’t pigeon-hole you (because currently people think I either make cupcakes or only blog about food). But I’m not going to let that stop me from moving ahead and working towards my goals. It’s so exciting! By setting goals and taking the time to really think about what would make me happy, I have really demystified my content, what I want my brand to be and SO much more! I have never been happier, even though my numbers could be better.

I can’t wait to share the real ME with you as I move towards my new direction. It’s not all the different from what I’ve been doing, I promise!

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Bash Conference: A Recap

My Bash Conference 2015 recapEarly in January I attended a brand new conference called Bash. It was held in Arizona at The Wigwam Resort (beautiful!) and it was two days of sessions, speakers, networking and fun. A fantastic party planner and blogger, that I met years ago at my very first Operation Shower, Michelle of Maddycakes Muse, decided to put on this conference for the party planner/blogger community to learn and grow and lift each other up. Yup, that was a total run on sentence. I’m sure it was no easy task to put on a conference of any size and THIS was awesome. She nailed it. I was super impressed with every aspect of it. I apologize for the iphone photos. Although I took my DSLR, it never left the hotel room. When you go to a conference full of party planners, you kind of just want to party. I wanted to do a Bash Conference recap in case any of you are wondering if you should attend next year. In short, the answer is yes.

Palm trees and blue skiesI want to be super honest. I wasn’t expecting to get a ton out of it. When I started this blog I was strictly party focused and my first real blog friends are all from that world. I wanted the chance to spend time with these gals and at the last-minute was able to attend (side note: Tickets were about $400. BUT there were several opportunities leading up to the conference to win a free ticket. Also, they did a black Friday sale which is where I was able to buy my ticket for $200! Oh! And they offered a VIP option, for an extra $50, which got you preferred seating at the sessions, one on one time with the keynotes and speakers, transportation to and from the hotel to the resort plus some extra special goodies at check in. It was a great feature that I haven’t seen at any other conference.) And it was held in Arizona. I love Arizona. Any who. When the conference was initially announced, it seemed like the sessions were geared towards to party planners. But then they announced another track of sessions and those were more business focused. I wasn’t sure how they would bridge the gap between the attendees who wanted to learn about party planning as a business and building a business from a party blog. I strongly believe, however, that any time you attend a conference you learn somethings, especially if you keep yourself open to it.

My Bash Conference RecapI arrived on Thursday afternoon and had a little time to relax before the first evening’s party. It’s always nice to ease in to a conference. The first night they held a welcome party that included gaming tables (which I sucked at) and craft stations (which after a few glasses of wine, I sucked at). The volunteers for the conference were SO welcoming and made everyone feel right at home. Although I had a bunch of friends with me, I would have had a great time even if I had gone on my own. [Read more…]

Head Shots in Palm Springs

New head shots by Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography.Before Christmas I got to take a super quick trip to shoot some new head shots in Palm Springs with my friend, Tammy, of Dez and Tam Photography! Not only is Tammy a crazy amazing photographer, she is an all around awesome gal. She, Lauren and I decided that the desert would provide the perfect backdrop for the photos. You know we love our time in the desert! We also shot a quick cocktail recipe and DIY post out there and I can’t wait to share those! They came out amazing!

New head shots from Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography! I was dreading having these photos taken. I HATE being in front of the camera. I am so grateful that Tammy is such a good friend and photographer. She was so easy to work with and was really able to pull me out of myself. I ended up with a bunch of great shots that I’ll be able to use in all different ways. Somehow she managed to capture me not looking like a lunatic, in between looking like a lunatic.

My fave furry coat.She really got me to be me and do things that felt natural (if standing in the middle of the desert in a furry coat can feel natural)…

New head shots shot by Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography shot in Palm Springs.If you need head shots done, you have to contact Dez and Tam! And totally go to the desert. The light there is SO good!

Desert head shots shot by Tammy of Dez and Tam PhotographyWhich one do you think should be my “head shot” head shot? Thank you SO much to Tammy!!!!!!! I’ll be sharing more work from this trip soon!

All images by Dez and Tam Photography

And go check out this great cocktail post that Tammy shot for Lauren while we were there. So pretty!

 

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! In an effort to find balance and actually share the holiday joy with my family I’ve decided to take a few weeks off of blogging! I’ll be back next year to have some more crafty fun. And you’ll totally understand why we are wearing turtlenecks when I post our Christmas card for this year…Now I’m off to bake and decorate and spend some quality time with my family! Merry Christmas!

 

OC Bloggers Networking Event

Pink, orange, black and white decor for our blogger party. #bloggersunpluggedI had been talking about doing it for a while and finally got a chance to throw an Orange County Blogger Networking event.  I teamed up with the fantastic, Naadine of Great Over Good, to host it in her great space. We called it Bloggers Unplugged because we wanted everyone to just come and meet up, mingle and really get to know each other. So often at events, you are tied to your phones and your obligations and it is hard to connect with your local blogging friends. So this was a way to do that. We didn’t get any sponsors so that we could focus only on each other. It was super fun!

We hosted a networking event for Orange County bloggers. #bloggersunpluggedWe invited all kinds of bloggers and had a really great turn out. It was a really great mix of fashion, mom, travel and lifestyle bloggers and I met tons of people I had never met before. There were bloggers in all stages of their careers and it was cool to be able to chat with them about what they were going through at the moment. If you are interested in being put on the info list for any future events, you can add your info here.

Love this chalkboard wall at @greatovergood  #bloggersunpluggedThe Great Over Good space is awesome and didn’t need hardly any decor. The lobby area has tons of great artwork and this great chalkboard wall. If you don’t know Great Over Good, you need to keep it in mind if you need a space to hold a meeting, set up a photo shoot or hold a workshop. This is the place for you!  It’s my favorite. There is a kitchen, a nice large room for larger gatherings and a great meeting space, with a long table in the back.

Andy Warhol soup cans were balloon weights. #bloggersunpluggedI had forgotten to get weights for the balloons but Naadine had these great Andy Warhol soup cans on hand that worked perfect. She has great little vignettes of cool items all throughout the space. This girl’s style is SO good!

DIY pink, orange, black and white yarn pom poms added color to our blogger event. #bloggersunpluggedSince the space is big and white, I wanted to find a simple way to add lots of color. I made a bunch of colorful pom poms for it and just hung them around the room. Some of the fashion bloggers decided they made better accessories. I don’t disagree.

Simple, graphic blogging quotes were the only decor added to the white walls. #bloggersunpluggedI searched online and found a bunch of quotes on blogging that I made in to simple, graphic posters. It added a nice touch to the all white room and didn’t take a ton of time to do.

Easy DIY yarn pom poms for decor added lots of color to the all white space. #bloggersunpluggedNaadine and I split food duty and served simple things like fruit, veggies, cookies, cheese and crackers.  And plopped some yarn poms on the buffet to add some color. You guys, yarn poms will never get old for me. I love them!

Rad balloons from The Flair Exchange. #bloggersunpluggedThe color scheme was inspired by these balloons from The Flair Exchange. These balloons were a total hit at the party. Everyone loved them and I highly recommend you get some for your next party.

The Flair Exchange balloons were a great favor for the local bloggers who attended our networking event. #bloggersupluggedWe set out some goodies for the bloggers to take home with them, including little packs of the balloons.

Adorable pencils from @melissacreates for our attending bloggers. #bloggersunpluggedAnd my friend Melissa of Melissa Creates, sent pencils with fun sayings on them. You can check them out in her shop! I met so many new people and was grateful for the support of some other gals that I already knew. And in keeping with the name, I didn’t do any social media-ing during the event. Luckily, some people did so you can see more images of the attendees:

Feast Fashion Faves

Living In Style OC – She calls me Shannon but whatevs, there were a lot of people there that night. :)

And the stinking cutest couple ever was there, who I incidentally, didn’t get a chance to chat with. Turns out they are competing on The Amazing Race and they have, what might be my favorite fashion blog ever, My Boyfriend’s Clothes.

Great Over Good is holding another fun event in a few weeks! Blogger Brunch! You should go!

HUGE thank you to Naadine for helping me to throw a great event. I hope you all get to meet her at some point. She’s awesome and I can’t wait to plan something with her again!