Mom 2.0 Recap and Blog Reflections

Let me start with some very practical and probably obvious-to-everyone-else advice: It is not advisable to string together three days of a work trip with a bachelorette party.

This is not only because of the exhaustion that will ensue (oh, the exhaustion), but also because packing for two said events in one suitcase will go down in the books as being the single most challenging tasks I’ve done to date.

As an aside, to combat that issue, these packing cubes saved my life again. These are the same ones I used to pack all five of us into one suitcase (!!!) for our Washington, DC, trip. So, safe to say they are life changing and worth every cent. (Here’s how I use them.)

So yes. Mom 2.0. Let’s discuss!

I arrived in the early afternoon on Wednesday, went to a couple workshops, ended the day with a dinner with the rest of the Mom 2 crew, and then hit the ground running the next day as well.

The view of downtown Austin from my hotel window

Thursday and Friday were all packed full of workshops and meetups as well. A big highlight–BrenĂ© Brown’s keynote on Thursday afternoon. It was awesome. See here for one of my favorite things she said.

The workshops I did were varied. One was on how to make your Instagram Stories more interesting and valuable to your readers; another was on podcasting; yet another on the best way to write Instagram captions.

I connected with brands that make products I love. I got a hair makeover at the Dove station. (I could have stayed in that chair for an hour, letting them pamper me!) I chatted with websites who have published my work. I even connected with an influencer agency. They’re the companies that connect bloggers and writers with products that align with their brand (still hate that word, still don’t know what other word to use) so that we bloggers can bring info on worthy brands for you to check out.

At the Dove station getting my hair makeover (and right before I asked the stylist to move in with me)

Okay, so all of that is the technical recap. Let’s get to the personal revelations this conference spurred.

I’m more protective of my audience, and my brand, then ever.

It’s easy to get all, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” when it comes to blogging and working in the digital world. So many times we are doing reviews, events and posts for little to nothing, that it’s tempting to want to take a partnership just for the dough.

But this week drilled into me the one thing that I always operated by, but now I’m more passionate about than ever: You can’t just work with a brand because they’re paying you.

The only way that products or services make it onto this blog is because I’m genuinely using and/or loving them. That’s it.

What I always strive to do–and what I think I have managed to accomplish–is to bring you the things and products that I am genuinely passionate about, to tell you stories about groups whose missions I believe in.

In my mind, this is sacred ground. I’m completely raw and honest here. In my mind, this is a space to connect and to share first and foremost. So while you will always find me sharing the things I genuinely love–because let’s be honest, that’s super fun–you won’t ever finding me sharing things just for the money. Nope.

There are so, SO many badass women sharing their beautiful truths out there.

Here are some awesome ladies I either met in person for the first time, or connected with again after having met them before:

Kristen Hewitt

The Thinking Branch

From Blacktop to Dirt Road

Playdates on Fridays

Baby on the Brehm

Wildly Charmed

Stacey Skrysak

And that’s not it, not by a mile! But I’m a little fried. Haha. I will add more as my exhaustion-riddled brain recalls them!

Me and some buds: Kristen Hewitt from KristenHewitt.me, Brea Schmidt from The Thinking Brach, and Yours Truly

If you’re thinking of going to Mom 2.0 or another blogging conference, here’s my advice:

DO IT.

Forget the workshops! I mean, don’t forget forget them; definitely go! You will absolutely learn some great, practical advice for growing your blog and social media.

But go for the amazing people. There is so, so much to be gained from absorbing the energy of a group of insanely talented, wildly driven people who inhabit the same little corner of the world you do.

Ask them questions, watch them work. But mostly, be your honest self with them. People go to these blogging conferences to connect, and I don’t mean that in a “let’s collaborate!!” way (although yes, that is there too, and it is beneficial in its own right).

I mean that, based on what I experienced, people go to these blogging conferences to make meaningful connections with other people who are doing the same thing. We all have skin in the game, and the beautiful thing is, everybody does it her own way.

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