Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference

Three years ago I discovered a new tribe of women called the Arkansas Women Bloggers.  My friend Lyndi of NWAFoodie introduced me to the group and brought me into the folds of other bloggers in our state.  At first I didn't always feel connected since many of the bloggers wrote about being a mommy as opposed to my blog genre around fitness and running.  But I stuck with it and kept looking for connections with other bloggers in real life compared to just the virtual connections we normally find with other bloggers.  After getting to know some of the ladies better I was able to see that blog genre doesn't matter, friends can come across many different topics! 

Fast forward to this weekend and our annual gathering at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference.  After that first year, the conference name has been a misnomer since it hasn't actually been unplugged! Sometimes the wireless service was spotty but for the most part we were able to be connected the whole weekend...and tweeting during sessions was highly encouraged too! Got to show some sponsor love! (I even won a prize for tweeting during one session!) 
Chef Donnie Ferneau sharing his secrets for cooking success! Hint...it involves a 500 degree oven! 

This year there were 100 bloggers at the conference and a few guys were let in as speakers, sponsors, and conference friends! There were so many sessions to choose from that it was hard at times to decide which to attend.  Mixed in between the sessions were some great keynote speakers from P. Allen Smith and Sophie Hudson aka BooMama.  There were also fun activities like the New Balance of Arkansas 5K run...which I'll recap in another post.  
P. Allen Smith talking Arkansas, farming, and supporting Locally Grown / Made initiatives.

One of the messages that many of the speakers echoed was the trouble with comparison.  Comparing yourself to others doesn't serve you any purpose. (It's okay to know your blog statistics but only for a purpose...don't spend your time stressing over page views or comments!) The message was that only you can determine what is your measure of success and that is true in blogging just as in life.  The other thing that you have to remember is that blogging is the outside you that you choose to share with the world and it isn't fair for you to compare your inside self with the outside self that someone else has chosen to share.  It's highly likely that there is more beneath the surface that you can't see that would change your comparison.   

Sophie Hudson, aka BooMama, delivered one of the keynote addresses.  She based part of her speech on the lyrics of the Bruno Mars song Treasure.  
Give me your, give me your, give me your attention baby
I got to tell you a little something about yourselfYou're wonderful, flawless, ooh you're a sexy ladyBut you walk around here like you wanna be someone else

It's true...we all sometimes get caught up in comparing ourselves to someone else and forgetting what a treasure we are as the one and only unique you that we all are. There is only one you and there is a reason for that which translates back to your blog and that only you can determine your goal for your blog.

Blog branding - determining your blog brand attributes and brand promise to deliver to your readers.
Another thought that I took away from the conference was the notion that we have been blessed for one purpose...to bless other people.  So true...and such a simple yet powerful statement.  It was great to spend time learning and being inspired by the other members of the Arkansas Women Bloggers.  If you have the chance I highly encourage you to meet up with other bloggers in real life whether at a meet up or a blog conference.  I look forward to sharing more of my learning from the conference over the coming months and possibly even introducing you to some of the other ladies from Arkansas Women Bloggers


  1. Whitney!

    I still have my bedazzled laptop bling you gave me on that ride back from our first AWBU!

    We need an AWBU NWA meet-up. Soon!



  2. Great recap!! What an amazing weekend- BooMama is such an inspiration!! and that Brand Triangle is GENIUS! I filled my out, and am trying to deliver on my promise!