WHAT I LEARNED: Texas Style Council

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This blog post will complete my recap of the Texas Style Council that I attended last weekend in Austin. I had so many pictures and stuff to share with y'all that I couldn't fit it all in one post! Sunday was the last day of the conference, and it was a learning day (a fun one, but learning nonetheless).  There were 4 Panels and 4 Breakout sessions, a Capstone Panel, and it all kicked off with a keynote speech from Kendi of Kendi Everyday.

Kendi of Kendi Everyday Blog
Kendi gave us lots of great advice, and what's best is she's just so nice and humble with all of her success. The biggest thing that stuck with me from Kendi's Speech, was not comparing yourself to other bloggers. Comparing is human nature, but you'll never be able to 100% mimick someone else's path.  You're path is your path, and no one can do your path better than you.  She quoted one of her favorite sayings, "Comparison is a thief of Joy." How true is that statement? How can one ever be happy if they are constantly comparing themselves to what others have and what others are doing in their lives?  She also reminded us that taking risks and failure are almost synonomous. When you take a risk, you risk failing at that endeavor. She left a full-time high paying job for a blog that paid only half of 1 paycheck she made at the job she left, it took time, but now Kendi has her own online boutique, saying she's always wanted to own her own store ever since being a kid.  The age-old saying, "The greater the risk, the greater the reward," is definitely something to remember.  She reminded us that blogging is not our purpose, and that we need to live our lives bigger than our blogs.

PANEL ONE - Think Local, Go National
After Kendi's speech you had the option of staying for the Panels, or going to the first breakout session. All of the panels were more geared to what I wanted to learn, so I stuck with the Panels for the day, while Lauren attended most of the breakout sessions.  The first Panel was Think Local, Go National. The pro-bloggers and company owners talked about their start in their local towns, and how they still network themselves in their respective locations. This is exactly what I'm planning with doing more blogger outreach work here in Houston!
Left to Right: Matt (Launch787.com), Charmie (RaeCosmetics.com), Jessie (StyleandPepperBlog.com), and Camille (CamilleStyles.com)
PANEL TWO - Amped Up Writing
The biggest takeaway from this panel, was though we may not think of ourselves as writers in the true since of the word as in a reporter or journalist, we really are.  We are storytelling with a purpose, and after-all that's what Journalism is about, right?  So the panelists gave us tips on how to improve on our blog posts, not to give up our personal style and voice, but to look at it from a reporters' perspective. Make sure you spell-check, make sure your links work, have your facts and information straight...things like that.  Cheryl Bemis of FashionablyAustin.com stressed the importance of just not blogging about anything, don't settle for mediocrity.  Pam (Over50feeling40.blogspot.com) the moderator mentioned that it's important to know your audience when writing your blog posts.  Your goal as a blogger should be to become a trusted source.  A resource for your readers to go to to read something unique and of value.  Being consistent in your layout and postings is very important also. Pam also has Journalism 101 for blogging and Journalism 101 for Bloggers Conducting Interviews that she wrote on her blog. Because Pam is also a Journalism teacher outside of having her blog! I can't wait to get the time to read these documents!

Left to Right: Cheryl Bemis (FashionablyAustin.com), Jessica (Refinery29.com), Caroline (LuckyMagazine.com) & Ann (CultofPretty.com & Holierthannow.com)
PANEL THREE - Blogging Lessons Learned 
Around Panel three, I decided that I wanted to record segments of the panel discussions and share them with you! The panelists and their moderator gave us great tips on what they've learned from being a blogger from a few months, to a few years.  

Video Clip

  • When you start blogging you should learn how to monetize your blog right away, even if you aren't going to do it right then, still knowing helps. Don't feel guilty for wanting to make money from your blog. Your blog is work, just like any other job
  • You will have blogger burnout - take steps back and remember the reasons for why you started the blog in the first place
  • Be open to trial & error
  • Important to have offline communities with other bloggers
  • It's okay to have writer's block
  • They recommend not deleting old posts that they go back and laugh at or say "What the heck was I writing?" Blogging is an evolution, so it's fun to be able to go back and see how far you've come! Everyone started off somewhere.  
  • They talked about how to handle difficult situations  with a reader or commentor, and you have to realize that you can't please everyone
  • It's very easy to get stressed out about your blog, but your blog is not supposed to be a stressful place. You should enjoy getting to sit down and write a post, etc. If it's getting stressful you need to reevaluate.
  • They recommend owning your own url, because the .com is more professional than a .blogspot.com/.tumblr.com/.wordpress.com
  • Be safe, smart, and use common sense when blogging when you are away (travel, vacation, out at an event)
  • Consider sending drafts of sponsored posts to the vendors to have them check it out and okay it
L to R: J (JsEverydayFashion.com), Jen (Jenloveskev.com), Elizabeth (Delightfully-Tacky.com), & Kyla (BlueCollarCatwalk.com)

Molly (SmartPrettyandawkward.com) was the Moderator
PANEL FOUR - Blog Balance: Why Your Blog is Not Your Life
Here's another video clip for you:
In this panel, these bloggers have decided at least for the time being to not blog full-time though having lots of success. They really like what they do in their full-time lives.  This was definitely an interesting take for me, because I usually meet bloggers that are looking to eventually quit whatever job they are in, to blog full time, so I was highly intrigued.  
  • They recommend turning away from technology and social media every now and then. Give full attention to your friends and family when on outings, don't be checking your phone...etc.  
  • They live by scheduled posts (I do too! I would never be able to do a new blog post every night!) and recommend generating your content at least a week a head of time. 
  • Learn to say no to collaborations and events, you can't go to everything
  • Compensation comes in more forms than money
  • It's hard not to feel guilty about not being able to reply to every comment or read other blogs, but they say they are more active on their twitter and facebooks with their readers.
  • Their top picks for interacting with their fans were instagram, facebook, twitter, youtube & disqus
L to R: Diya (Diyainherstilettos.com), Veronika (TickTockVintage.blogspot.com), Julie (Orchidgrey.blogspot.com), Kristina (PrettyShinySparkly.com)


Each of these panelists talked to us about dreaming big, and not necessarily with just our blogs, but with small ventures and business plans, because you never know where they may take you. And you have to allow for failure, because not everything is going to work out as planned! 
Video Clip:

L to R: Jean (NMDaily.com & NeimanMarcus.com), Naomi (TeenVogue.com), Amber (rewardStyle.com), & Tara (moderator & buyosphere.com)

Whew! I sure learned a lot at this conference, and I haven't even shared all my notes with you! This post would be way to long! But let's just say if you are able to attend this event next year, you definitely need to come!


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  1. Sounds like an amazing time!!!! Thanks for sharing! I really like the quote "Comparison is a thief of Joy"!


  2. Great stuff, thanks for sharing dollie!!

  3. These are such great tips. I wish there could be such an event near where I live. Learning first hand from other bloggers is such a good way of getting real life tips that actually work! Thank you for sharing:)

    1. I know right? It was great learning from them! Hopefully they'll have an event like that near you sometime soon!

  4. Wow, what a fantastic conference! Great notes and the videos was very informative. Awesome post.

    1. Thanks Malan! Glad it was helpful to you!

  5. Thank you for sharing what you learned Shasie! I need to get in the habit of scheduling posts ahead of time on a more regular basis. My problem is that I don't always have the inspiration to write. Also I'm looking forward to checking out those journalism articles as well. I just opened the link to her blog in a new tab. I hope you had a happy St. Paddy's Day!



    1. I know girl! It's hard to even find time to "schedule" posts, especially if you are going through a writer's block

      Shasie of Live Life in Style

  6. Wow I am impressed about how professionally this event was carried out!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger

    1. I know! And for this to be only the 3rd time around, it's really great. I can't wait for next year!

  7. This is amazing you did a great job on this post too it's very journalistic even my professors at uni would be impressed!
    You are lucky to have gone to this so wishing I lived in America right now
    Xx Ilana

    1. Aww thanks so much Ilana! I'm trying to improve on my reporteresc blog posts :-). If you ever come to America and visit and come to Houston let me know!

  8. Great tips - and I am now even more jealous about missing this event, it looks really useful!

    Sadie xx

    1. Yea I learned a bunch, and stuff i didn't even think i cared about or needed to know, but I did need to know it, and DEFINITELY needed to care about it! haha

  9. This is a great post! Wish I could have been there. Next year for sure!

    - Faith Seeker

    1. Definitely! We are going to go like 500 strong next year! haha!

  10. so jealous!! i wish we had anything like that in ohio!! :(


    1. You should start it! All it takes is a small idea and that's how Indiana started off!

  11. Sounds like it was well worth the time! I definitely plan to attend next year!


    1. Yay! Hope you do! I would love to see more Houston bloggers there!


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