For the third year in a row I’ve had the opportunity to attend Go Blog Social blogging conference in Kansas City. Every year this event just gets better, from the fabulous guest speakers, amazing attendees and excellent exhibitors.

This two-day event was filled with so much sharing of knowledge and experience it’s so inspiring. While I can’t even begin to say how much I gained from this event, I’m going to try to give my best recap.

GBS Speakers

The theme of the speakers presentations were all focused on brand partnership. The key take away from all the presenters is do what works for you. In other words tell your story not someone else’s.

Whether you are a new or established blogger you need to focus on what drives you to blog. Consider why you started blogging in the first place and what is the message you want to share with your readers.

"Don't Compare your beginning to someone else's middle" - John Acuff

“Don’t Compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” – John Acuff

When branding yourself you want to make sure your brand is consistent from the look and feel as well as the voice in which you write your posts. Whether your blog is your business or not, you blog is your brand and ultimately we become that brand.

Working with brands that work with your brand and that fit with your overall message is key to creating the right blogger & brand relationships.

Candied photo of a few of the GBS speakers

Candid photo of a few of the GBS speakers

Some key takeaways from the speakers included:

  • “Figure out what you are and what you are about”  – Alissca Circle of Pollinate Media
  • “You are your brand, and your brand needs to be you”  – Kelly and Andra of With Grace & Gold
  • “Ask yourself what you want”  – Alea Lovely of Alea Lovely
  • “Find a creative product”  – Kilee Nickel from Nickel & Suede
  • “Flirt with your followers” – Laurie Davis from EFlirt
  • “Establish a blog tribe” – Mandy Beyeler from Sugar Bee Crafts
  • “Under promise and over deliver”  – Enza Ketchum of Enza’s Bargains
  • “Ask brands what they are looking for”  – Megan and Landon Wood of Lily Jade
  • “Keep your photography consistent” – Cllie England of Rawxies

How does one find brands to work with? The answer the speakers provided was simple, just ask. Google public relation of brands you want to work with to connect with the right people. Follow brands on Twitter and other social networks.

"By being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that wasn't there before"

“By being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that wasn’t there before”

It’s best to stick with brands you already love and enjoy because your passion about the brand or product will show through. A great way to get their brands attention is to start right now, every time you write about the brand be sure to tag them. If the brand already knows you truly believe in them and their products they are more likely to listen with you ask to collaborate on a project.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when working with brands or other bloggers for that matter is not always about money. In most cases is more of a bartering system. While occasionally you might be paid for your work a lot of times it may be simply more exposure for your own brand or possibly a free product.

Working with brands and other bloggers, like blogging itself is more about building relationships which can lead to more opportunities down the road.

Twitter Love

Twitter was one social network that many of the speakers praised. Oddly enough it seemed like the audience was divided on the matter. Some really enjoyed using Twitter others didn’t like it at all.

Personally, I’m on the fence with Twitter. I’ve had my account for a long time and have slow growth in followers. Also, I don’t really tweet that much.

However, I must agree it’s a great way to find people. I’ve had lots of success finding guest speakers for school events I coordinate by simply following individuals and well asking them. It’s often easier to find someone’s Twitter account than their email address, and they tend to read the mentions more than they read a random email.

I would also say that I love Twitter chats. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve participated in two #GBSChat and a #VintageChat . Both of these chats connected me to lots of new bloggers and they were just fun.

I must say though on a normal everyday use, I prefer Instagram. Which I found many of the bloggers who didn’t love Twitter, did however like Instagram.

It maybe because it’s a visual medium and a lot of bloggers are all about visuals. It may be also simply be how conversations are nested as comments on a post, while Twitter conversations are stand alone posts which make it hard to follow sometimes.

Whatever the case I found that I was using Instagram more than Twitter, and ultimately decided to use IFTTT to connect the two networks. Basically, every time I send an Instagram it auto publishes it on Twitter. I still get more traffic on Instagram but find that my Twitter feed isn’t vacant anymore this way.

Speaking of Instagram some speakers mentioned Latergram which I highly recommend. It allows you to save photos from your computer and schedule them to Instagram. Best of all the basic plan is free! I love Latergram and use it all the time, that I’m so close to considering the pro-plan.

Amazing Attendees

A few of the amazing ladies I connected with at #GBS2015

A few of the amazing ladies I connected with at #GBS2015

One of the best take aways from #GBS2015 is the networking and all the people you meet at the event.

I was super excited when I saw Emileigh Rogers from Flashback Summer at the event. I read her blog all the time and spotted her across the room. Yes another vintage blogger came!

Emileigh and Me rocking the vintage look. Photo by Fatima Alliyani.

Emileigh and Me rocking the vintage look. Photo by Fatima Alliyani.

The first day we ended up having lunch with a full group of cool bloggers that blog about lifestyle, exercise, food and more. They were quite a group of fabulous ladies.

I also met Sam and Jasmine, these blogging newbies were so excited to be at their first blogging event. They were so fun to talk to and so full of excitement and energy.

The second day of the event me and Emileigh hooked up with another vintage blogger Fatima Alliyani from StreetVentures. She was at the event with her boyfriend Daniel. What a fun couple, and they also like anime, which is always good in my book.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people I met and all the really cool business cards I got.

Business cards I got from all the amazing bloggers at #GBS2015

Business cards I got from all the amazing bloggers at #GBS2015

Oh, and on a side note I’m so getting some Moo cards for my next set of prints.

GBS Team

Finally, I want to give big thanks to the GBS Team, which includes Kathryn Snellen, Sarah Ruhlman, Samantha McClelland, and Katelyn Herlein.

GBS Team

GBS Team

Without these lovely ladies, this event wouldn’t be possible. This year the GBS Team had a special Q&A session where attendees asked them questions. It was interesting to learn how they all met and how GBS went from a mere idea into a reality!

Each year I learn a lot at GBS and #GBS2015 was no exception. It was full of memorable moments and unforgettable people. I can’t wait for the next GSB event and the opportunity to learn more and connect with more fabulous people!

Categorized in: