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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thrive Blog Conference Recap

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Thrive Blog Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.  This was the very first year of this conference, but you certainly couldn't tell - Whitney and Bree did an amazing job organizing it!  Everything was perfect from the speakers to the venue, the food to the decor.  This weekend was just what I needed to get re-energized about the blogosphere. 

The decor by Ruthie & Rose was incredible! 

Here I am {below} telling an epic story, no doubt, with the other Houston Moms Blog contributors who were in attendance. 

Amy - Michelle - Me - Mandy

The first speaker was Ashley Lemieux of The Shine Project. I was not familiar with her blog or company until hearing her speak, but wow was she inspiring!  I immediately went to her table afterwards and purchased a few pieces of jewelry handmade by high school students working to raise money for college. 

Next up was Audra Kurtz to speak to the group about vlogging.  She has only been at it for a few years and has over 59k followers - many of her vlogs have gone viral.

I was so thrilled to hear Caroline Harper Knapp speak about building your brand.  She is the huge blogger behind Caroline in the City and now House of Harper who I've followed for awhile.  She is so beautiful and had great advice on building your brand...even if that means a rebuild.  And small world, I learned she is from the same small town of Corsicana that my husband is from!

Next up was a very delicious lunch {carb heaven} sponsored by Noodles & Company.

The session I was most looking forward to was about creating compelling content by Fancy Ashley.  Not only because I love her blog and how she has formed her brand, but I think our blog content is the #1 key to anything else: sponsors, increasing readers, etc.

She did not disappoint.  She was funny, sweet and had great advice. 

Next up was a panel about monetizing moderated by Megan Owen with Megan Silianoff and Sarah Skaggs.  I follow each of their blogs and loved what they had to say.

My biggest takeaway from this panel was that I {as a smaller blog} need to quit worrying about how to make money on my blog {at this time} and just focus on creating great content and growing my readership.  Great advice Megan...thank you!

I attended an awesome breakout session by Rachel Matthews about DIY and Food Photography.  Although I typically don't photograph either one of those, the tips can be applied to anything - candid shots and beauty products {more up my alley}!  

The last session by Kristyn Merkley was amazing too.  I took away some great tips on keeping myself organized.  

And finally, one of the highlights for me was meeting Fancy Ashley.  I loved hearing her speak and I loved being able to chat with her afterwards.  She is just as nice as you would imagine and even more beautiful in person.  

One of my biggest takeaways from the conference is that if I want to be serious about blogging I really need to up my photography game.  I think it was Fancy Ashley who said that your beautiful images will get people to your blog; your words will keep them there.

I've been too intimated to start the process of buying a "fancy camera" and learning how to use it, but I think it's time.  Well, as soon as I have the money!  I'm not trying to become a professional photographer of anything - just have better images to tell my stories.  I was thrilled to meet Jenny Collier who gave me and Mandy some great tips on how the heck to get started. 

All of these beautiful images are by Meg Cady Scholz.  She is an incredible photographer, but I was so floored at how quickly she put the images up for us to use for our recaps and the fact that she tried to include every single attendee in her shots.  Thank you Meg!


  1. So happy to hang out with you this weekend! Thank you for the sweet shout out. The conference was seriously amazing and I was blown away!! I felt so honored to even be a small part of it! And yes, Jenny has AMAZING advice with cameras!! Glad you had such a great time and great to see you, as always!!

  2. Sounds like a great conference! I love Fancy Ashley! She seems to always make my day sparkle. HA

  3. What a fun conference! If they have it again - I'm so coming down! I was following it all day on IG. Lucky Duck!

  4. Seriously LOVED meeting you!!!! Thank you for your sweet words!!! Hope we can all get together soon!!! XOXO

  5. Great recap, Chelsea! And thank you so much for the shout out -- glad you liked the decor! The conference was so amazing. We had the best time! Wish we had a chance to chat with you more. Love your blog -- it's darling! xo

  6. Great post! Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to get to know you, but at least I now know of your blog! XOXO

  7. What a great conference! I'd love to attend a conference like this. Maybe next year!

  8. The conference looks amazing! I would love to attend one. Hopefully, there's one that come to/being held in Canada!



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