#BBCChi: What I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp…

Every Bloggy Boot Camp I’ve gone to is different from the next. I think that’s why I love this conference so much… and why I went to both San Francisco & Philadelphia last year. If I could, I’d be on my way to Denver in just a few weeks to share another experience. {There are a few tickets still available!} I learn so much from each one.

Last year at both events, I took away “Be Yourself” as the biggest lesson throughout. Everyone touched on it and it was definitely something I needed to learn… I think that I was trying to be something I was not for a while.

What did I learn this year? {Here’s a little bit from each speaker…}

Amy Bradley-Hole gave us 5 questions to help steer us in the direction of knowing what our brand is – who we ourselves are – and how to proceed. Sometimes these questions will reveal more about us than what we would like… and it may be hard.

  • What are my distinguishing characteristics and personality traits?
  • What are my guiding principles and values?
  • What is my role on the web?
  • What is my promise?
  • What is my story?

Danielle Smith shared many tips about vlogging – but the question that still sticks with me yet is “What are you afraid of?”

Cynthia Wheeler talked about blog design. I learned that I really need to use the footer of my blog more effectively – and clean up other areas to make everything cohesive.

After lunch, we split into two groups – I chose to go to the sessions about monetization with Kim Moldofsky and Wendy Piersall.

I loved Kim’s Top Ten list for Social Media Success…

  1. Start with a strong foundation (content).
  2. Be consistant
  3. Be nice
  4. Find your tribe
  5. Be professional
  6. Stay calm
  7. Be yourself
  8. Think beyond your blog
  9. Fail forward
  10. Don’t ignore your loved ones!

And Wendy gave invaluable information from her book, Mom Blogging For Dummies, about the blogging mistakes not to make. Toward the end of her presentation, she also focused on helping to define some of the FTC rules/laws… and I know now (more than ever) that I need to learn more about this – especially if I decide to do anything with giveaways or contests.

Finally, LaQuishe Wright finished off the day telling the story about how she transformed her fan website dedicated to Channing Tatum into his official page. What she has done definitely defines following your passion.


In Chicago, the biggest takeaway for me was not to focus on too much… but rather make a plan and go step by step. And to not lose sight of the end goal.

So what’s my plan for action?

~ I’ve already purchased Wendy Piersall’s book Mom Blogging For Dummies and am waiting anxiously for it to arrive.

~ I’m working to change up my current blog a little bit (oh so very little) and then with NapWarden‘s help & design expertise to get my new writing blog up and running.

~ To get back to my “roots” of blogging and comment, comment, comment on my friends (new and old) blogs. Along with this – I am very, very, very excited to see what everyone will be linking up with in the Pinterest Challenge that starts in a couple of weeks!

There are other (smaller) goals that I want to get to as well… like changing up my About Julie page and *gasp* even changing up my twitter handle in the next few months. (I know, crazy thoughts… huh)?


Ultimately, where I see myself going with my “plans” as listed above don’t have anything to do with what I thought I wanted to learn. Yes, doing a vlog now and then would be great… but I don’t think that’s going to be a main focus right now.

In the coming days (Thursday and Friday perhaps?) there will be a blog post (or two) sharing photos of who I was able to meet and all of the great things that I was able to do while in the city.

This was truly a great weekend… a very special thank you to Tiffany, Francesca as well as all of the BloggyBootCamp sponsors (Invisalign, Mirassou, Sony, Ross, Collective Bias) for putting on such a great event.

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Blogging Conference
This post is linked up with others who went to BloggyBootCamp Chicago… check out their experiences as well. :)

*Affiliate links are used in this blog post.


  1. I love that you took away both usable tips and renewed inspiration! This is a fabulous review and an excellent testimonial about the BBC conferences in general.

  2. Thanks for the recap! Its nice to see that you learned so much. I am heading to BBCATL in October and Im pretty excited, but also nervous. Im excited to learn more about how to make my blog better in general.

  3. Great recap! It was so nice to finally meet you. I loved that I was able to spot you right away, even though we hadn’t ever met before.

  4. I’ve already done something for the Pinterest challenge. That is going to be so much fun.

  5. I am so glad you learned so much! I heard Cynthia speak at BlogHer. LOVE her. She did my header design!

    I cannot wait for BBC Vegas next year!!

  6. This is a great recap of the conference. And I need to order that book NOW!

  7. LOVED seeing your face. Loved, loved, loved it. You have been such a supporter and friend- so thank you.


  8. Awesome summary of what happened! I’ll bookmark this page so I can keep returning to it for little refreshers. I think it’s a good idea to go to different BBCs because I betcha each group, each one is different and there’s different parts that resonate with you. I’m so glad we met and look forward to meeting more and more times in the blogoverse.

  9. Fabulous post. Love your header, too. Isn’t it amazing how everyone can learn something different when attending the same conference? So glad I got to meet you. And btw, I changed my Twitter handle yesterday. I’d been thinking about it for a while then Danielle Smith told me I should. Done! It wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected.

  10. Those first five questions really got me thinking. I plan on sitting down with them this weekend, so thanks for sharing that. I can’t wait to attend more blog conferences in future.

    PS I am now following you on twitter via flgirlmidwest.

  11. Great recap. Amy’s presentation had the most impact on me. I’m also ordering Mommy blogging by dummies, I can’t wait to get it.

    I think we may have sat at the same table during the break out sessions, I wish I had said hi! I was in a cheesecake hangover at that point. :)

  12. I went to the wrong break out session. I was so out of it w/ things going on at home, I went downstairs when I meant to stay upstairs with the monetization group. =( Oh well, whatdaya do? I’m so glad we had the chance to connect!

    • It was great to meet you! I’m sure you could connect with Kim and/or Wendy about their presentations. The biggest thing that I got out of that session was that I needed to buy Wendy’s book (the one I referenced in the post)… there is A TON of information in that book – and if I remember correctly, Wendy’s presentation came from Chapter 17.

      Wish I had gotten a picture with you… totally realized it AFTER I looked at my pictures on Monday. *sad*

  13. I am really looking forward to BBC in Atlanta, but nervous too.

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