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Thrive Blog Conference Recap

So I've mentioned Thrive Conference a couple of times on the blog lately (here and here) so I figure maybe I should tell you what Thrive actually IS and a little about what I did while I was there!

When I moved to the Woodlands a few months ago (HELLO HOW HAVE WE ALREADY LIVED HERE SEVEN MONTHS?) I happened across Thrive on Instagram and nearly peed myself. And yes, I'm that dramatic. A blogging conference? Literally in my backyard? Well, that is just convenient! There was no question about whether or not I was going so I talked to Bree and Whitney sealed the deal! Yay!

Thrive is a blog conference where bloggers from all backgrounds can come together and learn from each other and leaders in the blogging community. There is a fun party on Friday night where you can mix and mingle with other bloggers and sponsors and then a day full of incredible information (which I'll break down in detail in a minute) from all of the amazing speakers!

Here is what I love about the blogging community. It is a constant party of building each other up, encouraging each other, and sharing the secrets of success with each other. It is one of the places in our society where women have really realized that we are going to get a lot farther if we band together, link arms, and climb the mountain together rather than try to go it alone with a tent and a flashlight.

I want to share ALLLL the details of the conference with you but that would take me forever and a day and you don't have time for that, so I'll just hit the highlights!

Highlight One: My client, and seriously one of my dearest friends, was asked to be the keynote speaker. Alissa is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pollinate Media Group and I have worked with and for her for almost three years now, and she was an absolute integral part of the launch of my virtual assistant business. So of course, she had to fly out a day early so we could hang out, have Chik-Fil-A, and cry on the couch watching Fuller House together, right? It was so fun!

Highlight Two: My cousin Tara, who blogs at Boyd Meets Girl, came to the conference too, and I had the absolute pleasure of bringing her to her first blogging conference! WHAT! It was so exciting because I know she has a passion for writing and sharing knowledge! She is hilarious and down-to-earth and has such a huge heart. You should probably go check out her blog.

Highlight Three: I got to hear some amazing, amazing speakers. Aside from Alissa who nailed the keynote, here are my favorite takeaways from the other speakers:

Kristina Braley from Pretty Shiny Sparkly | How to Stay Authentic in a YouTube Era: This girl is hilarious and AUTHENTIC, and not the trendy kind of authentic either. She is the real deal. On top of being an anesthesiologist, she is a successful YouTube vlogger and shares her day to day life via video. Amazing!

Jessica Bailey and Sarah Skaggs from Pretty Provident | Working with Sponsors: These two girls are at the top of their game when it comes to working with brands and sponsors for sponsored content. They shared invaluable tips about how to product authentic sponsored content that aligns with your brand.

Ashley Rose from Sugar and Cloth | How to Grow Your Social Media Following: Don't let this tiny girl fool you - she is a powerhouse of information about growing your social media communities. She has grown her Instagram community to over 160K+ followers and has cultivated an amazing community of creatives in the process!

Mallory Whitfield from Miss Malaprop | How to Rock Your Google Analytics: This was the most useful class on SEO and Google Analytics I've ever been in. And I've been in a bunch. She gave us practical information on how to use Google Analytics to get a look at our traffic patterns and actually use them to create MORE content that will help us grow! Insanely awesome. Plus she has rad hair.

Megan Weaver | Perfecting your Blog Photography: Here is what I love about Megan. She found a gaping hole in the market and filled it. She is the definition of an entrepreneur and shared tips with us on taking amazing styled photos for our blogs!

Kristyn Merkley from Lil Luna | How to Kill it on Pinterest: Kristyn gave us practical tips on taking our traffic on Pinterest to the next level, and then the next one! As a pro at pinning she is definitely one I'll be taking advice from!

Highlight Four: Awesome swag! Thrive had some amazing sponsors, like blendSMART, Francescas, World Market, Sweet Marie's Bakery. I talked about what was in our swag bag on Periscope (you can watch it here!)

Highlight Five: Getting to be one of the awesome speakers! I love sharing knowledge with other bloggers. So when Bree called and asked me to speak, it was a no-brainer! I talked about why you need a kick ass media kit and how to prepare your blog for working with sponsors and brands.

You can see some of the highlights from my talk here, here, and here, thanks to Alissa grabbing some video on Periscope!

Meg Hawley is responsible for these beautiful photos and you should probably follow her on snapchat (mcs1126) too because... she is hilarious. Tell me about your favorite blog conference! 

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