If you’ve been reading along these past couple of weeks, it’s been pretty clear that I swinged a trip to Charleston a few weekends back. Now I’ll dish on what I was actually there for: SBScon! SBScon is the annual blog conference hosted by the Southern Blog Society. I had a blast when I went last year, and the minute tickets became available for this year’s event, I knew I had to go!
One thing I love about SBScon is that the speakers are really on point and the networking is incredible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner at blogging or an advanced full-time blogger, the speakers they choose always deliver info that can help you take your blog to the next level. My head was almost spinning after learning so much, and I came back refreshed, recharged and ready to hustle.
The first day of the conference, we headed to an awesome cocktail party hosted by Swoozies. As you can see, I used a selfie stick for the first time ever (aaaand I loved it!) and I finally met some of my blogging buddies IRL, Corbin, Emily and Laura. I love that the conference kicks off with a networking hour so that we’re not all ~*awkward*~ during the actual conference portion of the conference.
The Conference Part of the Conference
Okay, so I didn’t take photos with selfie sticks the entire time I was in Charleston. I came to learn! We heard from amazing speakers, including Blair of Leap Design, Alison Overholt of EspnW, Amy Northard, CPA, and some fellow SBS members and more! We also sat in on a panel and heard reps from Lilly Pulitzer and Kendra Scott chat all about what brands expect from bloggers during collaborations. We dived into pretty much every topic we could cover, including content creation, accounting, affiliate links and photography.
Some of the favorite things I learned included:
- Distribution is king. Really pay attention to what social channels you’re using to distribute your content. For example, even though I love Twitter and it’s my favorite platform, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube are the networks that my audience are on and I need to focus on those. Figure out what social networks your followers are using most and master them.
- Update your WordPress plugins. Did you know it’s a security risk if you don’t update your WordPress plugins? Developers make these updates because they found a flaw in their app, making your website more susceptible to hackers. As soon as you get an update notification, do it! Do not hesitate.
- Cheap photography equipment can go a long way. Whether it’s buying poster board for a white surface for a flat lay, a tripod or a reflector, you only need to spend a little to help stage better photoshoots.
- Making your blog an LLC provides you with legal protection. If for some reason someone were to come after your blog, if you are a Sole Proprietor and not an LLC, that person can come after your personal assets as well (house, car, personal belongings, everything!) If you’ve started to monetize your blog and are running your blog as a business, it’s time to look into becoming an LLC. Protect yourself!
Wrap Up Dinner
After the conference part of the conference was over, I met a few SBS members for a dinner at Edmunds Oast. First of all, yum. Go there. Everything was delicious. Second, it was so awesome to mix and mingle with my fellow SBS friends in a more intimate setting. Also, can we talk about how awesome of a job Charleston Florist did with these arrangements? Stunning!
Good news: SBS is going national!
Cathy and Jessica (the founders of SBS and the biggest girlbosses I know) made a major announcement during the conference: the Southern Blog Society is planning on going national this year. All of my friends in the Northeast, Midwest and Northwest can finally get in on the action! I would *highly* recommend you apply, so that you can be a part of this amazing conference next year. If you’re interested, you can sign up for the waiting list now and be notified once they’re ready to accept applications.
A huge thank you to Kim Graham, who shot all of these photographs!