SANDUSKY, OHIO — In 2019, I was stuck in a massive personal rut that I’m frankly still digging out of. In the midst of my pain, all I wanted to do was write and share through this outlet, but my heart and head weren’t in the space. In an attempt to “go where you grow”, I bought a ticket to the 2019 Bloggy Conference and figured at the very least I’d give my kids a happy weekend together at Cedar Point.
What I didn’t realize was how much I’d learn about myself and the blogging community while I spent two days immersed in learning at Bloggy Conference. Through breakouts and keynotes, I was able to put so many things in my brain bank to prepare to move this blog and my other one (‘lil Burghers) forward. Personal and professional development is vital in the ever-changing social media world.
I remember a key moment for me during the event was sitting my butt in the coldish-warm sand of Lake Erie’s shores and stretching. The morning was cool and yet humid. Staff had just started to arrive to get things going at Cedar Point for the first big fall weekend of 2019 and I was out doing a training run for the EQT 10-Miler. In that moment, I looked out at the lake and just had this sense of calm clarity in the middle of everything I was learning…
Go Where You Grow
In the social media/blogging world, there can be somewhat of a “rat race” to get the best sponsorships, biggest numbers, and maintain a consistent writing schedule. We put this pressure on us. We attend blogging conferences to learn how to do what we do on another level. But the reality is that we need to go where we grow and invest our time and energy into places, people, and perspectives that will do this for (and with) us.
Back then, this blog had been around for almost two years but was going nowhere. I was a Pittsburgh Marathon blogger and would go on to run and write with them again as a 2020 P3Runner. The primary focus of this space was my training journey and to share news about Pittsburgh running events with my readers. It became a habit, an outlet, and a space, but not necessarily what I was looking for.
Where was I looking to grow?
The Ideal Avatar
Rachel Brenke, a speaker in both 2019 and slated for 2021, had meaningful conversations with influencers at the 2019 Bloggy Conference. I listened to her talk about finding the “ideal avatar” and using that in a successful marketing strategy.
I was sitting there on my hands like – sure, I write about running, but gosh that isn’t my whole world. How do I niche down and start to focus the blog and find my real voice? To this day, it’s still a question for me, but I know everyone is searching for their thing and maybe I’m just in the right season of searching!
That’s why I’m looking forward to getting back to Bloggy Conference in 2021 and finding out more about where I want to focus my writing and where I want to take my “brand”, thebeckywillis. I’m looking forward to hearing from speakers like Rachel and Ana Canon who have the courage to tell their stories and inspire.
That’s why I have to “go where I grow”, find those places that challenge the limits I’ve put on myself and decide what needs to stay and what can go in this busy life [that we all lead]. All that to say, I’m all ears if you’ve read this far and have any ideas about what inspires you and keeps you coming back to check on my little corner of the internet. DM me on Instagram.
What is a way you “go where you grow” and keep up with your personal and professional interests? Will you be attending Bloggy Conference 2021 and helping Tiffany and the team celebrate ten years of giving back to the blogging community? Comment below.
About Bloggy Conference at Cedar Point | Hotel Breakers: Bloggy Conference emerged in 2011 as an extension of the Bloggy Moms Network. Our network and live events are designed with community and information as its cornerstone. Bloggy Conference exists to offer you a new and continuously developing approach to growth, networking and education in our ever-changing social media world. 2013 was an exciting year for Bloggy Conference as our venue moved to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio! We’ve been returning to their beautiful shores since then! Join us in 2021 with our co-host and sponsor, Cedar Point.