Contrary to popular belief, the Blogcademy is not just all about sparkly ears and sequined dresses (although there IS a lot of those!!). The Blogcademy is also about hustle, community, and the hard work it takes to transform a blog into an online empire.
“Give them what they never knew they wanted!” -Diana Vreeland
Have you ever taken a leap of faith, worked your butt off, been so sure that following your passion was not only going to be fun but also pay off… and then started to question yourself?
I have. And if you are running your own online business, I’m sure you have too.
One of the only downsides of working for yourself is that you don’t have that team of people to bounce ideas off of or to keep you accountable. It can be lonely building a business! That’s one of the reasons why I think workshop events like the Blogcademy are so important.
Amazing learning opportunity aside, the community of wicked women that the Blogcademy attracted in Vancouver was extremely refreshing. The group was a beautiful mishmash of humans from Graphic Designers to a Roller Derby Star to Photographers to a former Corporate Exec who all had one thing in common: they dare to be themselves and stand out online.
Don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly” – Franz Kafka
On the first day of the Blogcademy, we completed a fast and fun MadLib-styled exercise that pushed us all to create a more distinctive version of an elevator pitch for our blogs. The purpose was to get away from the boring “About Me” blog widget and create a short bio that highlights the things that make us unique! It was my favourite part of the day, here’s mine:
“Hello, my name is Jamie Leigh! I live in East Van with my bearded husband and our fleet of Classic Camper vans. My obsession is head-turning hair and I go gaga for local craft beer! I started this blog because I want to support independent creatives in their WordPress adventures and beyond!!”
(HUGE thanks to Teri Hoffort for the sweet Blogcademy Portraits!!)
At the end of the first day, we received report cards. I was really nervous about this but pleasantly surprised when I received raving reviews for my blog (THANKS Gala, Shawna, and Kat!)!! The only criticism I received was on my tone:
Don’t be afraid to share your sassy personality within your writing and the topics you cover!” – Kat Williams
That’s exactly what I needed to hear. Remember all that stuff about questioning yourself? Yeah, Kat basically told me to stop.
On the second day of the Blogcademy, we learned so much more from branding to business plans, monetization to media kits. My fingers could hardly keep up with the note-taking. I also was able to talk to the three headmistresses individually and received the same message from each:
You are interesting. Be Yourself. Folks will enjoy and receive more value from your writing if you let your personality shine.
Conforming is boring.
Nonconformity may turn some people off, but it pulls YOUR people in. And your people? They are the folks who get you, and really GET a lot OUT of what you do.
And that, dear humans of the internet, is the reason I blog.