oh my blog(ger conference) | part two

cannot wait to buy these frames from bonlook!
Welcome to part two of my TxSC recap! For part one, get over here!

/ sunday
Sunday started out with morning mingling and then a keynote speech from the world's greatest blogging team, Emma and Elsie of A Beautiful Mess. They were unsurprisingly precious, though surprisingly nervous, and had some great tips for us like don't drink and blog, teaching can be mostly about learning, and Internet strangers can be some of the kindest people you'll meet. 
Here's a run down of the sessions I attended on Sunday:

/ purchasing with purpose / Janette of Fashion Loves People and Merl of Clyde's Rebirth spoke about eco-styling and ethical shopping. Highlights: Shop based on your own values, invest in quality pieces that could someday be vintage, and support local, independent brands.

/ do your dreams now / Jessica of Noonday Collection presented her journey of starting a business that aids impoverished communities in Africa. Highlights: 95% of people don't give because they aren't asked. If you know someone who can help, ask. If they say no, ask again later or in a different way. If people believe in you, they'll stick with you as you become a success.

/ work + life + blog balance / Julie of Orchid Grey opened up about how she manages her job at ModCloth, spending enough time with her cat and her husband, and maintains a wildly successful blog all at the same time. Highlights: Julie is one of my favorite bloggers, so I loved hearing her real, expletive-filled answers about making it all "fit" instead of trying to force "balance."

/ from blog to book / My girl Megan of Greetings from Texas and new-to-me favorite Becky of Chipper Things shared their individual success stories of making their blogs into books. Megan has twice overcome ovarian cancer, all while adopting her beautiful little baby Macy, who is obvi named after Jay Z. Becky is a killer illustrator who strives to validate all her short sisters of the world. Highlights: Put the same energy you would put into training for a marathon into writing your book, know that you will embarrass yourself, so do it in front of the right people, and be protective of your dreams because apathy can crush an idea so precious as writing a book.

photo of me taken by blogging while brown
/ capstone convocation
After the workshops let out, we all rejoined for a big ole panel with all the weekend's speakers on a stage together to answer our questions. The most disheartening thing for me the whole weekend was the focus of a lot of "smaller" bloggers on monetization. When it came time for the panel, some bloggers seemed to almost berate the "big" bloggers for not giving specifics about how much they charge and how much they make. I was so taken aback that this is why so many people came to the conference and that this is what they wanted to know. 

I don't blog for money. I've personally decided to forgo sponsors and I'm only interested in working with brands I feel really passionate about and that fit into my current blog content. I appreciated that there were workshops on monetization for those who were interested in taking that route, but I thought it was totally inappropriate to ask a large group of successful women how much they are worth in front of another large group of women.

To counter this, I asked my own burning question. All of the bloggers I admire most have hit publish on a post that was difficult for them to share. From Tieka to Elsie, from Kendi to Julie, all of these women decided to share what was really going on in their life, even if it was dark and not perfectly curated. Because the majority of the panel was spent going back and forth about how to make money, there wasn't enough time for a lot of the bloggers to speak on my question, but you could see several of them reaching for the mic with something to say. This, in itself, was validating for me.

On a similar note, I am extra excited about next year's TxSC because it's going to be focused on storytelling! From what founder Indiana of Adored Austin told us, it'll be camp-themed and the workshops will revolve around helping us learn to tell our best stories. The programming is sure to be amazing and I know Indiana always has some killer ideas up her stylish sleeves, so I can't wait!

 / blogger shout outs! /
Toyosi of Standard T is just my favorite person on this planet and everyone should go follow her as she finishes high school and becomes famous for being fab.
Kara of business and pleasure inspires me so much and I hope to be as driven, in love, and stylish as she is in years to come.
Laura of Hello, Clementine! is my new bestie and we're going to go self care crazy all over this town.
Becky of The Pink Samurai stole my heart the night of the swap and hands down wins best Texas tattoo of all time.
Lauren of Make it a Double has got it all together, from her career to her blog to her relationship. Can't wait to grab a drink with her!
Whitney of whit + wonder is an excellent graphic designer who I'm so excited to work with someday. St. Ed's girls gotta stick together.
Katie of Sweetly (coming soon!) is my soon-to-be sister in crime blogging. She also scored the green skirt from my blog button at the swap! We're meant to be.
Melissa of The Blushing Dreamer is even cuter in person than on her blog. We need to get a snow cone date on the books while the season is still hot.
Kelsey of she, in the making is sweet like sugar and a super talented photographer.
Mia of Mia Moore has a lovely vintage, feminine style and big dreams for her future. 
Linda of Little Tin Soldier is like all your favorite parts of kindergarten all built into a stunning, savvy, and stylish woman you want to have on your team.
Regina of Sisterly Blog is actually an acquaintance from high school with whom I was lucky enough to reconnect this weekend. She's so well put together, owns a pair of Kate Spade pumps, and has that hot librarian thing going for her.
Rachel of Rue Rachel is the fiercest and most fun girl on the block, while still getting shit done.
Kirsten of Triple Max Tons makes getting dressed look easy. After I see her, I always wish I'd gone for a breezy button down and cool shorts instead of whatever I've got on.
April of Pieceology is a tiny ball of fire and sass and will beat anyone in a longest high heels wearing contest, I swear.
Kristen of The Mrs. and the Momma rocks a tutu like no prima ballerina could. She was seriously robbed at prom for best dressed.


  1. Officially starting to save for next year! I wish you would have gotten more time to get answers for your question. It sounds like it would have been a great one to hear answers to.

    Ladyface Blog

  2. Omg! You are TOO sweet! While I wish I had it all together, sadly I don't! WHO ever DOES! ;) I love this recap and agree with you 100% ! I was getting really tired of all the $$ and on some occasions pretty inappropriate questions. You wouldn't ever ask someone flat out what they make in their career/job, why would it be ok at a conference in front of a room full of people?! Bananas. Yet, all the speakers handled it with a good amount of grace and way more patience than I would have had ;) I had so much fun, I'm actually thinking about getting a group together and doing a "blogs & bellinis" or something like that at my place sometime. Just as a meet up and something different. (kick the man out of course ;) let me know if you'd be interested!! Xx
    -Lauren M.

  3. Love how you organized your recaps, sweets! I might have to steal the idea of sectioning everything out as so, because I don't want to overwhelm anyone, or myself. This was just great! SO HAPPY to have found a friend in you this weekend! I've already shared your blog with my Big, who you reminded me quite a bit of, and she absolutely looooves it.


  4. Aw, thanks for linking to me and saying such nice things :) Can I get in on that snow cone date?!

    I love your recaps and I totally agree -- I thought that question was really inappropriate. For one, it varies so much, based on numbers, content, audience, niche, if blogging is their only income source, and how that blogger came to monetize. I don't think it's fair to ask all that.

    Also, it's not some big secret -- many bloggers have their rates listed, and though some don't, it's not hard to find similar blogs that do. I just feel like there's so much more to it than pageviews and prices... and it's impossible to cover all of that.

    Not to mention -- it's their life! Sharing their income is personal, and some might not feel comfortable doing that. Many people don't.

    There are much bigger things that could have been asked to that group of bloggers, and while I totally understand the curiosity, it struck me as a little inconsiderate of their time and like a misunderstanding of the issue.

  5. Great recaps Part 1 & 2 Nicole! And thank you for your sweet words.

    I COMPLETELY agree about the crazy monetization derailment. I felt like over the weekend a couple of conference-goers took a more confrontational stance with many of the nice bloggers who came out and volunteered their time to share their experience, and I thought it was extremely rude.

    I didn't understand why these folks were so stuck on money. It worries me a little that now that blogging is a big thing, maybe folks are seeing that money can be made and are just jumping in as they would to any other industry. Versus many of us who write and post because we have something to say and we want to share! And hey if we monetize sometime in the future that might be cool. At least that's my feeling. I'm also not actively seeking sponsors because at this point for me personally I want to keep my content clean and independent from perceived bias, but I would consider working with brands that fit with my brand in the future. And props to any blogger who can earn a living doing what they love!

    I also agree that what people make and what people are worth is their own personal business and it was super rude to try to corner them into talking about it on a group level. Not polite conversation. Womp womp.

    I loved your question at the panel and I wish we had more time so I could hear more women speak on it!

    1. Agreed Kara!! We must all get together and chat again soon (maybe do some blog sharing!) I was super flustered/overwhelmed at prom so I'm sad I didn't get a good chance to have good convo's with everyone. Hope all is well.
      Lauren M

  6. I'm glad you had such a great time at the conference!

  7. Just adding on to everyone else's comments here, as I was also completely surprised by the heavy focus on monetization. I think that a lot of women get into blogging because they've seen a handful of people make a lot of money, and are convinced that it's an easy route, but if this weekend taught me anything, it was that none of these "big" bloggers had an easy go of it. I was disappointed that the convocation had such a negative and money focused tone - certainly not the way to end a conference that was otherwise incredibly inspiring and thought provoking.

    I, for one, began blogging because I love to write, and it was so heartening to hear so many girls that began blogging for the very same reasons. Maybe one day everyone else will get their heads on straight and realize that blogging should be about passion, not money.

    Thanks for sharing, Nicole! It was great seeing you at the conference - we'll have to catch up soon!

  8. This all sounds so wonderful! I'm hoping to go to a blogger conference this year, they sound too great to pass up anymore! Now I need to check out some of the ladies you've mentioned!


  9. Thanks for the shout out Nicole! You're so sweet :) I love this little recap. But, I totally agree, the heavy focus on monitizing from some bloggers was a little disheartening. But, nonetheless it was a really great weekend and I learned A LOT! And, Lauren I so agree- We need to do an Austin blogger meet up. I feel like I didn't get to talk to as many people as I would've liked since I was volunteering. It was so cool to see that there are lots of other Austin bloggers out there... I really had no idea! Once a year at a conference isn't enough. Let's make it happen ladies!

  10. Thanks for the shoutout! Such a pleasuring meeting you, Nicole :)


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