This week, I headed to Hershey, PA for my first iRetreat Conference.

Having blogged since 2007 (say what?), I can’t say that I have gone to many conferences. In fact, iRetreat was my fourth conference ever. EVER. Even though I have been blogging for awhile (an Old G Blogger so to say), I still walk away from the sessions learning a thing or two or ten!

10 Things I Learned at #iRetreat2014

10 things i learned at iretreat2014

1. “Haters gonna hate.” I love that Kelly from The Censible Life was so open and honest in her session. Simply put, be proud of what you do and the opportunities that you get because not everyone will be happy for you every time.

2. “Know your worth…but know when it’s worth doing anyway.” It was great to hear from the dynamic duo of Audrey of Mom Generations and Vera of Lady and the Blog during the keynote.  They spoke about their partnership and why it has helped them become so successful.

3. Sometimes you just need to stop and have a mani. What? You don’t take a break while you are at a session and get your nails done. Rite Aid had an amazing Wellness Lounge set up with hand massages and manicures along with some health screenings. Of course, I had to partake in the manicure with the Jessie Girl nail polish line. 

4. Brands really do care about what your blog looks like. Do you have a lot of ads? Is your blog clean and not cluttered? Do you have spelling mistakes and poor grammar? Does your page flow? Ask yourself these questions while you give yourself a little blog critique.

5. Photos can tell a story. Have high quality and clear photos on your blog. I think everyone knows that I strive to have some great photographs on my blog already. However, that comes naturally to me and the images tend to come before any of the writing that I do.

6. If you have the passion, everything else will follow. If you don’t love what you are doing, why are you doing it?

7.  Having a great personality and great content is more important than your numbers. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 followers or 5 million, if you create great content and have a personality to go along with it, people will want to listen to you and engage with you on your blog.

8. If you get a no, you may want to take it as a not now. Jenny from Mommin It Up has a great story about being persistent and following up with a brand you really want to work with. They may not have the budget to work with you right now or you don’t fit the campaign they are working on at the moment. That doesn’t mean they won’t have something for you 6 months from now.

9. You are never too old to make new friends. One of my favorite things about conferences is that there are a million opportunities to make a new friend. And that’s something that you take beyond your blog. You have your blogging friends and social media friends but the true connections you make with people on a personal level will still be there beyond the blogging days.

10. “What to look for in a good partner? Love, respect, trust, friendship, dedication, hardworking, and same goals.” Finding a good partner is kinda like finding your spouse. Think about it? You are going to spend the same amount of time with that person (and sometimes more) as you do your spouse. So you want to make sure you have a good partner for the long haul!

Did you attend #iRetreat2014? What was your favorite takeaway?

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