10 Reasons Why You Should Be At The Blog Connect

The Blog Connect Conference is in three days!! I’m on the planning committee for the conference, happening on April 23 in Center City (and we have a kick-off party the night before). Its focus is to help mid-level bloggers learn how to “Blog It Better” through a series of speakers, workshops, networking, and more. You can learn more on our website. If you’ve been considering buying a ticket, but are still on the fence, here are 10 reasons you should buy your ticket today.

We have a great speaker line-up.

Sarah Morgan of XO Sarah is coming from San Diego to be our  keynote speaker. Haven’t heard of her? Well, now’s your chance. She’s been blogging since the early 2000s and offers half a dozen books and courses on doubling your blog traffic, the ultimate guide to passive income, growing your blog and email list, and tripling your Pinterest traffic. She will be speaking about 10 game changing ideas to grow your blog community and brand.

In addition to Sarah, we will be hearing from Sola Onitiri from Let’s Get Going about creating your own space in the blogosphere focusing on the importance of honest branding; Andy Shaw from InstaFather about finding your own voice about writing with confidence for crying out loud, and Jess Herbine from Broke Girls Go Out about the best SEO tips and tricks for bloggers.

In addition to the speakers, there will be an afternoon breakout session where you have the option of attending a smaller workshop where you will learn how to build the product of your choice: creating physical products with Jennifer Dziura from Get Bullish, podcasts with Angelica Yarde from Studio 404, video with Andrea Corson from This Is Video Pop, and monetizing your eBooks with Angela St. Cyril from Setting My Intention. This is your chance to get your questions answered about your blogging next steps.

We’ll be finishing off the speaker line-up with a panel on working with brands from the perspective of a few different types of bloggers. Erica Ligenza is the full-time blogger behind Coming Up Roses. Nicole Raudonis is the side-hustle blogger behind Simply Nicole. Amber Burns is the side-hustle blogger behind ember + march, but also brings along her Media Relations experience from working at Visit Philly as well as multiple marketing and PR gigs beforehand. And Jeff Belonger is the man behind MyPhillyAlive and Belonger Consulting, his own social media strategist consulting firm. The panel will be led by none other than the PHLbloggers founder, Chrystina Cappello from Chrystina Noel.

Every attendee will receive a planner courtesy of Erin Condren.

We’re so excited to tell you about our partnership with Erin Condren for this conference. For those of you who don’t know, they make absolutely stunning LifePlanner stylized organizers, TakeNote notebooks, note cards, stickers, and more. They made personalized planners for each attendee with The Blog Connect logo on them – and then decided to throw in stickers and a dual-tip pen for each attendee. When you see these planners you’ll have no choice but to take a million photos out of pure beauty. Speaking of photos…

There will be lots of great photo opportunities.

From the moment you arrive there will be lots of awesome photo opportunities. You will have the chance to sign up for headshots with my friend Julia from Philly with a Fjallraven during the registration and breakfast time slot on Sunday morning. There will definitely be the over-sized PHL gold balloons again. Our creative director, Sarah Moore from smoorelovin, has visions of streamers and balloons. And if exposed brick walls and gorgeously diffused natural light are your thing, Saxbys has you covered.

There’s a party the night before.

Last year’s conference was awesome. That said, we wanted to make sure that people had even more time to get to know each other this year and we brought on our incredible party director, Priyanka from Paint the Town Chic to make it happen. We will be hosting our party at ellelauri boutique on S. 19th Street for all attendees. We will be bringing in food and drink vendors, giving you the opportunity to meet each other, and an awesome chance to learn how to create incredible flat lays with Ann Blake from Ann Blake Photography. There will be wine from Pinot Boutique , macarons from ICI macarons, beverages from Bai, sweet treats from Pure Fare, kombucha from Inspired Brews, and more. Oh, and there will be a braid bar thanks to Concichairge. What more could you ask for?
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Getaway: Poconos

I’m a city girl through and through, but with summer around the corner, I’ve been craving some time away. A weekend in the mountains with some friends and my pups sounds kind of perfect. Here are some of the Airbnbs I’ve been eyeing around the Poconos (and yes, these are all pet friendly!).

Lake Harmony Lakefront – $300

El Sol, Stroudsburg – $200

Cabin in the Trees, Jim Thorpe – $129

Lakefront Chalet, Mount Pocono – $190

~ Sarah

P.S. If you’re using Airbnb for the first time, you can use my referral link to get $40 in travel credit!

Women’s March, Philadelphia

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

2017 is going to be different. It has to be different because what Americans are seeing from the executive branch is unprecedented — in a dangerous, slippery slope way.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

So last Saturday, millions and I marched. The why I march is simple: women’s rights are human rights. Equality cannot exist without freedom of choice: to be with who you love, to do what you love. I will not stand for an administration that stands against equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, for non-Christians. And I’m certainly not okay with a person who has admitted and bragged about sexual assault as our Commander-in-chief.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

I’m not a marcher. In college, I didn’t participate in any on-campus demonstrations because I was on the newspaper staff, so this was new territory for me. I didn’t even bring a sign with me, partly because I couldn’t think of anything to write, but mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. (There were some great ones though.) There were so many different viewpoints expressed, and that was beautiful. Even people on the same side can have differences in priorities and passions and experiences, and that’s okay.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017
Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured with what is right in America.”

President Bill Clinton said that in his first inaugural address, and it rings very true today. I’m grateful to be an American because it affords me the right to say what I want and protest what I want. Protests have always been part of American history, but social media is a game changer for organizers. (It’s a double-edged sword, of course, since fake news — propaganda — spreads easier than ever.) In terms of the protests that have been springing up since November, and this last week in our cities and our airports — I have never seen anything like it before.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

So what now? March. Write. Donate. Volunteer. If you don’t know where or how to get started, ask. There are a lot of resources available! I found a great local organization through Volunteer Match, and I’m excited to get more involved. You can filter by location, causes you’re passionate about, etc. I definitely recommend it as a starting point.

Women's March, Philadelphia - January 21, 2017

There’s a lot of work to do. Let’s get to it, and let us not forget to take care of ourselves and each other.

~ Sarah