|I forgot to mention that we stayed at the lovely San Marcus Hotel in Chandler, AZ. The grounds were beautiful, the rooms standard. But what made the room NOT so standard were the awesome roommates I had. I got my ticket late in the game so pretty much everyone had already figured out roommates and travel buddies. I posted on Facebook that I needed both and Stephanie replied that she had room in her car and her hotel. Then Amanda seconded that motion. They didn't even know me! How sweet (and brave) are they??? My other roommate was Kara and come to find out we live in neighboring towns! Crazy world.|
Okay, I will try to give you all a run down on what I learned while there. Like I said, I take terrible notes. I come home and look at them and I have a hard time translating my made up shorthand. But here we go....
*Your kids and family should come before your blog (and FB and Twitter) so plan and schedule like crazy. Work at night or nap time or while the kids are at school. I loved what Becky Higgins said (because I do the same thing) about keeping your computer in one place like the office. Then when the kids are home, shut the door and be a mom. She also said to have ONE family calender. It is less confusing.
*Don't compare your blog to others.
*You have to be passionate about what you are doing. If you are frustrated and want to quit, sit back and think about why you started the blog to begin with.
*Make your posts easy to understand. Re-read them. Think about how the post would be interpreted by people of different ages, different countries. Give as much information as possible (links, products used, etc)
*Have good quality pictures. It is worth it to take the extra time to take pictures in good lighting and to edit them. Most of the panel of ladies speaking used picnik which is free. Watermarking your pictures is also important. Rename your photos when editing them (ie. San Marcus Hotel) so they will show up in Google Images and drive more traffic to your site.
*If you are making money with your blog then have a separate account with a debit card for your blog. As far as taxes, you have to claim the free product you receive as well.
*Your blog looks different in different browsers. Try to look at your blog in all the different browsers to see if there are things that you could change so your blog looks its best.
*If you have a FB page for your blog, try to have 50% personal posts (I just had a bacon avocado hamburger) and 50% blog posts and don't post too much. Over posting can turn people off. Also, post old blog posts on FB. Chances are a lot of your followers missed it or were not following when you originally posted it.
*Don't take mean comments to heart. People have issues. You can't please everyone. Just do your best.
*Be authentic. If something makes you uncomfortable, don't do it.
There was so much more that would take forever to put into words. I could do a whole post about Twitter alone. And it would just be the basics. I swore I would never join Twitter but they made me see the light.
Okay, the trip home. . .
I flew to AZ because it started Thursday and I would have had to leave Wednesday if I drove there. My hubby couldn't take any time off other than Friday so I had to limit the days I got babysitters. But coming home was a Sunday so it was alright if I drove since the hubs was still home for the weekend. It saved me some $$$ and ended up to be so FUN!
I was in the car with Stephanie, Kara, and Tauni. I haven't done a road trip with just girls since collage. What a blast! Even the getting lost part wasn't so bad. Yep. We got lost. We somehow ended up in New Mexico. Well, the border anyway. The 11 hour drive turned into a 14 hour drive. But that is okay. It gave me more time to get to know these amazing ladies! I am sure Stephanie will come up with a hilarious post on our adventure. Tauni videoed the GPS system when it was on crack and telling us the wrong directions. I will link to both when the post...
|Over all it was such a nice departure from the norm. I missed my kids like crazy. But I didn't have to make the bed, cook, clean, do dishes, laundry, or anything else like that. I made new friends and learned a TON.|
|The end :)|
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