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The Evolution of Women in Social Media Conference~EVO for bloggers

Sometimes it’s awkward to admit that I write a daily blog. Most of the time, it doesn’t come up in conversation “in real life”. For those that don’t participate in the blogging community–whether writing or reading–just don’t get it, and it seems to be a social stigma that bloggers in general are a joke. I’m sure that bloggers could be perceived as vain for expecting people to “stop by” to see what they have to say about the world. I’ll admit that if I didn’t blog myself, I might say the same thing. I went to a blogging conference last weekend, but everytime I mentioned it to someone at home, I sorta said it under my breath with a grin.  Maybe I don’t own this title enough to announce with pride what I love to do so much. I recognize that people don’t often “get” why I do it, because they don’t fully understand what is involved. But I LOVE it, and I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met who do get it, so relieving to hear that they experience all of the same emotions that I do.
{Reese Dixon/Brooke @ All Things Thrifty/Mandy @ Vintage Revivals/Me/Amy @ The Idea Room/Heather @ Whipperberry}

The marketing world–and I’m talking big names like Disney and McDonald’s–are turning to bloggers because they recognize that they are the trusted voice to their consumers.  Bloggers that have made a name for themselves (I’m just a little fish in a big pond) have the opportunity to work as their own boss from home, and make a comfortable living, or suplement. More specifically, the “mommy bloggers” are the heartbeat of the blogging world because they are in the trenches of all thing motherhood, and sharing their experiences whether it be stories of daily ante dotes or home decor how to’s, they are writing and people are listening. By wearing their jammies and telling their stories, moms who otherwise might vegge infront of the tv at the end of a rough mothering day, are purging their thoughts to the online community, hoping that what they share will make a difference in others lives.

{2 of the 6 @Six Sisters Stuff/me/Tara @ Dating Diva’s/Desiree @ The 36th Avenue}

We have SO much rattling around in our brains that the only way to relax is to purge it out in typing our daily blog post. And since for most of us (in my inner circle) our number one goal is to be a stay at home mom and be present for our families, our best blogging hours are from 9pm to 2am. Give or take a few.  We set our posts to publish at 6am the next day, and hope that people will actually click onto our site so that the ads that are placed on the sides will deliver a “page view.” If someone happens to click on those ads…well that’s an extra bonus. Some big time bloggers dedicate posts to sponsors that will send them product for a review, and often readers get annoyed. We see it just like free television programs that come with commercial sponsors.  I haven’t done much of that yet. We can’t do it all just out of the kindness of our hearts.  Some compensation is needed in order to continue with those sleep deprived hours.

{Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks picked me up late at the airport, and I bunked at her house the night before the conference. She took my picture over on the right sidebar at SNAP}

Truly, the blogging begins with a love of sharing, and continues with that same joy + a few benefits.  It isn’t just about the perks, but the connections made from people on the other end of that screen.  The feedback validates what we have to say, and also nudges us to keep sharing. Though I haven’t experienced this myself, some of these bloggers have seen jealousy for their success, or judgement from family and friends who assume they are plopping children in front of electronics all day while tap tap tapping away.  I will sometimes hear, “I don’t know how you do it” which may not meant to be received as negatively as I assume, but I like to add:  I don’t read books, I don’t watch tv, I’m not a great house keeper, THIS is my free time.

{During our 3 hour class on pitching article ideas to magazines, we had several table discussions.  Left to right we have: Landee @ Landee See, Landee Do/ Jodie @ eighteen25/Orange Blossom Frame girls/ Jen @ eighteen25/ Kristyn @ Lil Luna/ Nikki @ Chef in Training/ Jamielyn @ I heart Naptime/ April @ Funky Vintage Lovely/ Jen @ Tatortots & Jello}

I wasn’t originally planning to attend this conference. I hadn’t even heard of it before.  When I met so many new friends at SNAP in April, many of them were attending and said how great it was. Then, when one of them asked if I wanted to bunk in a great big house with a bunch of friends (for free) I decided to go. It wasn’t ideal just 2 days after getting home from Alaska, but I made the decision and went ahead…and I’m so glad I did.  Many great tips, excellent classes, and crazy fun memories with dear friends. I barely took any pics with my “big camera” and most with my phone. I just didn’t feel like lugging it around…here is a snippet of the weekend from my phone (I literally took just the above few pics with my 5D, besides a few headshots for friends):

{left to right top: On our way to EVO with 2 of the crafting chicks, we had to swing by to get the car fixed by Greg/I was lovin my mint toes and new nude wedges/me and The Sweet Tooth Fairy!  I told her I’d help her find a location in Austin/Sweet Tooth Fairy cake bites. Bottom row: Picture of the resort the conference was held/ Lolly Jane twins/ Kristyn @ Lil Luna and I with our style board/ Kristyn and I with Mickey–Disneyland was a sponser at the conference}

{top left: late night chat fest–so much 3 am laughing I nearly peed my pants/ Amy @ The Idea Room and I, my dear friend who introduced me to this bloggy world/ A bunch of my roomies on day 2:Michelle @ A little Tipsy, me, Lil Luna, I heart Naptime, Chef in Training, Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous/ Me & Desiree from The 36th Avenue/ Bottom:  A lolly Jane sandwich/ getting a hand massage/ friends who endured the 4 hour class on facebook, twitter, & pinterest/ Me & Minnie}

We stayed at the amazing and beautiful Links Luxury Rentals in Park City, and here are some shots I used from my dearies at Eighteen25:


{Our last night, we pulled a few pranks to scare some of our friends.  It was pretty funny. My kids loved the stories.}

I love this last pic, it was the gals I spent the most time with late at night chatting about life, families, blogs, religion, drug addiction, marriage, some tears, mostly laughter. This late at night pic makes me happy, and look forward to hanging with them again.

I slept 2 hours that last night, then pulled myself out of bed with these girls for an early morning flight back to my fam:

Jamielyn @ I heart Naptime & Kristyn @ Lil Luna (links above)

Lastly,  a fun image taken by Justin Hackworth–event photographer I’d first heard about because he photographs Nie’s family sometimes.  I kinda love it, wraps up the fun we all had at the conference.

{Kristyn @ Lil Luna/ me/ Jen @ Tatortots & Jello/ Shelley at The House of Smiths/Kim @ Today’s Creative Blog/April @ Funky Vintage Lovely/ Kamie @ No Biggie}

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  1. I was loving all the pictures on instagram, so it’s fun to hear the stories behind them now. What a great weekend! I wish I would have gone to it, since I was in Utah after all. :) You all look like such a fun group!

  2. What a fun recap! It was so much fun hanging out with you! Best late night laughs ever…now I am paying for it. I am not as young as I used to be! I must know where you got those adorable nude wedges…it is the important things right?! Love you!

  3. Love this Kristen! Such a great write up. I’m actually grateful for that 4 hour torture-fest on Twitter because you and I bonded there… or at least began our bonding which endured the rest of the weekend. So glad you went to EVO!


  1. [...] Nikki @ Chef in Training/ Jamielyn @ I heart Naptime/ April @ Funky Vintage Lovely/ me (thanks Kristen Duke for the [...]

  2. [...] so thrilled to introduce my friend Brooke to all of you today! I met Brooke last summer at the EVO blog conference, and I was instantly drawn to her. She is so easy to talk to and so generous with her time in [...]

  3. [...] met a bunch of girls a year ago, then we attended EVO in July together, then we’ve kept in touch via text, calls, email, online groups. So it was [...]