Monday, October 7, 2013

Welcome to OBC 2013!

2013 has been an interesting year for me as a blogger. It’s marked a lot of career milestones and incredible “first time” experiences. In February, I attended my first (in-person) blog conference, the Six Sisters Stuff BYBC.

Brooke Walker was the keynote speaker for that conference, and she challenged each of us think of ourselves more as “influencers,” rather than “bloggers.” It’s a notion that has stuck with me throughout the year, and I’d like to open this Online Blog Conference with that same thought...

You are not just a blogger. You are an INFLUENCER.

Throughout this conference, I want you to keep that thought in mind. And as you take messages away from the posts our speakers and panelists have prepared for you, I want you to think about how being an INFLUENCER as opposed to a blogger will affect the way you apply what you learn this week.

Who are you influencing?

What is the message you are sending them?

What kind of message do you want to send?

And ultimately: what is your goal in publishing a blog?

Even if your goal is simply to earn an income, nothing more and nothing less, I say THAT’S OKAY. But to successfully achieve that goal, you are going to have to publish a blog that influences people and makes an impression. So no matter what your end goal is, finding your voice as an influencer is crucial to your success as a blogger, not to mention finding some personal fulfillment in the endeavor.

After hearing Brooke speak, I determined I had three “influencer” goals for my blog:

1. I want my blog to be a resource. I don’t want it to simply be a random compilation of recipes I’ve tried. I want there to be an order to it, a reason for people to keep coming back. Finding the word “resource” has helped give me direction this year. Of course, nothing is ever complete with a blog, but now I have a more defined way I’d like to shape it.

2. I want re-define “blogging” for my readers and fellow bloggers. I want them to see how it inspires me, motivates me. I want them to see how it’s changed me and allowed me to develop new talents and pursue dreams I didn’t know I even had. As we all know, so much more than pretty pictures and a few clicks go into blogging. And I want people to know that. Specifically, I want Moms to know that. There are so many women I know who have fabulous and important voices, and they should be heard! But they don’t know how or where to start. They feel limited or inadequate to attempt the world of publication. I want them to know that a blog can give life to their ambitions, while allowing them to fulfill their most precious role of all: mother. I have discovered that I don’t have to choose between ambition and motherhood.

Which leads me directly to my third goal: I want to influence my family. Part of this includes my desire to contribute to our family income, ideally in a substantial way. But  I also want my husband, and particularly my daughter, watch me reach for the stars and achieve personal goals. I want my daughter to watch me work hard to earn something that is valuable to me. I want her to see me try for something and fail. And then I want her to see me try again. And again. And again. I hope she sees me develop skills and educate myself and that she learns that education is a lifelong pursuit and comes in many shapes and forms.

I want her to see that I am not always at her immediate disposal, and that my time is important. And once she understands that, I hope she feels so loved and valued and treasured, because I will always set aside the things that are important to me to be her mother and take care of the things in life that are important to her.

I've helped to prepare this conference with those goals in mind. I hope, as you read these posts and interact with fellow bloggers in our FB group, that you'll recognize yourself as an influencer. And I hope that you'll try to be an influence for good, especially in the blogging and internet world.

Happy OBC 2013!

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