After feeling like I just unpacked from our trip to Disney, my daughter and I spent the weekend in NYC this past weekend and I attended the Blogging While Brown (BWB) conference in Harlem at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Blogging While Brown’s mission is based on education, collaboration, and innovation among bloggers of color. After my negative experience at my 1st blogging conference last year at BlogHer, I was pretty nervous for Saturday. I invited fellow blogger & friend, Eileen of Mommy Teaches to experience the conference with me. And we both walked away from the keynote on Saturday feeling empowered, connected, and part of the BWB family.
The opening statements of Gina McCauley, BWB founder, and Markus Robinson of Interactive One really set the mood for the entire conference. To be in a room full of bloggers of color, supporting one another…it was a powerful moment that continued throughout all the panels during the day.
In “Blogging for the Love of the Blog” I got to see my friend, mentor, and co-parenting guru Deesha Philyaw of Co-Parenting 101, alongside Michelle Grant of Black ‘n Bougie, and Carolyn Edgar, fellow single mom, as they discussed remembering why you started blogging in the first place because it’ll provide you motivation and inspiration. Another message they shared was to always be true to yourself. It’s so easy for me to compare myself and blog to more successful ones, but I never want to jeopardize my content and site just to get ahead. And I’m beyond excited for my autographed copy of Deesha’s newly released book Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce.
Karla Trotman reminded that even though I’m not selling a product, I’m running a business. She’s a mom of two and owner of Belly Button Boutique and I learned alot in her panel “Starting a Business While Working Full-Time ”. It was eye-opening realizing I’m a business owner and investing time into me and my brand. With everyone I meet, every connection I make, I’m marketing myself, I’m giving someone a first look at what they are going to get on my blog. And I realized I haven’t been making the kind of impression I want…I blame it on my nerves!!
I appreciated that the focus of BWB was about the content and quality of information shared in the panels and networking. We all have so much to share with each other, and it was great to have a judgment free forum to discuss our blogs and learn new tools to help us maximize our efforts. I was able to see old friends like Eileen and Deesha, and also meet my virtual blogger friends like Stacia of Beyond Baby Mamas and Y0l0nda of Notorious Spinks. The energy was electric and the after-party at the Aflot Harlem was a nice way to close out the conference.
Happy that BWB will be back in NYC next year and if I am able I will be attending again next year. The conference had a great vibe, was a great size, and I hopefully found the motivation to continuing building up my blog. Be on the lookout for my top five highlights from the event!