Colorado & Denver Blogger Exclusive Meetup | Planning And Hosting An Event

I truly believe the world would be a better place if more women came together, supported each other, built each other up, encouraged one another, and cheered each other on. So often we see women get caught up in the catty, gossip cycle that is driven by insecurities and comparison. Every woman would be lying if she said she hadn't done that at least once in her life. It's unfortunate that in our society sometimes women compete with each other more than encourage each other. One of my strong passions in life is to break down this mentality, create strong bonds between women, and be a good example of women empowerment. I am not perfect at this, but I am extremely passionate about bringing women together and creating those bonds. 

I started blogging in October of 2014. One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog was because I loved reading so many other women's blogs. I found them creative and inspiring and it lead me to want my own blog. After a few months of blogging I found myself feeling so lonely. I had nobody to really chat with about blogging, nobody who knew exactly what blogging was, how it worked, etc. I wanted so badly to have friends in the blogging world. Ones I could run ideas by, share blogging struggles or successes with, and learn from. I started to search for some sort of blogger meetup or networking event. It was almost impossible to come by. The only one I came across was not open to everyone and it seemed a bit cliquey. I figured, if there wasn't an event where I could mix and mingle, and create great bonds and new friendships with bloggers in Colorado... then I should probably just create one! And the idea was born. I decided that I wanted to create an event where ladies all around town (or men, but let's be honest most bloggers are women) could meet up, have a great time, make new friends and chat blogging.

The most amazing thing about the event was how lovely everything fell into place. The first and best thing that happened was my blogger friend Lauren (LadyPlanner), agreed to create and host the event with me! This was so great because planning something you've never done before can be a tad intimidating, but doing it with a friend makes it more fun and less scary. She too agreed that Denver was in need of an event like this and she was just as excited about it as I was, which was a huge blessing. The next thing that fell into place perfectly was the venue. I had been attending Denver Style Magazine (DSM) events for a few months at this point and I had also written a post for their blog before, so I asked the ladies at DSM for their thoughts on the event. They thought it was an amazing idea and offered to help promote it and also offered their venue for the event! That too was such a blessing. At this point I felt like the event was meant to happen since it was coming together so well. 

The next two things that fell into place was the collaborations. We had Froozer, a company that makes delicious frozen fruit treats, agree to work with us on the event and provide free samples to all the guests. That was such a treat, to read more about their product head over to this post I did on the perfect post workout snack. The next collaboration we locked down was a photographer to shoot the entire event. Lauren got in contact with Corey from Corey Anthony Photography and he agreed to shoot the event and provide amazing photos for all of the bloggers to use. He takes absolutely stunning photos (as you can see below) and we were incredibly honored to have a photographer of that caliber take photos of our event. He did such a great job and it is such a treat to have these memories of the event. Check out Corey's Instagram, it's so inspiring!

Lauren and I took care of the snacks and drinks. There was white wine and rosé, because what's a girl's night without a little vino?! We also made some "blogger bites". I made caprese salad skewers, and cake pops, while Lauren made some delicious watermelon, basil and feta bites, as well as some cucumber sandwich bites. I must brag and say it was all so delicious and incredibly darling. It looked as though Pinterest had exploded all over the blogger bites table! We also brought the decor. For the decorations we had a gold sequins #, a banner that said "Blogger Love", a pink tassel banner, an "Eat Sleep Blog Repeat" sign, some pink paper pom poms around the room, and of course a marble slab to display the wine on. 

watermelon feta basil bites
cake pops
eat sleep blog repeat

We also put together an activity to get the ladies chatting with new people. We created "Blogger Bingo" which was a simple bingo game but each square had something related to blogging in it and the ladies were to try to have other ladies sign their sheet where it applied to them. I know that's a bit confusing, but for example if it said "lifestyle blogger" I could sign on that square for them. Make sense? Anyways, everyone had a blast playing the game and it really got all the women talking and making new friends. We had five prizes for the first people who won. It was a really great ice breaker.

eat sleep blog repeat

At the end of the night we all went on the rooftop and took photos! That was such a blast and the view of Denver was stunning, especially since the sun was setting. Corey, the amazing photographer, took a lovely group photo of all the women (pictured below) and then he graciously took beauty shots of the women who wanted them. 

Overall I am so pleased with how the night turned out! I made so many new friends and it felt so great to see the women bonding and making new connections. It was a lot of work to plan this event but I am so glad Lauren and I did because it was a blast and it brought so much value to the blogger community here in Colorado. If you are a blogger reading this, I absolutely encourage you to either attend a blogger event (if it exists already in your city) or to plan one. Trust me, it's worth the effort!

 

I want to say thank you to all the ladies who came that night, it was so great meeting you all and I had a blast! Also, thank you Corey, Emily from Froozer, and the wonderful ladies at Denver Style Magazine, you all made the event so special and I appreciate your time and resources! And of course, thank you Lauren for having the courage to plan this with me, I'm so grateful for you!! Thanks everyone :)

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Top 10 Sites & Programs Every Blogger Should Know About

 

I started my blog on October 13th 2014. You can learn more about that here in my one year blogging anniversary post. When I started blogging I had No Clue what I was doing as far as setting up the site, growing a following, and creating great content. All I knew is I had a desire to be creative and have a space where I could share about the things I love and connect with readers from all around the world. I have a mentor that says if the desire is strong enough, the how does not matter. Well, that's the truth here. My desire was strong enough to create a blog that the "how" all fell into place because I was determined to figuring it out. 

It is now May of 2016, so I have been blogging for about a year and a half now. I have learned SO much and still have a lot more to learn. There are so many amazing programs, sites and apps that have helped me to make my blog what it is today. Some of which I didn't discover until a year + into my blogging career. I wanted to create this post to hopefully help a new blogger figure out how to get going. Here are some programs that will help you a ton! Good luck!! 


| 1 | MAIL CHIMP

Mail Chimp is an email program. You can connect it to your blog to keep track of your subscribers, send them all emails, and my favorite is you can send RSS emails that go out every time a new post is live on your blog. The program is free. Wanna experience it? lol put your email in below to be part of my email list and receive weekly blog updates! 

| 2 | CONVERSIONS BOX

Conversions Box is super simple and free. It is a site that allows you to enter a facebook page URL and it will create code for you to add into your blog for a simple pop up. Something along the lines of "Like Us On Facebook". 

| 3 | SOCIAL FABRIC

Social Fabric is a place that connects brands with bloggers. If you want to make some money through blogging, this is a great site. 

| 4 | CHIMP FEEDR

If you use #1, Mail Chimp, for RSS emails then you will need this. Chimp Feedr is a place where you can enter a bunch of RSS feeds and they will mash them up into one master feed that you can then use for RSS email campaigns. RSS is extremely confusing and if I'm gonna be honest, I'm no expert. But these programs help a ton and once it's set up you don't have to stress about it. 

| 5 | PICMONKEY

This is something I use ALL the time! See the photo above? The one I'd love for you to PIN ;). Haha, well I made it using PicMonkey. This program is free or you can pay to upgrade like I did so you have access to everything. I used it for free for a long time and it worked awesome without upgrading. This is a photo editing site. As far as I know they don't have an app yet, which is sorta a bummer, but the site is great. You can do so much through here as far as editing. Go play around with it! 

| 6 | BLOGLOVIN

This is a sort of social media platform to follow other blogs and share your own blog. I don't use this program a ton but it is really awesome and I know a lot of bloggers who swear by it and gain a ton of traffic to their blog from it. Here is According To D on bloglovin! 

|7 | ICONOSQUARE

One of my favorite platforms on social media is Instagram. I love how visual and creative Instagram is and I focus on growing that platform a lot for my blog. Iconosquare is a nice tool to help you track your analytics. This used to be free but now it costs money, it's either $29/year or $150/year depending on the plan you get. I do the cheaper version and it helps tons. It lets you know a lot of stuff about your Instagram, from what time of day is best to post to receive the most interaction, to what filter your followers like best. You can also receive "snapshots" of your IG content. It will tell you things like where your followers are from (68% of mine are from the U.S.), or what your top posts have been. You can also create a "profile cover" through Iconosquare. Here is an example of that ( I edited it a bit in PicMonkey). It will say something else, which I covered and put my blogs name.

Through Iconosquare you can also create Instagram widgets for your blog. I LOVE this because they give you colors to choose from and you can make it more personal. Here is an example: 

| 8 | STOCK PHOTO SITES

I have linked a blog post that gives a long list of free sites where you can find stock photos. Now, I personally don't use a lot of stock photos. Especially for my travel posts, I like to use my own photos. However, there are some situations where the post doesn't require a lot of pictures (like this post) and stock photos come in handy. Like the photo I made to pin up above, the actual photo is a stock photo and I edited it with text. Simple. Pinterest is an amazing search engine for bloggers. If you are looking for stock pictures, search free stock photos in the Pinterest search and a ton of blog posts with information will come up. For bloggers, sometimes Pinterest is a better search engine than Google. 

| 9 | PIN GROUPIE

This is something I discovered a few days ago! I wish I knew about it sooner. It's a site that helps you find group Pinterest boards. You can then contact the creator of the Pinterest board and ask them to add you to the board so you can pin on it. I have been doing this recently with travel boards, ones that have a TON of followers. I have noticed SUCH a difference. My blog content has been getting re-pinned like crazy and my blog's page views have gone up from it!! Super excited about this and I'm going to keep working on this, joining new group boards and spreading my blog's pins. If you want to see some of the boards I've joined, click HERE

| 10 | AVIARY PHOTO EDITOR

This is an app I use on my phone to edit my photos. I have tried other photo editing apps but I find Aviary simple to use. I like that it has whitener, I use this a Ton for white backgrounds so they are super white and pop more, I also use them to whiten my teeth at times. No shame here lol. Here is an example of a picture I took, this will show you the before and after editing with this app. 

I hope you found value in this post and if you are a blogger, I hope it helps you grow your blog bigger, better and faster! Comment below with YOUR favorite blogging program or tool, I'd LOVE to know. 

 

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