When I started my blog 10 years ago, I quickly realized that I wanted to MEET all of these amazing online friends in person–like maybe at a conference just for bloggers. Back then there weren’t very many blog conferences available and there definitely weren’t many niche conferences. I wanted there to be a conference just for home/DIY bloggers. My dream came true back in 2011 when a group of us founded the Haven Conference! If you’re unfamiliar with Haven, it is a conference specifically designed with the do-it-yourself decorator/home blogger in mind. It’s sponsored by companies you know and love such as Home Depot, Ryobi, Joann, Behr and so many more. This year Haven is taking place in dreamy Charleston which you know I’m thrilled about! Check out Haven’s website for the speaker line-up and ticket info if you’re interested in joining me this July!
Haven is one of my crowning achievements as a blogger, and I am so proud to have been part of its story! Although I stepped down a few years ago from serving as a full-time team member, I’ve been honored to serve Haven as a speaker and mentor in the past. This year, I return to as a Haven Mentor and I’m excited to meet my group of fellow bloggers! Mentor groups meet throughout the conference to touch base and debrief about all we are learning at the conference and get to know some fellow attendees better. It’s a fun way to meet new people and learn about new blogs.
What is your best advice for a blogger?
I have addressed this question many times over the years on my blog and my answer never seems to change! My best advice to anyone who blogs, or wants to start a blog is to do it because you love it. Do it because you can’t NOT do it! Do it because it’s your passion and you love to share your gifts and talents to inspire others. DON’T do it because you want to make money, or gain attention, or even worse gain validation. In my opinion, those are all the wrong reasons to begin blogging and will only lead to unhappiness. If you’re wanting to start a blog of your own, I highly recommend reading my post How to Start a Blog! If you’re wanting more blogging advice, check out my Home Stories A to Z 10 Year Blogiversary post!
What is your best advice for a new Haven Maven attendee?
Attending any conference for the first time can feel intimidating. If you are an introvert (and let’s face it most of us who choose to spend the bulk of our days behind a computer screen are introverts), attending your first blog conference can feel downright terrifying! My advice is to put yourself out there and take responsibility for your time at Haven. This is YOUR conference and your time–have a good attitude and take some social risks!
Who are YOU most excited to see/meet at Haven this year?
There is no substitute for face-to-face time with fellow bloggers! You simply cannot create the same kinds of connections, friendships, networks, and memories that Haven provides! Seasoned bloggers know that some of the best learning at conferences takes place outside of the sessions and in small group discussions. I’m so excited to reconnect and hug bloggers who I’ve known for years, and some I’ll be meeting for the first time. I encourage you to click to see Haven’s speaker lineup and Mentor list. I’m guessing you’ll see a lot of your favorite bloggers and Instagrammers in the mix!
You might like checking out what some of my fellow Haven Mentors are saying today on their blogs! Click the following links to be taken to their posts: