If you follow me on social media at all, you have probably already seen a lot of photos from my weekend at the Blogcademy in Portland. I couldn’t wait to share them! But if you want to know how my weekend went and what the Blogcademy was like, read on!
Blogcademy is a two day blogging workshop taught by Kat Williams of Rock n’ Roll Bride, Shauna Haider of the blog Nubby Twiglet and Gala Darling. The Portland Blogcademy was their 4th workshop (they go to L.A. next) and they will be starting their world tour after that. More info and dates can be found at www.theblogcademy.com
It was held at the Cleaners, the event space at the Ace Hotel, in downtown Portland. I got a room at the Ace, for three nights, which was exciting in itself as I had never stayed in a hotel room by myself before! I love my man and our pets, but the thought of no animals waking me up at the butt-crack of dawn, and getting to lay around in my bathrobe watching cable if I wanted, was very alluring!
When I first heard about the Blogcademy, I just had this feeling it was something I should do and I am so glad I went. It was everything it promised to be and more. I felt like I had gotten my money’s worth halfway through the first day. Half way through the second day, I was sad it was almost over!
Gala, Shauna and Kat are all very different and have different areas of expertise, but they compliment each other so well. And they are so nice! They advertised an informative, inspiring and collaborative experience and boy did they deliver. They purposely keep the workshop on the smaller size, so that there is plenty of opportunity for asking questions and one on one time. They went above and beyond to make themselves accessible before and after class and at breaks and I was always able to ask a question or two during those times. I felt like I got all my questions answered in class as well.
They cover a lot of information from creating content to branding to social media and more. It’s kind of intense. We were all a little bleary eyed towards the end of the the first day. Some of it is like, “oh that makes sense”, but you just wouldn’t really know it unless someone with their experience level told you. Some of it is stuff I am already doing, but it was nice to be told I was on the right track and thinking the right way. Mostly, they were just gems, that would have taken me years to figure out on my own. So it is invaluable for me to know it now and will just put me that far ahead of the game.
Blogcademy is not just for women, but my class was all women and apparently that is the trend. I was amazed at the age range in the class. The youngest I met was still a junior in high school and there were certainly some twenty somethings. I’m 36 and I’m thinking I may have been one of the older ones in class. But it didn’t feel weird. These women were all so interesting and mature, I wouldn’t have even thought about their age if they hadn’t mentioned it. I was also amazed at how far people had traveled for this workshop. They were several east coasters (New York and New Jersey), a gal from Utah and one from Arkansas.
The trio of Made U Look Photography, from Bakersfield, CA took photos of the workshop, but these ladies are no flies on the wall. They covered the event unobtrusively, but were just as friendly and open as Kat, Gala and Shauna. I always gravitate towards the photographers and spent a good amount of time talking to these ladies and thinking how fun it would be to work with them (as a fellow photographer or a client).
I was glad I stayed at the Ace. It’s a very cool hotel and was it was so convenient to be right there, but the beds there are no Heavenly Beds (which is what I have at home, I’m spoiled that way). I woke up on the fourth day sore from the room’s thin ass mattress, missing Matt and the doodies, and excited that I was going home, so it’s funny how that works!
The only other thing I felt was lacking (beside the bed at the Ace) was some sort of planned social hour afterwards. I was there by myself and since most of the shops in downtown Portland were closed by the time we got out for the day, there wasn’t much to do in the evenings (except work on my blog on my laptop, so maybe it was a good thing). I am pretty out-going, but maybe it is a bit weird to ask someone you just met and talked to for like 5 minutes to go have dinner or a drink with you. I did it anyway, but with little success. If they set up some sort of happy hour or after party, it would take the pressure and awkwardness away and allow people, who do want to network or chat more, an opportunity to do that.
Overall, between the quality and quantity of the info that Gala, Kat and Shauna share (they really don’t hold back), the beautiful branding they’ve created and the warmth and sparkle of their personalities, these gals have assembled a winning combination. Plus, I feel like the long term affects of this workshop are yet to come. There’s the people I met (and an online forum for us to continue to chat in) and all the info I learned that I still need to put into play. I feel so lucky to have been a part of this and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get inspired and push their blog to the next level.
So thank you Gala, Shauna and Kat for creating such an amazing workshop! You ladies really are rock stars!