Be Blogalicious June 2012 - Be Blogalicious

June 2012 Archive

Blogalicious: MY Testimony ~ @digitalsisterhd @anandaleeke

Xina Eiland and Ananda Leeke (Photo courtesy Carol Cain, NYCItyMama.com)

Blogalicious Gives Birth to Digital Sisterhood

Public relations and communications professional Xina Eiland and I met during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference’s opening night reception held at the W Hotel in Atlanta in 2009. While sipping cocktails and recording video interviews, we learned we were both born in Michigan and currently living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Throughout the conference, we reconnected with each other and other women like “WhimsiGal,” founder of Whimsicard, LLC from the D.C. area. When we returned home, we used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in touch. We also discussed our Blogalicious experiences on Digital Sisterhood Radio, my Internet radio show.

And then it happened. We reached out by telephone and agreed to meet face-to-face in D.C. Our first meeting occurred on a Sunday afternoon at the U Street Café in December 2009. Xina, “WhimsiGal,” and I sat at a table for a few hours discussing our lives, life goals, ways we could support each other, and ideas for a local Blogalicious meet up. That one conversation paved the way for our Blogalicious D.C. community building efforts.

Together, we were able to help the Blogalicious co-founders organize two D.C. meet ups in February and April 2010. Xina played a major role in securing space and media coverage, promoting the events on Facebook and Twitter, identifying speakers and sponsors, developing the agenda, and obtaining in-kind donations for both events. I served as panel moderator for the April meet up.

In addition to supporting the Blogalicious D.C. community, we also made a professional commitment to support each other and our business goals. We launched our commitment with a breakfast meeting at Busboys and Poets, a popular D.C. hangout, in January 2010. Seated on comfy chairs with herbal tea and delicious breakfast items to keep us company, we shared our expertise. Xina became my public relations coach. She convinced me to follow her instructions on branding for my books, artwork, yoga practice, speaking and sponsorship opportunities, and coaching services. I became her creativity coach and helped her develop a social media plan to support her intention to blog and learn more about social media tools.

Throughout 2010, we met monthly to assess our progress and seek feedback. We attended several D.C. social media meet ups, participated in the Blogging While Brown’s White House Visit and weekend conference, hung out at the Red Pump Project and Blogalicious’ Say RED: Cocktails and Conversations event, and live blogged with the Blogalicious D.C. B-Link members during President Obama’s education reform speech at the National Urban League’s Centennial Conference. We also traveled to Miami to attend Blogalicious’ second annual conference and served as co-moderators of an open-mic luncheon sponsored by McDonalds.

Xina and I had an amazing time moderating the open-mic luncheon. It was a soulful discussion that included personal testimonies and stories shared by women who were Blogalicious newbies and alumni. They opened their hearts and spoke with such passion, clarity, candor, and humor. Their collective energy made it a beautiful experience filled with wisdom, laughter, lessons learned, and a plethora of blogging experiences that revealed how women discovered their authentic selves and voices online and offline through the support of other women.

When I look back on the experiences Xina and I shared in 2009 and 2010, I realize the greatest blessing was the way we constantly encouraged each other to step up our game and pursue new opportunities. We also shared information, insights, and introductions to people in our network that could support our efforts. We laughed, learned, and listened to each other when we achieved and struggled. Our Blogalicious bond created a digital sisterhood that supported us in 2011 and continues to support us in 2012. What a blessing!

Digital sisterhood is one of the many gifts you will receive when you attend a Blogalicious conference, meet up, Twitter chat, or webinar. Once you attend one event, be prepared to attend more because Blogalicious is positively contagious! It’s also magical. Why? Through the celebration of Blogalicious’ diversity, women own who they are through the content, connections, communities, collaborative partnerships, and commerce they create as they share experiences, insights, opinions, humor, creativity, expertise, and information.

Excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s forthcoming memoir, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (late Fall 2012).

Blogalicious: MY Testimony ~ Alisha Walker @iluvbeinmarried

We’re delighted to kickoff an brand new series on the Blogalicious blog called: MY Testimony, where Blogalicious alumni, champions and friends share what the Blogalicious community and conference means to them.  If you’d like to submit YOUR Testimony, email us at: info {at} beblogalicious {dot} com. And…show these testimonialists some love!

“Making Masterful Connections”

Not until I took a look back at the title of Blogalicious 2011 did I realized that I definitely embodied the intent. My husband and I have a blog, The Marriage Coaches, where our tagline is I love being married. We started our blog about 2 years ago but it wasn’t until September 2011 that we started blogging regularly as a part of our business. We provide marriage and relationship advice online and are marriage advocates via counseling, coaching and speaking offline. Prior to the relaunch of our blog we did exhaustive research on what we needed to do to grow our blog and to operate the blog like a business. One of the many suggestions was to get offline and to go to conferences. Blogalicious was one of the first on our list because I had been following them since the beginning.

I had heard about Blogalicious from the first year it started, but by the time I heard about it, it was sold out. I began to follow the women of Blogalicious and was intrigued. The next year, I was unable to make it. So when I saw it come up again for 2011, I was going to go no matter what.

I first met Stacey Ferguson at a women’s business conference in July. I introduced myself and exchanged information with her. We met again at the Blogalicous meet up that was held in Atlanta. I spoke with Stacey about going to the conference but I really wasn’t sure how I would swing it after the other expenses that were already spent for the year. I just knew I had to be there though. I emailed Stacey a few times back and forth and expressed my desire to attend the conference but really wasn’t sure how I would swing it. Ultimately, we were able to swing the conference and I attended in October.

Fast forward to the conference in October, I went by myself not really knowing anyone. I met some people online and at the meet up prior to the conference as well as a couple that I knew from social media as well. Going to this conference, meeting and networking with people without at least a wingman was out of my comfort zone, but I was there to do something different and that was definitely not to be in my comfort zone.

Prior to the conference I had mapped out a plan of the people I wanted to meet, the sessions I wanted to attend and who I wanted to connect with after the conference. I stuck to my plan. Overall, I met everyone I wanted to meet. I connected with several people that I have stayed connected with via social media. I have grown our brand by exposure and contacts. I have partnered with a couple of people and those partnerships should come to fruition this year.  Finally, I was bold enough to ask Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club to mentor me.

I was leaving a session and going for a quick break when I saw her chatting with some other bloggers. I reintroduced myself to her because she was one of the people I met and stayed in contact with from the Atlanta Blogalicious meet up. She remembered me. I felt like a little kid meeting Mickey Mouse I was in awe and a little nervous. Asking her to be my mentor was one of the things I had planned. I hadn’t seen her yet at the conference and didn’t want to take a chance on missing my opportunity. I asked quietly with a slight tremble in my voice, Jennifer would you mentor me and without hesitation, she said YES. WHAT! Did she just say what I think she said? Then she told me how to connect with her. Now every Tuesday morning we meet via phone and she mentors me on how best to move our blogging business forward.

The title of Blogalicious 2011 was so appropriate for my case and I know for many others. I took advantage of the opportunity to meet people in real life that otherwise I would not have a connection with. I learned to be bold, ask for what I want even in the face of possible rejection. I learned to be humble, because even though I am a successful and skilled Licensed Counselor I am still considered a “newbie” in the blogging world and I am humble enough and willing to ask for help. I learned that follow up is key to continued relationships via social media and even though I am still considered a “newbie” I give back. I learned to stay connected and I have with many of the people that I met at the conference and beyond.

I know many people are planning their 2012 conference schedule now, make Blogalicious a part of your list of musts. The experience, knowledge, support and business growth for newbie and veteran bloggers alike is well worth it. I’ll be there again this year and I hope to see you too.

Connect with Alisha on her site The Marriage Coaches and on Twitter, and learn about the I Love Being Married Movement.


#Blogalicious12 Call for Volunteers

Interested in volunteering during Blogalicious Weekend?

Our event is fast approaching and we are accepting applications for a limited number of enthusiastic and committed individuals who are interested in serving as members of our support team during the 2012 Blogalicious Weekend.

Volunteering at Blogalicious is easy and (we hope) fun! You will have plenty of opportunities to network and attend sessions and events while ensuring that our conference runs smoothly. We truly rely on the support of our community to help us make the event a success year after year. Volunteers must be available from September 27-30, 2012.

Here’s How:

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the form below.

Please commit to shift times you will be able to fulfill. We understand that the Blogalicious schedule has not yet been finalized, however, please read and complete the information as best you are able to assist us in deciding which responsibilities will be meaningful and interesting for you.

More information on volunteer duties, assignments, travel and special arrangements are included at the end of the form (use the yellow scroll bar).

Deadline to Submit Your Application is Sunday, July 8, 2012.

Thanks for your support!

The Heart and Soul of Blogalicious

What started out as what going to be a one-time event quickly turned into much, much more…

Back in 2009 when the idea for Blogalicious was conceived, the idea was to bring together women bloggers of diverse ethnic backgrounds to connect and share their experiences of being bloggers in a blogosphere where, at the time, was heavily biased towards a handful of blogging “rockstars.”  The secondary goal was to show brands that by overlooking the multi-cultural digital niche, they were missing out on crazy opportunities.

The inaugural Blogalicious Weekend accomplished both of those goals and we were elated – what we didn’t expect was for a tightly knit community to be formed and for the brand to signify a movement; one that bloggers and brands were clamoring for.

I’ve said it 1,000,000 times if I’ve said it once: Blogalicious is a platform to celebrate and lift up the talent and passion that lives in our community. If we can serve as a vehicle to promote or support your blog, brand or business, we’re going to do it.  Period. It’s not about your traffic or your resume or who you know – being Blogalicious means to be genuinely passionate about your relationships, your work and your passions, rooted in social media, and to live that passion.

The Mission

The mission of Blogalicious is to celebrate diversity in social media.  Blogalicious achieves its mission through community building, on and offline; providing tools and training to facilitate entrepreneurial and technical skills growth within the social media space; raising awareness within the marketing space of the powerful “multi-influential” demographic; and serving as the face of multicultural women online.

In Your Words

Last summer we launched the #BeUplifted Twitter chat series.  The purpose of the chats was to shine the spotlight on the supporters and members of our community; they went so well that we’ll be doing them again this summer.  At the end of each chat, we asked the guests to share what “Being Blogalicious” meant to them. Here’s a sampling of what came back:

To be @beblogalicious is to be committed to your community & your life passion
@SpanglishBaby @LBConnect @LAFlowers

To be @beblogalicious is to love what you do and pursue it full force all ways and always
@lovesujeiry

To @Beblogalicious means to be bold, brilliant in your authentic expression. Be positive. Be supportive. Be a social do gooder.
@DigitalSisterhd

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

And we’re not stopping here.  We’ve got big plans for our Blogalicious community – and that means: making your voices the go-to voices for multicultural influencers online; connecting you with the resources to realize your ideas and grow your businesses; and to serve as a catalyst for social change.  Big dreams, yes? But we know we can do it.  After all, we are Blogalicious.

xo,
Justice Fergie

#Blogalicious12 Season Is Officially Here!

Today marks the first day of June, which means that Blogalicious Weekend 2012 is just 4 months away!  Team Blogalicious is kicking into overdrive, getting ready for another bang up conference and celebration.

What You Can Expect:

Conference Updates: Over the next 12 weeks, look for a crazy good amount of announcements about Blogalicious Weekend news – including details about our conference agenda, from speakers and session topics to amazing sponsors and special events and activities all going down in Las Vegas (if you haven’t already registered, handle that!)

#BeUplifted Twitter Chat Summer Series: It’s back by popular demand! Last year’s #BeUplifted Twitter chats were such a hit that we’re bringing them back.  Starting in July, plan on joining in the conversation as we lift up and celebrate multicultural social media influencers, thought leaders and game changers.  Note: We’ll be changing the day of our chats from Thursdays to Wednesdays at 9PM ET.

Stay tuned for our super schedule of chat guests!

Be Blogalicious Meetups and Tweetups: In anticipation of our big weekend in Vegas, we’re throwing parties in 3 cities across the country with help from fabulous hostesses. We’ll be hitting the following cities…

Keep your eyes peeled for the juicy details about each event.

What You Can Do:

Get Hype! {We know you already are!} Join in the conversations about #Blogalicious12 taking place all over the Web.

  1. You can tweet up a storm using our #Blogalicious12 hashtag and follow the @BeBlogalicious Twitter account
  2. Like BeBlogalicious on Facebook and post and comment to your heart’s content with your community
  3. Follow the Blogalicious! Pinterest board for inspiration and eye candy
  4. Grab a button for your site! We have several fun versions for you to pick from on the conference homepage.

Handle Your Business! Take care of the logistics now so you don’t have to worry about them later:

  • Register for the conference! It will sell out. You know this.
  • Reserve your hotel room. Ditto.
  • Book your travel.  There are some major flight deals to be had! Set alerts on your favorite travel sites and be on the lookout for affordable flight options.  We’ll be sharing the ones we find and we’re working on some group discounts, TBA.

Stay Connected! The best way to make sure that you don’t miss a thing is to REGISTER for the conference.  We’ll be creating a Facebook group just for registered attendees to swap info, connect and share in the pre-Blogalicious excitement.  There will also be a Pinterest board setup for registered attendees to introduce themselves to one another and promote their blogs and brands.

Always recommended is to subscribe to our Blogalicious Newsletter!  You can expect to receive these, chock-full of fab info, regularly between now and the conference.

Let the party begin!

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