If knowledge is power and power is accompanied by responsibility, then attending the Brisbane Blogcademy workshop was a triple-decker in acquiring new playthings.
To say it simply, The Blogcademy was probably the single most educational, empowering and growing weekend of my 2013. Taught by blogging megastars Kat Williams, Gala Darling and Shauna Haider, the two-day course covered everything from creating standout images and having brilliant and consistent branding to how to write stellar content and then use social media to promote it. Along with the knowledge imparted by the trio, a lot of which was also included in the take home workbook (a must for a learner like me who needs to re-enforce and revisit for things to properly sink in!), there was a good deal of cold hard blogging truths delivered, along with raucous personal accounts of blogging gone badly and inspirational tales of blogging success.
While the blogging know-how will prove invaluable as I continue to develop That Crash Test Girl, spending the weekend in the presence of the three Blogcademy Headmistresses and the extraordinary group of Brisbane Blogcadettes, or Brisbabes as we like to be called, was far and away the highlight of the experience. I had originally decided I wouldn’t attend the Brisbane leg of the tour because, while having Gala Darling, one of my biggest inspirations in the blog world, actually visit my city was crazy exciting I just couldn’t afford it. There is a scholarship generously offered for each workshop, but without a blog to call my own at the entry cut-off date I definitely couldn’t count on winning!
After visiting the to-be venue Bleeding Heart a few months before The Blogcademy to teach a writing workshop of my own, though, I pictured the room filled with inspirational and excited bloggers and I knew that whatever the cost I had to be part it. So I buckled down, invested in myself and my career and then excitedly ticked of the days until The Blogcademy!
I have been reading Gala Darling’s blog for many years and have been inspired by her hard work and creativity time and again. Being taught by her was a true pleasure and really rounded out my belief that I, too, could forge my own career path as a strong and individual creative woman. Shauna and Kat’s blogs were both introduced to me through reading Gala Darling, and I was no less excited to be spending the weekend in their presence. Kat’s bubbly and bright personality and her ability to learn “the facts” and then still do things in totally her own way are infectious. Her commitment to bringing both the fun and the facts to The Blogcademy class made each of the sessions she took totally interesting and worthwhile. Shauna Haider is probably one of the classiest and most stylish women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and her branding segments are already proving infinitely useful. To be honest, I could spend an entire weekend hearing this thoughtful and thought-provoking woman speak about branding, a subject I didn’t know I could be so interested in!
Since The Blogcademy I have spent a lot of time mulling over the goals and aspirations I have for That Crash Test Girl. There have been days as I’ve been busy moving house, completing freelance writing projects and working at my job, that I have forlornly looked at my seemingly endless post-Blogcademy to-do list and wondered just how I would ever get it all done. But then I’ve thought to myself WWGSaKD? (“What Would Gala, Shauna and Kat Do?” of course!) and seen the list as an inspiration and not a judgement on my blog or an eternal work sentence. It’s this shift attitude that has been best outcome of attending The Blogcademy. I can’t wait to make all the changes there are to make to That Crash Test Girl…it’s going to be great!
I’ve always secretly wanted a posse and I just couldn’t write this post without giving a huge shout out to the rest of the Brisbane Blogbabes who have made the whole Blogcademy experience so delightful. Since The Blogcademy we’ve chatted daily on the special Brisbane Blogcademy forum as well as on the facebook page we created to keep the group in touch. We encourage each other to set and reach goals and help where we can with each others’ problems. We’ve banded together to beat the post-Blogcademy blues (in particular not letting each other get daunted by those epic to-do lists!) and there are already meet-ups in the works and group photo shoots being planned. Having a group of likeminded women to chat to about blogging is indescribably awesome, so very helpful and supportive for those of us who spend a lot of time working at home alone. So thanks, Brisbabes, for making The Blogcademy weekend the absolute best!
Would I recommend anyone and everyone attend The Blogcademy? Absolutely. As a blog devoted to finding out the ways we can improve our lives, this is one method that I am only too excited and happy to endorse!
All photos generously taken and provided by the supremely talented Janneke Storm!