15 Things I Learned at #rStheCon 2015

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LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 1

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 2

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 5

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 3

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 8

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 4

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 7

LittleMissFearless_jcrew neon yellow skirt 6

SHOP THE LOOK

top: jcrew factory | skirt: jcrew {similar here} | shoes: jeffrey campbell | bag: rebecca minkoff | glasses: karen walker | watch: michael kors | bracelets: madewell, gifted | rings: madewell, jcrew, gucci | ‘st germain’ by mac

The rewardStyle Conference in Dallas this weekend was filled with classes, keynotes, networking opportunities with brands and days of mingling with other bloggers (some of whom became amazing new friends!). I learned a lot about blogging best practices, tips for improvement and the nitty gritty side of blogging as a business. But I especially learned things about myself. If you’re a blogger, here are a few takeaways to apply to growing your blog:
  1. Write a mission statement for your blog to keep you focused on your long-term plan/goals.
  2. You have to say NO to opportunities sometimes to stay on brand and true to yourself. (If they didn’t pay you, would you still say yes?)
  3. Create a shot list for taking better photos (note your favorite locations, best angles, favorite product shots and activities, etc.).
  4. Many successful bloggers still have their husbands or friends take their photos for them. Don’t feel left behind if you’re not working with a professional photographer yet. Do what works best for you and find ways to always improve your process.
  5. Regardless of who your photographer is, communication is key. You need to be on the same page to get the end result you’re going for (lighting, location, angles, etc.).
  6. Need help with your photo editing? Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and PicMonkey were the tools I heard about most from other bloggers.
These other takeaways are things I discovered after the conference was over. I had moments where I felt completely out of place. I felt like I had nothing in common with a lot of the girls, mostly because I feel there is so much more to me than the clothes in my closet and learning how to pose perfectly for photos. I didn’t expect to feel this, but I also didn’t want to leave with a negative taste in my mouth about blogging, so I looked for the lessons in the not-so-enjoyable moments at the conference. Here’s what I learned:
  1. We’re all in this together.
  2. People are more than they appear on Instagram. None of us is one-dimensional. I was pleasantly surprised by the kind and fun-loving personalities of many of the bloggers I met. I didn’t know that side of them from their Instagram accounts.
  3. Networking is good for business, but be real. If you befriend someone just because of where you think they can get you, everyone will eventually figure out that you’re only there to use them. Appreciate people for who they are, not what they have.
  4. Value yourself for who you really are. Don’t define yourself based on who you think you are in comparison to others. We don’t all have to be the same to be successful!
  5. Create your life. Choose to feel good about your unique perspective. Don’t be afraid to see what you see!
  6. You have to think positively in blogging (comparison is the thief of joy). Follow people who inspire you and stop following those who don’t (especially if you start comparing yourself to them instead of being inspired by them).
  7. Progress not perfection. Even the most successful bloggers have photos they don’t like of themselves (hard to imagine sometimes, right?). They judge the quality of their own Instagram feed, too. We are all imperfect. The key is to always keep trying to improve and be the best version of ourselves.
  8. If you’re like me and feel like you’ve got too much going on to truly be successful with your blog, take comfort in knowing there are other girls out there who work full time, have a husband, have kids, exercise and eat healthy, and still manage to find time to run their blog business. This is the number one thing that scares me the most: burnout. I’m not a mom yet, but I have so much respect for those women who find reasons why they CAN instead of reasons why they can’t. You just have to go at your own pace.
  9. If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it. Or change the way you look at it. Life is too short to be miserable, especially if it’s because of your blog. Find out what makes you happy and go live there.

Overall, I’m really glad I attended rStheCon 2015. It gave me a lot to think about, a new perspective and some great tools for blogging. I’m mostly grateful for the friendships I made with other bloggers, brands and the amazing rewardStyle team.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments. I’d be happy to share more of my experience with you.

Thanks for reading!

Photos by JessaKae.

Amanda

Comments

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  1. Love your honesty and amazing tips from what you learned! Thanks!

    -McKenzie
    http://www.wisesoulblog.com

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  2. I love the 15 take aways from your time at the rStheCon!!! It looked like it was a fun and fulfilling event!!! These are great for everyone to read!!!! They helped a whole bunch!!

    xoxo
    Brooke

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  3. Kathleen says:

    I love love love this skirt! So beautiful and fun.
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  4. Diana says:

    Super cute outfit!
    || D I A N A ||
    http://www.TheNeonFactor.com

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  5. What a great recap! I’d love to go to this conference one day. In the meantime I’m still trying to get accepted by Reward Style. Do you have any tips for that? I’m still waiting to hear back after I reached out to them.

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  6. […] after reading this post by Little Miss Fearless and this post by Design Darling I feel like a few changes on my end may be […]

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015
  7. I love your lime skirt
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    Posted Apr. 28, 2015 | Reply
  8. I love this raw post. Always good to take a step back and reflect. Also loving your lime & blue pairing- such a “c’mon summer” combo!

    C’s Collection

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  9. cuteheads says:

    Loved your tips. I’m not a fashion blogger, but because of my business, I’m around a lot of fashion bloggers, and I totally get what you’re saying. Valuing yourself and your contributions is so important, and knowing you’re more than your wardrobe is a great realization. Thanks for your honesty!

    xo,
    Esther
    http://blog.cuteheads.com

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  10. Love your skirt! Thanks for sharing those wonderful tips! =)

    ~Alyssa~
    shesalyssarenee.com
    Follow Me:
    Instagram
    Facebook

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  11. Jacy says:

    THIS is why you’re one of my favorite bloggers! You’re honest, real, and inspiring because of those things! Yes, I absolutely love your style and photos (keep doin’ what you’re doin’ because it all looks amazing), but as a reader I feel like I know you + I truly respect you for doing such a great job while also working full time (I work full time in PR).
    I really connected with your honesty about feeling like you didn’t quite fit in and having some negative feelings about it all. I work Really hard at my blog and it’s growing, but it’s frustrating to have slower growth than some and to feel like you’re an odd gal out in the blogging world. I also fall into that horrible trap sometimes of comparing myself and dissecting what I may be doing wrong to be growing a little slower. BUT, I have come across so many bloggers that are positive, real girls who love clothes but aren’t 100% about clothes and are willing to empower and help other girls and bloggers (like you!). Ultimately I think you just have to do what you love, and not be afraid to be yourself. Keep up the Amazing work Amanda! xo

    Jacy
    http://www.lovelenore.com

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  12. becky says:

    thanks for the recap! I’m a Mom, optometrist, wife and blogger so I totally get what you’re saying from the after conference takeaways! I literally posted once a week for April and was beating myself up about it! My husband takes my pics and they always look blurry to me and I’m pushing 40!-what the heck am I doing here in the style blogosphere?!?! It’s easy to eat yourself up and compare but I’m happy with all aspects of my life-blogging is just a tiny part of it! Thanks for sharing!!

    Becky
    The Fluff Report

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  13. Christie says:

    Looks like it was a great conference! I wish I could’ve flown down to TX for it, but I will be at LuckyFABB next week in NYC! Great insights- thank you for sharing!! Your look is beautiful, btw. I love the neutrals with the lime skirt and turquoise sandals.

    Christie
    The Closet by Christie

    http://www.theclosetbychristie.com

    Posted Apr. 29, 2015 | Reply
  14. carly says:

    Great tips and info!
    I have never been a blogger a conference, but I always wonder if I will have same the same feeling you expressed…..so much focus on superficial things. Sure style blogging can be superficial, but it is also a form of personal expression and personal growth. Glad to know I am not the only one that worries about these feelings.
    Dresses & Denim – $300 Shopping Spree Giveaway

    Posted Apr. 30, 2015 | Reply
  15. Love reading your post! These are definitely great tips. I don’t know how some people manage to find time to do it all. I am just a student, with a part-time job and starting my blog, and sometimes I struggle to find time for everything! But at the end of the day it makes me happy to blog and read other blogs, keeps me inspired and that is what makes it all worth it to me :)

    Posted May. 1, 2015 | Reply
  16. What a great recap! Sounds like you had a great experience full of learning. I appreciate the honestly you shared about blogging and the role of self value.

    Posted May. 1, 2015 | Reply
  17. Lindsay says:

    I love the honesty of your post… I think as a rS user who is waaaaaay far away from being able to attend the conference, it was nice to read such a transparent perspective and know that even you girls who are such successful bloggers have similar reminders for themselves about this crazy world of blogging.

    Posted May. 2, 2015 | Reply
  18. […] stock again here, but they are going fast. I’ve been wearing them a lot with my spring neons (last seen here) and I think they’d go perfectly with a pretty white dress, all-black, more pink and just […]

    Posted May. 6, 2015
  19. Becky says:

    I love hearing about these tips! Some real great inspiration from this post! Thanks!! Also love the neon!

    Posted May. 27, 2015 | Reply
  20. […] sheinside c/o | skirt: jcrew {last seen here; similar style} | heels: jeffrey campbell {more sizes here} | clutch: rebecca minkoff {obsessed […]

    Posted Jun. 11, 2015
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