I Let Blissdom Happen To Me

by Gigi Ross on February 28, 2012


Blissdom ’12 was my fifth blogging conference.

When I went to Bloggy Boot Camp Austin in October 2010, I was really focused on learning as much about blogging as possible. I wanted to become better, and I did.

When I went to Mom 2.0 in April 2011, I was really focused on talking with brands. I wanted to understand pitching and how I was going to monetize this blog. I figured it out.

When I went to Evo in July of 2011, I was really focused on representing my sponsor and making a good impression. My sponsors were happy.

When I went to BlogHer in August of 2011, I was really focused on finding freelance work – my husband had quit his job a week prior and we were in the midst of a cross-country move with me as the provider. I wanted to be successful. And I’ve found success.

My blog is in a good place. My career is in a great place. My life is good and busy – so busy that I had little time to reflect exactly what I was going to focus on for Blissdom ’12. What were my goals? What was I trying to achieve?{What the hell was I going to pack in my suitcase?} What did I want to get out of it?

The day before I left, I had a bit of a revelation.

Instead of worrying or planning what I was going to get out of Blissdom, maybe I needed to think about what I could give to Blissdom.

Blogging has filled my life with blessings. Perhaps now was the time to start focusing on giving instead of getting. This felt right; paying it forward is one of my blogging mantras.

I didn’t go with an agenda. I didn’t look at the conference schedule. I winged it. I let Blissdom happen to me.

It led me to discover a lot of people at crossroads – both personal and professional. People who needed someone to listen to them, or give them a nudge in the right direction, or ask them the hard questions. So that’s what I spent a lot of time doing.

It led me to encounter bloggers – some who I’d admired; others who were new to me – in unexpected ways. I got an impromptu iPhone photo app tutorial from Aimee Giese and had a fun conversation with Meagan Francis about men at blog conferences.

It led me to share ideas that flipped switches for people.

It led me to skip sessions and just talk with folks.

It led me to get a group of crazy bloggers to plank. {Don’t ask}.

It led me to relax, have fun, and laugh harder than I have in a really long time.

I hardly ever talked about this blog. And wouldn’t you know it, I found the experience incredibly freeing and enriching.

So thank you to Natalie, Sili, Holly, Nicole, Natalie C., Angela, Jen, Jessica, Carri, Erin, Julie, Morgan, Kim, Deb, and Frelle. You all made Blissdom a different kind of conference for me.







Barbara February 28, 2012 at 5:20 am

The best things come when we don’t plan. So glad it was a rewarding trip.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

So true. I need to plan less generally!

angela February 28, 2012 at 6:04 am

Oh Gigi, thank YOU! I loved meeting you after reading your words for so long. Hearing your “voice” in person and seeing you smile (and scheduling next year’s Justin Timberlake appearance) was a great reminder that success happens when people are strong and ambitious but also kind and generous. You rock.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Thanks, Angela! I had so much fun laughing with you about our boy JT and then some.

Now go eat some chocolate eggs, then think about running it off :)

Amber February 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

Sounds like a blast. I really want to hit Blissdom next year. We’ll see if the money gods are kind to me.

Tonya February 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

This is the best blogging conference recap I have ever read! I’m so thrilled that you has such a good experience at Blissdom, Gigi.

And that you have found so much success and pleasure through all you do.

“Let it happen…” Could be a mantra of sorts for life.


kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Yes, if I could apply that mantra to the rest of my life, I’d surely sleep a whole lot better :)

Thanks for the kind words. Looking forward to us doing another conference together in Vegas!

Frelle February 28, 2012 at 7:59 am

I’m so glad we got to connect on Thursday night. I loved learning more about you, and understanding that we are similar in our desire to ask people questions because we really truly want to know the answers. Because we care that much. It’s not a flaw, it doesnt make us interrogators. Its a good thing. Thank you for the suggestions about pitching while we were at the writing session, too. That was a great lightbulb moment for me. You made a difference to me this weekend. You gave to me, and Im so grateful *HUG*

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I loved connecting with you too. It was a great conversation. I hope our discussion in the writing session keeps that lightbulb going. Be sure to fill me in on how you decide to pursue. :)

Julie @DutchBeingMe February 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

The only words that I really have for you right now are thank you. You blessed my life by being there and supporting me. I love you friend & can’t wait to spend time with you again.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

You are awesome. And I’m glad I was there at the right time. :)

SarahB @ Not Just a Baker February 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

Sounds like so much fun and such a rewarding experience. I sure hope I get to go next year! Thanks for talking about the other conferences. I hope to get to go to some of them as well. I already know I’m going to miss Blog Her ’12 because it is at the same time as the Thirty-One national convention.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Not sure if you’ve been to one yet, but I don’t typically recommend BlogHer as the first conference to go to anyway. It’s pretty overwhelming even if you’ve been to several. I highly recommend Blissdom, Mom 2.0, Evo or Bloggy Boot Camp (if one is near you) as great for first-timers!

Mrs. Jen B February 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

Oh, Gigi. Thank you for letting me accost you in the bathroom at the airport. I’m so happy we finally met up and that this conference was a chance for you to share yourself with the lucky people who came into contact with you. I’m glad I was one of them.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I was so happy to run into you at the airport! I am glad you had a good first conference experience. You never know how they’re gonna go :)

Kristin @ What She Said February 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

When and if I ever make it to a blog conference, I hope I get to meet you, Gigi. This post reaffirms that. :)

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I hope you get to one soon!

Making Our Life Matter February 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

Some day I may be brave enough to attend one. If I can get together a decent blog, followers, comments, etc. It is very nice to hear that you had a good time. Did you happen to meet Jo-Lynne from http://musingsofahousewife.com ? I would love to meet a lot of my favorite bloggers in person. Have a great week!

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I did not meet her, unfortunately! I highly recommend a conference if you are able to swing it financially!

Jamie February 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

I love the idea of you giving back. But it was great hearing how each conference had a different strategy for you and part of the footsteps it took to get to where you are today! =)

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Yes, I’ve definitely had different objectives at each one. The evolution of a blogger! :)

Kir February 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

I was suppossed to be at Blissdom and I sat in Jury Duty on Thurs and Fri wondering if I’d be “changed” if I have been able to go.

I am happy and sad to see that I would have been. Thank you for sharing this “change” with us.

I still hope I get to meet you someday.

kludgymom February 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

We spoke of you and were sad that you couldn’t make it at the last minute :(

Kir February 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I’m still pretty miserable..(esp since the trial went to a plea agreement. )

but I am glad it was so wonderful for all of you.

Jessica February 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’m glad you let Blissdom happen to you. I had a different attitude about the conference this time than I did with BlogHer and my experience was so much better. It was nice to hang out with you on Sat night. #PlankMob!

Diane - It's All Good Until You Burn Dinner February 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I have only been reading your blog for a few months but I have to thank you for all I’ve gotten out of it. You have already given me (and many others) so much!

Rachel - A Southern Fairytale February 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm

The planking was hysterical. loved it.

I love reading this post – I love how you approached Blissdom, such a wonderful way to go into things. Thinking how YOU can GIVE instead of take.

Just love.

Candi February 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I so much want to go to a conference and hope they have one near me soon. If I travel then I have to say this is a business. I am not ready for that yet, I want to meet some fabulous people like you did. And meet you one day.

San Diego Momma February 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

This was refreshing: Reading how you shared rather than what you gained. And how you came away with so much in the process.

What an enriching approach. Love it Gigi.

Lance February 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm

sounds great

I’ve got to quit being so punk rock and anti-social and attend one of these deals.

Natalie February 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm


That is all.

Robin | Farewell, Stranger February 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm

So glad you had fun! You really looked like you were enjoying yourself.

tracy@sellabitmum February 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Sounds like an amazing time! xo

Goa trip February 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

Yes every one wants to see happiness in their life and we can do this easily if we will follow good steps for himself to live life in our style in freedom.

Galit Breen February 29, 2012 at 10:47 am


This is an amazing post.

Inspiring, really.

Missy | Literal Mom February 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

So awesome. I’m glad it was such a fun, freeing weekend. I saw that planking picture – hilarious!

Jackie March 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

Actually… that sounds like a pretty good plan! It’d be a hard one for me to follow through on though! Going to a conference I have to get something out of it, learn something, take something away to be able to justify the cost of it (mostly to my husband).
I wish I could have gone & met one of my blogging idols! :)

Susan in the Boonies March 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm

That’s so awesome, Gigi! I am just now starting to get caught up on the over 400 blog posts that had gotten backed up in my Google Reader. Because the day that I got back from Blissdom, I found out that the next day would be my day to be the SITSGirls featured blogger.
I pulled together what I thought was a pretty good “portfolio” post for them/you guys. Not perfect, but something that I was pretty proud of. I hope you saw it. I hope you liked it.
Tomorrow is the day I do my very first wine expert recommendation guest post, and I’m pretty excited about it. I hope you’ll be able to share it with the winebuzz folk: that was your gift to me at Blissdom. Those encouraging words meant more than you know. Thank you SO MUCH.
I wish I could have spent more time with you: that’s my only regret about Blissdom. Love, Susan

Alexandra March 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

How fun, isn’t it? To relax and enjoy and be able to be OK with it.

So glad you had fun, Geeg.


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