Once upon a time… wait this isn’t a fairy tale. There was a time when I was so broken-hearted and love wasn’t much of a friend of mine… oops, not an Aerosmith song either. This is simply a story based on true events. Although names have been changed to protect their privacy – oh who am I kidding, it’s all about me (well, almost)!
Back in the day, I entered a few blog giveaways, won some cool stuff then decided I wanted to do that – I wanted to provide giveaways to other people. First, I started a blog, Lovely Rita & Her Reality…, on the Weebly platform. I really wasn’t sure what the heck I was doing, it was too all over the place. I got lost, bored and it whittled off. Then I missed it shortly after 2011 began. I wanted somewhat of a plan before beginning my journey a second time. I migrated over to the self-hosted WordPress platform (boy, I’m sure glad I did that). I went with "Going Bananas Over My Monkeys" for a brief period of time.
Mom With a Dot Com began in August 2011. My domain name was the hardest to come up with but when "MomWitha.Com" came into my head, I thought it was brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, I just came to realize "Mom With a Dot Com" is a fairly long name. I launched with a "31 Days of Giveaways" event – that was crazy. I’m not sure what I was thinking. At that time, I was working a full-time job and committed myself to posting a giveaway a day for a whole month. If you’re a blogger, you know that is slightly insane in the brain.
As time went on, I was still doing my thing and certain aspects of my blog improved. I decided to stay home with my kids rather than working full-time; therefore, I had more time on my hands. Then I got wind of some phenomenon called Social Fabric. At first, all I really knew was that they assign you to shop, reimburse you and you get paid. So I applied. I got denied. After getting denied, I learned that Ted Rubin was somewhere in the mix of this place. I have followed him (not literally) for quite some time on social media. I knew what he was about and, if he was involved, it had to be good.
It was research time. I read up on Collective Bias and Social Fabric. Many bloggers I knew were a part of their community. I was able to get some insights on what they were really about and exactly what they were looking for. I learned that one of their big things was high quality, large photographs. At this point, I had small photos – one to the left of the text and the next to the right. Apparently, I was doing that all wrong. Plus, they wanted content – not just a site full of giveaways. Those were my stepping stones.
Months went by. I went through two re-designs before finding something I was happy with. I’m still fiddling with it here and there but, for the most part, I’m content. In August 2012, I traveled to New York for a conference. I met some amazing bloggers while I was there and connected with some brands. All three of my kids turned another year older. Over time, my blog was starting to come together. That’s when I decided it was time. I had been working on my list and I was ready to fill out another Social Fabric application. I filled it out, submitted and held my breath (again, not literally).
Then I got this email. It started off with, "Thank you so much for submitting your story for your Social Fabric® application." It ended with, "Thank you again, and just a note to be watching for your welcome email…" WAIT – WHAT? My WELCOME email? It still didn’t hit me. Now that I look back, I realize I was in but it didn’t say YOU ARE IN. So I waited. Then it came. THE EMAIL. "Hello Rita, Welcome to Collective Bias®’ Social Fabric® Community :)"
Well hello Collective Bias, hello Social Fabric Community! I’ve been waiting for this, now let me show you what I got. The email told me to only join 3-4 groups within my first couple of weeks – I joined at least 15. Shhh… our secret. It was perfect how it all worked out. While I was in NYC, I won a pretty slick camera from a brand I visited during the conference. I got it just a couple days after I scored my first Shoppertunity with Social Fabric. The universe knew exactly what it was doing. I’m glad it had a plan.
To make a long story short – ha, just kidding. I know I’m rambling but I have more to say. In all honesty, I feel that my desire to be a part of the Social Fabric Community, helped mold who I am as a blogger today. Since being accepted, so much has changed for me and my blog. My photos are much better (even though I’m still learning my fancy camera). I’m focusing more on content rather than giveaways. Even if I have a review, I try to put a hefty spin to it. My blog has an entirely new and more professional look. I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities including an amazing trip to the world premiere of Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful. I could go on but I think you get it.
Collective Bias knows exactly how to interact and build relationships with people. They have created the Social Fabric Community focusing on their members. They have a mentor program, lots of blogger support and a great blogger resource called the SoFabU™. Now, as if it couldn’t get any better, they are holding their first ever Social Fabric Conference, aka SoFabCon. I want to go. Every time I see anything in relation to SoFabCon, I get butterflies. No joke.
Once they announced the SoFabCon, I just knew I had to go. I see their updates on Facebook and I get anxious. I was trying to figure out how I could make it work. Unfortunately, things came up and there was just no way it was going to happen. SoFabCon is the ONE conference I was looking forward to this year. It was the ONLY conference I had in mind to attend. There are so many great things I had hoped to learn while at the conference, things I could take back home with me to grow my blog.
During SoFabCon, they are covering some pretty great topics. Although I know a little of this and that, I know there is so much more that I could be utilizing to build my brand.
- Monetizing my blog is the biggest thing I would like to hear more about. It’s something I want to become more focused on. Currently, I do not run any ad networks and have very few affiliates. Andrea Deckard will be there helping bloggers to improve their monetization.
- WordPress/HTML for Bloggers would be great for someone like me. If there is something I can learn, I generally will not pay for it. I have done all of my own coding (with some help from my hubby). I’m always looking to expand my knowledge as it’s an expanding topic.
- When it comes to SEO, I know the basics. I want to know everything there is to know. I want to be at the top of Google. When someone is searching for something, I want them to find me.
- Although my Photography skills have improved, I owe it all to the "Auto" feature on my fancy camera. I’d love to open up new doors with ideas on how to improve my photo’s environment, lighting, angle, settings on my camera – you name it, I want to know it.
- I’m open to any and all tips on improving my blogging business. This is it. This is what I want to do. I want to make a career in blogging. With anything you do in life, there is always room for improvement.
- There is only one way to go and that is up. I want to build my brand and community to better support my future with my blog. You need a community to be successful, it’s just how the world works.
- There are times when I wonder about my writing topics and structure. Sometimes I worry about being too all over the place. When I do write about something, I wonder if it’s all telling the story as it should and grabbing my readers attention.
- Brands and Bloggers have the potential to go hand in hand. Although I work with brands, I would love some strategies on how to get more out of our relationship. I’m looking for ambassadorships, long term relationships and how to better ‘sell myself’ to build that trust between the brand and myself.
- Even though I have always been on Twitter, I’m realizing more and more everyday what a powerful social media tool it really is. I know there must be some strategic tools within the platform. I would love to improve my Twitter skills and start some serious tweeting and interaction.
- Bridging relationships with Bloggers is also important. It’s good to have others understand what you do and to have someone to talk to about your business when the people immediately around you might not understand. Being at SoFabCon, would surround me with other bloggers and help me build my network.
Those are just a few (or several) reasons why I would love to attend the SoFabCon. It would be such a pleasure to meet the team behind Collective Bias, the Campaign Leads that I have worked with and may work with in the future. This is a community that I want to be a part of for a long time to come. Being able to join everyone in Bentonville, Arkansas this May would really be a dream come true. If I’m not chosen for the conference sponsorship, there will be no hard feelings; however, hitchhiking might be my only option to make it to #SoFabCon.
All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are those of my own and are not influenced by any outside source.