Hey there!  How are you?  I hope you’re having a fabulous Saturday morning.  I woke up at 5:30am, before my alarm went off.  I know, right? How did that happen?  It’s definitely not what usually happens.  But, I’ll take it!  Since tomorrow will probably be my usual hit-snooze-5-times morning, I decided to make the most of today and get an early start on the day.

The Blog Elevated conference, held at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas this year, is all about helping bloggers BE more and get the help they need to make it happen.  They also have several sessions strictly on social media, so it’s a great place to learn new tricks and tools to use.  Here’s a recap.

Day 1 of Blog Elevated

Dayna Steele taught us how to "Blog like a Rockstar" at #BlogElevatedDay 1 of Blog Elevated was fast paced and full of great info.  The first keynote was “Blog Like a Rockstar” by Dayna Steele.  I remember listening to her on the radio growing up in Houston, so it was pretty cool to meet her in person.  She encouraged… wait, that’s not the right word…  She insisted that we believe that we are not “just” bloggers.  We are influential players and need to trust that.  Another theme of her talk (and the day, really) was “A rising tide raises all boats”.  We’re all peers and can help each other.  Just because one person reads that blog doesn’t mean they can’t read my blog.  Let’s work together and help each other out.  Here are my notes from Dayna’s talk in Evernote.

The next session was “Brands to Bloggers Panel – What Brands Look for in Bloggers”, moderated by Fred Goddall, with guests Kristal Howard of Kroger, Vanessa Astros of Fleishman and Julie Pippert of Artful Media Group.  They gave us the no-nonsense advice on how to interact with brands.  Most of the info on how to present yourself was similar to how to act in a corporate setting.  So, I guess I need to dust off those skills from all those years in corporate america.  Here are my notes in Evernote.

Lunch on Friday was provided by Moody Gardens and hosted by Galveston Island Visitors Bureau.  They served chicken parmesan with pasta to most of the attendees, but I opted for a vegan lunch, which was grilled zucchini, eggplant, carrot and yellow squash with marinara sauce and brown rice.  It hit the spot after having too much coffee that morning on the drive in from Houston.  I was too busy eating and talking to take notes, but I will say that I’ve been to Galveston and Moody Gardens many times over the years and it is a fabulous getaway from the city.

Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro on "From First Word to First Dollar: Writing an eBook" at #BlogElevatedFor the afternoon breakout sessions, I chose to go to Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom’s session “From First Word to First Dollar:  A Blogger’s Guide to eBooks”.  If you don’t recognize their name, Bjork and Lindsay are the foodie bloggers behind Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro.  When I realized that they were Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, I had a celebrity blogger fangirl moment.  I know, terrible, right?  But, seriously, have you tried the creamy cauliflower sauce?  It makes cauliflower into Fettucini Alfredo.  Seriously.  Go make it. Now.

Anyway, back to the session.  It was a wonderful overview of the eBook writing process.  I like how simply they presented it.  They kept the info focused and didn’t bog us down with the details.  There’s a lot that goes into writing and selling an eBook, but they made it feel do-able.  Here are my notes from their session.

The last session of the day was a keynote by Matt Cherry of iBlog Magazine.  It was titled “30 Easy Changes to Make for Giant Growth”.  With a full day of typing and learning catching up with me, I stopped taking notes after #28.  It was a whirlwind of information.  There were lots of great tips, but very little time to process the information.  So, take a look at my notes to grab a few takeaways for your own situation.

Whew!  Lots of info, lots of motivation and lots of to do’s.  I’m so glad I came!  Speaking of to do’s, here’s my list of to do’s so far for my food blog, Very Veganish.  One of my major goals is to be consistent.

Do you have a blog?  What’s one thing you’re planning on doing to grow it this week?

Abi Cowell is married to a stubborn Yankee gamer and mother to two curious and free-spirited boys, who have impromptu lightsaber battles in her living room. Her hair is rarely blow-dried and size-11 flip flops are her shoe of choice. You’ll find her in the kitchen, if all else fails. And, just in case you’re wondering: She's a Mac.


  1. For sure I am connecting with as many of the bloggers I met at BE as possible, following/liking them and hoping for the same. That’s a win/win for all of us.

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