This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SheKnows Media and BlogHer16 Conference. The opinions and text are all mine.
I just returned from my sixth BlogHer conference, and as always, it was a pretty mind-blowing experience! I was only there for one glorious day, but wow, I sure made the most of it! Here is a picture of me at the 2007 BlogHer in Chicago, what a long way this conference has come! I was asked to speak on the panel DIY Book Distribution, Promotion, and Publicity along with some outstanding authors. We each came from a different angle when it came to promoting our books. Every seat was taken and when people weren't asking questions, they were taking notes. Including myself! That's what BlogHer is all about, helping bloggers learn, evolve and grow their brands and businesses. I'll include some tips I learned and shared at the bottom of this post, but first I want to share three of brands that were showcased in the BlogHer Expo Hall. First, let me just share a cool experience. I was so excited to visit the expo area that I crashed into another blogger on my way in. Ack! I was so embarrassed, but you know what, she was in hyper mode too and we laughed and gave each other an introductory hug. We chatted about what we did and then posed for this picture as our first BlogHer interaction! Awesome energy, right off the bat! The Expo Hall at BlogHer is all about sharing the latest and greatest from companies big and small. For this assignment, I had to choose three of my favorites booths to share with you. Hard decision because they all had a lot to offer! I had to really narrow it down! Blogging is based in tech, of course I went for the Best Buy area first! They had their staff on hand to show the different ways to use smartphone apps to help with mobile blogging in daily life. The star of the Best Buy booth was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and its many features. I can't believe how fast this phone charges - and it also is able to be charged wirelessly! That is really a big appeal to someone like me who is always on the go. Best Buy also had a really cute The Secret Life of Pets section, and even a sweepstakes opportunity. But you know what? None of that compared to the excitement of Freddie Prinze, Jr. showing up for an appearance to promote his new book, Back to the Kitchen. I had to miss because I was speaking on my panel, but it was all I heard about that day! You can see by the top posts - everyone crowded to the Best Buy booth to see him! This is just one block of photos, there were many others! The next booth I loved was the GoRVing area! Patrick and I have always talked about what it would be like to pack up and hit the road. But we stopped there because we thought of the old-fashioned types of RVs and didn't think we had the skills to pull off a trip. WRONG! I learned that these days, there is an RV for every type of person! From a folding camper to a huge motorhome and every type in between, there is no reason to pass this up. The crew in the booth talked about all the different travel ideas. While some people might head out on a year-long journey of self-discovery, others might just want to explore the beauty of their own state. I didn't realize there were so many options, if you don't want to buy an RV, you can rent one. Either round trip or one way. Visit the GoRVing website to find scores of ideas for destinations, models and all the 411 of RV culture. All across the country are RV parks and campgrounds with amenities. One of my goals this year has been to do more travel blogging and I'm excited to give RVing a try, stay tuned! My third pick is TNT! The cable network! I'm an entertainment junkie and have always loved the series on TNT. Well, now they have a new one, Good Behavior that airs in November. It's about Letty, a con-artist, who is barely out of prison and can't resist honing in on a new job. But this gig is different from the others in that she makes the mistake of falling for the killer she's trying to set up. TNT had a gob of cute promo items that work well in real life - like coloring books and crayons with quotes inside. and these drink coasters that everyone collected. In addition, they had a huge wall lined with a coloring sheet so people could come by and fill it with every Sharpie color you can think of. OK, now for my BlogHer tips I learned: Embrace all things DIY: Not just from a crafty standpoint, but in all other ways. Empower yourself to learn new skills, research trends and new ways to monetize your talents. You can't sit and wait for the right time, it might just pass you buy. Work on your passion project or blog a little bit each day to see results. Break barriers in a positive way: STOP making excuses as to why something didn't go your way or why you didn't get chosen for a campaign/job or why you aren't getting traffic or views on your posts and/or videos. It doesn't mean the world is against you, it means whatever you are doing, it's not working. Rather than give up, break a sweat, work those muscles and find new tactics. Keep going until you see results! Learn from everyone around you. Not just the experts or your elders, but the most unlikely people. Sometimes it can be a lesson of what not to do. Rather than gripe about them, take note to remind yourself not to be like that, LOL! Also, pick up good habits. If you see someone succeeding and you admire them, watch and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, find your own way of doing that too. Be consistent. Like that cliche - a rolling stone gathers no moss. That. But also when it comes to your blog and social media. You can't op in and out every so often, out of sight, out of mind. Put a schedule together and stick to it. Not only will be get used to it, but many of the platforms algorithms will reward you and you might just get better engagement. Own your expertise. Pinpoint what you are good at, or what you are known for and build upon that. it's like a head start. Pick something, don't be afraid to fail now and then. If you feel frozen, not knowing what direction to go, pick a path and try it out. If it doesn't work, great! You know to cross it off the list. No one is great at everything the first time around, the only way to find out is to try new things. You can't learn if something is right for you just by daydreaming, reading and watching. You have to take action and try it out for yourself! My takeaway from Sheryl Crow's keynote: Be present in every moment as much as possible. Know that you are stronger than you think and can handle more than you think. Follow through on the things that scare you, and turn off your phone to spend quality time with your loved ones. She also told us that she does her best to stay true to The Four Agreements and it has made her life better: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don't take anything personally. 3. Don't make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. Sheryl Crow ROCKS - in every way! My takeaway from Kim Kardashian's keynote: Be confident in your path, ignore the naysayers and the haters. Stay focused on what you love to do and do it well. Welcome support from friends and family and be open to learning from everyone. Have you ever been to BlogHer? Where and when, what was your takeaway?