When We Grow…

by Fawn Rechkemmer on September 25, 2014

I want to share a little story with you…

I’ve searched my blog, and I can’t find it, but many, many moons ago, like in 2009 or so, Stephanie Buckley, aka The Park Wife, left a comment on my blog.  Then, we met in person and she brought me a dozen eggs from her chickens in southern Arkansas, and convinced me to help her start a network of bloggers called the Arkansas Women Bloggers.  It was slow going in the beginning but our network grew faster than we expected, and that linky we started out with got very, very, long!  Now, five years later, Arkansas Women Bloggers has over 600 members and wrapped its fourth annual conference a couple weeks ago.  Stephanie owns The Women Bloggers networks in several other states and calls herself “a talent scout for bloggers”. She is providing a whole host of paid blogging and networking opportunities to her member bloggers in Arkansas.  The Arkansas Women Bloggers network provides a place for bloggers in that state to “gather, grow, and connect” in ways that many of the members never thought possible – forever friendships have been made, careers have been started (and restarted), partnerships formed, and lives transformed (I am not dramatizing).

blog conferenceBloggers Amassing at AWBU ’14

Why am I telling you about all this? It’s simple – Arkansas Women Bloggers serves as the model for what we are working toward here in Missouri. It will take us some time, but we will grow faster (and easier) because of what we learned in Arkansas. However, we can only grow as fast as our members will let us.  We need your help to grow this network up strong. Here are ways that you can help (and help us help you!):

  • Sign up for a guest post – write just like you would on your own blog – except email it to us and we’ll publish it on our site instead.  You can write a “pointer post” (here’s and example) on your blog to send your readers to see it.
  • Tell your friends about Missouri Women Bloggers – send them an email, comment on their blog, invite them via facebook or over coffee. Joining is free and we need more members!
  • Get to know other MOWB members – visit and comment on their blogs, like their facebook pages, follow (and follow back) on twitter, instagram, and so on.
  • Grab the Missouri Women Bloggers Button and pin it on your blog.  It’s right over there on the right side of our website —->

We are working on getting a conference together within the next year.  This conference will not be about what you are wearing or who had the best blog stats, or any of that.  This conference will be about meeting your fellow bloggers face to face, learning how to make your blog better, and connecting with companies and brands that you can partner with to tell a story – your story, and their story.  To give you a taste of what I am talking about, check out these links from the Arkansas conference:

  • AWBU recap link-up – get an idea of what a Women Bloggers conference looks like and feels like from the bloggers who attended
  • AWBU presentations:  Guess who the speakers are at Women Bloggers conferences?  That’s right, member bloggers.  Folks that will be sitting next to you at the next session or across from you at dinner, so you can pick their brains some more. Here are links to a few of the presentations from AWBU ’14:   Freelancing 101, Becoming an Evernote Ninja, and Storyliving for Storytelling.

And finally – I have a fun giveaway for you – I collected an extra set of AWBU swag.  Swag is by far NOT the most exciting thing about a Women Bloggers conference, but I like to show off the swag because it shows the diversity and heft of the companies that our network has the capability of partnering with.  Companies are starting to understand the value of what we do, and while the point of working with companies is NOT to get free stuff, free stuff is still fun, and it’s fun to give away.  Check it out:

women bloggers swag

The giveaway ALSO includes a 1 hour consult with me in person, via phone, google hangout, or email.  You can use this hour however you like – ask all the questions you want about blogging and social media, get tips on how to expand your network, do a walk through analysis of your blog and social media platforms, brainstorm writing ideas, fine-tune your niche, whatever you would like to help you with your blogging adventures!

Here’s how you win the SWAG and the 1 Hour Consult:

1. One entry for commenting on this post with an idea for what you would like to see the MOWB network offer, or an idea for what you would like to get out of our first conference, or thoughts on how to help your fellow bloggers grow and thrive.

2. One entry for each blogger friend that you refer to MOWB – there’s a place on the sign-up form where new members can list who referred them. Make sure they list you!

3. One entry each for signing up to do a guest post, wordless Wednesday, or linking up a blog post in this Sunday’s linkup.

4. One entry for visiting and commenting on 2 MOWB blogs that you have never visited before (leave a comment saying you did so – scout’s honor on this one).

5. One entry for putting the MOWB button on your blog (leave a comment saying you have it with your blog’s URL)

And here’s the kicker: if you do each of these things you have already won, because you are building your network and improving your blogging skills!  Winner of the free stuff will be chosen on Thursday, October 2nd, so hop-to bloggers!!

FawnFawn Rechkemmer spent most of her childhood in various towns within the Show-Me-State, Missouri. She has a B.S. and an M.A. in writing from “the University formerly known as Southwest Missouri State.” Today, she’s married to Craig, is mom to Carina and Callen, and works as a freelance writer and PR/social Media consultant. Fawn blogs at Instead of the Dishes about “what I need to do, what I want to do, and how I get both done.”

 

Nicole September 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm

So if there is a conference, I’d love to learn more about how to get involved in travel blogging! I try to post when I travel but I’d just like to know either if I’m doing it right or how to do it better, etc.

Nicole September 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm
Nicole September 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm

And I do have the MO blog logo on my side bar

http://www.midwesternatheart.com

Bethany September 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I can’t wait till there is a conference. That will be so amazing. :)

Bethany September 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm

I also have the Missouri Badge on my sidebar.

Sarah @ Beauty School dropout September 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm
Mistie Thompson September 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Fantastic recap of AWBU and where we’re going with MOWB – thank you. I’m so excited to work with you on this journey we’re taking, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!

Sarah @ Beauty School dropout September 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I’ve visited and commented on two new MOWB-member blogs today — trying to “meet” some people before the SWMO meetup!

Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout September 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm

For the conference, I’d love to see if we can find ways for Missouri bloggers to promote MO products and tourist destinations. I really do think we have a lot to offer as a state, but most people outside Missouri don’t realize it.

Laurie September 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Thanks for sharing the link to the Freelancing 101 recap, Fawn! I look forward to watching MOWB rock it in the blog0sphere! :)

(p.s. don’t pick me for the giveaway!!)

Katy B. September 25, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Thanks, Fawn! I’m so glad to see some buzz around an upcoming MOWB conference and can’t wait until it happens. My hope is to learn how others have driven more traffic to their blogs.

Sondra @ Savers4Life September 28, 2014 at 8:18 am

1. I would love to see a Missouri Conference, although Rogers was not very far from us. Honestly, the cost kind of kept us away as new bloggers this year. We hesitate to spend $300 plus room, food, etc when our blog really make no money yet…keyword yet. All that is to say that maybe if we do it, it’d be great to offer a discounted price the first few year or years to build it up. Maybe, below $100. Again, I think it sounds great and one goal is to make a conference and it’d be great for a local conference to be our first!
3. My post is in the linkup.
4. Commented on some posts.
5. The badge is in our sidebar. http://www.savers4life.com

Looking forward to one day meeting everyone.

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