Saturday, April 23, 2016

What kind of blogger do I want to be?

This past weekend I attended the Say Hi Society mini blog conference. So. Blog conferences. Blogger meet-ups. I think it's a pretty popular thing amongst bloggers in Utah or Arizona. Maybe California, too? When I learned that we'd be moving to Arizona a couple of years ago, I was stoked because I knew there was a big community of bloggers round these parts. Where I lived previously, in southern New Mexico, I was the only person I knew (IRL) with a blog. (Not true anymore, because my kick @$$ friend Santana now has a blog that you should definitely check out.)

The first blog conference I attended was as a huge, round, pregnant lady that would have her baby two days later. It was a little nerve wracking because I had no idea who any of these people were! Oh, except for Ashley Nielson who was pregnant at that time, too. I actually hitched a ride with a complete stranger, aka Jen Bosen, who has since become a friend. Right. I was in a new world, and it was pretty hectic because the space was too small and the air conditioner was broken?? This is a crime in Arizona. Maybe that experience is what led me into labor. If so, I'm grateful for it! Gwen came a week early!

Anyway, since then, I've attended a few more blog meet-ups, but I gotta say, they've all been kind of awkward. Not, like, all aspects of each meet-up, but there have always been the little awkward moments when meeting new people and trying to get to know them in just a couple of hours. Miraculously, I have made a handful of internet and real life friends through these things! And that is what I like about the meet-ups: socializing with like-minded friends. Yeah, my number one reason to attend these things is not to network or grow my blog following, but to hang with my peeps.

A photo posted by Beverly Houpt (@bevhoupt) on

 Also, there's the awkward aspect of being in a room full of people who are taking the talks and networking very seriously, while I'm just happy to get out of the house.

Okay, but seriously. I do enjoy listening to the talks even when I can't relate half the time because they usually inspire me to keep blogging or to think about what I want from my blog. There were two talks at this conference, and I walked in very late to the first one. See, I thought the conference started at 9:30 when it actually started at 8:45. (I'm a little glad that I was late because if I would have known that it started at 8:45 I would have been a little miserable; I hate waking up early.) So there was my first awkward thing. The speakers were Jamie Stum and Sarah Homec of Mommy Mailbox. Honestly, I could not relate with their presentation. I'm sure it was more geared toward other bloggers who have products to sell, so that's great for them! It did make me more interested in their product, though. I may buy a subscription for myself or buy one as a present to a fellow mom.

The second speaker was Matt Molen, who I honestly have never heard of before, but he had some cool advice about using email to your advantage. Plus he had a lot of funny pictures from the internet in his Powerpoint, and that kind of thing always make me laugh.

I was giggling throughout his presentation, but it seemed like I was the only one?? He showed a clip of Elf and I might have been the only one to quote the movie while it was playing. Awkward thing number two.

He started off by asking "How are you different?"
I don't ask myself that question nearly enough. I feel like I'm just another basic Mormon girl with a blog, most of the time. I don't give it too much thought when updating my blog, I just post about what is happening in my life. My blog has definitely transformed since 2010, just as I have. I often thought about deleting it when I'd change the content, but I knew I'd regret it. I'm glad I didn't delete (most of) the old posts!

How am I different? What kind of blogger am I?
I'm not sure. I know that I'm not a "mommy" blogger. I've always hated that term.... I'm no longer a style blogger, except on the very rare occasion. My recent content may suggest that I'm a fitness blogger, but that is not right at all. I'm not a photography blog because I don't give out photography advice or tips- I feel like there is plenty of that to go around, from people who do a much better job than I could. So that leaves me with the title of "lifestyle blogger." But when I think of lifestyle blogs, I think of inspiration and envy. I don't think anyone is too envious of my life. Maybe I have this all wrong and I shouldn't give myself a title. I'm just a girl/mom/wife with a blog that wants to share my stories. How am I different? You tell me. (No really, tell me, I wanna know.)

"What can readers benefit from my blog?"
I'd like to be a blog that you'd go to for relatable stories about motherhood.
I'd like to be a blog that you want to visit because I've got a "down to earth" attitude. *sunglasses emoji*
I want you to visit my blog because I try to be honest in my opinions, I make fun/funny videos you can watch, and I take pictures of pretty things and people.

That is what I've learned about myself during Matt's talk. And also that I may finally make a Facebook page for my blog and think about a newsletter at some point.

p.s. Look at this photo. ^ It was supposed to be a candid shot. I know this because all the other photos of the guests in the PASS gallery were taken candidly while they were intently listening to the speakers, but when I saw Chrissy from afar with her zoom lens, I had to smile! 
A-ha! That is what makes me different! 


  1. This post is seriously amazing! I feel like I would be quoting Elf along with you. Gotta love those seriously driven bloggers ;) You pretty much took the words out of my mouth though. I was going to say that I read your blog because you're genuine. You're not writing posts that are sponsored, and shoving products from Walmart down my throat. Lately I've really been liking reading blogs that are true lifestyle blogs. Real. Also I'm obsessed with the last picture. You're beautiful!!!! <3

  2. Disqus ate my first comment...I think.

    Anyway, you do you. Stay real and relatable and who even cares about label? If blogging makes you happy, the rest doesn't matter. Also, you have the best smile, f'reals.

  3. I feel the same way about meetups. Mostly awkward and I generally just find the one person i at least sort of know and stay with them. I'm so uncomfortable in those situations... But yes, i will NEVER FORGET the misery of the no ac meetup!!! Fan buddies 😂

  4. I remember meeting you when you were very pregnant in that air-conditionless meet-up. Good times, sort of? Haha. I seriously have the same questions going through my head. What exactly is my blog for? What makes me different from any other blog that will make people want to read it? Is anyone even reading it? Regardless of it all, I'm glad my blog has at least brought me a few great friends! :)

  5. Yeah, blogs are so cool in that way- you can meet people that you never would have otherwise! And it's fun to follow other people's lives.

  6. It would be cool to go to a smaller, more intimate meet-up, but those usually cost more, I think? At this meet-up we had assigned seats next to strangers. I was not a fan, haha. I mean, I know they did it so everyone can meet someone new, but I didn't really stay in my seat to talk to anyone at my table while we were mingling. I'm sure the girls sitting at my table were lovely, though! I'm just bad at making conversation.

  7. Thanks, friend. <3

  8. Yes, true lifestyle blogs are my favorite, too. When someone appears too perfect on their blog, it gets really boring really fast. It's funny because I usually only looked at fashion blogs and skimmed through the photos when I first got into blogging a few years ago. So I thought that no one would really want to read my blog if I had too many words. But now I find myself more excited to read about people's experiences and how I can relate in my own life.

  9. Thanks for sharing your experience. Bummed I didn't get to meet you there. It's always nice to hear other people's perspective at events and such. I like the lifestyle title because you can shove everything you like in it. I also really liked Matt's question. Good food for thought.
    (And I was quoting Elf in my head. Trying to contain the crazy) ;)

  10. I've been obsessed with vlogs lately and it just occurred to me today that some of those vlogger/YouTube conventions must be kind of awkward! I'm sure not all of it would be that way but like you said there HAS to be some uncomfortable moments. Also I just think a lot about how awkward I would be at those events. So kudos to you to actually putting yourself out there and going to one!
    As far as the blog stuff goes I like following your blog because it's like you- genuine, honest, and fun to be around! It's not super curated and sugar coated but that's what I like because there's already loooots of that stuff out there. For the record, you're the first person I knew IRL to have a blog and it totes inspired me! Whoo!

  11. I'm glad I was able to inspire you to create your blog! I'm always excited to read when you update it :)
    I actually think that maybe YouTube meet-ups might be more fun? haha. I only think this because YouTubers WANT to talk a lot, because hello, they talk to the camera for a living, where bloggers write, instead of speaking. My point is- it's really hard to judge someone's personality based on their blog alone, but when you watch someone talk on a video you know their personality a lot better and it may be easier to strike up conversation. Like, you feel like you KNOW the person after watching a handful of their videos.
    The first two bloggers I met IRL seemed like their personalities were the exact opposite of the way they wrote in their blogs. It was so interesting!
    But meeting new people is always a little awkward in those kind of situations, so who knows. I should look up Arizonan youtube conventions, if there is such a thing, lol.

  12. I can't contain the crazy when it comes to Elf ;)

  13. Haha yeah, when blogging is just a hobby it's hard to decide on an actual category. Also, I feel like different things are aspirational to different people. I mean, even thought you think you are normal, maybe there are people out there who love your blog for xyz ya know? Idk. Just a thought. I follow different blogs for really random reasons. So I feel like it's always kind of hard to figure out why someone would want to read my blog in particular. Just cause there are so many different reasons lolz. Idk if that makes sense because I am simoltaneously watching The Mindy Project but you get what I mean.


I love reading your comments. Chat with me! I reply here, so check back if you asked a question :)