Blogging Advice

My first official “blogger meetup”

This past weekend was a really stressful one for me, work-wise.  There were some pressing issues at the office that just couldn’t be left alone after 5 pm Friday, and ended up consuming most of my Saturday.

It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, I thought, as Saturday afternoon was the very first DC-area blogger meetup that I’d organized with my blog buddy Christina.  I’m not sure I let on to anyone just how much I was looking forward to this, but I really was.  While last year I was focused and introverted as I launched my business, this year I really want to focus on building community both online and here in my area.   Going out on a limb to schedule a gathering like this was the first step towards that goal.

Because I’d gone out on that limb, I was really nervous!  What if people didn’t like each other? (or didn’t like me?)  What if everyone thought it was lame?  What if – heaven forbid – no one showed up??  Yes, I know, I worry too much.  Add on the stress of work, and the fear that work may not be concluded in time to attend my very own gathering – and I was just a mess.

But Saturday afternoon I did manage to tie things up with work long enough to escape to Caffe Amouri for meetup.  I’m so glad it worked out, because it injected a much-needed dose of happiness, laughter, energy, and inspiration into my otherwise dreary and stressful weekend.  I returned home super, super happy and excited.

*Edit: Toya is not pictured. She's a party pooper and left early. (Just kidding, she had a prior commitment.)

I often see happy posts from multiple bloggers, all rambling on about how awesome their latest blogger get-together was.  And while it was exciting, I have a broader message for all of you who didn’t live close enough to attend.  I’d like to challenge and encourage you to initiate a meetup of your own in your town.

If you do plan a meetup:

*Partner with another blog or twitter buddy, or even a non-blogging friend.  That way, in the worst case event that no one else shows, you’ve got each other to hang out with. 🙂

*Pick a neutral, safe place for the first meetup.  You don’t want to invite strangers into your home.

*Finally, I’d encourage you to do what we did – open it up to bloggers, twitter followers, and facebook fans.  In my opinion, at least, blog readers are just as important a part of your blogging community as blog writers are.

There’s something awesome that happens when you get a group of blogging ladies together.  I’m not really sure how it works, because we don’t all blog in the same niche, but you put us around a table and the conversation and laughter flows. It’s something I hope to enjoy again, and something that I truly wish all of you could join me for.

But in the mean time, as we wait for teleportation to become a reality, I encourage you:  go forth and create your own blogging community!

Finally, here’s a list of all the awesome ladies who gathered, and where you can find them.  I really encourage you to check them all out!

Michelle has just started a blog as she prepares to own her own home (show her some love, guys!) at Two Streets Over, and she tweets.

Christina blogs at The Scrappy Housewife (and she & her husband just launched a cooking blog as well), and she tweets.

Kimberly (who is the first twitter friend I’ve ever made, awesome!) blogs when she’s not busy wrangling her two little boys, and tweets like a fiend!

Rachel sells her art in an awesome Etsy shop, blogs at Funnelcloud, and tweets.

Steffanie sells awesomely eco-friendly laundry soap on Etsyblogs, and tweets.

Lauren (who recently got engaged!) blogs at Laurenchanting, and tweets.

Sarah (who was the first local blogger I ever met) blogs at Sunny Side Up, and tweets.

Toya (who makes ah-MAZING healthy snacks) blogs and runs New Family Naturals, and is being encouraged to tweet more.

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  • Reply Gwen at 1:02 pm

    Looks like yall had fun!  I wish I were justa little closer to DC!!!

  • Reply Kimberly at 1:05 pm

    It was fun! I can’t believe I didn’t at least get some tea while we were there…..

  • Reply Christina Leaman at 1:06 pm

    And I tweet. I tweet now! Thanks to all of you people, I gave in and *tweet*. Monumental I tell you. 😉 Also, who *wouldn’t* like you Jane? Seriously.

  • Reply Michelle at 1:11 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! My name appeared on your blog! Please allow me a moment to collect my thoughts…OH MY GOODNESS! 
    Whew, now that I’m back to Earth….
    Hi! I actually like the idea of starting little social media meet ups; it was a great way to get out of the house and do something unique. Although I’m far too north for most of the blogs I read, I would love to arrange one for those north of Baltimore. 

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 1:13 pm

      Michell, earth to Michelle, will you please stop acting as though it’s a big deal? It’s not! This is just a regular little blog! 🙂 I’m so glad you could come. And if I’m ever around Baltimore will you meet me for some tasty pastry chugging in little Italy?

    • Reply Christina Leaman at 1:52 pm

      Michelle, we should totally do a MD blogger gathering since I’m up here too. And Jane, you’d totally be invited. 🙂

      • Reply Katie makingthishome at 4:48 pm

        you darn east coast people. don’t you know west is best?! haha. 

        (I’m loving all of the comment threads going on here even if I probably can’t say hi in person for ages.)

      • Reply Michelle at 5:04 pm

        mmmmmMmmm pastries! I’m down!

  • Reply Katie makingthishome at 4:47 pm

    best line about blog meet ups EVER: 
    blog readers are just as important a part of your blogging community as blog writers are.

    So proud of you, Jane. I can’t believe how long your hair is, too. ha!

  • Reply Funnelcloud Rachel at 6:26 pm

    Love this and I had a great time! Just over 6 months ago, blogging and selling on Etsy were totally independent (and somewhat lonely) endeavors for me – I’m amazed at how the tables have turned and how many amazing people I’ve met through blogs, small businesses, and twitter over the past few months! It really feels good to establish a community among local bloggers and connect with each other in person. I’m an introvert by nature, but every time I attend one of these meet-ups I leave totally inspired and with a huge smile on my face.

    And I can’t imagine anyone not liking you! I knew I’d like you from your blog and I was totally right! 🙂

  • Reply Kalanicut at 2:56 pm

    Jane, I’m so glad you did this, even though it turned out to be a little stressful. The rewards seem well worth it and it was probably great to be able to put work out of your mind and just enjoy the meet up once you got there. I would love to do something like this here.

  • Reply Jillian at 12:49 am

    This looks great!! I’d love to get together with you all/other bloggers in the NoVA area! It would be so neat to meet other bloggers in real life!

  • Reply Emily Steplowski at 8:50 pm

    Yay!  I am so happy that the meet up was a success!  I can’t wait till you do it again- fingers crossed I’ll be able to make it next time.  🙂  I am looking forward to checking out the blogs of the other gals who made it- I don’t think I follow any of them and I do love me some local bloggers!  Hugs from Columbia, MD.

    Emily @ The Diligent One

  • Reply Robin at 11:46 am

    How fun! You have inspired me to meet up with more local bloggers here in Pittsburgh. In fact, I am meeting one of them tomorrow for coffee! 🙂

  • Reply #sbww14 part 1 at 10:53 am

    […] A few years ago, actually, not that long after my surgery; I met this blogger named Jane. I’d been following her blog somehow. (I really can’t tell you HOW I found out about her.) Fast forward to the weekend of the Super Bowl, and there was this blogger meet up.  […]

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