Hey, everyone! Today is a super fun day! All of the mentors for the Haven Conference are taking part in a blog hop to introduce ourselves and answer a few questions about our experiences as a blogger, and more specifically, as a blogger conference attendee. If you’re new here and hopping over from Chris’s blog, Just A Girl, welcome! My name is Haneen: mom of four with an art degree, pouring creative energy into making our house a home. I love color and I love a good mix of styles. My home is my canvas and I’m enjoying making it uniquely me! As my kids tell me, our house isn’t “normal,” and my response has always been that that’s what I love about it:) Here’s a glimpse into our “haven” …
I’m honored to be a mentor this year for the Haven Conference! I started blogging October of 2015 and attended my first Haven Conference July of 2016. I may not have as many years of blogging under my belt as some of the other mentors in this group, but I feel like I’ve learned a TON in the last few years, and I make a pretty darn good cheerleader, so “mentor” suits me:) Here are some questions they’d like us to answer for you…
What is your best advice for a blogger?
Don’t feel like you have to follow what every other blogger is doing! Find what’s unique about you and run with it! Stand out and have fun. Having some sense of structure to when you post does give your readers a good idea of when they’ll hear from you. With that said, don’t feel pressured to stay on some sort of schedule. I haven’t always been good about this. I tend to post when I have something to share. It feels more authentic to me. I don’t want to force words and ideas just to create a post. But keep in mind, the more you post, the more visitors you have, which translates to more page views. Just something to consider if sponsorships and collaborations are a goal of yours. Companies will ask to see your numbers. If you’re new to the blogging world, don’t let that discourage you. Numbers are good, but your talent is just as important. Keep working and creating, keep improving the quality of your photographs, try to find what it is you can offer a company that maybe no one else has, and eventually things could start happening. And don’t be afraid to reach out! I did! I reached out to Home Goods when I was brand spanking new! They had shared a few photos of mine on Instagram so they knew who I was even though my following was tiny. That led to me becoming a Pinterest Contributor for them. It was a fun start and all because I got up the nerve to forget my numbers, and just reach out to say, “Hey! I love your company! How can I help you in some way?”
What is your best advice for a new Haven Maven attendee?
Network, network, network! There’s two parts to this: networking with companies and networking with friends. Let’s touch on both…
One of the great things about Haven is that there are a plethora of vendors/sponsors/businesses there to connect with. The main hall is lined with them, and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the down time between classes to walk around and visit them. Introduce yourself, leave a business card, and follow up at home. Try to connect with companies you know are a good fit with your brand. One of my favorite things to come from the Haven Conference is my relationship with the Home Depot team! I remember showing up to my first Haven and stopping by the Home Depot booth, and when I looked down I noticed they had an image of my painted thrifted dining room buffet on the aprons they were wearing! It was a great way to connect and say, “Hey! I did that!” And they were so kind and receptive and happy to meet the person behind the project. It was then that I told them my interest in doing one of their Style Challenges, and once I was back home, we reconnected almost immediately via email and made plans to participate in the one they had scheduled for fall. Since then I’ve done other Home Depot Style Challenges and they’ve collaborated on my powder bathroom makeover, hired me to do a blog post about adding pops of color (I mean, that one was just meant for me:) and most recently they were one of the sponsors for my kitchen renovation in the One Room Challenge! Had I not gone to the Haven Conference, I’m not sure I’d have this connection. There’s something to be said for meeting face to face. Love my Home Depot peeps! Such a great company to work with!
Here’s Whitney and Cody pointing to my project on their aprons… they humored me for a photo:)
As for networking with friends, I will say this… meeting fellow bloggers is the BEST part of attending a blogging conference! Blogging is an interesting ride, and it’s so fulfilling to have people that know exactly what it is you’re going through/stressing about. Try to meet and connect with people who have similar design styles as you, because you may be interested later in collaborating or setting up a blog hop or even creating a group hashtag together on Instagram. So many great things come from bonding at Haven! My closest group of blogging girlfriends stemmed from Haven 2016. These women have been on speed-dial any time I need help with anything! We text constantly asking each other for help or advice or just a good laugh. I love them dearly!
And nothing like a selfie on the dance floor with Sherry from Young House Love… Lol! Haven always has fun people to meet!
Then 2017’s Haven brought more awesome BOSSES into my life! This community is filled with strong, intelligent, creative go-getters and I’m so lucky to call them friends!
At Charlotte’s House // Southern State of Mind // This Is Our Bliss
And of course, meeting one of your design idols isn’t too shabby either. Here I am with HGTV Dream Home designer Brian Patrick Flynn…
Another tidbit of advice… classes can be a bit overwhelming. It’s an awesome kind of overwhelming because there’s so much to learn, but might I advise to throw in a “fun” class along with all the tech stuff. It’s all a lot to take in, so if you can squeeze it in, try to take one of their fun, crafty classes too!
Who are you most excited to see/meet at Haven this year?
You! I’m excited to meet new bloggers and anyone assigned to my group! If you’re attending, please let me know! Also, let me know what you’re looking for in a mentor! What can we do to help you maximize your experience? Side note: I’m also really excited to meet Taniya Nayak in person! She’s the spokesperson for FrogTape® and we’ve become pals through the Paintover Challenge experience. So glad she’ll be a part of Haven this year! What a gem!
That’s it for now! Thank you so much for stopping by! If you want to read about my 2016 Haven experience, click HERE. If you want to read about my 2017 Haven experience, click HERE. The Handmade Home is next on today’s list, and you don’t want to miss this talented duo! Here’s the full list of mentors to visit throughout the week! I’m excited to read their answers myself!
Haneen’s Haven (that’s me!)
See you soon!