Blogalicious: MY Testimony ~ Alisha Walker @iluvbeinmarried

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We’re delighted to kickoff an brand new series on the Blogalicious blog called: MY Testimony, where Blogalicious alumni, champions and friends share what the Blogalicious community and conference means to them.  If you’d like to submit YOUR Testimony, email us at: info {at} beblogalicious {dot} com. And…show these testimonialists some love!

“Making Masterful Connections”

Not until I took a look back at the title of Blogalicious 2011 did I realized that I definitely embodied the intent. My husband and I have a blog, The Marriage Coaches, where our tagline is I love being married. We started our blog about 2 years ago but it wasn’t until September 2011 that we started blogging regularly as a part of our business. We provide marriage and relationship advice online and are marriage advocates via counseling, coaching and speaking offline. Prior to the relaunch of our blog we did exhaustive research on what we needed to do to grow our blog and to operate the blog like a business. One of the many suggestions was to get offline and to go to conferences. Blogalicious was one of the first on our list because I had been following them since the beginning.

I had heard about Blogalicious from the first year it started, but by the time I heard about it, it was sold out. I began to follow the women of Blogalicious and was intrigued. The next year, I was unable to make it. So when I saw it come up again for 2011, I was going to go no matter what.

I first met Stacey Ferguson at a women’s business conference in July. I introduced myself and exchanged information with her. We met again at the Blogalicous meet up that was held in Atlanta. I spoke with Stacey about going to the conference but I really wasn’t sure how I would swing it after the other expenses that were already spent for the year. I just knew I had to be there though. I emailed Stacey a few times back and forth and expressed my desire to attend the conference but really wasn’t sure how I would swing it. Ultimately, we were able to swing the conference and I attended in October.

Fast forward to the conference in October, I went by myself not really knowing anyone. I met some people online and at the meet up prior to the conference as well as a couple that I knew from social media as well. Going to this conference, meeting and networking with people without at least a wingman was out of my comfort zone, but I was there to do something different and that was definitely not to be in my comfort zone.

Prior to the conference I had mapped out a plan of the people I wanted to meet, the sessions I wanted to attend and who I wanted to connect with after the conference. I stuck to my plan. Overall, I met everyone I wanted to meet. I connected with several people that I have stayed connected with via social media. I have grown our brand by exposure and contacts. I have partnered with a couple of people and those partnerships should come to fruition this year.  Finally, I was bold enough to ask Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club to mentor me.

I was leaving a session and going for a quick break when I saw her chatting with some other bloggers. I reintroduced myself to her because she was one of the people I met and stayed in contact with from the Atlanta Blogalicious meet up. She remembered me. I felt like a little kid meeting Mickey Mouse I was in awe and a little nervous. Asking her to be my mentor was one of the things I had planned. I hadn’t seen her yet at the conference and didn’t want to take a chance on missing my opportunity. I asked quietly with a slight tremble in my voice, Jennifer would you mentor me and without hesitation, she said YES. WHAT! Did she just say what I think she said? Then she told me how to connect with her. Now every Tuesday morning we meet via phone and she mentors me on how best to move our blogging business forward.

The title of Blogalicious 2011 was so appropriate for my case and I know for many others. I took advantage of the opportunity to meet people in real life that otherwise I would not have a connection with. I learned to be bold, ask for what I want even in the face of possible rejection. I learned to be humble, because even though I am a successful and skilled Licensed Counselor I am still considered a “newbie” in the blogging world and I am humble enough and willing to ask for help. I learned that follow up is key to continued relationships via social media and even though I am still considered a “newbie” I give back. I learned to stay connected and I have with many of the people that I met at the conference and beyond.

I know many people are planning their 2012 conference schedule now, make Blogalicious a part of your list of musts. The experience, knowledge, support and business growth for newbie and veteran bloggers alike is well worth it. I’ll be there again this year and I hope to see you too.

Connect with Alisha on her site The Marriage Coaches and on Twitter, and learn about the I Love Being Married Movement.


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Comments (4)

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  1. Ananda Leeke says:

    Blogalicious Team: I love this new series! Very inspiring!

    Hi Alisha: Loved your Blogalicious post. You had many WOW moments especially the one where you and Jennifer James (*she is awesome*). It was a pleasure meeting you during the 2011 conference. I totally agree with you that Blogalicious is well worth the investment in time, energy, and money to attend. See you in Vegas!

    Blessings, Ananda

  2. Lamar says:

    Great recap and yes Jennifer James rocks!

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