About 6 months I made the decision that I really want to go to a blogging conference and specifically one that was centered around food photography and food blogging. I did a quick search and within the time frame I was looking, I could either go to a conference in Chicago or this one in Cancun. The cost would have been virtually the same for both so it wasn’t a very difficult decision. I mean, I don’t think I would have gotten this view in Chicago every morning…
Stephen really couldn’t get away from work for that long at this time of the year so with very little convincing needed, my mom agreed to tag along on the trip. I think all I needed to say was “beach” + “free 24-hour room service” and she was hooked. Understandably so.
For me, it was the fact that one of my all-time favorite food bloggers was going to be there. I’ve followed Lindsay’s blog for quite a few years now and have learned SO so much from her and her husband, Bjork, who focus a lot of their energy on helping other bloggers grow. They do monthly income reports that, if you’ve never read, are super interesting. I had absolutely NO idea that people made full time livings (like, really good livings) from blogging. It’s also neat to see how their blog grew from the time that they started their income reports where they made $22 a month all the way to now where their blog brings in well over 40k per month.
I got this blurry fan photo with them the closing night of the conference :D
This was the first year of the conference and even though it was rather small, it was AMAZING! It far exceeded my expectations. I went into the conference thinking that I wouldn’t get all that much out of it besides some motivation and to meet a few awesome bloggers. I did get that but I also learned SO many things that are already turning out to be game changers for my blog.
Based on the few little tweaks that I’ve made to my blog so far from what I learned at the conference, I’ve already seen a very noticeable difference in my blogs traffic and income. And, I have SO much more that I can’t wait to experiment with and try out.
Like video!! I’ve always been super intrigued by video even though I know absolutely nothing about it. I’ve been following a lot of other bloggers who have started making recipe videos. I absolutely love them but have been a bit intimidated to try them out for myself. Mostly due to time and the hesitation to add one more thing to my already busy schedule. But, it’s something that I really really want to do in the near future and I already have some ideas for it.
In fact, the reason I didn’t take very many pictures while at the conference was because I was busy obsessively taking lots and lots of video. I put together a video blog (aka vlog) about the trip. I spent SO much time on this video and really like how it turned out. Warning: it’s LOTS of timelapses and me swimming under water.
One of my favorite parts, probably, was the fact that I got quite a bit of one-on-one time with the speakers who were able to sit down with me, look at my blog, and give me some very concrete advice about how I can improve. I also really got to know most of the other attendees and was surprised that I learned a lot from each and every one of them as well.
The resort itself was also pretty bad ass.
Dreams Riviera Cancun gave us a great deal for the conference and FAR exceeded my expectations.
It’s an all inclusive resort which is something that I had never experienced before. I’ve been on cruises where all the food is free but NEVER been on a vacation where you didn’t have to pay for drinks. That part was spectacular.
Needless to say, I had a LOT of fruity frozen drinks. They were kind of on the weak side which I didn’t mind because it meant that I didn’t have to feel too guilty for having 3 of them in a row at noon.
We were also pretty big fans of the free mini-bar in our room that was stocked daily AND the 24-hour room service.
I had breakfast in bed on more than one occasion. :D
We opted to upgrade our room to one with a “plunge pool” as you’ll see in my video. It was TOTALLY worth the extra little bit of money to have our own pool right out the door.
The humidity was SO intense that every time I left my room, all of my cameras would fog up pretty bad for about a solid hour until they finally adjusted. So, I got a lot of photos and video that look a little something like this:
We also went into Playa Del Carmen twice to do a little shopping; once with the conference group and once just me and my mom.
In case you watched the video and were wondering, I did end up buying that hammock. I bought 2, in fact. I looked ridiculous walking through the airport on the way home.
And with that, I’m going to leave you with a photo dump that’s mostly sunrise pictures :) Happy hump day, friends!