Home friends Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte + The Amazing Tips I Learned

Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte + The Amazing Tips I Learned

by Nellie

Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte

Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte

Shortly after my SITS feature day earlier this year, I decided to go to Bloggy Boot camp Charlotte. It was a fantastic decision, I learned so much. I think I am entering a danger zone when it comes to learning about blogging. It’s like I’m attending Blog University or something. It’s all fun–until I get graded.

I took a very quick under 90 minute flight to Charlotte and arrived at the doubletree with exactly 15 minutes to spare. I was greeted by Tiffany who instantly recognized me (!!) And gave me my name badge without me having to say who I was. (Trust me if you ever want to be known by someone, its Tiffany Romero!)

amazing sponsors!

amazing sponsors!

After that, I met The Dose Girls, Michelle (who I met a few weeks ago), My blog sister from another mister Joi, and a few more people.

Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte Sessions

We got into the program right away with a session on social media. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Facebook: You have to be present on Facebook with a Fan Page. Try to interact with at least 3 forms of media (quote, picture, link, funny anecdote etc.) Per day. (I am terrible at this, Facebook is not my favorite platform, but I’m working on it)
  2. Twitter: Follow people back! Also create hashtags in hootsuite for topics relating to your blog. The best piece of advice about Twitter was actually really smart and it basically said for every one tweet promoting yourself you should have 8 non self promotional links!
  3. Pinterest: People love big beautiful pictures. It doesn’t have to have words on it, it really just has to be pretty. ALWAYS pin from your blog.

SEO

After that we got in SEO, my mind was still pretty blown away from the last boot camp session, but again I learned more, here are three important tips:

  1. Pay attention to your top content, what are people engaging with on your site? Re-share popular posts, often.
  2. Make more: do posts similar to your top shared and tweeted content, keep those readers around–simple, but makes total sense!
  3. Think like a reader: use keywords that you think your targeted reader would be searching for in Google. The more specific the better!

Blog Design

Next we had an amazing sesh on Blog Design and here are some tips I learned:

  1. Try for under 10 main categories (I am terrible at this) it helps your reader find what they need quickly
  2. Picture this: A huge mistake in blog design is not enough pictures! People like pictures (big ones) so make sure you include them in the blog posts.
  3. Break up your paragraphs, too big paragraphs make you seem like a robot! (Oh and make sure you are using at least a 14pt font!)

We broke for lunch and I giggled and got to know my new tribe member Denise as well as a bunch of awesome bloggers. Of course there was only chicken on the menu and y’all know I don’t got time for that so I picked at a vegetarian dish of potatoes and grilled zucchini which wasn’t terrible.

All was not lost however because the wonderful sponsors Salsaritas provided us with a full Mexican spread of nachos with all the works. I didn’t eat much but I wanted to!

Photography

We had a few more sessions and finally we had the one I was waiting the most for, photography! The cool part about this was that we received a quick but extremely valuable tutorial in PicMonkey.

Here are my fav tips:

  1. PicMonkey is your best friend. Use it. Be sure to save it as .png when you use words…it simply looks better.
  2. Always center pictures and know your widths before posting.
  3. Group pictures together it is visually more appealing.

After an amazing day we ended the night with a fabulous cocktail party sponsored by Mirrasou. It was so nice hanging with bloggers I knew and getting to know a few more. πŸ™‚ After a while, I called it quits, headed up to my hotel room got some room service and called it a night. πŸ™‚

Bloggy Boot Camp Charlotte

outsidebbcchar

I shot a vlog on some more things I loved about Bloggy Boot camp Charlotte including comparing it to other conferences and whether or not I would go back again. See the vid here πŸ˜‰

Would you attend a Bloggy Boot Camp?

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81 comments

Miz June 10, 2013 - 8:11 am

I SOOO WANNA DO THIS TOO.
and SITS GIRLS!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 9:57 pm

The SITS girls are so awesome Miz you should check them out! πŸ™‚

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Kimberly {Manifest Yourself} June 10, 2013 - 8:32 am

Great review! I feel like I got a chance to go now. πŸ˜‰

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 9:58 pm

ha, yes that is definitely the feeling I wanted to evoke πŸ™‚

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Joi June 10, 2013 - 8:55 am

Sister from another mister, ha…Love it! We had a whirlwind day of learning! You shared some great goodies! PicMonkey is my Bestie but now I know how to size them correctly after BBC πŸ™‚ Love that you added a vlog. Let me go subscribe to your channel!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 9:58 pm

It was great wasn’t it? I am learning the fun parts of picmonkey every day. I think I can stay on there all day πŸ˜‰

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Kim June 10, 2013 - 9:30 am

I have got to go to a bloggy bootcamp – 1. for all the many things I could learn and 2. I would love to meet you and so many others.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and all you learned at BBC!!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 9:59 pm

Yes! The next one is in Dallas in the fall–not too far from you right?

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thedoseofreality June 10, 2013 - 9:33 am

We absolutely LOVED getting to meet you in real life! You were the first person we met that day, and we just knew it was going to be a great day after that! πŸ™‚ Definitely so much to learn there!-The Dose Girls

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 9:59 pm

Loved meeting you guys too!!

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Tamara June 10, 2013 - 11:03 am

Well..at least I’ve got one tip down pat – people love photos! Oh yes they do. I love picmonkey as well. The tips about Facebook and Twitter are VERY helpful. My fan page is a bit different because it’s for my photography business and not for my blog (too much to worry about to have both!) but I still love the 8 non self-promotional tweets for every one that is self-promotional. Pretty awesome!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:01 pm

Yeah..because you are a master photographer!! πŸ™‚ and you have got a FAN in me!! πŸ™‚

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Lia June 10, 2013 - 11:28 am

So glad you had a fab time at Bloggy Boot Camp! Thank you for sharing tips–so much food for thought!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:01 pm

You are welcome Lia! πŸ˜‰

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Kita June 10, 2013 - 11:48 am

Great tips yes people love pictures that’s why I specifically ask for them when I do my magazine since people tend to be visual. I love picmonkey I would pay for the other version but I have photoshop so no need for now but I do utilize that free often. I love their collages

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:02 pm

I love love photos too–I can spend eons in photo blogs!! picmonkey is great free OR paid!

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Dana June 10, 2013 - 12:02 pm

It was a blast meeting you at BBC-Charlotte! Thanks for sharing your takeaways. I’d forgotten about picmonkey!!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:03 pm

Thanks for stopping by Dana it was so nice to meet you as well!

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veronica June 10, 2013 - 12:23 pm

As I’ve mentioned before there are NO blog conventions in my area. Thank you so much for sharing this info with us here. I know that I need to connect with more media for my blog. I’m going to need to do my homework on how to get that done.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:03 pm

Awesome, the right time on the right networks and boom your blog starts growing!

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KalleyC June 10, 2013 - 12:50 pm

Great tip recap–as always! So glad you had a great time at BBC. I need to do one of these one day.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:04 pm

Hopefully they will bring a full 2-day one to NY!

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Denise June 10, 2013 - 1:09 pm

This is SO Great!!! Some tips I had even forgotten about. Still trying to find the time to implement them all and then decide where to go next!! I have the full version of PicMonkey and it is by far the best investment I have made for my blog. Cheap Recommended!! Thanks for the shout out, too!! Have a great week :o)

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:04 pm

I got it too! It is fantastic!!

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Carli June 10, 2013 - 1:30 pm

I do those things on Facebook and still it’s nothing but crickets over there. We need to do some Facebook comment swaps.

I don’t do 8 non me posts on Twitter and still all is beautiful there.

Pinterest..taking your Twitter advice. Stay tuned Friday!

I had no idea about the PNG thing!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:05 pm

I am not a fan of facebook, but I try to support where I can–I am more of a twitter and now I’m really starting to become a pinterest gal like you πŸ˜‰

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Yum Yucky June 10, 2013 - 1:37 pm

I am so turrrible at keeping track of annual conferences. Always seem to find out about them AFTER it’s over. GAH!

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Quiana June 10, 2013 - 2:18 pm Reply
Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:05 pm

You can get started early by looking NOW for conferences for NEXT year! πŸ™‚

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Britton June 10, 2013 - 1:56 pm

I soooo hate I missed this! Looks like you learned a lot though! I’m definitely going to see what happens when I save my picmonkey files as a .png and see what happens because I do get that blurriness when I save as a jpg.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:06 pm

I’m sad you didn’t get to go as well it was really great. The PNG makes a huge difference, try it!

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LaShawn June 10, 2013 - 2:04 pm

I wish wish I could have gone to Bloggy boot camp in Charlotte! I love all of these tops and will try up start incorporating some. Especially the Facebook tips. I’m bad when it comes to Facebook! And why didn’t I know you could go hashtags in hootsuite?????

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Yes! I use so many hashtags in hootsuite! Even instagram too! Hootsuite is just awesome like that!

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Quiana June 10, 2013 - 2:16 pm

You and I are SO on the same page when it comes to conferences! After my first BlogHer and Blogalicious last year I’m all about the intimate conferences. Look forward to hanging with you at Blogging While Brown and Blogalicious this year =)

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:07 pm

Yes, next week! woot woot!

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Hope June 10, 2013 - 3:16 pm

Really love these tips Nellie! Can’t wait to attend a blog conference. I’m really loving pic monkey too!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:08 pm

pic monkey is so cool!

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Andrea June 10, 2013 - 3:39 pm

I really need to make my way to bootcamp. Between your review, Michelle’s, and Joi’s I feel like I’ve been cheated. I knew I should have flaked on that whole bridesmaid business…oh well, maybe next time.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:09 pm

It was soo awesome!! but I am sure one will come to your town soon and hopefully NOT when you have to be in a wedding πŸ™‚

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Sherelle June 10, 2013 - 4:14 pm

I’m glad you had a good time, and got to meet so many bloggers! I’ve loved PicMonkey ever since you referred me to it! I thought about going, to BBC Charlotte, but it was between this conference and Blogalicious and I had to choose one…darn! lol

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:10 pm

yes, Blogalicious is definitely the better choice! More days, parties—LOL I can’t wait.

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Debra June 10, 2013 - 7:25 pm

Bootcamp looks like so much fun and so informative. Glad you had a good time & thanks for sharing.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:10 pm

You are very welcome Debra! πŸ™‚

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Mimi June 10, 2013 - 9:36 pm

Thank you for sharing these tips!! I love the idea of assigned seating. We get In our comfortable clicks and could easily miss meeting some great people. I’m sad I missed it. Thought about going maybe next time

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:11 pm

It was a really cool aspect, a little nerve racking, but it all turned out really well like 5 minutes into the lunch.

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catherine gacad June 11, 2013 - 12:26 am

hi nellie, what a great summary, i especially like your video. i’m too camera-shy to do a vlog on my site, but i realize it adds so much more color than a regular post. i have thought about attending blogher as well, but figured i am already overwhelmed by the blogher website, i cannot imagine liking the conference! which is why SITS is really perfect for me.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:12 pm

Thank you so much for stopping by Catherine!! Vlogs are fun, I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on it so I need to shoot some more. I was insanely nervous at first, I thought people would hate it and stop reading…thank goodness that didn’t happen!! πŸ™‚

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Leslie June 11, 2013 - 5:42 am

Great review! I’ve been wanting to go to Bloggy Bootcamp for a while. I’m SO bad at interacting on Facebook and Twitter. How do people find time for all that?! I can say that I try to provide a lot of visual content. PicMonkey is awesome! Question, though…do you think that the royale features are worth the extra $$? I see that the price has already gone down, but even $33/year seems a lot to me.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:14 pm

I like the royale features…a lot…I think its worth it to me because I will use it A LOT over the next year for sure. However, picmonkey is awesome free or paid.

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Michelle June 11, 2013 - 7:38 am

Love your post! Great advice! I learned so much there too! And of course it was fun to see you again!
Will you send me that picture of all of us with the Dose Girls? Mine was blurry!!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:14 pm

Yes I will do it through FB! If I forget, remind me, you know I get distracted easily! LOL

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Jenni June 11, 2013 - 9:16 am

I’ve been really slack in the blog world lately. I’ve been reading posts, but missed that you were going to be in Charlotte. It’s just an hour from me and I’m there all of the time. I’ll definitely try hard to see you in when I’m in NY in August.

Thanks for the tips, just streamlined my categories! Baby steps.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Aww booooooooo. I did not realize you were so close I totally would have hit you up!! Yes when you come to bk lemme know! Beyonceeeeee woowoo!

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Mothering From Scratch June 11, 2013 - 10:52 am

{Melinda} Thank you so much for sharing! These are fabulous. I bookmarked it to read later and I’m Pinning it, too. I would love to go to a blogging conference. Unfortunately, finances are permitting at the moment. Hoping to go to one next year. Thanks for giving me a glimpse and some solid tips!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing Melinda, I appreciate that!!

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Cam June 12, 2013 - 12:45 pm

great tips! thanks for sharing. I’m getting better at FB. Now me and the Twitter… we need some work. πŸ™‚

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:18 pm

You are welcome! twitter is so much fun for random crap. I used to love when you asked QOTDs!

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YUMMommy June 13, 2013 - 4:21 pm

It sucks that I had to miss the Bloggy Boot Camp while it was in my city, but not going to my sister’s wedding wasn’t an option. I’m glad you had fun, learned a lot and got to me some new bloggers!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:19 pm

yes! Your sisters wedding is WAY more important!! πŸ™‚

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karen June 15, 2013 - 6:45 am

Wow, looks like you had a blast and thanks for sharing those tips. I am finally using pic money mostly and going to edit my categories on top.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:20 pm

Picmonkey is a lifesaver! πŸ˜‰

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Tracie June 15, 2013 - 7:04 am

I use PicMonkey all the time, but I never knew about the .png tip. That is great to know!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:20 pm

Yes it makes a total difference! Thank you so much for stopping by Tracie! πŸ™‚

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grownandflown June 15, 2013 - 8:25 am

Thanks for the great recap – I went to a one day miniboot camp a few months ago and am considering going to Dallas in the fall.
Over from Sharefest

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:21 pm

You should go if you can it really is amazing!

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Stefanie June 15, 2013 - 9:17 am

Thanks for the tips! Definitely bookmarking this post for reference!

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:23 pm

you are welcome, thank you so much for stopping by!

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JDaniel4's Mom June 15, 2013 - 12:07 pm

It truly was amazing. I was just looking my notes over again last night. There were so many things I noted that I wanted to work on.

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Nellie June 15, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Wasn’t it though? I have lots of notes too that I STILL have work on too!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Stacie June 15, 2013 - 11:03 pm

Yes! This year BBC is coming to my city! Can’t wait to get some Bloggy knowledge and meet a few folks too.

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Vague June 16, 2013 - 12:12 pm

I’m horrible with Facebook, too. It took me forever to figure out all the in’s and out’s for blogging. Previously, I just used it for apps.

I’m going to check out PicMonkey. Is it free? I’m always looking for more picture editors.

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Nellie June 16, 2013 - 2:28 pm

Yes its free! The paid version is great too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Nellie June 16, 2013 - 2:29 pm

Yes the bloggy boot camps go all over! Thanks so much for dropping by!

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[…] Amazing Tips Learned at BBC CharlotteΒ – Nellie, from Brooklyn Active Mama gives you a complete recap of her BBC Charlotte experience. […]

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Jessie June 17, 2013 - 11:12 am

Wow Nellie! I’m new to your blog but very thankful I found you, and now I’m going to be a regular reader! You have awesome tips!! I’m a newbie blogger and find your info very helpful and I’m excited to try and improve my blog with your tips! I wish there was a Blog Boot Camp near Nebraska!! πŸ˜‰ Also, I hope you don’t mind me pinning a lot of your posts! πŸ˜‰ Thanks again for the tips and I look forward to reading more! πŸ™‚

Jessie @ Jessie Jo At Home

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Nellie June 23, 2013 - 10:21 pm

Thank you so much for stopping by Jessie!!

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Nellie June 18, 2013 - 10:49 am

Hopefully they come to NYC soon!!

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Andrea B June 23, 2014 - 8:03 am

I realize that I have not seen this post before now! And I’m IN it! πŸ™‚

I love your new layout and redesign and was peeking in on your conference posts and ta da! Can’t wait to see you in Philly.

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