Woo! #BlogHerFood16 is coming to Austin this weekend, and I will be there! After a whirlwind summer of WEDDING (yes it’s true, you are reading the words of a married woman) I’m ready to refocus on my writing and blogging and I have some cool new brands, projects, and events coming up… and I know BlogHer Food is going to be just the thing to help give me the kick in the butt for this fall/winter!

While my reasons for looking forward to this event are pretty obvious (networking with women who are just as passionate about food, cooking, and writing as I am, for starters) there are certain sessions I’m especially excited about. If you’ll be at the conference this weekend, keep an eye out for me and come say hi!

blogherfood16 conference austin

And if you’re not enrolled in the conference and you want to be… what are you waiting for?! Register now, it’s not too late, girl.

Friday:

Social Media Bootcamp | Instagram Photo Styling
1:30pm – 2:45pm

The most follow-worthy Instagram accounts have great photography and great photo editing. You have the potential to reach Instagram’s over 300 million active users with beautiful food photos you can take, edit, and post right from your phone.

Pumped for this one because our very own Jane Ko is running the show, and if you’ve ever checked out her Instagram or her ultra-successful blog, you know that this girl is a pro at what she does. Go Jane!

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Food in the Center of Cultural Conversations, Not Just the Table
1:30pm – 2:45pm

Food is a basic human requirement, but it’s easy to become disconnected from the food we eat. We can eat a different international cuisine every night without understanding the cultures from which they came. We can focus on buying the freshest, most local organic produce without understanding the life of the people who are growing it. In addition to helping us feed ourselves every night, food bloggers are serving as social and cultural ambassadors—and bearing those concepts in mind can strengthen our food writing.

Ugh, SO cool. It’s so important to know and respect where our food comes from. This session is really promising for personal growth as a writer and also professional growth (since I write content for restaurants, fitness, and pop culture – all areas that can benefit from a deeper understanding of food and our culture/society).

I’m bummed that this is at the same time as Jane’s IG talk (best problem to have, too many good things happening at once!) so I might have to hop around a little bit…

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Super-Efficient Photo Shoots
3:00pm – 4:15pm

Food photo shoots look like a lot of fun… until you have to do them on the regular. Great food photos can make or break your post, and planning and organizing your shoot ahead of time will go far to help you highlight the best parts of your recipes.

I would never consider myself a professional photographer (come on, I use an iPhone for literally everything) but I DO coordinate and supervise photo shoots for restaurants so this will be another helpful session for my day-to-day responsibilities… and also hopefully inspire me to be more efficient yet creative in my own personal photos for my blog and personal social media.

Evening Keynote: Food and Dish with the Stars of “Smollett Eats”
5:00pm – 6:00pm

How did one family become so infused with the love of food and entertaining? How does food bind their family together? Finally, how did the Smolletts pitch, land, and then plan a Food Network show that is basically about the fun things they’re doing together? (Dream job, right?)

This one, duh, because I find the Smollett family to be completely delightful and I can’t wait to see them in action, in person. (And if they can teach me how to land my own TV show, great.)

Saturday:

Social Media Bootcamp | Snapchat for Foodies
11:00am – 12:15pm

Snapchat is the ideal platform for food bloggers to share behind-the-scenes food photos, personal stories, and candid snapshots of their lives. In this session, our panelists will share how you can use Snapchat to connect and resonate with your followers and peers.

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The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Mining Your Data to Segment Your Audience and Target Appropriately
11:00am – 12:15pm

Depending on what you’d like your readers to do (from clicking to purchasing), how do you better understand your web and newsletter audience and message various segments accordingly? In this session, our speakers will share what you need to create a blog-to-newsletter process, as well as why targeting the right messaging to the right people is vitally important.

Honestly, the reason both of these are good for me is because I’m hella lazy on my personal SnapChat and I’m hella lazy about using analytics to my advantage when it comes to this blog – EVEN THOUGH I am a professional social media and content manager. Ahh! I think I’m just so exhausted by the end of the workday that after I do these things professionally, I’m not always in the mood to do them all over again for my own blog/life. Hopefully I will be inspired to try harder after hearing words of wisdom from these experts.

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Productivity and Efficiency: Get More of the Important Stuff Done
2:45pm – 4:00pm

Whether your food blog is your passionate avocation or your growing business, it’s probably a big job. And you have a busy life—so finding workflow efficiencies and consistently planning ahead are both essential. It can be a challenge to create great content and maintain your authentic voice while staying efficient. In this session, the panelists will share specific tips and tools to facilitate both short- and long-term planning, as well as how to integrate your cooking, recipe development, and photography into an effective master plan.

While I LOVE to write more than I love most things in life, sometimes blogging can feel like a huge chore at the end of the day/week. Anything to improve my efficiency and keep me motivated to turn out new, quality, compelling content!

The Art & Science of Food Blogging | Grad School for Bloggers: Next-Level Goals
2:45pm – 4:00pm

In this panel, our speakers dive into the ins and outs of turning your food blog into a full-fledged business, including product development, cookbooks, TV appearances and series, and spokesperson work. You’ll hear from entrepreneurs who all started with successful online blogs and have since expanded into a variety of profitable businesses.

I just want to be on my most favorite thing in the world… TV.

Closing Keynote: What It Takes to Be a Celebrity-Chef
5:00pm – 6:00pm

From social media platforms to cookbooks, from TV cooking competitions to the growing number of personality-driven cooking shows, there has never been a better time to turn a personal passion and special talent for food into a new type of career.

Carla Hall (restaurateur, cookbook author, and “The Chew” co-host) leads a conversation withFreddie Prinze Jr. (actor and author of the new cookbook “Back to the Kitchen”) and Lisa Lillien from Hungry Girl to discuss how to handle establishing credibility, growing a fan base, and staying focused on what they love best—the food—as they navigate the new continuum between chef and celebrity chef.

Again: I just want to be on my favorite thing in the world… TV.
Also I have been following Lisa from Hungry Girl since she was just sending out a daily newsletter with healthy food tips & tricks and I’m so looking forward to hearing her talk about her success – hoping to interview her, too!

 

Of course, there are more activities I’m looking forward to, as well: tasty breakfasts and lunches, mingling with my Austin blogger friends and meeting cool new writers, annnd let’s not forget the closing party at Maggie Mae’s as well. All in all an awesome two days and so worth sacrificing ACL Weekend 2 (been there, done that, I’ll be back again) and the big UT vs OU game (I’ll make Rob text me score updates if something exciting happens). See y’all there!

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