Behind the scenes at Blogcademy HQ, Kat, Gala and I have been working hard on some new offerings that will launch later this Spring. We’ll have much more to share soon…watch this space!
Photo: Made U Look.
I had no idea what to expect when we landed in Auckland but almost right away, I began to feel at home. For being so far from the U.S., Auckland felt very similar to Portland in a lot of ways and the drizzly weather only added to that feeling.
Our apartment had a direct view of the Sky Tower and we walked the 20 minutes to our venue at Generator both mornings, taking in all the sights downtown. Even though Auckland is a big city, I loved the huge variety of independent coffee shops and boutiques. My favorite coffee shop of the bunch was Shaky Isles.
Having a photo booth always encourages bonding right out of the gates — I have a massive stack of strips from this class thanks to The Amazing Travelling Photo Booth. I especially loved this moment. It’s the clown car of photo booths right there!
The creativity of Wink was really inspiring when it came to our decor. And our Auckland class was especially colorful — I felt a little guilty wearing black both days!
During our trip, Sophie of Crown and Glory surprised me with a custom flower crown in the very Branch shades of orange, gray and black! I had to stop myself from wearing it every day….it’s now resting on a glass head in my office.
Our blogcadettes always make the most of the props. At the end of each day, we inevitably find ourselves sitting on a couch somewhere scrolling through all of their awesome snaps!
Gala’s style maven mother Janet wasted no time slipping on her ears.
One of my favorite testimonials from this class was by Angie of Gurl Interrupted:
“I read numerous comments stating ‘you can find everything you want to know about blogging/monetizing by simply googling it, or you can just ask fellow bloggers, as some have been doing this for ages’. The truth is, I’ve done a tonne of research on all these things (all the not-so-basic blogging questions), and have been blogging for years myself, and I’ve never found the information I needed (not the super-important stuff anyway) from Google or from just asking around … At Blogcademy all your questions are answered, and nothing is taboo – this for me was golden!! I guess what I’m saying here is if you are thinking about attending Blogcademy and are told that you can just get that info anywhere – my personal opinion is that you can’t and the wisdom I gained, made Blogcademy totally worth attending!”
Did I mention that our classroom had astroturf floors?! I LOVED this group so much. So colorful, so inquisitive and so welcoming.
The watercolor art by Clouds of Colour was a huge hit. My favorite of the bunch was this flamingo!
Native Creative made these adorable brooches.
As always, Crown and Glory made sure that there were sparkly ears for everyone!
Love Ideas Ink sent along these great little packs of postcards.
These concrete necklaces by Cocorrina were like nothing I’d ever seen! I loved the modern spin on an everyday material.
Extra notepads always come in handy during our classes and ToodlesNoodles made sure we were covered!
I keep rewatching our video by Craft Workshop! It perfectly captures the atmosphere and energy of the Auckland class so well. I want to go back and give every single one of those ladies a hug! Such a great city, such a great time.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: doing Blogcademy workshops and meeting so many of you has been one of the biggest highlights of my year by far. I’m having total withdrawals and can’t wait until we start up with our next round of classes.
Are you ready to take the plunge? Join us on the road next year!
Our Melbourne class was full of some firsts for me, namely hooping in front of a group of strangers and getting interviewed by ABC News. The whole day felt a bit like an out-of-body experience but I’ve learned that when opportunities present themselves, you just have to roll with them, push any fears out of the way and hope for the best.
We’d found out a few days earlier that ABC wanted to film our Melbourne class for a news story on blogging and it was hard to stay tight-lipped about the whole thing — the best part was watching the ladies’ reactions as they streamed in that morning and spotted the crew and cameras!
I’d never done television before and could barely sleep the night before. Finally, I just convinced myself that the best way to handle an interview was to pretend I was chatting with a friend and that was the only thing that really helped. Everything went off without a hitch and it was all over before I could really process it. We raced home that night to eat thai takeout on the couch (how glamorous!)and watch the segment.
We held our Melbourne classes at Lightdrop Studios — the brick walls and hardwood floors made everything feel super intimate and cozy.
The ladies who attend our workshops always have the BEST style, Arienne included!
During class activities, there’s always tons of frantic note taking and it’s fun to see the personal flourishes that make their way out.
Our breaks are mostly filled with one-on-one blog reviews for the attendees who want extra feedback — Kat was an especially busy bee in this class!
As if doing a segment for ABC News wasn’t exciting enough, we had professional hooper Deanne Love give us a lesson in what it takes to become a hoop star! I was slightly intimidated by the whole activity because I’d never hula hooped in my life. I was a total tomboy growing up and too busy building forts and riding bikes to learn the finer techniques of hooping!
Before I knew it, Kat, Gala and I were called into the center of the circle to put on a show! I couldn’t keep that hoop up to save my life but as you can tell from my reaction, I had a blast anyway!
The rest of the girls were waaaay better than us, hooping like old pros!
I loved this activity because it forced all of us to get out of our shells and just roll with the good times. The ladies got to keep their hoops and I am imagining them practicing their moves in living rooms across Australia!
Before class, we went a little crazy picking out prizes at Typo. It’s true, Melbourne has some of the best shopping around. I so wanted that mint flip clock!
I took a mini break in the way cool lobby of our venue. It’s definitely inspired me to refinish all the hardwoods in my house but that’s a conversation for another day!
I just landed back on U.S. soil after three and a half weeks down under and boy, do I have a lot to share with you!
My main reason for traveling to Australia and New Zealand was to teach four Blogcademy classes alongside Kat and Gala. Our first of the bunch took place in Brisbane. We’d spent a full week leading up to the class exploring Queensland as guests of the tourism and events board and I’ll be honest — after cuddling koalas, ziplining through the rain forest and taking a helicopter ride over the great barrier reef, I was struggling to switch back into work mode. But after arriving at Bleeding Heart, an art gallery by day, I settled in and the excitement of kicking off our first Australian class ever began to build.
I’d designed these totes the month before while sitting on a friend’s couch in LA. A color-blocked kangaroo just seemed like the right fit at the time. Little did I know that I’d come face-to-face with a pack of them on my first full day in Australia!
Inside their goodie bags, each attendee received our 50 page workbook covering key learnings along with bonus articles.
As we made our way through the crowd during our afternoon activities, I spotted this awesome illustration of Gala by artist Jane Davenport!
During an interview with a magazine a few nights ago, I was asked what stood out the most about teaching classes in Australia. After spending the year traveling the world, I noticed something noticeably different about this crowd — there was a sense of pure excitement when it came to blogging.
Sure, the money component came up at some points but I felt that the audiences put more value on self-expression than earning an income. Blogging in Australia hasn’t hit its peak yet like it has in the U.S. and seeing these women getting fired up about the potential their blogs held really inspired me to remember why I started blogging in the first place.
I especially loved our prize selection this time around because we bought everything from the Bleeding Heart shop featuring local artisans.
Our Australian sponsors killed it with an awesome mix of well-designed goodies. Bite Me delivered a tasty batch of perfectly branded cupcakes!
The ladies loved these adorable origami earrings by Imogen Wilson.
Crown and Glory made sure we were covered in the sparkly ears department.
Mi Goals provided our class with notebooks to scribble down all their notes. Their practical, minimal designs immediately won me over.
I loved the mix of necklaces Art School Dropout sent along.
Our class loved the mix of scents by Sacred Self.
Twinkie Chan’s coffee cozies are always a hit — a lucky contest winner grabbed one of her hand-knitted creations.
A class photo taken while decked out in fuzzy koala ears suited our Brisbabes quite well. What a stylish bunch!
Ha, look at those faces! What a weekend. It’s so funny to think back now…Australia was a place I never thought I’d have the opportunity to visit. To say my time down under was life changing is a huge understatement. I’m already jonesin’ for our trip next year covering Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
If you’d like to join us for a Blogcademy workshop in 2014, you can sign up right here. I hope to see you on the road!
All photos by Janneke Storm.
In August 2012, we launched The Blogcademy with a single date in New York, not knowing what to expect. Six days later, the class sold out and we’ve been traveling the world ever since, teaching women the strategy behind blogging. Our last few classes of the year are quickly approaching so we’ve been dreaming big for 2014 and listening to your city suggestions.
We’ve added quite a few new cities that we’ve never been to before and can’t wait to hit the road once again and meet all of you!
June 7th and 8th
New York City
September 27th and 28th
October 4th and 5th
December 6th and 7th
We hope to see you on the road! If you have any questions, our FAQ is here or you can reach us at headmistresses @ theblogcademy.com.
P.S. We’re always on the lookout for independent businesses to sponsor our goodie bags as well as photographers and videographers for each class. Think you’re a good fit? Check out our sponsorship info here and get in touch!
After an epic week-long adventure through two Greek islands, it was time to get back to work. We landed on London soil on a Wednesday night in early September and set our alarms for 6 a.m. sharp Thursday morning. After many flights and boat rides, it was a rude awakening but absolutely necessary to have enough time to set up our venue for the 10 am start.
Once we got into the swing of things and made a Starbucks pit-stop on our way to the tube, we began to snap out of our Grecian slumber.
We’d originally booked one workshop, which gave us a few days off between Greece and London. But, when that class quickly sold out, we launched another and the only time we could sneak it in was before the first!
After teaching two back-to-back classes in January at the gorgeous while-walled wonderland that is Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch, we knew we wanted to head back — if it’s good enough for Tim Walker, it’s good enough for us!
London blows me away every time. We’ve now done four classes in the city and the London girls take their blogging very seriously. Always a stylish, eccentric bunch, they ask the most questions, take the most photos and travel hours for our meet-ups. It’s always intense and inspiring for me to watch.
Also intense and inspiring to watch? AND a little bit scary?! During one of our breaks, Kat and Gala climbed up a rickety old ladder to Curtain Road’s rooftop. I stood underneath, afraid that the ladder would give out and that I’d have to finish the class on my own. Haha!
Last weekend, while we were teaching in Austin, I felt a shift taking place. There was something different about this class but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it until Kat, Gala and I talked about it afterwards. What we realized is that eight classes in, everything finally clicked and ran without a hitch, from beginning to end. It’s not like there were ever massive fumbles in the previous workshops but when you’re teaching a two day curriculum and fine tuning the presentation after each class, it takes time to hit your stride.
With live events, the only way to iron out any rough spots is to just dive in, learn from feedback and take a whole lot of notes. There is no perfection when it comes to live events but at the same time, having a curriculum that feels dialed is really important to us.
What I loved about this class is that many of the women had already bonded before we’d even got there through dinner dates and chats in the forums. And to me, that’s one of the most important parts of the workshops. It reminded me of the importance of having those like-minded folks you can depend on: a blogging posse of sorts.
In class, we often talk about how blogging isn't a walk in the park. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Being able to give women a space to express themselves without being judged and to make new connections with others who share their passion for blogging is what it's all about.
This group was so enthusiastic! Over half of the class ran their own businesses full time and they had such great insights as to how blogging has helped them to get the word out about what they do.
We held our workshop at Vuka, a co-working space. It was waaaaay awesome (and a whole lot larger than I think any of us realized!)
This time around, we added some turquoise touches with lanterns and tassels by Studio Mucci. I wish I’d had room in my suitcase to take the tassels home — they did such an amazing job.
Fine Arts Bakery surprised us with stacks of homemade cookies — and they tasted as good as they looked!
We spent most of our breaks flipping through WordPress For Beginners.
Gala always brings the fuschia to class. And, we spent both days guzzling green juice from Soup Box And Juice Peddler to make up for our tex-mex sins.
On day two, I wore my punctuation tights.
Just look at our intern, Ed in the front, stealing the show!
An extra special thanks goes out to our wonderful Blogcademy Austin sponsors:
• Studio Mucci blew us away with their handmade tassels, balls and goodies.
• We loved the adorable handbag mirrors from The Aviary.
• Strawberry Hedgehog makes some of the cutest, best smelling soaps around.
• Big Jon makes some of the coolest greeting cards I’ve ever seen.
• Crown and Glory turned out sparkly ears galore — a workshop necessity!
• The super rad rainbow glitter hair clips were courtesy of GGs Pin Up Couture.
• Reeta Krishna gave each of our students an awesome WordPress For Beginners book that covers the technical side of blogging!
• Cupcakes, cookies and baked treats from Sugarmama’s Bakeshop kept us on a sugar high all afternoon.
• Zevia quenched our thirst through the humid weekend with their sodas.
Eight classes in, we now realize that The Blogcademy isn’t just about blogging — it’s about empowering women to follow their own paths and to confidently build their online presence. On Sunday night, as we dumped the last of the trash cans and pulled down our backdrop and filed out into the humid night, we felt content. The class was exactly how we’d always imagined it would be. And now, as we’re gearing up for London, I can’t help but think about how lucky we are to have the opportunity to travel the world, sharing the ins and outs of blogging with women and reminding them that their voice is distinctly theirs and they have complete control over the blog, business and lifestyle that they choose to craft for themselves.
Love you times a million, Austin. I’m sad that this was our last U.S. date of the year but we still a few seats left in our weekday London class (the weekend is sold out), 2 left for Brisbane, a handful in our weekday Melbourne class (the weekend is sold out) and a few in our Auckland class. Register for all of the dates right here. And don’t forget, we offer one scholarship spot per class (the deadline is one month before the workshop date).