If there's one theme that stuck with me and (I believe) everyone who attended last year's Blog Brûlée, it has to be this...
Sitting here less than one month away from the start of the Second Annual Blog Brûlée, I'm overjoyed at the growth and sucess of last year's attendees. Call me biased, but I really feel like the "bloggers-supporting-each-other" nature of Blog Brûlée sets it apart from many other blogging "conferences."
On site in Vermont last year, we heard time and again that success is built not just in the tactical fundamentals of executing a blog well, but more importantly, in avoiding comparison and celebrating others' success.
I've watched this group grow and evolve, succeed and struggle. But most importantly, I've watched them support one another in a way that truly validates what we set out to do when we founded this event -- Set Fire To Better Blogs.
Realistically, Blog Brûlée can't "claim" these ladies' successes as our own. I know that.
We just lit the match. They started the fire.
That fire is a fire that's fueled (in my opinion) by two things -- Urgency of Action and good ole fashion Hustle, neither of which relies on comparing ones self to another. Both -- again my opinion -- are two of the most important core values at the heart of sucessful bloggers and entrepreneurs. Neither can be taught or trained. But the ladies of #BlogBrulee 2014 clearly had it, and I've got a good hunch the folks joining us in a few weeks do as well.
As we prepare for this year's event, I wanted to take a quick look back at some of last year's attendees' #Humblebrags that they were kind enough to share with me, as well as some of my personal favorites from their work this year. I hope you'll enjoy this snapshot of what they've been working on and of course, join me in celebrating their success. Be sure to scroll through them all because there's a special intro of this year's Sponsors and a new-to-the-blog recipe posted below just in time to celebrate Blog Brûlée 2015!
Numerous attendees from Blog Brulee 2014 won recipe contests this year through my affliated brand -- The Recipe ReDux.
"Increased traffic on my site and increased following on all social media channels. My improved photography skills are greatly due to what I learned at BB, and as a result my posts are more pinterest-worthy, etc. I would dare to say that it may even have partially accounted for my Safe Eggs contest win. I have definitely seen an increase in queries from media for quotes from me. I would also say that I have a much increased confidence when asking for payment for sponsored posts and getting what I am worth for other potential projects." ~Jessica
Marisa Moore, Min from The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman, Rachael from Avocado a Day Nutrition and Meme from Living Well Kitchen launched a new collaborative cookbook after meeting one another at last year's conference.
"Though I’m very much a work in progress when it comes to food photography, attending Blog Brûlée and getting help from the BB crew on my Blueberry Ginger Sorbet picture is a good example of the value of BB....That picture was the first one of mine that KitchenAid USA shared with their Instagram audience – garnering 1,001 likes. I asked advice of the Blog Brulee group because I wanted a picture that looked as good as the sorbet tasted. Though I picked up a few new followers on twitter and Instagram in the process, the satisfaction of seeing my work transformed to look 10x more appetizing was the real win!" ~Marisa
"A few months before attending Blog Brulee, I left my job as an outpatient dietitian at a medical center to start a private practice. I was struggling to both build a client base and to streamline my blog with my practice so it would speak to my ideal client. Through the seminars and networking with other dietitians who have #beentheredonethat, I've been able to find my voice as a blogger. Now my blog is my biggest source of new clients and helps draw in the right type of clients for my practice." ~Rachael
Ann Dunaway Teh took her online presence in a new direction this year launching My Menu Pal, a family-focused resource for meal planning.
"Being at BB and having this continued group has been of immeasurable inspiration for me as I've gone through one of the most difficult years of my work life yet!" ~Ann
VIRAL POST SUPERSTARS
Some recipes just "click" with audiences and seem to skyrocket to the top of the traffic ladder. These posts by Danielle from Food Confidence, Kristina from Love and Zest and Kylie from ImmaEatThat have done just that here on The Healthy Aperture Blog.
"I had never heard of a media kit before BB and had no idea how to go about pitching to brands. When I heard Anne's presentation I felt so energized to have been given some guidance on how to tackle the blogging world. After BB I made a media kit and started pitching to brands AND IT WORKED....The blog finally is making some money and SO SO much of that is thanks to Blog Brulee." ~Kylie
POSTS AND RECIPES THAT I LOVE
Uncovering national media opportunities, developing photography skills, establishing a writing voice, refining business plans and growing their sites into thought-provoking and appetite-inspiring platforms are just a few of the diverse skills these ladies have mastered this year. The one thing they all have in common -- they're writing blogs I want to read and creating food I want to eat!
"I feel like everything I've accomplished this past year I could credit to the inspiration, support, and knowledge I gained from BB: Spoke at two state affiliate conferences on food photography and styling; Recipes featured in Buzzfeed, SHAPE, SELF, Today Food, and Food Network's Healthy Eats, Fitness, Prevention; Blog traffic significantly increased; Went from zero blog income to having regular sponsored posts and ad revenue ; Wrote an article for Eating Well Magazine." ~Kara
"I would not be where I am today in my career without Blog Brulee. I almost chickened out and didn't even reply yes to going. I was still on wordpress.com at that point and I had zero confidence in the blog world and my blog was more of just a hobby.
One of my biggest takeaways was the food photography. It may have taken me an additional full year after BB, but I feel like I'm starting to get in a groove and seeing positive results. " ~Julie
"Thanks to BB, I met the wonderful Marisa Moore who referred me to write the FNCE Nashville restaurant guide/city guide for Food & Nutr Magazine. Writing about my favorite restaurants and things to do in my city?! #dreamjob" ~Karman
"BB positioned me to a place of more confidence. I learned what kind of opportunities were available and how to better move toward achieving them. I understand now how my brand, which includes my blog and other areas of nutrition, must be cohesive and succinct. In the past year I have rebranded and launched a new site. It has more traffic than my former blog ever reached and I look forward to finally reaching my goals in this area. I also have had brands want to work with me and my blog and had no problem paying what I ask for. I was also invited on a blogger trip with a major grocer that I love and was the only RD. Above all else, BB connected me with an amazing collection of professionals who have shared so much with me. We are stronger and better through our relationships with one another. This is what I love the most about my BB experience." ~Jenna
Now, a big THANK YOU to the Sponsors who are helping make Blog Brulee 2015 a reality for a new crop of attendees:
...and now, the recipe you've been waiting for, right?
This Raspberry Custard Brûlée is actually a goodie from my own recipe archives that I've never shared here on HealthyAperture. It's not exactly a traditional crème brûlée (I'm pretty sure you can tell that by the picture.) But it's special, delicious, deletable, indulgent and oh so wonderful in its own right. As I said in the beginning of this post -- It's not about comparison. It's about finding your own special brand of joy.
Rapsberry Custard Brûlée
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Chambord (raspberry liquor) or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Additional sugar for topping
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (or berry preference of choice)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine first 4 ingredients (through 1/2 cup sugar).
- Divide berries evenly among ramekins or custard dishes. Carefully pour custard over berries.
- Place ramekins in a large baking dish and fill halfway up with boiling water.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until mostly set. (Watch closely as timing will vary on how big deep your dishes are).
- Let cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Sprinkle each ramekin with additional sugar.
- Torch or broil the top until caramelized and light brown.
~Recipe adapted from Coconut Creme Brulee by Chocolate and Carrots.