How I Feel About Meeting Bloggers In Person

May 24, 2012

I wonder how much of what I’m about to say will ring a bell with you… Well, we shall see won’t we? So. I love connecting both online and in person. I enjoy both almost equally, though when I’m feeling a bit anti-social the online thing really works for me – its bunny slippers, yoga pants and my laptop all the way and I can pretty much roll with that for days. But there is this thing about being together in person, isn’t there?

How I Feel About Meeting Bloggers In Person

When I started blogging over 7 years ago as a profession (gulp! still hard to type that word), in-person connecting was a lot more difficult and creepy even – I remember a blogger calling my home in 2006 and I was totally freaked out by it – and I gave her my phone number and it was still freaky to me that she actually used it! I think the general assumption back then was that loners, drifters and rapists were creeping around online and everyone was doing some major posing including us bloggers – we were lumped into that poser crowd too. Most weren’t too keen on connecting outside of the comments section of a blog. Can I see a show of hands if you remember this time online at all?

Do you remember when (insert air quotes) “Social Networking” wasn’t even a phrase yet? Blog conferences weren’t on the map, Facebook was unheard of and Twitter wasn’t around yet. In fact, most people didn’t even know or care what a blog was. I remember pitching story ideas to magazine editors in America – I wanted to write about how I felt blogging was an up-and-coming trend and every single editor declared my story idea as totally brainless. One top editor of a very well known magazine hung up on me after saying, “Bloggers will never amount to anything“. Today SHE has a blog.

Things got real. Thank god. We little guys had a voice and spoke up. Good on us. And while there are still some people out there who think like this guy, that all bloggers are pretty much self-conscious, I’m hear to say NOT TRUE. I met lots of you on my book tour and when I’m out teaching and wow, I love you guys MORE after meeting you so I tend to feel really good about bloggers overall and think we have a really good thing going on.

Today blogs are going strong and people use them as a resource more than ever. But wayyyy beyond that, we use blogs to make genuine connections and build some of those connections into friendships because it’s what friendship is really all about – you find someone you like and start to talk and boom! things start to grow.

In a way, blogging has become an online dating service without the cheesy walks-on-the-beach bios. With a blog, you can build friendships. These friendships can be quite one-sided but then again, not always. You find a blog you like and start reading it. Maybe you get the courage to comment. Maybe the blogger comments back. Your arm hairs stand on end if you’re new to blogging because it’s this blind leap of friendship that you’ve taken and in your head, it was scary to reach out to a total stranger like that. Maybe she likes you too? Maybe she also reads your blog? It’s like the beginning stages of dating, right? Girl finds blog. Girl reads blog. Girl wants more.

How I Feel About Meeting Bloggers In Personart shown above made by dottie angel

I believe there is a blog for everyone, often multiple blogs. There are so many bloggers that you can pick from when you need a virtual friend. Have you always wanted a perky and creative pal who seems to be eternally on uppers? The blog world has ’em. Have you always wanted a friend who simply gets your obsession with colored paperclips? Bloggers abound with similar leanings, including washi-tape addicts, balloon addicts and bunting addicts. Do you wish more of the moms in your local community would talk candidly about their messed up, whacked out family life or insane children? TONS of those women are online writing blogs and they are witty, intelligent and often over-sharing at alarming rates. When you find a blog with that sparkle – that energy that you’re looking for, it can be totally rockin’. Am I right or am I right? But it’s a whole ‘nother level when these people you click with online become actual friends exchanging emails and tweets. You start talking about your cramps, baby making issues, boy problems and the racy novels you’ve been reading.

But then…

Then there is this moment during the whole blogger friendship thing where you just want to meet your favorite blogger. In the blogging world, it’s common to hear the phrase, “I have a total girl crush on x”, which is a non-sexual (or? ha ha!) term that pretty much means you think such-and-such blogger is someone you either aspire to be, secretly want to stalk, wish you could meet, wish you could be besties with, but generally it doesn’t mean you want to shower together. A girl crush is a very innocent way of saying that someone makes your life a bit more lovely, that this person inspires you and that you would do almost anything to meet them. It also means that if they lived down the street from you, you’d do some serious drive bys.

How I Feel About Meeting Bloggers In Person

Thanks to workshops, meet ups, classes, blog conferences and events we CAN connect. I’ve taught thousands of mostly women online for over three years in my e-course and these ladies stay in touch, some of them organizing frequent meet-ups in their cities. It inspires ME so much when I hear that my students are meeting, connecting, building relationships that go beyond the occasional blog comment. Opportunities to meet fellow bloggers are everywhere now and we can only expect more to come because people want to connect with their girl crushes. I don’t think for one minute that women are pouring into these events solely based on learning. Most of us can refer to a slew of free stuff on the web or buy a book to learn how to set up a blog. We want personal experiences on topics we’re curious to learn more about by those lovely blogger friends of ours that we admire. We also want to see if our girl crush was really worth burning our lunch breaks for each day over the past few years. AND when she is, your heart pounds and you shake her hand IN PERSON and OH.MY.GAWD.

Just add water. Insta-friends! Weeee! We love this stuff. Everyone wants to belong to something greater and blogging connects us.We all need a good girl crush (or 10) don’t we? These women (and men) inspire us and sharing, touching a life, connecting, offering love and kindness, lending advice, isn’t this what most of us are blogging for in the first place?

Think about it if you are a blogger who has been writing online long before the fame (ha ha HA), long before the money (a-hem) from your ads or the possibly of people buying anything from your shop or finding out about other ways you make money, long before all of the sticky stuff – when you strip it all away don’t you really just blog for the sake of connecting and sharing? I do. Beyond the gain I’ve have from a career standpoint, the impact of being out here, with all of you, that this has had on my life is pretty massive and I am eternally grateful that we have this community. Here’s to the girl crush! Hurray!

Okay so all of these words above were directly inspired by a recent post that I read on Melanie Biehle’s blog, Inward Facing Girl, about an event in Seattle held recently called Girl Crush started by The Jealous Curator . Girl Crush events are unfolding in different parts of the US now thanks to The Jealous Curator and if you want to go to one, you totally can – just see her blog for more info.

What do you think of meeting bloggers in person? Who have you met? Did you feel more connected after meeting them when you read their blogs? Did anyone disappoint you (please don’t say who) and if so, why was that? Would you attend an event to meet other bloggers or do you not really have an interest in meeting up?

(images: melanie biehle)


  • Reply juliette crane May 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    loved meeting with fellow BYW students after class :) so sweet to actually “meet” and then keep in touch and support one another.

    thank you :)

  • Reply Jacquelyn | lark&linen May 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I’ve been blogging for a little over 2 years now and as my traffic slowly increases as do the relationships I’ve begun with some really, truly wonderful people. The thought of meeting any of my blog friends in real life is still slightly scary to me (ahh! it’s like a first date!) but I know for certainty that some of the women I’ve connected with will be lifelong friends. It’s funny how this whole blogging community works out. I’m so happy to be a small part of it!

  • Reply Jill V / TerraSavvy May 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, yes and YES!!!! All of it!

    I know Melanie, first online this past January via the Twitter feed for the Alt. Summit and then at thh actual conference and have made real friends with her and a few others (some girls crushes) at Mom 2.0 and Camp Mighty. The personal connection is definitely a huge part of what I am looking for.

    I like to say I am building a community of like minded people around me to share, brainstorm, build, laugh and relax with! All while doing what I love.

    I am planning on going to Girl Crush in PA in October..can’t wait!

  • Reply Angie May 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Love what you’re blogging! Just about to join this amazing world of blogging as ‘Maid InDevon’ so was relieved and encouraged to read your thinking! It seems I’m on the same wavelength so have taken a tiny amount of courage and am secretly excited about starting – having said that my secret excitement is clearly now out there for all to see!! Looking forward to more blogs :)

  • Reply Amy May 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I have only met one fellow blogger and it was a fantastic experience. I was nervous but we talked for HOURS. literally shut the coffee shop down! Now I look forward to future opportunities to meet my online friends! lol

  • Reply Amy May 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I have to say that I really appreciate this post. I’ve been blogging myself for just over a year now and have recently begun to try to expand my audience beyond just my friends and family and to connect with people who do what I do. I love the idea of being able to connect with fellow bloggers who share the same interests as me!

  • Reply Sukaina May 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Super post Holly. I am a silent reader who has probably never commented before but love Decor8 for all the inspiration it has brought my home.

    Anyhow, I felt inclined to comment today because I have a whole new social life ih the real world as well as the online world thanks to blogging. Living in Dubai, the blogging scene is fairly new and there are only about 100 or so food blogs. We have built a real community and regularly meet for foodie chin wags over good food, restaurant tours, tours of baklava factories etc. The food bloggers understand me like my real friends wouldn’t- ie. why I’m inclined to take photos of food first and let it get cold before eating it!!

    Then there’s those blogging friends from social networking whom I have never met but probably talk to more on Twitter then say, my friend who lives a few blocks away. We have so much in common and dream of meeting for a culinary tour in Europe somewhere! A girl can dream right.

    Ok I shall stop waffling but also wanted to add that my old MS Works processor still doesn’t recognise the word ‘blog’ or ‘Facebook’ and considers it a typo!

  • Reply Ashley {GirlyObsessions} May 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Holly, the BYW Road Trip was the first experience I had with meeting other bloggers in person, but those connections, and that experience, was so fulfilling! I love connecting with people but I always assume people are too busy for me. But I took your advice and have reached out to a few fave bloggers and have had a warm reception. And I’ve kept in touch with several of the ladies at BYW!! Thanks for this post, it’s really inspirational…as always!

  • Reply Melanie May 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Umm. Okay. I’m kind of freaking out right now. You read my blog post?!?!? Decor8 is one of the first design blogs that I read and loved! I totally have a girl crush on you, Holly! Thank you so much for including me in your post! xoxo

  • Reply Jo Seaquist May 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I love that you’re unabashedly blogger-and-people friendly. The trend always seems to favor skepticism–like the Overpropped article you linked to–and I think it’s an unintentional irony that the skeptics seem to be the most self-conscious of all. What in the world is wrong with people chasing after “awesome”, and sharing it with each other?

  • Reply Ariana {And Here We Are...} May 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Can I just say… Blogging has been awesome! I have family all over the world, and I have moved a ton (3 countries in one year) recently, and blogging has been a life-saver for me. I didn’t know that community could really, really happen online. But it has, and I’m SO thankful! I blog about our expat experience in England mostly, and meeting another expat blogger in England was such a great event. And I have experienced so much support and inspiration through my blog, it’s hard to imagine living my current life without it!
    And I thank YOU, Holly, for having such a great blog, where you are honest and open, and promote real conversations. It’s wonderful.

  • Reply Sandra May 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    One of the biggest motivators for me starting my blog was building connections and making some community. I had just moved to a smaller city and didn’t really know any creative types locally. Or many who shared the same interests.

    In the short four months of blogging I have met online (in person) my “tribe”. It started with attending Alt Summit in January. And I was at Girl Crush Seattle too. (go if you are near one! Check the Jealous Curator’s website).

    It all depends on why you are blogging – goodness knows there isn’t fame or money in it for the 99% of us! But finding likeminded people with whom you can banter about your interests – priceless. I remember sitting around Alt Summit with 500 attendees thinking, “hey, we all like nice things”. We may define “nice” differently depending upon our personal style but we all hold that in common.

    For me it’s worth it. All the hours spent writing and photographing and emailing and commenting and reading. The community is sooo worth it.

  • Reply Iris May 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I am attending the second edition of Meet the Blogger Amsterdam in June and I cannot wait to go. Last years edition was so vibrant, inspirational and wonderful and I loved meeting the persons behind blogs I read in person and also meeting persons behind blogs I did not know yet. Sharing our passion, stimulating and complementing each other via spoken words. I have to say I found it a bit scary to expose myself as being the person behind my blog at first, but opening up felt so good. And I loved seeing you in real life there too, and I enjoyed connecting your words and voice I had heard in BYW-class with the real Holly. And my, you surely did not disappoint me!
    x Iris

  • Reply Brittni May 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I really love meeting up with people in person. I have made my closet connections with other bloggers from live events (conferences and workshops) and cannot say enough what a great experience it is, even for an introvert like myself.

    P.S. Congrats Melanie. The photos are beautiful and it looks like Girl Crush was a great time.


  • Reply Emily @ Peck Life May 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I’m going to comment in bullets. :)

    – First, I live in Seattle and was so antsy to go to this girl crush event but didn’t think I was creative enough…big mistake so next time for sure! Meeting Tif would have been a super girl crush moment!

    – One of the big reasons I took BYW is because I have a girl crush on YOU! I’ve been reading Decor8 since it came out….it was one of my first blog reads. I have sooo many other girl crushes, which is one of the huge reasons I’m going to BlogHer this year (to hopefully meet them in person!) Will you be there??

    – We have a local group of blog friends (The Paper Mama, Harpers Happenings, Hi Baby…) and we have regular girls night outs and playdates with our kiddos. I am getting closer to all of them and it’s so great to meet new people you can connect with! In fact, next week, we are all driving down to Portland for a huge PNW blogger meetup. I think networking and meeting people in “real life” is almost as important as actually writing a post and hitting publish. It’s those real life connections that keep people close.

    Blogging is honestly what you want to make of it and for me….it’s been nothing but greatness (both for me creatively) but also for making new connections. <3

  • Reply danielle (aka the jealous curator) May 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for writing about this, AND for featuring my workshops! I wrote a post last summer about feeling “jealous & alone” as an artist (, and the comments were so heart-felt and totally inspiring. I knew I wanted this conversation to move past the comments field and into real life… and just like that GIRL CRUSH was born! I am still in awe that these workshops are happening, and am beyond inspired by the women I’m meeting! We laugh, we cry, and come together to find our way in each of our creative journeys… and then we eat fancy cupcakes and make some art!
    Thanks again for taking the time to write such a thoughtful post about these ‘online’ communities, that are slowly but surely, finding their way ‘offline’
    d. xo

  • Reply jennifer davis May 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I am hosting co-hosting the Girl Crush event in Minneapolis at Soo Visual Arts Center in less than a month and I am over the moon about it (a little nervous too!) Can’t wait to show the Jealous Curator around our fair city, introduce her to our art scene and have some fun. We met online in March of 2009. (AND- I had my dream-come-true meet up with Holly in Minneapolis late last year!) Love meeting my bloggy friends. Someday I’ll meet Kate from BuySomeDamnArt too. ;0)

  • Reply Marisa May 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I got grounded back in high school for trying to meet up with someone over the internet. Now i’m 27 and still can’t bring myself to meet anyone via interwebs although I can see the benefit. I follow tons of blogs and love the wealth of information, but rarely feel like I NEED to meet that person on the other side, although I’m almost sure we would get along.

  • Reply Luisa May 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I met my husband online 6 years ago online! We actually still have two versions of how we met depending on how we think people are going to react, crazy to think this social network has grown and those stereotypes are slowly loosing their argument.
    We are very happy together and feel blessed to have met my other half online. We are expecting our first baby (due in August) and I cant still believe how luck I am to have found him over the net!

  • Reply Luisa May 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Sorry for the spasm.. just realized I wrote twice online..

  • Reply Vineeta May 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Holly, dont know if you remember me, I took your BWY class in 2010. You and your blog changed my life. I changed careers and am now a design entrepreneur. To answer your question, I met Christine Mason Miller through your blog & we went on to have meetings on Skype & I was part of her book called Desire to Inspire & travelled all the way to LA for the book launch. The point is it was godawesome meeting her!!! and a whole load of other super interesting artists whom she had featured in the book. On the last day of my stay in the U.S. I called up Georgianna Lane who was my classmate on your BYW class & we had the warmest conversation. And we will most definitely meet up when I next come there.
    Thereafter I met a whole bunch of fellow Indian design bloggers and I cannot tell you what an enriching experience it has been, infact I ended up a LOT closer to most of them after meeting in person. So many people who have only read my blog come to my exhibitions and meeting always adds such a dimention to the person.
    All this is not to say I didn’t have butterflies about initially meeting ‘online friends’ I did. Its taken time & many fantastic experiences to come to this point where I am really open to meeting up most people. In a couple of cases the connect was not as spontaneous, but hey, we met it was never bad or anything.
    This post is so timely because I do always feel that I try and be as less self conscious as possible & you always raise the bar for me & show the way. I owe you so much Holly.
    I can’t sign off without saying a huge heartfelt thank you for doing what you do & changing my life just by being who you are & sharing yourself with us the way you do. Sending a Big HUG!! and I hope to meet you one day :) Its on my bucket list :) :)

  • Reply Erica May 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I’m just a newbie blogger myself. In the past I’ve always just been an anonymous reader of blogs, but never really reached out and got involved until now. It’s a whole new ballgame, making friends before you ever really meet them. It feels kinda awkward and new right now, but I’m still really enjoying it.

    I’ve developed quite a few blog crushes over the years and it is nice to be able to reach out and say ‘hi’ now. The blog world is definately much more engaging once you get involved rather than just sitting back behind the anonymity the internet can provide.

    I’m looking forward to seeing where this little ride will take me and what friendships will develop along the way….Who knows, maybe blogs are the things that lasting friendships are made of….

  • Reply kate - art hound May 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    just have to drop by and say YOU ROCK! so fantastic to see all these conversations arise all from your honesty, kindness and creativity!

    p.s. jennifer – thanks for the shout-out!

  • Reply shanners May 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    ive been blogging for a short while now and it makes me so happy to know that my small audience of readers visit my blog as a source for inspiration, as a place to see nice photos of homes, fun projects, arts crafts, and other things i like and they probably do too, as a way to connect with me on a personal level (even though i’m embarrassed to say haven’t been posting at all lately), and as a potential contact for projects etc. it’s truly wonderful to have that shared interest across the internet, and to link that to in-person meetups. its a never-ending linking maze of wonderful creative and talented people out there – i just love it!

    i recently joined instagram and it’s so exciting each time i find someone with a similar style, get a new follower, or that someone who i follow and adore likes one of my photos. it seems so silly to say that, but i am happy to know that i’m not the only one who feels that way! and i recently had someone who looked at my instagram, followed it to my website, and got in touch with me to meet for lunch next week to discuss potential collaboration on an upcoming project…how exciting is that?!

    instagram: cargo_creative

  • Reply dustjacket May 25, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Really loved your honesty and insight in this post…you are inspirational. xxx

  • Reply Glenda Childers May 25, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Such a fun history of blogging.

    I so enjoy the blogging friends that I made during BYW.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente May 25, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Absolutely! I so value the amazing ladies ( and some gents) I have met through blogland. I guess because I am near NYC, I have met quite a few of the artists and bloggers that I have loved over the years. Some of them have become very close friends and I value that so much! I wholeheartedly support the girl crush! After all, you were one of my first blog crushes and meeting you and spending time with you has been heavenly. :) You are right, what it all goes back to is the connections & the sharing. The support & creative outlet. I love & value that so much. Thanks for always inspiring me, my friend. And that Melanie? She is a good egg, that one. I loved meeting her at Alt. She is as warm & lovely as you would expect. I adore her sweet comment above. Such a doll! Wheee!

  • Reply fenny setiawan May 25, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I ‘ve met few blogger friends that I knew from BYW class 2010. They live in different countries in Asia. Firstly I felt nervous what I’ve suppose to talk, how if we don’t click, etc. But from my experience after I met them, they are really nice people and we eventually become a good friends, I feel the connection is better whenever I visit their blog and read the update about their daily life, and feel very supportive toward their achievement as well.
    Meeting someone that I know online in person is something that I never imagine before, but after we built rapport and friendship online through social media for example, and I know that they are genuine, so meeting in person is something that I look forward too nowadays :).

    I am going to Amsterdam next month and It will take me 14 hours to fly to the country and one of the agenda will meet some of my blogger friend that I know from BYW too… how excited, right?

  • Reply kristin May 25, 2012 at 7:34 am

    i’ve met two bloggers in person (one that i HAD to meet once i found out she lived in my town) and both were so great! if you’re blogging in a niche like i do (sewing), you immediately have so much to talk about it’s really fun. i have a goal to attend some kind of conference to meet more bloggy pals in person in 2013. so yeah, this post really struck a chord with me! :)

  • Reply kalanicut May 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

    A smiled and nodded so many times during this post Holly. Some of my dearest confidants and creative inspirations right now are from the BYW Fall 2010 class I took. This group feels to me like my own little prayer chain, a creative inspiration laboratory and a place to get a taste of things going on around the country & world. I will confess I had the BYW teachers on my bloggers to meet list & did meet you at Anthro book signing last year. I went to BlogHer Writers last fall and met a whole new group of bloggers I love connecting with now. Haven’t had any bad experiences, but meeting other bloggers has really enriched my life.

  • Reply Coco May 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Its already twelve years ago when I first had real meetings over the internet. Yes, I was extremely young and I was chatting with people on ICQ (there weren’t many back in those days lol) and I met a boy who was older than me and still I decided to meet him. He became my boyfriend for the next 1,5 year. My mom wasn’t thrilled about it (of course) but I never saw any harm in meeting people over the internet. I just made sure they weren’t tooooo eager to meet me: that was my way to know that they were fine. And it was. I never met creepy (old) men. Fortunately.

    I actually met all my friends through the online world and it made my life just a way lot bigger! I’ve always followed bloggers but never blogged myself. But I always saw it as a really nice community. The blogger world in the netherlands stayed small for years and it was a very inspiring bunch of people. Now they’ll are on twitter and not blogging that much anymore. I do Tweet a lot and although I haven’t met any other tweets in real life I do like the interaction between all those tweets :) internet is a strange but lovely phenomena! I would be totally lost and lonely without it, for sure.

  • Reply Susan Mathison May 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Hi! I am a blogging “newbie”, having just published my blog in March (with almost 5000 page views already!). I’ve discovered a whole new side of myself!! I absolutely love writing, and I take great pleasure when friends and family (and sometimes strangers) drop me a note to compliment me on a post. I am excited to take this to the next level, but one thing I have noticed, at least in the Boston area, the design blogging world seems to be populated with pretty, stylish 20-somethings. I am definitely not that! Is there a way to connect with older bloggers who I may have something in common with?

  • Reply Tracy A. May 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I am probably one of your older readers – but I have some younger (hipper) friends who introduced me to blogging awhile back. I finally got the courage to begin my own back in September, when I retired. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process ever since and don’t feel quite so much like the “new girl at school” anymore. It is such a connective and empowering adventure!

  • Reply Jane May 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Oh Holly. I love this post! It completely sums up most what I adore about blogging. I have had the thrill of meeting so may of my favourite bloggers in person and finding the reality just as fabulous as I had hoped. I also met Iris, one of my sweetest friends, through BYW last year – thankyou for making that happen. She is such a treasure and I have you to thank for bringing us together. J x

  • Reply Steph Bond-Hutkin May 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    YES!!!!!! We’ve had 12 abcd meetups (art, craft and design bloggers) meet-ups in Brisbane and Sydney (Australia) since 2009 and they have all had 20-30 girls (and two guys!). We have a Facebook page with 355 members and we meet 3-4 times a year.

    It’s our aim to get ourselves out from behind our computers and connect in real life. Most os us have made special connections, and importantly, friends. Many of our bloggers are BYW alumni, and some have even gone on to collaborate on special projects together.

    Our latest soiree here:

    HOW GOOD does the Girl Crush meetup look! So inspiring for us!

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      @Steph Bond: how did these meetups begin, where did you first find these bloggers and how did it come to be?

  • Reply Inge May 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    OMG, this is a fantastic post and after reading an interview in a Dutch interior magazine a few weeks ago, I can honestly say I also have a girl crush on you! :-) So I do have to comment on this one!!

    There are in fact a few other bloggers that I would love to meet in real life, but they live too far away from me. That’s the problem when you live in Belgium and the major part of my favourite bloggers are living abroad. ;-)

    I would love to meet them in real life though, but I’m always on holiday when these blogging events happen and bloggers get to see & talk to each other for the first time… Anyway, I do have to say that the world wide web is the best thing that ever happened to me, because it not only provided me a blog where I can write down about what interests me, but I also met my husband online! Thank you internet! :-)

    To think about how I would feel when meeting some of my favourite bloggers (like you and others) it seems scary but in a way very exciting. And I do hope there will come a time I’ll meet lots of new friends, because I’m in need of some good friends! Who knows what time will bring! For now I’m just enjoying myself exploring & learning the possibilities. I’m still thinking about taking your BYW class though, but I’ll be on holiday for almost 3 weeks, so I guess I’ll just have to pass this class and wait for a new one later this year?

    Thanks again for this lovely and inspiring post, you’re such a sweet & kind blogger. There are others that I tried to contact that weren’t too keen to give any of their “secrets” or “tips” away on how to become a better blogger. Glad there are others, like you! :-) You’re such a doll!

    Love, Inge x

  • Reply Kat May 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    It’s a bit weird, isn’t it? I blog regularly and I am always amazed when the people I meet quote things I’ve written or inquire about the status of my renovation project or how my dog’s hip was doing … I haven’t been on the other end of it [meeting bloggers that I follow] but my guess is I would probably a bit speechless.

  • Reply Fatou May 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I always love your honest insights Holly! Your blog was the first one I started reading consistently and you really opened my eyes to blogging and was a big part of me starting my own blog. It took so much courage as I had thought about it for 2 years before finally taking the plunge. It has been about 8 months (gasp) since I started my blog, and I absolutely love it. I haven’t really made any blogger friends, but I look forward to that happening. There are a few blogs/bloggers out there that totally inspire me, and I’m in awe of, you are definitely on top of that list :-). I always say “so Holly was saying…” and my husband will go Holly who and I always look at him like his crazy for not knowing who I’m talking about. :-).

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy May 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I love your post! I am fairly new to blogging (Dec) -and I feel like I’m still trying to figure it all out – not only the technicalities, but also what really makes me excited to post -does that make sense? Thanks for always being an inspiration and for your honesty. I hope I can do the same someday! Happy weekend!

  • Reply Ría May 26, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Great idea and great pictures!

  • Reply tasselflower (Mervi) May 26, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Great words! I laughed out loud on the “loners, drifters and rapists” part. Some still think that’s how it is.

    I first started blogging sometime in 2003 or so. Before that I’d had some sorts of online diaries, but they weren’t being called as blogs back then and I wouldn’t call them blogs even now. Anyways, that blog had to go offline after some server changes and I didn’t get back with it until 2010. It was weird and frightening to come back then, everything had changed since the last time.

    I enjoy the fact that even if I’m here far back in Finland I still can connect with so many people in so many different countries. I see the point in face-to-face of course, but it’s not always possible for everyone.

  • Reply Amberly @ The Good Life May 26, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Love this post, Holly! I started my blog about a year and a half ago, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really put it out there and let other people know (in the blog world and in real life) it existed. Before then, I had been writing posts that I put a lot of time and thought into, but my family members were the only ones reading. I was shy about my blog because I was worried what people would think, I felt silly having a “voice” in my writing, etc. It can be pretty personal! Then something changed in my personal life, and I thought, “If the only reason I’m choosing not to do something is because I’m worried about what people are going to think, I’m going to say screw that and do this something.” So, I started connecting with other bloggers. One of the first things I did was tweet to you about how much I was enjoying your book Decorate, and you actually tweeted back to me. I was so surprised!! You were the very first blogger I connected with and it got the wheels turning.

    Now I’m kicking myself for not connecting with other bloggers earlier because it’s been nothing but goodness so far, but I guess better late than never! I’m finally realizing that connection with others, those friendships, and sharing ideas with your “friends” is what blogging really is about. The fun of writing and coming up with content is just a bonus!

    Thanks so much for this post and have a wonderful weekend!!


  • Reply Desha May 26, 2012 at 4:27 am

    For sure I’d love to meet all my fav bloggers in person. That’s why I came to your book tour in Boston! I’m an extrovert, so it’s sometimes hard for me to connect with people on line. I want to actually sit down with them and have a convo. – but what’s cool about online connections is that you have a much wider audience to connect regarding your particular interests. This is something I CRAVE and I think it’s a necessity to grow creativelty (for me anyway). I hope to attend (or maybe even host) a BYW meet up soon, keep ya posted.

    PS- Guess who I have a girl crush on? xo

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang May 26, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I completely agree! The bloggers I’ve met in person have become even more dear to me… if that is even possible. They are precious and dear and kind and actually ‘get’ me. Love it.

  • Reply Traveling Mama May 26, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Blogging has been HUGE for me in regards to friendships. Some of my very best friends live far, far away from me and yet we have a place to meet and chat daily. I LOVE it! It’s been especially useful for me to make friends even here in Denmark. Blogging has always been personal for me and it seems that no matter where we travel around the world, there is always someone who wants to meet up for coffee and a chit chat. I have yet to meet a weirdo, but instead have found that blogging has brought me closer to kindred spirits without the hindrance of location. I think that is an incredible thing!

  • Reply Amanda May 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    This post is brilliant and I have read every comment too! Blogging has given me some amazing opportunities and I have met some lovely ladies as a result when I started blogging as a textile designer over 7 years ago. It is a little strange meeting those first few readers…but you soon get over it and really they are readers because they like following your blog, so you usually have HEAPS to talk about! I am enrolled in your next course and I am looking forward to the meeting everyone and making many more blogging friends! Thanks for the inspiration and reminder of why I started blogging in the first place. x

  • Reply Maria at May 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    AMAZING POST:) Your blog is so wonderful!

    LOVE Maria

  • Reply Laura Gaskill May 27, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Ha ha, yes I remember that time back in the day when meeting someone from online in real life (gasp!) would feel really weird and even scary. I remember a girl contacted me one time through my blog – and I’m sure she was probably really nice – and said she lived in my neighborhood and would I like to have coffee…well, I totally freaked and never wrote back to her, though today I might feel differently.

    I’ve made several very real friendships with formerly online friends because of YOU, Holly! Through the first BYW e-course I met photographer Diana Brennan and fabric designer Monica Lee, both of whom I’ve now met up with a bunch of times. I’ve collaborated creatively with each of these ladies, and well, it’s just great. And of course, I met you, too, at the Boston ladies’ lunch after your book signing!

    Girl Crush events sound like a brilliant idea to me, I would definitely attend one! Even today, it can still be a bit heart-pounding to reach out to a blogger or other person online who you admire, so organized events are a great way to break the ice and take it to the next level without feeling like you are taking a big risk or putting yourself on the line. You know?

    xo Laura

  • Reply Elaurie Saunders May 27, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Well right now I’m crushing on your blog:), very attractive. I’m a new blogger and I look at blogging as a way to connect to the most important parts of someone, their heart and soul. Blogging/social networking is truly social bliss.

  • Reply Suzonne Stirling May 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I’ve never attended any sort of bloggers convention but I’ve made some amazing online friends. About a year-and-a-half ago, I took a leap of faith and spent an entire weekend at the beach with several bloggers I admired. It was such a wonderful experience and we packed more into a weekend than I get out of a year of traditional friendship. We knew so much about each other through our blogs that we were able to do away with small talk almost immediately. These women were even better than they are on paper and I left them filled with hope and gratitude and true friendship. We just did another getaway this spring (and added an additional blogger) and the magic was still there. It may not be for everyone, but I have loved stepping away from the screen and getting to know these women in real life – women who live across the country from me and might never have graced my life if not for the Internet.

  • Reply cathy @ ma vie trouvee May 28, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I have had several fun & crazy encounters from my blogs but this one is the best…..My husband and I were walking in front of the Royal Palace in Brussels Belgium, right around the corner from our apartment when all of the sudden a women comes towards us and points to each of us and says, “I know you. You are Cathy and you are Donald; and I know you from your blog”! What – how crazy is this? We had never met in person but I had chatted with her via the blog. She lives in Leuven about 45 minutes outside of Brussels and has been reading my blog ever since we met in an on-line art class. But how crazy to actually run into each other and how impressive that she recognized us from our blog photos. What a fun experience!

  • Reply sally May 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I think writing a blog is a great way to share information and ideas. It also a real privilege to be allowed to have a glimpse into some one elses world who you would not ordinarily meet when they may be an ocean away. I think that it is a unique form of communication and it’s nice to think that you may one day be able to meet that person. I am fond of my blogging friends and love reading what they are all doing in their different parts of the world. It’s like a great big tapestry each of us weaving our colourful threads into a picture story book. :)

  • Reply Ilene May 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    That was lovely! I don’t have a blog of my own but Holly I should say you were my first blog! That is, the first one I actually followed, and still do. You continue to inspire me so thank you. Blog on!

  • Reply Sheri Shay Johnson May 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    It is difficult for me to make connections on line, but the few bloggers I’ve met in person I instantly clicked with. Loved meeting Tif aka Dottie Angel at the flea market, she is a doll.
    I was super stoked to meet Mrs.Lillien (Kelley) at a Palm Springs event..she is so cool and friendly.
    I was star struck when I met Jermone from The Barn Boys..kind of surprised myself.
    Holly, I’ve been lovin your blog since the
    beginning.Thank You, for giving so much !!!!

  • Reply Doreen May 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    What a wonderful, thoughtful and timely post. I totally enjoyed reading it word for word. I’m a very new blogger, and I have signed up for your class that starts this Friday. I’m sooooo looking forward to it for many reasons, not the least of which is making connections.

    Back in the 90’s, before blogging was even a word, I was active on a discussion board on BHG. I guess I spent an average of 2 hours a day on this site. I loved the sharing, the give and take, and the support that was readily available. It was addicting in the best sense of the word. I met a couple of people in person, and was not disappointed. As time went on, the veterans on the site slowly left, myself among them. It has since disbanded, which I find somewhat sad.

    I miss that part of my life, and hope by blogging I can bring some of it back. An added bonus for me is remaining teachable and current and learning new skills like photography and wordpress.

    Thank you for all you do!

  • Reply Katie O'Keefe May 31, 2012 at 5:12 am

    First, I have to say that I love the little deer cupcake topper. Second, I absolutely love to see great bloggers, like yourself, help others through your e-courses. I’ve always felt that blogging is about sharing, connecting with other and bridging the gap of more than just physical distances. Love it!

  • Reply grrl+dog May 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

    At Last!

    there is name for this.

    I am one of those old timers – blogging for the sheer love of it, the connection and the drive to be better, after seeing sooooo many other amazing women bloggers.

    I recently went to some event – in the name of connection – women makers, and it was a hollow shell of the real reason we blog. Sure they had designer ice cream and pastel shades, but the truth was, most were there to flog their stuff.
    Instant turn off. I slugged more than one glass of bubbly and high heeled it out of there. here is to real girl crushes!

  • Reply Steph Bond-Hutkin June 8, 2012 at 3:47 am

    @decor8 Kim Wallace (Udessi) and I met for coffee one day in 2009 to meet each other in person. We ended up talking for 2 hours and decided that we needed to meet all the other art, craft and design bloggers in Brisbane too. So we booked a venue, set a time and date, gave it a name (abcd meetups), posted on our blogs, and individually emailed all the art, craf and design bloggers we had made contact with. They spread the word to their friends too, and the meetups were born!

    Kim and I set up some core values for our meetups – we wanted them to be non-corporate, relaxed, informal, and not your usual networking event. We wanted the focus to be on building friendships rather than business, which we knew would come naturally down the track. We knew that many of the bloggers would be shy and possibly uncomfortable attending an event by themselves, so we wanted to create a welcoming, intimate atmosphere – mingling in a social setting. There’s no charge to attend. We make nametags for everyone, learn all their names and introduce them to each other.

    Rather than a business-card-swap, we provide goodie bags that everyone adds something special to, to remember themselves by… requiring a little creativity, and meaning that everyone can show a little about themselves. We go home with bulging bags chock-full of fabulous handmade goodies! We follow up with thank you posts with images of all the goodies and mentioning everyone that came so that they can stay in contact.

    I moved back to Sydney in 2010 and collaborated with Lisa (the red thread) to run the meetups in Sydney too.

    Now we’re getting a lot better at the logistics. We have an email mailing list and Facebook page for communication, registration for goodie bags, and we’ve run a few ice-breaker “speed dating” activities to encourage conversation with questions like “if money was no object, what would you *really* like to do every day?” and “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Lisa and I have some great ideas for keeping it fresh, with some special guests. We’ve had some interest from bloggers in Melbourne, Tasmania, Byron Bay and even Portugal to run their own meetups. Good stuff!

    I personally love the friendships I have made along the way; it’s so lovely to go to a local design market and bump into other bloggers from the meetups – some of them selling their products, and some shopping. I hope it goes some way towards bring us closer together.

  • Reply Tristan B. October 3, 2012 at 12:45 am

    This is an older post I know, but I am just seeing it now. I met someone today from on-line and I mentioned that when you did your book signing in L.A. that I was so happy that you were even more genuine + gracious and beautiful in person! So I suppose you would qualify as a girl crush:)

    • Reply decor8 October 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Tristan – wow! Thank you!!! :)

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