This past August, I teamed up with my good friend Sharon, of Cupcakes and Cutlery to host a retreat that we've been talking about for years, BlogRX. We both have a unique skill set when it comes to growing our businesses and blogs. While I can concept, style and create eye catching content, Sharon loves the back end of things... SEO, keywords, and growing your blog in that aspect. We figured, if we put our heads together, we could probably teach some bloggers and biz owners a few things about both.
In the past, we've put on fun gatherings like cocktail camp and #cactuscraftscocktails, always focusing on sharing fun spots around Palm Springs to get inspired as well as bringing our favorite girls together to talk shop or give each other advice. So BlogRX was finally our stab at taking it outside of our circle of friends and teaching others a few things (still with all of that inspiration Palm Springs provides... and cocktails).
Here's a bit about what we talked about, what we did, what we ate and where we went. If you love what you see and want to be a part of the next one, sign up for our newsletter here!
No event (that we put on anyways) is complete with a few cocktails. We set up a mimosa bar in the morning with fresh fruit + pastries. Throughout the day, snacks were served to the ladies provided by World Market. Sharon and I chose easy to serve items that were pre-made and ready to go. We wanted to keep everyones energy level up as it was a LONG day of soaking in lots of info.
We gave everyone a small bag of goodies that were useful during and after the retreat. Small pouches from jujube kept their supplies neat. Wilde House provided our fave sticky notes and pencils for the girls to take notes. Ponder & Muse provided a mini dish which was great for them to practice their new found styling skills. And finally Tabled sent the cutest inspiration coasters, wine corks and place mats!
In the am, I started by walking our girls through what a brand is, how to create a memorable one, finding your voice and expressing it via all of your online channels, and finally, how I incorporate all of that into creating consistent content. This was the first time I'd ever had to put it all down onto worksheets and really go through it step by step. It's amazing how hard that is! When something just flows for you, it can be a challenge to break it down for others. But, in the end I really loved digging deeper into how to explain my voice and brand. It taught me a lot and helped me come out of the weekend with a new set of eyes on what I was creating.
We partnered with Kaiser Grille in Palm Springs to give the girls a delicious lunch. I had never eaten there (Sharon had) and HIGHLY recommend it if you visit. We had wraps, sandwiches, salads and homemade chips... all super fresh.
After lunch, Sharon started her session which covered best practices for social media, working efficiently while still growing your blog and her strategies for growth and goal setting. I never honestly knew how much work needs to, and can, be done behind the scenes to help you grow your audience. So much so that I asked if I could just hire her to do it all for me... I'm still waiting to hear back;) But really, so much amazing info that all of the girls took away with them.
At night, Rio Azul hosted a tasty dinner complete with margs for us. I'll go anywhere to try their margarita and I usually don't rave over the food. But this place, which is located off the main strip (ie. not touristy, over priced, etc.), is worth raving over. Honestly can't tell you what to get because it was all so good. We followed this by a round of drinks at Trio. I had my favorite glass of wine (mmm... Rombauer) and we all patted ourselves on the back for staying up past 9 after an incredibly long day. Visit Palm Springs helped us organize all of our meals for the day which was huge for Sharon and I. It's always a lot of work to organize a group of girls as well as reservations, pick ups, etc. They're a great resource if you are looking for help to plan your own Palm Springs getaway.
Day 2 began the same way... but with an overflowing tray of donuts.
We offered one on one sessions on our second day. We wanted the girls to take the night/next morning to digest the info we had given them and come back with their problem areas. In the one on one sessions, we let them guide it based on what they wanted to know from us. We also gave each of the girls a complete critique on their blogs, sites and social media. So if they had any questions on how to improve weak areas, this is when we explained things further.
We tried to keep the day short so they could take the rest of the day and enjoy the city, or the pool. But again, there was just so much more info that you can digest in a one on one, these could've filled up the whole day! It was great getting to help each person a tiny bit and really focus on what they wanted to bring out of the weekend.
The girls that attended were so fun and a great group to launch this retreat with. We both can't wait to follow along and see how their blogs and businesses evolve with all of the info they took from BlogRX Retreat.
Sharon I and definitely plan on hosting more of these. We're talking about a getaway that focuses more on creativity and getting inspired in addition to planning more where we cover building your brand, your voice, and your strategy for growth. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter here and stay up to date on when those will be!
Most images by Dez + Tam Photography