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I’m going to my first blogging conference!

YES! I’m going to Reviewers Retreat, organized by Double Duty Divas.

In June, I’ll be sharing a room at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC with people I’ve only known from the Internet, bringing out my red Catalina swimsuit to head out to the water park, and hopefully networking with new people and meeting new brands so I can keep doing what I love for a living.

Bellesouth has taken many shapes and formats since it became a regular blog in 2001. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging that long, and I don’t know where in the Internet my old posts were.

I remember when Blogger wasn’t a page owned by Google, just a platform you could use to regularly update your web site.

I posted a lot about my life and my struggles as a writer trying to make it in the world, and now I am a business owner and social-media-marketing Queen of Awesome.

A couple of years ago I set out to go to a blogging conference. I’ve worked very had in the past few months, meeting and greeting other bloggers and brands to build Bellesouth into something really special. I put a lot of time, money and effort to the blog you see today, and it is a constant work-in-progress.

The biggest change I made was purchasing my very own domain, and I’m already reaping the benefits. I am proud to say that as of this moment, has received 12,926 hits since it went live in early December 2011. That is a pretty big deal for a pretty small blogger like me.

I don’t know what to expect – except that I’ll hopefully be taking some classes and meeting some people who will really help me out on this journey. The fact that the accommodations include a water park and a spa aren’t too shabby, either!

What about you? Are you attending any blog conferences this year? Have you attended one? What have you taken home from conferences, and if you’re a newbie like me, what do you hope to get out of them?

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