August 9, 2016

Blogging is Crazy Hard Y’all – Haven 2016 Recap

This was our first year at the Haven Conference. Haven is an annual conference geared towards Home DIY/Home decor bloggers. We came ready to take on the blogging world head on!

What we loved about Haven:

  • The camaraderie of being surrounded by ladies of all ages and walks of life that loved to DIY as much as we do!
  • There was an abundance of wonderful session topics that made it hard to choose.
  • The Maven mentor groups were a great add and allowed a more intimate setting to connect with others and ask questions and share information.
  • Hearing people’s stories – how they started, their successes and struggles.
Double breasted jacket

Will never forget this number from the Glamor Farms Fashion show!

Abby Lawson - Just a Girl and Her Blog

Love all Abby’s openness and passion to help others!

Our Takeaway –

We came with certain goals in mind… At the top was – connecting with brands and learning how to grow and monetize our blog. But, by the time we got to the airport to go home, we realized something pretty huge – Blogging for a living is too crazy hard y’all!

Don’t misunderstand us… We still want to blog and make some $$$, but we want to do it without ALL the pressures of making it our “business.”

How did we get  to this conclusion? Honestly, we were feeling completely OVERWHELMED in all the sessions about what it takes to run a blog – from social media platforms, working with brands, to networking, and don’t get us started with SEO… But we LOVED the sessions that helped expand our creative skills like – Sketchup, Lightroom and photography, And the sessions that talked about real community and connecting with others was very encouraging.

So we’re taking the pressure off… We’re gonna blog just for fun! Whoa, right?! We’re still going to try to do things the right way and use the things we learned. But we’re taking our time, having fun and seeing where God leads us. Amen?!

So if you came away feeling overwhelmed, we feel ya! You’re not alone… We look back at most of our favorite blogs and I realized most of them just started out sharing for fun… We don’t want to skip that part. Our advice for new bloggers like ourselves is take a deep breath and just to blog slowly. You don’t have to do everything right out of the gate. You don’t even have to do it the ‘right’ way. Give yourself permission to screw up. Because you will… We’ll screw up together! Don’t worry about ALL the business side of things in the beginning. I think it’s so important to find out if blogging is even for you personally. BEFORE you invest your time, money and energy. If you don’t have a passion for it, it’ll end up being just another JOB that you’ll hate.

I’ll leave you with one of our favorite life verses – Matthew 16:26

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

So as we see it, you can bust your butt, have a bajillion followers and make millions, but would it have been all worth it – if you forfeit JOY for STRESS and FAMILY for MONEY?

So what’s next for us? We’re taking the scenic route to blogging. Even if we never “arrive” and become super A List bloggers, our hope is at the very least we would have enjoyed the journey and helped others along the way.

We are definitely not knocking those who’ve had immense success in the blogosphere. There are the rare few who may be able to balance all the priorities of life and run a successful blog simultaneously. Hats off to you ladies.

Our best to all those out there who are certain of their blogging destiny.  For those who are about to blog, we salute you! Thanks for taking the time to read our Haven 2016 Recap.


We hope to see you all again next year at Haven 2017!!!

  1. Stacey Keeling

    August 10th, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I came away feeling exactly the same way! One session I attended they mentioned lawyers and agents…that was it for me. Of course, I was pretty tired at that point.

    I loved every single bit of the experience and definitely hope to go again. 🙂

  2. Amy Ehmann

    August 10th, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    We loved it as well and will probably go again but with a different mindset… Focusing more on DIY and community and less on blogging as a business. =)

  3. Amanda

    August 11th, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I felt extremely overwhelmed too! Now that I’ve had a few days to step away and go over everything, I think I’m going to implement a couple of things now and maybe add on as time goes on. Hoping that will help.

  4. Amy Ehmann

    August 11th, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I wish there was someone constantly reminding us “You don’t have to do ALL the things!!” =)

  5. Michelle Bentz

    August 11th, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I felt that too! I just want things to happen organically and if that means things stay small or they grow, I’m ok either way. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Tina Furjanic

    August 11th, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Most importantly, I am inspired to make a donut door. THAT was worth the price of admission!

  7. Laura McDaniel

    August 12th, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    So perfectly written Amy. We LOVED meeting you both (I’m the older sister of the “Thelma & Louise” (Laura) that met you at one of the tables. First timers as well. And agree, still trying to figure this blogging thing out. For me, what started as a journal I now NEED to manifest into some sort of business (at least to help supplement) but agree that mine is more Lifestyle rather than DIY (only). I DIY for fun (my own junk) and for props for events/parties I host. Would LOVE to see you both again – if you ever make it up to Seattle (or just want to) – give me a shout (former Texans, we invite everyone)! LOL Again, a pleasure and love your blog.

  8. Amy Ehmann

    August 15th, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Laura! We loved the opportunity to hear your story and we know who to call if we are ever in the WA area! xo

  9. Traci @ Beneath My Heart

    September 25th, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Awesome, re-cap! I love your take away from Haven 2016, and I think you hit the nail on the head! 🙂 Enjoy the ride of blogging, and don’t get caught up in what doesn’t bring your joy (page views, monetization, etc.) God will bless you because you are keeping Him first. I love it!
    Many Blessings,

  10. Amy Ehmann

    October 6th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Traci – Thank you for your note of encouragement!! xo

  11. Cindy Richter

    May 23rd, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    As a super new blogger, I already feel overwhelmed. Just bought my 2017 Haven ticket. Will y’all be there? I’d love to meet you and chat! Thanks for the great post!

  12. Amy Ehmann

    May 24th, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Hi Cindy! No, we won’t be there this year. Haven is so much fun. Meet new people, learn new things, and don’t forget to have fun. Remember to go at your own pace. You don’t need to do everything at once. That’s a recipe for burnout. Most successful blogs started out simple and free. Don’t skip that part. Find out if you like it before you invest all your time and energy into it. =)

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