The Southern Food Blogger Retreat is a small, intimate gathering of 20 food bloggers with the aim of helping one another grow and prosper. This is an opportunity to truly connect, on a one-on-one basis, with influential brands, field professionals, and other experienced food bloggers. We will share in each other’s vast knowledge and experience to help us all become the bloggers we’ve always wanted to be. It’s a chance to relax and enjoy a true, one-of-a-kind, retreat experience.
The event will be held November 13-15, 2015.
The retreat will be held at the lavish Presidential Cottage at The Legends Marriott Resort in Prattville, Alabama.
We are NOT like other conferences that have folks crammed into a sterile hotel ballrooms, seated classroom style, listening to endless hours of presentations. Our presenters won’t be talking at you, they’ll be talking with you. Speaking of our speakers…
We’re not going to sit around and tell you about what you’re doing wrong. We’re going to share our experiences with one another so that we all can become better bloggers. No matter where you are in the path of your food blogging career, we’ve got something for you. And no, you don’t have to be a Southern food blogger or be from the South to attend, but we’ll have you saying “y’all” by the time you leave.
We don’t all claim to be experts, but we each have something to offer. So while we will have several influential, experienced professionals and bloggers that any conference would be proud to host, these “speakers” won’t be giving speeches, they’ll be leading discussions and answering questions directly from you. There will be ample time for everyone to share and learn from one another.
From how to use your camera in manual mode to how to maximize lighting, you’ll learn a heap during our intensive photography sessions. Social media? Yeah, we’ve got that too. We’ll help you develop a social media strategy to get you growing. Monetization is huge right now! From sponsored posts and ad networks to affiliate links and e-books, we’ll help you develop a plan to get you paying the bills. Trolls. We’ve all got them. We’ll explore some best practices for dealing with them. Need help with the business side of blogging? Our expert will help you with everything from incorporation and LLCs to accounting. Finally, let us help you develop and set some goals for yourself and your blog.
“Best blogging conference I have attended!”
“I loved the conference. I especially loved the size of the group. It allowed everyone to participate and not be cliquey. I learned something from every session. It was great!”
“Loved everything about the retreat. Very well put together. Loved the laid back feel and general friendliness of everyone. Made lasting friendships and learned a great deal. I traveled a great distance and would do so again in a heartbeat if you have again. Highly recommend to any blogger. I could never say enough about the retreat. Awesome experience!”
“My experience was absolutely a dream of a lifetime.”
“I really enjoyed this retreat and would definitely come back again or recommend it to other bloggers!”
Award-winning photographer Kim Box has photographed people, places, and things across the country and across the globe. As a food photographer her credits include The Southern Bite Cookbook (Thomas Nelson, 2014). Kim has a passion for helping others understand the dynamics of photography and her hands-on approach to instruction will have you shooting stunning images in no time flat.
As the face behind the successful blogs Home Storage Solutions 101, Household Management 101, and yes, a third, Stain Removal 101, which collectively get over a million and a half page views each month, Taylor is always working to grow communities and speak directly to her readers. She’s created a very successful 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, and corresponding Declutter 365 Missions series, which boasts over 160,000 newsletter subscribers, and a vibrant Facebook group of over 80,000 members. In addition, she has organically grown one of her Facebook pages, Household Management 101, to over 740,000 in a little less than a year and a half by focusing on engagement and community building.
Cris’ two year old blog, RecipesThatCrock.com, is visited by millions each year. When she isn’t cRocking the Pot, Cris develops and coordinates blogger outreach programs. Passionate about helping her clients find ways of meeting their project goals while investing in the blog community, Cris manages high quality blogger workshops, family events and sponsorship programs. Some of her clients include Family of Farmers, American Dairy Association, Elanco and Comcast.
Blogging superstar is just one of the many titles that follow Christy Jordan’s name – but her favorite is Mama. From having one of the most successful blogs (getting more than 50 million hits every month) out there, to being a contributing editor to Taste of the South Magazine, to having written two wildly successful cookbooks, Christy and her recipes have been featured on The Today Show, Paula Deen, QVC, Hallmark Home & Family, and The Talk – just to name a few.
Blogger and Wall Street Journal best–selling author Stacey Little is committed to getting folks back to the table for dinner. His quick and easy recipes are allowing families to get a home-cooked meal on the table without a lot of hassle or expense. Southern Living Magazine named Stacey one of the top 30 bloggers to be following in 2015. He has appeared on The Today Show and Fox and Friends and has lent his talents to national brands like Betty Crocker, GE, White Lily, Martha White, Kraft, and Queen Latifah. Today, his easy, delicious recipes and heartfelt stories have brought millions to his blog, SouthernBite.com, since he created it in 2008. Stacey‘s cookbook, The Southern Bite Cookbook (Thomas Nelson: March 2014), is available at book retailers across the country and online.
Stephanie Parker is the creator of PlainChicken.com, a food blog with quick and easy recipes made from every day ingredients that the whole family would love. Most recipes are ready in about 30 minutes! Plain Chicken was created as a creative outlet while working in corporate accounting. Stephanie left the corporate world in 2012 to focus solely on the blog. In addition to the blog, Stephanie writes a weekly food column in The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times, Press-Register and al.com. She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband and three cats.
Brandie may just be a regular home cook and girl next door to her readers, but behind the scenes, she’s something of a social media whiz. In just over four years her blog, The Country Cook, has gained more than 700,000 Facebook fans, over 130,000 followers on Pinterest and over 80,000 newsletter subscribers. Brandie’s easy-to-follow recipes and relatable personality have garnered the attention of many top brands in the food industry. She’s developed recipes for companies like Ragú, Taste of Home, Hershey’s, Kraft Foods, COOL WHIP and Panera Bread.
Kyle Ivins is one of the founding members of The Blogger Network and currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer. His background comes from the Social Media Marketing and Advertising Agency world and he has helped grow bloggers and businesses online through social media and paid advertising. His true passion is in entrepreneurship which is why he’s gets so excited helping bloggers succeed as entrepreneurs by empowering them reach their blog’s potential!
Are you interested in joining forces with us to get your brand in front of some of the most influential bloggers out there? Various opportunities are available. Please contact us for more details.
2:00 p.m. – Front Porch Welcome Party – Sponsored by Palmetto Cheese
3:00 p.m. – Business of Blogging – Stephanie Parker, Plain Chicken
4:00 p.m. – Getting the Most from Your Ad Network – Kyle Ivins, The Blogger Network
5:30 p.m. – Hotel Check-In
7:00 p.m. – Welcome Reception – Sponsored by AllSouth Appliance
8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – All About That Monetization – Stacey Little, Southern Bite
10:30 a.m. – Maximizing Social Media – Taylor Flanery, Household Management 101, Home Storage Solutions 101, Stain Removal 101
12:00 p.m. – Lunch – Sponsored by Hoffman Media
1:00 p.m. – Food Photography – Kim Box, Kim Box Photography
3:30 p.m. – Dealing with Trolls – Christy Jordan, Southern Plate
5:00 p.m. – Return to Hotel
6:00 p.m. – Depart for Farm Dinner
8:30 p.m. – Dessert Party
A short walk down a beautiful wooded path and over a quaint stream, you’ll find the Presidential Cottage at the Marriott Legends Resort in Prattville. The beautiful location is set against the backdrop of the world renowned Capitol Hill Course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Because we want this to be unlike any other blogger conference, we’re limiting the number of participants to only 20. This will keep the gathering intimate and give everyone time to talk and share. Spots will be offered on a first come-first served basis once your information and blog have been verified. Once verified, you’ll receive an email with payment instructions and details about making your hotel reservations.
*Submitting your info doesn’t require you to register if you are offered a spot, but please only submit your email address if you are serious about attending. The cost for the event is $495. It includes all the meals for the event as well as the activities, sessions, swag, and more. We will send you a list of the closest hotels for you to make your hotel reservations with the official invitation.