It’s Official! I’m A Blogger And I’m Going To WITS17!

I’m going to the Women In Travel Summit in Milwaukee!!

Back in the beginning of the year I filled out my goal workbook.  One of the things I wanted to make happen was that I was able to attend a blogging conference so I could learn and connect with fellow bloggers.  It was a vision I had for myself in order to fulfill my goal of growing and making money off my blog.

Fast forward to February when I won the ticket to the Women In Travel Summit in Milwaukee thanks to Midwest Travel Bloggers!

The Women In Travel Summit is just a month away and I am busy planning which events and seminars I want to attend. Wanting to take full advantage of all the resources the summit has to offer, my goal today is to write a list of the things I want to attend. As I spend hours  sitting in front of my laptop planning, polishing my blog so it looks presentable, promoting on Pinterest and my other social media outlets, I am plagued by self doubt and wonder if I can really be a successful blogger.


There are so many of us out there.

For the last 9 months or so it has been my dream to take what I love to do to another level. I have worked countless hours reworking my blog, promoting, taking online courses, and even a few hours actually writing content. When I won my ticket into the #WITS17 in my own backyard, I was elated! This was my chance to mingle and learn from those women that do what I dream of doing successfully.

Of course along with that excitement comes fear.  Fear of not knowing a single soul and having to put myself out there, fear of not fitting in, and ultimately the fear of failure.

On the other hand, I have not let fear stand in my way of what I want to do.  It took me 40 odd years or so to let fear motivate me to follow my dreams.  I have no intention to let it stop me know.

Do I dare call myself a blogger now?

I hesitated to call myself a blogger until now.  Blogging was a hobby, something that I liked to do.  It seems calling myself a blogger has now made it official.  In preparing for the WITS17, last week I had business cards printed out.  I am serious about this. Goodness, I even changed my Facebook work status to Blogger.  Now that makes it official!!

I guess the thing that most makes it official is going to #WITS17. The idea of learning and meeting with  successful travel bloggers makes me feel like a part of the tribe. We all started out with no followers, no comments, and no subscribers.  Some gain success quickly, (although I feel that is the exception not the rule) most take months maybe even years. At this point, I’d be happy with 100 page views in a day!!  It’s not an easy gig and anybody that tells you otherwise is crazy.

Most people have no idea the work bloggers put into their blogs.  I think most friends and family of bloggers (including mine) really don’t know what blogging is, much less that you can actually make it a business. Blogging is huge business.  Bloggers are a source of information for almost every subject imaginable. Need travel advice? Search for a blog about your destination.  Looking for recommendations for your next book? There are lots of book bloggers for every genre.

Every time I publish a blog post, I feel like a part of me is released into the world for all (or in my case maybe 50 pairs of eyes) to see. Bloggers put themselves out there.  The goal of a blogger is to offer expertise, connect, and share experiences with their readers.

It’s been 9 months since I lost my job and my world changed. I’m at the place where it’s OK and things like that happen for a reason. I would never have pursued blogging as anything more than a hobby if I was still working that job.  At 53 I feel rather excited about the new things in life.

I am so excited and thankful to have a chance to attend this summit.  I am looking forward to making new friends and learning from women who are successful travel bloggers.

If you are a travel blogger or a women who has a passion for travel, you can attend the summit.  I will be blogging before, during and after the summit to share what I’ll be doing and seeing around Milwaukee.


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  1. Anne Louise Bannon | 9th Mar 17

    Congratulations. Blogging conferences are a terrific way to build up your tribe and have fun doing it. It’s amazing how you find just the right people to connect with. Have a great time!

    • Lori Helke | 9th Mar 17

      Thank you Anne! I am really looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers face to face!

  2. kylieuk | 10th Mar 17

    Hi! I love this post, it’s so true and I feel exactly the same! I’ve never been to a conference before and I’ve only been living in the USA for 6 months so I know nobody/have never met any bloggers in person! I’ll be happy to hang around with you if you need company, I’ll be alone too 🙂

    • Lori Helke | 10th Mar 17

      That would be great Kylie! Looking forward to meeting you! I’m actually from Wisconsin. It will be s great weekend!

  3. kylieuk | 10th Mar 17

    Awesome! I’m just outside of Dubuque, Iowa so I have a 3 hour drive up 🙂

    • Lori Helke | 10th Mar 17

      That’ not too bad of a drive. I’m actually an hour from Milwaukee, still trying to decide if I want to go back and forth or stay in Milwaukee

  4. kylieuk | 10th Mar 17

    I’m staying near to the airport as it cheaper and then driving in each day. By the looks of it, the convention centre opposite has the cheapest nearby parking!

    • Lori Helke | 10th Mar 17

      I was looking at Airbnb’s and some hotels. I was also looking at parking. That’s a great tip. When are you coming in?

  5. kylieuk | 10th Mar 17

    I found really useful for searching car parks! I’ll be arriving around 8am Friday morning (I’m doing on one of the tours between 10am-4pm) so I’ll be back at the Hilton around 4!

    • Lori Helke | 10th Mar 17

      Thank you for the link! I will maybe see you on the tour!

  6. operatingrn | 22nd Mar 17

    Hi Lori,
    I feel your self doubt. I had to take a big breath before I registered as a “travel blogger” for the summit. I live in Delafield and look forward to meeting fellow sojourners. I would offer carpooling but you will be coming from the Northeast and I won’t be so convenient for you. But let’s for sure find a way to connect. Janet

    • Lori Helke | 22nd Mar 17

      It is a scary thing! Yes, we will Janet. Do you have a Facebook page for your blog? Or just send me a friend request through my personal FB account and we can connect that way. Are you doing any tours?

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