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Starter Studio Series: FLBlogCon

If I had more twitter followers than 4Rivers and Sonny’s BBQ combined, I would probably move to an ancient temple (with wifi) and declare myself a social media guru. Bess Auer does in fact have more twitter followers than 4Rivers and Sonny’s (that’s over 10,000), and she’s way humbler (and smarter) about her achievement than I would be. When I offered to locate a temple for her new guru headquarters, she said,

“I would never use the term ‘social media’ guru to describe myself (or anybody else) because the technology is moving way too quickly for people to truly become ‘gurus.’”

Only a true guru knows that she is not a guru.

Guru or not, Bess Auer is a blogger and founder of FLBlogCon, another company that was recently accepted into the second class of Starter Studio. FLBlogCon, an educational conference for Florida bloggers, was born four years ago when Bess realized that she couldn’t afford to travel to New York or Chicago to network with and learn from other bloggers. Since then, the conference has become a huge event with over 300 attendees. Tickets sell out months in advance, so if you’re a blogger, get yours soon.

Bess’ love for writing is a part of the reason she started blogging. She is a published novelist, and until last summer, she was an English teacher for 17 years. Bess took the leap to start working as a full-time blogger almost a year ago. That decision may have caused a couple of panic attacks, but Bess pushed through that anxiety-filled time partially because she recently had some experiences that reminded her that “life is way too short to wait on [my] dreams.”

Bess is stoked that she decided to follow her dreams. In the past year, Bess has found that she loves working for herself and that she has eliminated all of the busy work from her life. She finds it difficult to keep up with all of the changing technology, but she overcomes that challenge by “identify[ing] really smart people and then learn[ing] everything [she] can” from them. In fact, that’s her advice to others about any challenge they face. Sounds like sage advice to me.

Bess is currently working to “create a way for bloggers to continue learning year-round from FLBlogCon.” She has started doing weekly podcasts and has expanded the FLBlogCon conference offerings, but she is still working on other ideas to help connect the Florida blogging community. I’m still trying to convince her to set up a temple, but even if she decides against that, I, as an aspiring blogger, am looking forward to whatever her next move might be.

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