Featured Speaker: Mel Hattie

How To Create a Business Plan for Your Blog

Here you’ll learn what a business plan is and how to put one together to help turn your blog into a business, or if your blog is already a business, help you focus your efforts. That includes brainstorming your executive summary, coming up with an elevator pitch, putting together income streams, looking at your costs, and figuring out your market. Designed as a workshop — bring your paper and pens! Slides will be available for download afterwards.

Mel Hattie is an award-winning photographer, tea sommelier, and travel journalist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her work has been published by the CBC, Photographers Without Borders, the Globe & Mail, the Guardian, Post and Courier, The Coast, and Anthony Bourdain’s Roads & Kingdoms. On her blog, Mel Had Tea, she travels the world in search of the best cups of tea.

She holds a Master in Journalism New Ventures from the University of King’s College and works as a digital Content Marketing Manager for VERB Interactive in Halifax, Nova Scotia, working with travel clients and destinations around the world, leveraging the power of the internet to drive measurable business results.

Twitter/Instagram: @melhadtea

Facebook: MelHadTea

Featured Speakers: Elisha & Elyssa Fernandez

  • Be Authentic in your Content in 3 Simple Steps

In this empowering, high energy session, BlogJam attendees will learn:

– The 3 Ways to Being Authentic On and Off-line

– How to tell your WHY Story to Connect to the Audience

– How to Deal with Critics Easily and Effectively

– 3 Powerful Attitudes that Help you Relate to the Audience

– Practical Ways to Deeply Connect with your Target Audience

BlogJam attendees will leave with a clear understanding of why and how they can write authentic content so they can start helping those around them and make a BIG difference in the world!


Elisha is a homeschooled 15 year-old, and a passionate best-selling author, artist, entrepreneur, and speaker. Elisha lives in Fort Worth, TX with her family and she loves spending time with them. She wrote I Love ME! at age ten, because she loves helping other kids become bullyproof, love themselves, and be the best they can be.


Elyssa is 14 years old. She enjoys being an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, artist, and coach. She is homeschooled, and her greatest coach and mentor is her mom, Elayna Fernandez. Elyssa became a vegan at age 7. Elyssa teaches children to love themselves and have self-confidence through her books, blog posts, and artistic expressions.

Social handles: @WhollyART on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube

Featured Speaker: Crystal Picard

Kick-Starting Your Content Strategy Workshop

In this 30-minute workshop style presentation, you’ll receive a quick-start worksheet that will help simplify the process of niching down so you can cut through the planning paralysis of starting a blog and spend your time writing content instead. 

After this workshop, you will walk away with an understanding of how to develop a buyer persona, quickly generate post ideas, develop a sales funnel around your blog and plan your content distribution to get the most out of every post.

Crystal Picard is a graphic designer & digital marketer based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works one-on-one with small business owners who are looking to take their digital presence to the next level. Whether it’s developing a sales funnel or just the graphics to make their campaigns pop – Crystal’s hands-on experience brings creativity to the forefront of content marketing.

Twitter: @crystalpicard

LinkedIn: @crystalpicard

Featured Speaker: Kayla Short

How to Avoid Burnout

Whether blogging is your full-time job, or your ever demanding side hustle it’s REALLY easy to burn the candle at both ends when you are a one (wo)man marching band. Let’s talk strategy, and boundaries, so you can get back to taking over the digital world.

Kayla Short is an award-winning lifestyle blogger that focuses on food, fashion, beauty, and travel. In addition to maintaining the Short Presents brand, Kayla is published fashion writer, franchised contributor to the Huffington Post, style panelist for Fashion Magazine, and sought after on-air lifestyle expert. Chosen as one of Huffington Post’s top 50 Canadians, Kayla is most humbled to win Best Blogger in the Coast Awards. Having routinely attended fashion weeks, and events in bigger cities Kayla is always looking for ways to support our industry growth right here in Atlantic Canada.

Instagram: @shortpresents

Twitter: @shortpresents

Facebook: Shortpresents

Snapchat: Shortpresents

Youtube: Shortpresents

Featured Speakers: Heather Clarke and Lori Byrne

“You’re So Creative!” Fostering Creativity When it Feels Like You’re Faking it

Just because it’s your job to be creative doesn’t mean you have an endless fountain of good ideas — and the motivation to execute them! How can you nurture your creativity so there’s enough for your home, family, blog, sponsorships and even your “day job” without feeling like it’s forced?

Heather Laura Clarke of Heather’s Handmade Life is an award-winning journalist, columnist and blogger. She grew up in Halifax and moved to Truro with her husband, son, and daughter to channel her inner Laura Ingalls Wilder. She writes for publications across North America, and is best known for her popular DIY home decor column in The Chronicle Herald. As a blogger, Heather works with top brands like Kent, Atlantic Fabrics and Ryobi tools to encourage people to paint, build, sew and create their very own handmade life.

Heather on Facebook: @HeatherLauraClarke

Heather on Instagram: @HFXHeather

Heather on Twitter: @HFXHeather



Lori Byrne, of Farm Fresh Style, is an interior designer by day, and a mom & wife, a creative, a blogger, and a writer by night and weekend. Her artist grandmother, whom her eldest is named after, is her biggest inspiration. She lives on an acreage in rural North Shore Nova Scotia where they take their sassy pony for walks, create beautiful messes in the studio and where they love hard. She loves to create, whether it’s through upcycling furniture, photographing their life, writing a story or baking a yummy treat to share. Lori’s life is best summed up by this goal of hers — creating a country life in full colour. 

Lori on Facebook: @StyleByFarmFresh

Lori on Instagram: @FarmFreshStyle

Lori on Twitter: @FarmFreshStyle

Featured Speaker: Sandra Currie-Samson

The Next Step: Turning Your Blog into A Course

The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity for participants to discover how to share what they know with a larger audience to grow their business and increase their impact on others. During this session, we will discuss the value of creating a course from your blog, discover 5 questions you can use to design your course, and explore different techniques to engage, teach, and motivate your audience.

Sandra Currie-Samson is in the business of helping entrepreneurs and business leaders become masterful teachers so they can brilliantly engage their audience by understanding what motivates the adult learner and how to effectively achieve their desired outcomes.

She is a student of lifelong learning and her passion for learning is infectious allowing her to be an energetic and enthusiastic educator, trainer and facilitator – and she loves to help others be the same!

As a learning and development consultant with a M.Ed. in Studies of Lifelong Learning she has designed and facilitated training sessions for hundreds of participants. As well, she has led training on million-dollar technology implementations working with many large professional firms. Sandra is also an instructor in the Certificate of Adult Education at the College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University.

Twitter: @sassysolutions

Facebook: sandracurriesamson1

LinkedIn: sandracurriesamson

Website: sandracurriesamson.com


Featured Speaker: Taylor Bare

SEO for Bloggers: 7 Simple Steps to Grow Your Audience

In this presentation attendees will learn to write for their audience, making both their readers, and Google happy. I will share 7 simple steps that bloggers and website owners can take action on to be more relevant, and more attractive to their audience. Attendees will leave with actions items they can use immediately to reach their audience more effectively and grow their influence.

Taylor Bare is CEO of TaylorMade Web Presence, a website and online presence development company. He has an extensive background in search engine optimization, WordPress site development, and web tools training for entrepreneurs. In the past he has helped companies reach the first page of Google and increase their online conversion rates through split testing.

At TaylorMade Web Presence Taylor and his team provide authors, speakers, and coaches with the tools and training they need to build their platform, get paid, and make a difference. Because Taylor believes small business owners and entrepreneurs should be able to make website changes on their own timetable, he teaches them how to take control of their web presence through the power and simplicity of WordPress.

With a certification in advanced search engine marketing techniques Taylor knows how to bring targeted website visitors, and as a certified Guerrilla Marketing practitioner he knows what it takes to turn visitors into sales.

Facebook: TaylorMade Web Presence

Twitter: @TaylorBare


Featured Speaker: Andrew Burke

Adventures in Micro-Fame

Andy Warhol once said everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. Instead it now feels like we’re all famous to fifteen people. The old “rich and famous contract” has been broken – you can be either one now, or often neither. This talk explores the new world of “micro-fame,” drawing from personal experience to share its pitfalls and sometimes surprising benefits.

Andrew Burke is a Halifax-based independent developer, teacher, speaker, and occasional entrepreneur. He has over 22 years of professional experience helping people and technology work better together. Among many other things, Andrew has built the top-charting iOS diary app Remembary, is a co-founder of “BeanCounter” a SAAS platform for the vending machine industry, and teaches web development at Lighthouse Labs. When he’s not doing that he is the main force behind “Starshipsstarthere.ca” a photoblog with over 400 pictures mashing up iconic science fiction imagery with equally iconic Nova Scotian scenery. This, along with his 1500 or so Twitter followers, has made him mildly #halifamous – an experience he will discuss in his talk.

Twitter: @ajlburke

Instagram: @stshipstarthere and @remembary

Featured Speaker: Katelyn Bourgoin

The Octopus Funnel: Your New Automated Lead Engine

Your would be customers are selfish bast*rds. I’m sorry. But, it’s true. They don’t want to read your white paper, join your newsletter, or watch your sales demo. They just want highly personalized solutions to their unique pains. But how do you create a high-touch customer journey that works at scale? Enter the Octopus Funnel. Come learn how to build automated nurture funnels that take your customers from oblivious strangers to roaring fans.

Katelyn Bourgoin a serial entrepreneur with experience spanning the marketing, tech and hospitality sectors.

Since starting her first business at 25 years old, Katelyn has gone on to found three award-winning companies working with clients like Target and Holiday Inn.

Katelyn’s entrepreneurial journey has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. She was named as one of Nova Scotia’s top 10 young entrepreneurs in 2012, she sold her first business in 2013, she was named as a Forbes Influencer in 2016. And, in 2017, she made the difficult decision to close down her venture-backed tech startup after 3 years in operation.

Currently, Katelyn is working as a growth consultant specializing in CX (customer experience) for early stage startups.

Twitter: @katebour 

Instagram: @katebourgoin 

Featured Speaker: Alison Knott

Farting in the Wind: What Bloggers Need to Know about Google Analytics

Do not be afraid of Google Analytics! They’re critical in meeting your blogging goals – and Alison is here to help you understand them. No hot air in this presentation: only facts and helpful how-to’s…and the occasional fart joke.

Alison Knott is the owner of Eraserheader design, a one-stop web consultant and brand shop. She is a designer, national public speaker, instructor and coding queen with over a decade in the field. She turns the complicated simple, dreams in both RGB/CMYK, and prides herself on delighting those she works with. You can find great “What the hell do I do with my website now?” tips from her weekly Facebook live show Lunchpress.

Twitter: @eraserheader 

Facebook: Eraserheader Design