Speakers

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Cory Lee

Where There’s a WHEEL, There’s a Way

Cory Lee will not only share what his experiences around the world as a wheelchair user have been like, but he’ll also share how you can make a difference through your travel writing, no matter what your abilities are. With enough determination, you can do anything.

About Cory Lee: After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee’s thirst for adventure never ceased. He has traveled across all seven continents in his powered wheelchair while managing to run his travel blog curbfreewithcorylee.com, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not so accessible — travel adventures with others. His blog has received three Webby Awards for Best Personal Blog and two Lowell Thomas Awards for Best Travel Blog. In 2019, he was chosen as New Mobility Magazine’s Person of the Year. Cory was selected as one of the several external experts with a demonstrated commitment to equality and inclusion to sever on the All-inclusive Advisory Panel for The Points Guy, a travel media brand that attracts 10 million visitors per month. As always, his goal is to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty the world has to offer.

SPEAKERS

Emily Bertram

I Saw It On TikTok

When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, we at Visit Greater St. Cloud were in the same boat as the rest of the world – stuck at home with too much time on our hands. So we did what much of the nation did, and started a TikTok channel. It has since proven to be an invaluable space not only sharing and connecting with users within the platform, but also as a tool for video creation, discovering trends, and completely changing how we capture content. Let’s chat about if TikTok is a good fit for your brand, how to get started, why TikTok should be on your radar as a content creation tool, and some interesting ways other bloggers and destinations are using the platform.

About Emily Bertram: Emily is the Marketing Manager for Visit Greater St. Cloud, where she handles all of the brand’s social media, marketing placements, content development, and blogger relations, among other things. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University, and has worked in the past for NativeX, an app marketing organization, and Flint Group, a marketing agency. She has been with Visit Greater St. Cloud for nearly 6 years, and loves promoting her slice of Minnesota to visitors from near and far. Social media is her happy place, and she loves writing blogs, capturing photos and videos, and keeping up with the latest trends. She lives just out of town in Rockville, Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, and golden retriever, and they spend as much time as possible outdoors camping, hiking, and enjoying all four seasons.

Amanda Doyle

Amanda Doyle

I Know You Are…But What Am I? Beating Imposter Syndrome and Promoting Yourself Well
Even though you know your area like the back of your hand, and you’ve poured hours of your life into finding all the coolest things to share with your readers, you’re probably familiar with that annoying little voice…the one that says, “Oh, good grief, there are people who know way more about this than you. You haven’t even lived here your whole life! Do you really think anyone wants to hear what you have to say about Madison/fondue restaurants/charcuterie boards/vegan travel/ice fishing??”
Imposter syndrome is the thing that slows us down, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, and says we aren’t who we say we are. Amanda E. Doyle is a freelance writer and book author who has evidence to the contrary (9 published books, from traditional and institutional publishers), countless magazine and newspaper articles (from city magazines and bridal guides to national travel publications) and still knows that voice! She has invented and borrowed a stable of tips and tricks over her writing career to tame the beast of Imposter Syndrome and carry on writing. Get inspired to make it so you don’t have to fake it as you claim your expertise on your subject matter. Interactive and conversational, this session will help you get over yourself and get on with it.

 

About Amanda Doyle:

Amanda E. Doyle is a Southern native (Memphis and Florida) and a Midwestern transplant who finds intrigue and adventures from her home base in St. Louis, MO. She’s been voted “most fun guest” in a highly unscientific poll of her favorite morning TV show hosts (Great Day St. Louis). She loves coffee, has pet a Clydesdale, and has given an entire book presentation, complete with PowerPoint/musical interludes/trivia questions, to an audience of one…who was not even sure what program he was there for. It was a learning experience.
She’s the author of 8 books, from neighborhood guidebooks to a history of the civil rights struggle in St. Louis; her 9th book will be published this summer. In addition to her own writing, Amanda is the author liaison for Reedy Press, in St. Louis, and works in acquisitions for the publisher. You can reach her at adoyle@reedypress.com
Sheila in front of Holliwell Bridge in Madison County

Sheila Scarborough

Get More Out of Your 24 Hours: Create More Content in Less Time, With Smart Repurposing
Today’s travel or tourism blogger has access to lots of free/inexpensive and powerful online marketing communications tools (so many that it can seem overwhelming.) It is great that you have the ability to create tons of content and promotional info, but finding enough time to do so can be challenging, especially for “mighty teams of one.” Let’s talk about ways to be more productive and create more content in less time, with smart repurposing – like turning Instagram Reels into YouTube Shorts – and using different digital publishing formats to tell the same stories, saving both your valuable time AND your sanity.

 

About Sheila Scarborough: Sheila Scarborough is a speaker, trainer, and writer specializing in tourism, travel, and social media. She’s written for many blogs and print publications and is also a certified Navy Master Training Specialist, with years of experience as an instructor. Along with Leslie McLellan, Sheila is part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person training in social media marketing for tourism, hospitality, and economic development.

Winner of the Austin American-Statesman Texas Social Media Award and an AWC (Association for Women in Communications) Clarion award, Sheila trains and speaks regularly about social media to a variety of audiences including public relations and marketing professionals, tourism and economic development experts, Main Street organizations, and Chambers of Commerce.
She co-founded and still writes for the award-winning Perceptive Travel blog, helps run #tourismchat on Twitter and Facebook, serves on the Advisory Board for SXSW – the South by Southwest conference – and also serves on both the Education Committee for TACVB (Texas Association of CVBs) and the Legislative Committee for the Texas Downtown Association. A U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two children, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan because there’s one winner, one loser, and no whining.
Tim Trudell

Diversity In Travel and Tourism Discussion and Panel

What do you see as diversity in travel? Is it visiting a variety of attractions? Or trying different food? In reality, diversity in travel, especially in the Midwest, is a challenge. Diversity comes in all kinds of colors and shapes, from People of Color to the physically challenged. Are our attractions designed to embrace a variety of visitors? Do your articles include diversity? Join us during the Midwest Travel Network’s conference in St. Cloud, as we explore what it means to embrace diversity in travel with a panel of experts.

About Tim Trudell: Tim Trudell is a freelance writer and online content creator. Along with his wife Lisa, he’s authored two books on Omaha attractions and restaurants – 100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die and Unique Eats and Eateries of Omaha. A third book is about Nebraska tourism – 100 Things to Do in Nebraska Before You Die. He is working on a fourth book about the lost treasures of Omaha. Tim’s freelance work covers a range of topics and has appeared in magazines, newspaper, and online sites, such as nextavenue.org, Flatwater Free Press, Nebraska Life, Omaha Magazine, Living Here Midwest, Culture Crush, and travel guides, including Clear Lake, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Missouri. As a one-time community journalist, his affection for the stories journalists share has never waned. Having been a manager of people, he’s intrigued by people’s leadership qualities and practices. He and Lisa have been published blog The Walking Tourists (https://thewalkingtourists.com) since 2011. While focusing mainly on the Midwest, Tim enjoys traveling all over. With daughters living in Tacoma, he also has a fondness for the Pacific Northwest. As a biracial child of a Native American and Irish woman, America’s melting pot stories intrigue him. We have amazing stories in our country and – believing everyone has a story to tell – Tim enjoys sharing them.

Bisa Myles

Bisa Myles

About Bisa Myles: Bisa Myles is a freelance writer, photographer, and blogger behind Myles to Travel. She grew up on the south side of Chicago and currently resides nearby in a Northwest Indiana home. She is a passionate traveler that decided to make travel a priority after being diagnosed with breast cancer. In recovery, she discovered her love of the outdoors and adventures and has made it her mission to inspire others to not wait for a life-changing event to follow their passions. Bisa loves hiking the trails in Indiana and Illinois as well as exploring new restaurants in the city and suburbs.

Celeste Lupercio

Celeste Lupercio

About Celeste Lupercio: Celeste Lupercio is a first-generation Mexican immigrant, who graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree leading to a career in social work until 2011. More recently she has transitioned from her role with the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in April, working now for Visit Kansas City Kansas as the Director of Marketing and Community Engagement. She is a member of Skål International travel and tourism club, Meeting Planners International, and the Kansas City Diversity and Inclusion Consortium. She is currently recognized by Google as a Top 50 Local Guide, defined as a Local Business Champion.

Cory Lee

About Cory Lee: After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee’s thirst for adventure never ceased. He has traveled across all seven continents in his powered wheelchair while managing to run his travel blog curbfreewithcorylee.com, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not so accessible — travel adventures with others. His blog has received three Webby Awards for Best Personal Blog and two Lowell Thomas Awards for Best Travel Blog. In 2019, he was chosen as New Mobility Magazine’s Person of the Year. Cory was selected as one of the several external experts with a demonstrated commitment to equality and inclusion to sever on the All-inclusive Advisory Panel for The Points Guy, a travel media brand that attracts 10 million visitors per month. As always, his goal is to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty the world has to offer.

Sara Broers

Sara Broers

Your Success Can Be Measured By The People You Surround Yourself With

The people that you surround yourself with will help determine more than 90% of your success. When you purposely seek out people that you admire and are inspired by, you will take your blog and/or business to a new level. Sara has a proven track record of building successful relationships through connections that were made through strangers. Learn how you can connect yourself with the people that will be your best partners in future projects. If you have ever wondered why others are doing some things that you are not, Sara will show you how you can be the person making all of those things happen. Remember this, “You do not know who the person knows that is sitting next to you.”

About Sara Broers: Sara Broers is the co-owner of the Midwest Travel Network, the CEO of Travel With Sara, the CEO of Social Connections, LLC and she’s also the social media instructor at World Wide College of Auctioneering and America’s Auction Academy. Sara entered the online marketing space in 2008 when she created a “Mom” blog and hopped on Twitter. Over the course of time, she realized that the tourism industry was one of the easiest ways for communities to grow their tax base. It wasn’t long after that Travel With Sara came to fruition. Sara has been a speaker at the Indiana State Tourism Conference, the Iowa Fair Association Conference, Bloggy Conference, TBEX, WITS, Type-A Parent Conference, Iowa Lakes Community College, NIACC, and several Chamber of Commerce events across the United States. She founded the North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club in 2013 and has helped connect hundreds of business owners through this monthly event.

She partnered with several Midwest travel writers to write Midwest Road Trip Adventures. Sara wrote the Iowa section. Her latest book, 100 Things To Do In Iowa Before You Die, is slated to be released in May of 2022. She is passionate about helping destinations place themselves on the map, unlike anything before. Sara lives in Iowa on the family farm with her husband and they have two grown adult sons and one grandson.

Paula Hanus

Paula Chenchar Hanus

Heighten Your Hygge Index

Not long after being awarded Outstanding Lodging Property by the Iowa Tourism Office, Larch Pine Inn Bed & Breakfast had a guest leave the following review: 

“The stay was perfect! We enjoyed the warm hospitality and cozy feel you’ve created. It made me think of the Danish concept of “hygge.” The bed was comfortable too. The deluxe breakfast was fantastic, and the history of the Inn was nice. I’ve been to many hotels in almost 40 different countries and thought the Larch Pine was very charming. We look forward to staying there again on my next visit to Clear Lake. “ 

Hygge, pronounced /ˈh(j)uːɡə/, is a Danish word that means to embrace feelings of coziness, warmth, comfortable friendliness and contentment. 

Which led Innkeeper and experience designer, Paula Chenchar Hanus to ask the question, what were she and her staff doing differently from other lodging properties, to elicit these types of feelings? Hence began her research on defining Hygge with regards to the customer experience. How does a business create warm, friendly, and cozy connections with their customers? Hanus knows from her academic research on the Oprah Brand that these types of meaningful connections are harder to create, take more time and cost more money, but in the end, they are more valuable to the customer. And these types of experiences turn customers into brand advocates on the Customer Satisfaction Scale. In this session, Hanus will share what she has learned and what you can do to heighten your Hygge Index and turn your customers into Brand Advocates. 

About Paula Chenchar Hanus: Along with her husband Ken, Paula Chenchar Hanus is the owner and Innkeeper of Larch Pine Inn Bed & Breakfast in the small resort town of Clear Lake, Iowa. They bought the Inn in January of 2018 and in the Spring of 2021 (just 3 short years later) they were awarded Outstanding Lodging Property in a small market by the Iowa Tourism Office.  While this was a huge surprise, and they are most certainly honored, Hanus believes it was no accident. 

Hanus has a Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design with extensive research on how to build a strong brand and over 30+ years of experience building strong brands in her roles as executive director, creative marketing director, brand consultant, art director and more. Today she considers herself both an innkeeper and an experience designer; which means she gives very careful consideration to the moments of engagement between the guest and the brand experience and the ideas, emotions and memories these moments create. Her academic research was on the Oprah brand and how those behind the Oprah brand were able to create more meaningful connections with their audience. These types of connections are harder to create, take more time and cost more money, but in the end, they are more valuable to the customer and turn customers into brand advocates. She is often asked to speak at conferences, workshops and other events about her research and how she has applied this research to the industry. 

She has been married to her husband Ken for over 40 years and is the mother of three grown boys.

Julie Roller Weeks

Julie Roller Weeks

How to Make Big Things Happen In small towns – Tactics, Challenges and Success Stories

How to make big things happen in small towns. We’ve heard it before, do more with less, but HOW do we do it? In this session, we will talk about tactics, challenges, and success stories for small towns or small budget organizations.

About Julie Roller Weeks: 
From climbing Mt. Sunflower to taking selfies with miniature Statue of Liberty replicas, Julie Roller Weeks is a proud ruby-sneaker-wearing Kansan who loves exploring and sharing Kansas! Julie returned to her home county six years ago to serve as Director of the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau with the City of Abilene.

Through her leadership, Abilene was named Best Small Town to Visit by Smithsonian Magazine, True Western Town of the Year by True West Magazine, and Best Historic Small Town by USA Today readers. She has hosted more than two dozen travel bloggers during her time in Abilene. She welcomes the opportunity to host new writers and partner with other communities on multi-day trips.

Before joining the CVB, she worked at the Kansas Department of Agriculture on the Ag Marketing team with the From the Land of Kansas and farmers’ market programs; the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, where she served as the Director of the Kansas Sampler Festival; and as a Main Street Director for Downtown, Augusta Inc.
Julie is a graduate of Kansas State University, the Kansas Farm Bureau Masters program, the Eisenhower Series of Excellence in Public Service and ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute.

She is a Kansas Destination Specialist and serves as President of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas and Kansas Rural Communities Foundation; Vice-Chair of Dickinson County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program and Dickinson County Republican Party; and Registrar for the Abilene Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a board member for the Kansas I-70 Association, North Central Kansas Tourism Coalition, Eisenhower Series of Excellence in Public Service, and Dickinson County Community Foundation CPIN action team. Julie is also a member of the Abilene Chapter Rotary Club and its sister club “Faux Ro”, and the Flint Hills Bourbon Club.

Julie and her husband Ryan reside in a historic home in Abilene, Kansas. She enjoys collecting Fiesta dishes, decorating for the holidays, genealogy and traveling.

Shelly Greving

Google Deep-Dive

Do you feel like you’re killin’ it by creating captivating content and highlighting the must-see and do activities at your attraction, in your community, or along your travel journeys? I sure hope so! But have you ever wondered why some content gets better traction than others? Or would you like to know what content is keeping people engaged more than others? If you’re like me, you like to see which content performs most effectively and do MORE of that and LESS of the things that take time but don’t yield results. If you LOVE seeing those insights from Facebook and other social platforms but wonder how your blog, website, or Google presence are doing, this is the session for you. So pack your bags and get ready to uncover free ways to enhance your online visibility and utilize Google business and analytics tools that can increase your effectiveness online. Find out which metrics matter most and how to use that data to improve your website/Google presence. Get ready to dig in deep as we explore the depths of Google.

About Shelly Greving: Growing up as a farm girl in southern Iowa, Shelly’s passion runs deep for making the most out of where you’re planted through hard work, connections and creativity. Shelly now lives in rural western Iowa in the ‘middle of everywhere!’ She is a marketing professional with experience in strategic marketing, community revitalization, brand development and non-traditional marketing and fundraising efforts. Shelly launched Emerge Marketing Solutions in 2016 to achieve her vision of helping to revitalize rural Iowa and bridge the urban/rural divide because she recognizes the potential for businesses, communities and organizations to attract new audiences and deliver the products, services and quality of life that Iowa is best known for. Her assertiveness and can-do spirit is contagious, and her team will inspire and activate you to emerge from your comfort zone, strategically explore new opportunities, and discover your God-given potential. Visit www.em3rgemarketing.com and www.ignitebethelight.com to learn more about the work that her teams do.

Jay & Leah Hall

Passion to Profit – How to Turn Your Hobby Blog into a Small Business

In this workshop, Jay and Leah will teach you the steps to level up your blog to become more than a passion project. Whether just starting out, or if you have been blogging for years, they will have tips for you to get to the next level with your blog and your business. Learn some things to do, and lessons of things not to do in leveling up. We will cover all things growth such as pricing sponsored posts, ad networks, understanding your audience, and more! Come with your questions. They cannot wait to help you level up!

About Jay & Leah Hall: Jay and Leah live in Omaha, Nebraska and write about everything boozy. They started Gastronom in 2012 as a hobby, and have grown the website to be Leah’s full-time job! They love to highlight eating and drinking locally wherever they travel and at home in Omaha, developing cocktail recipes and telling about locations with great sips. Featured on Liquor.com, the Martha Stewart Show, Good Housekeeping and in Instagram’s Small Business Best Practices guidelines. They have also been on the Mediavine ad network since 2015. Follow Jay and Leah, and get a cocktail recipe (or 2!) and see why all their neighbors wonder what they do for a living!

Erin Huiatt

How Did This Happen? Networking and Putting Yourself Out There

During Erin’s session she will talk about the importance of networking and how to put yourself out there, that hearing “no” is definitely okay, and it is okay to brag about yourself sometimes. If you are stuck with gaining new ideas or making connections, we encourage you to join her for this presentation. You will leave with amazing energy and ready for growth.

In addition, Erin also sits on the board for the Des Moines Children’s Museum, the Associate’s Board for the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, is a Certified Postpartum Doula and published author of ‘The Postpartum Plan Workbook’.

Erin has been featured on Hello Iowa! The Greater Des Moines Partnership, by the Iowa State Secretary, several podcasts, Iowa State University, finalist of the Inspiring Women of Iowa Character Award, nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by FuseDSM, and more. She is a reliable resource and stepping stone for individuals to find support and make connections within this community and beyond.

About Erin Huiatt: Erin Huiatt is the owner of Des Moines Parent, Des Moines Outdoor Fun, President of FemCity Des Moines, mother of two, and wife. Through her ownership and leadership of her businesses, she connects folks throughout Des Moines and the Midwest.

From a full-time Veterinary Technician to a full-time mother, wife, and entrepreneur, Erin Huiatt quickly understood the importance of making connections with people within her community and beyond. It was a few years after quitting her full-time job and beginning her entrepreneur journey that she realized there would be no growth in her business if she did not begin making connections and thinking outside the box. Going from barely any page views and minimal followers on social media, today Des Moines Parent welcomes thousands of parents and families across Des Moines Parent’s several platforms.

Katy Mann

How To Use Video To Find Your Audience & Make Money

In this workshop, Katy Mann and her husband Jacob will teach you how to use Facebook Live and short edited videos to grow your audience and make money. From monetization on your website to selling your videos to network television, Katy and Jacob will help you develop your audience growth strategy and create a plan to monetize.

Topics Covered: Equipment, Platforms, Monetization, Audience Growth

About Katy Mann: After serving aboard a hospital ship in Africa and lending a hand in a handful of other beautiful countries, Southern California native Katy Mann found herself in the midwest looking for things to do. After many years of documenting her travels and every day adventures, Katy had viral success with a holiday website and decided she really liked having an audience.

Katy settled down and had children, while she created Indy with Kids, the number one family events and activities website in Indiana. With a passion for activating families to explore their community and beyond, Katy creates hyperlocal and travel content for her own platforms and her clients. Using video, Katy reaches 1000’s of people each day by way of television, social media and her website.

Katy’s professional triumphs include weekly television segments for local stations, writing for regional and state tourism websites, weekly columnist for the Indianapolis Star, co-director of a conference and association of Hyperlocal Publications, Disney’s Babble award winner for people’s choice of favorite Family Travel Blogger and a semi-viral video of a live tour of a gas station bathroom.

Lindsey Ranzau

Lindsey Ranzau

The Steps Everyone Needs To Know To Become A Compelling Video Storyteller

How should you use Instagram stories to drive more engagement around your content? How can you be more comfortable in front of the camera? What makes people want to come back to you for more? Learn why video storytelling is crucial to driving engagement and the steps you should take to build a compelling story for your brand and the experiences you cover. Hear lessons learned from Minnesota travel writer Look About Lindsey on using her favorite platform, Instagram stories, to engage with her audience in a personal way.

About Lindsey Ranzau: Lindsey, a born and raised Minnesota blogger lives in Minneapolis with her favorite person (and hubby) Cole. When she is not living the corporate life during the week, she spends most of her free time exploring everything from her North Loop neighborhood to destinations overseas. For the last few years, she has been jumping on a plane or taking a road trip every chance she gets. She believes that travel and new experiences shouldn’t be dreamt about as “someday” but should instead be something that’s part of your everyday life. She shares her stories in her blog, “Look About Lindsey.” She can also be seen occasionally on the popular Twin Cities talk show, “The Jason Show.” Follow Lindsey on Instagram to keep up with her stories.

Jessica Sawatski

Best Practices For CVB’s & Bloggers On Partnering Together

Partnering with a blogger can be a fun experience when you take the time to get to know them. When bloggers and destinations work together, relationships bloom. Learn how to connect with each other as Jessica and Melody Pittman of Wherever I May Roam Blog have. They will offer you best practices on forming partnerships and how you can rise above your competition. Bloggers and destinations all have choices and you want to be their first choice!

About Jessica Sawatski: Jessica Sawatski leads Visit Wichita‘s media relations efforts as public relations manager. In her role, she works with local, regional and national media to promote Wichita as a must-visit Midwest destination through earned media initiatives. Sawatski received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Kansas State University, and has called Wichita home for the past 15 years. Prior to Visit Wichita, she helped clients manage social media strategy and content development, special event planning and public relations at the branding agency, Signal Theory.

Melody Pittman

Melody Pittman

About Melody Pittman: Melody Pittman is a blogger and freelance writer from Vero Beach, Florida who is on a quest to conquer all 50 states and visit as many countries as she is years old. She and her daughter Taylor Pittman Hardy write about luxury travel, culture, and food on their blog, Wherever I May Roam and Travel the South Bloggers. After years of traveling big cities both locally and abroad, Melody is now finding that her passion is exploring the Southern charms of small towns across the country. She is unofficially the biggest cheerleader for the Midwest and loves sharing stories of her travels there. She loves exploring local festivals, museums, unique attractions, cruising, and the concept of buying and eating local.

Postcard Jar Teget

Ann & Steve Teget

Practical Steps To Leverage Wellness Travel As It’s Trending

Think you need an infinity pool, juice bar, and a luxury spa to attract wellness travelers? Think again. In this session, you’ll discover how Midwest destinations and bloggers can stay at the forefront of one of the travel industry’s leading trends – wellness travel. Learn what wellness travel is and discover how you can attract wellness travelers to your community or blog.

You’ll gain valuable insight on how to leverage resources and content you already have to incorporate the wellness travel trend. Take home low-cost, practical steps that will show consumers how Midwest travel can help them maintain, enhance, or kick-start a healthy lifestyle and/or sense of well-being. One of the fastest growing sectors in our industry, wellness travel is gaining more and more popularity. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn all about it.

About Ann & Steve Teget: Ann and Steve Teget began writing about their travels in 2014 when Ann was diagnosed with two chronic illnesses and needed a hobby to lift her spirits. Since then, their blog, PostcardJar.com, has blossomed into a joy-filled site that inspires readers to take the next step on their own journey. Both native Midwesterners, the Tegets write about travel, food, and more recently, healthy living.

Since 2019, this married couple has lost a combined 200+ pounds and adopted a healthier and more active lifestyle. While they still enjoy the occasional greasy burger, they now seek out destinations and travel experiences that enhance their healthy lifestyle and a sense of well being.

Named the 2019 Midwest Network’s Bloggers of the Year, the Tegets also own and operate a successful Airbnb in Pawhuska, Okla. Their Airbnb called Postcard Place has received more than 120 consecutive 5-star reviews and was featured in The Pioneer Woman Magazine.

Steve and Ann Teget reside in small-town Crete, Neb. Steve is a former Spanish teacher, coach, and middle school principal. Ann spent her early professional career as a sports reporter and later served as vice president of both public and government relations for a Fortune 500 company.

Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine

Grow Your Blog with Actionable, Practical, and Realistic SEO Tips

High-ranking blog content can be fun to write as well as SEO-friendly!! If you want Google to send more traffic to your blog, this session is for you. We’ll discuss easy changes to make to your writing process, things to do to your site, and ideas for paid and free keyword research to help you make SEO work for you. Michelle increased Google referrals on her blog, Simplify, Live, Love, by 90% from 2020 to 2021, and over 200% from 2021 to 2022 year to date – all with strategic SEO changes and a focus on the reader’s experience. Get ready to make Google’s algorithm work for you with actionable, practical, and realistic tips you can implement right away.

About Michelle Marine: Michelle Marine is an Eastern Iowa-based writer and content creator, mom of four, and head zookeeper of a hobby farm with too many animals to count. She started Simplify, Live, Love in 2010 as a lifestyle and travel resource with the vision to help busy families simplify their lives, eat real food, become more eco-friendly, and travel with a large (multigenerational) family.

In addition to publishing Simplify, Live, Love, Michelle is also the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a freelance writer and photographer, and a member of SATW and FTA. She spent 12 years living abroad, has a BA in German Language and Literature, an MA in English Linguistics, and taught community college composition classes for over ten years. Michelle enjoys collaborating with destinations, lifestyle brands, and tourism boards. She always has a ready smile and genuinely likes working with a wide variety of people.