A few weekend’s ago I went to Blog On a wonderful blogging conference hosted by the lovely Laura from Tired Mummy of Two. The event was held in Manchester at The Museum of Science and Industry. It was an event filled with learning, meeting up with bloggers I’ve known for years and call my friends and meeting some lovely new blogger friends.
I traveled down on the train on the Friday afternoon with the lovely Jo from Mummy’s Knee and met up with another of my lovely friends Jaime from The Oliver’s Madhouse. We headed to the Hard Rock Cafe in Manchester for some burgers and cocktail making. It was a lot of fun and I made one of my favourite cocktails Amaretto Sour.
Thank you to the lovely Sian from OffCumden for the photo and it was so lovely to see her again and get a chance to chat. Also got to chat with Erica from 92three30 one of my friends I pretty much chat with every day on twitter, so nice to see in real life and so many others. It was nice to meet some new bloggers in a relaxed environment and speak to Laura before the big day. It helped ease the nerves as did a few of the Amaretto sours.
Arriving at Mosi I met up with the lovely Susanne at Ghostwriter Mummy along with the gorgeous Elsie. There were so many wonderful bloggers I met and spoke to that day. The social aspect of blogging events are definitely the highlight. There were also lots of lovely PR companies and brands to speak to us, with lots of different things to try. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I even caught up with Sandra from Thinking Slimmer, always a pleasure.
The first session was about Time Management by the lovely Nickie of Typecast. She is someone I’ve known for years and it’s always so nice to see her and hear her speak. Time Management is something I am really failing at just now, so this session was right up my street. I loved her parting note “your Blog, you plan, your life”. These final words I have kept with me. You can read about her keynote session on her blog. This is what I picked up:-
- Use Google calendar for appointments
- The IFTTT app is great for oraganising different bits
- User Evernote to keep track of notes, fave tweet, etc
- Organise each task into the ease of each one
- User timers, set a timer for each task and stick to it
- Buffer is user for scheduling social media and the paid version incorporates Pinterest
- Chrome extensions are useful
- Share through bitly to shorten extensions
- Shedule to google+ using chrome extentions
- Use your time wisely, by using the time, a diary and don’t over run
Next session was the lovey Jenny from Cheetah’s In My Shoes on photography. Do check out her blog for all her amazing hints and tips on making your photographs better. Her photographs are amazing and she wears awesome leggings. I learnt that it takes time to get a good shot, be patient, get action shots, edit your pictures, frame them and look for pictures around you. We then got to go off around the museum and take some pictures. These are the ones I took below.
The next session was by Nickie from Typecast, Kate from WitWitWoo and Lisa from Holybobb’s and was on YouTube and Vlogging. This is certainly not something I’ve done a lot of, I know very little about it and think I sound like a Scottish Smurf on helium when I vlog. However, I’m told it’s all about the confidence and the more you do it, the more natural you become. I am not convinced, but it’s something I’d like to try again. I will give this a go, watch this space. Here’s some tips I learnt:-
- Good content
- Split your videos into playlists and use specific tags
- Join the vloggers and bloggers Facebook group
- 24 hours are the most popular
- Use tags
- Editing – use imovie or movie maker on the laptop
- Have your camera at mouth and nose level
- Use a daylight lamp or daylight bulb for lighting
- Use Royalty free music like sound cloud
During the break I finally got to meet the wonderful Jenny from The Brick Castle and Sim from Sim’s Life. Along with many bloggers I’ve known for many years and love and some new bloggers, who were a delight to get to know.
Next session was Blogging Advanced with Nick from Bring Digital. This was an interesting session, I’m never really sure even after blogging for almost 6 years whether or not I should be in the advanced section. I learnt a fair bit in the session.
- Advanced SEO – Google read your blog meta tags
- Spring clean – never delete, archive
- Update your about page
- Chose topics wisely
- Backup your blog
- Check Google Analytics to see what’s doing well
- Become brand friendly
- Hang out on linkedin
- Approach brands with something different
- He didn’t like google and that come across
- Help other bloggers and ask for help if you need it
- Grow your audience
- Tweet a piece out 10 times a week
The last session was the lifestyle session. This was interesting, but I struggled to hear the two bloggers as I was right up the back. I did learn that you should use brand loyalty and work with those you are passionate about. You should think about charging for hosting a giveaway. Comment on other bloggers sites and Google might penalise you if your comments are short.
I got to speak to very sweet Nisbah from Five Adventurers who had been very nervous about going, she seemed to have a great time and hopefully felt at ease by the end of the day. I also go to speak to my dear friend Tas from Not My Year Off, unfortunately not for long enough, but it is also lovely to see her . We managed to fit in a quick selfie.
The day was rounded off with a yummy dinner with Jo, Jaime and the lovely Jo from Jo’s Kitchen at the train station, just a shame Kirsty from Hijacked by Twins had to leave for her train. Then it was the long journey home.
I really enjoyed BlogOn and think Laura did an amazing job. The venue was excellent, great sessions and the brands were lovey too. With the event being smaller than the other ones I’ve been to, it gave you a chance to chat. I just wish I didn’t live so far away from so many lovely people. Now to put it all into practice and find the time to get it all done. Thank goodness I have new time management skills. What are your top time management skills? I need all the help I can get. See you all again next year.