Friday, 5 April 2013

Loving #BlogSummit Bristol

Copyright:Tom Arber Photography
So, this is obviously a delayed post. Which is good on the one hand- it's always good to have time to reflect, to make sure it was't just a short-term high. (On the other hand, my laptop died on me).

I was really nervous about attending. I missed the +Tots100 events I'd registered for previously due to childcare and child illness, so was really grateful to have made the list- there was nothing going to stand in the way of me attending, I had back up plan on back up plan.

In spite of the planning I was still nervous about going, I didn't know anyone else, and I hate walking in places alone.
Fortunately as soon as I walked in I was met by a smiling Cathy from +NurtureStore and her lovely nature put fears at bay.
I was then lucky enough to meet Emma from +snowingindoors photography and Emma @lilchinchi who were so kind in adopting me for the day.

Blog Summit is, as promoted, a very low key meet; very relaxed and stress free. Throughout the day there was plenty of time to get to know other bloggers. I met the lovely fellow twin mum Claire, and the lovely Sarah, it was lovely to talk to people about anything and everything.
Copyright:Sally Whittle
In terms of the content of the workshops, I was glad for the most part I had my trusty notepad with me.

+Sally immediately put everyone at ease and trepidation in equal measure- there are no photos of this!

We got a double whammy with +Annie and +Christine offering their insights into working with charities.
We heard that sometimes it can really be about taking things back to the basics. Treating people as you want to be treated, and ensuring the charity, you and your audience get something different.
Sometimes its about knowing that there are different ways to achieve things, that blogging may not be the best return, and sometimes its about exploring the whole opportunity.
Sometimes its about your social reach rather than just that of your blog, reaching people beyond those reading blogs.
Working with charities is a personal a choice as everything else which goes on your blog, and how you want to achieve this can really be in your gift as #TeamHonk as proved.

Next Tots100 went all out in helping us understand all the technical bits around SEO, follow/ no follow, Google's standpoint and where things stand with paid links. Tom from Fresh Egg made this all make sense.
A really basic tip was to make sure any links open in a different page (on Blogger there's a little tick box for when you're adding a link).
I know everyone can have a different interpretation and people can argue as much over grey areas as they wish.
From what I've heard and know, my blog is mine, and I have legal responsibilities in terms of content. I hope I make things are readable as possible for anyone stumbling upon it and that it is a blog which has integrity. I think this means I'm ok.

Cathy from +NurtureStore really opened my eyes to engagement on Facebook and Pinterest. I have to admit this has been way beyond me, I struggle with social media. Whilst on the surface, to me, it's because I don't know where I'd find the time, Cathy showed it's about using time properly, investing effort in the right things, and just tweaking for maximum impact.
Cathy talked us through considerations like the time of publishing, especially if your audience is overseas, about using your whole repertoire- promoting your older blog posts which have relevance, to use images which get maximum exposure on Pinterest (Portrait), to have a blog board, and to get involved.
Cathy encouraged having a plan, to make sure that you do consider everything but don't get too absorbed.

As a little plug I'm now working on my Pinterest and Facebook pages and would really appreciate a follow!

In terms of what's given me the most immediate benefit, and left me feeling like it was ok to switch my camera from automatic, was the photography session by +Becky and Tom Arber. Some great tips came out of the session, from using a halogen torch, to using the little flower icon (macro I think!), and not being afraid to break the classic rules. I loved the fantastic family photos that Becky and Tom shared, showing the beauty in the most simple moment. And I have started taking photos which I love, in manual setting! At this rate a tripod and a halogen torch will be on my Christmas list!

And before we finished we got to hear from brands. Key words which came out of the session were authenticity, credibility, quality, shareability and content.

I came away from Blog Summit with a to-do list a mile long.
The most urgent thing on my to-do list is keeping my blog mine.
I don't like feeling stressed by 'my thing'.
Blogging is 'my thing', outside of work, friends and family.
I hope this is the thing that will keep my blog authentic and credible.
I want to invest as much as possible in making this a quality read.
So, a list a mile long then!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed BlogSummit - I always take away a whole host of things from them too! And thanks for the mention x

  2. My to-do list since Blog Summit keeps getting longer! I loved the Pinterest and FB talk, Cathy was such a great speaker.
    We were very happy to 'adopt' you, we were just very glad you weren't called Emma too!


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