You might have seen me babble on about the #BigBloggerConference, but now I finally have time to sit down and write about it. That scorchingly hot day now feels so long ago, luckily I took plenty of notes and more than a few photographs to help me recap the day! As it’s been so long since the actual event my post is aimed more at what I learnt as opposed to what I did…a quick flick through #bigbloggerconference on Twitter will get you LOADS of posts though. I’ll scatter all the photos I took throughout too!
Image from Expllora
My first talk of the morning was by the lovely Elizabeth of Rosalilium – a Pinterest Ambassador who reminded me just how much there is to learn about the site. I wasn’t aware that Pinterest was not set up as a social media network, but rather it should serve as a visual discovery tool. It’s not meant to be used to promote your content, but rather inspire new ideas – though I think it does both rather well simultaneously.
The main points I learnt about Pinterest;
- 80% of users view pins on a mobile – so longer, vertical images are more likely to draw attention.
- Content is not time sensitive, and won’t ‘expire.’ Instead it will be revived on an ongoing basis, for instance Christmas pins becoming popular each year.
- Pins tend to ‘trend’ about two months before an event. At the end of August, Halloween was featuring regularly on homepages!
- Hashtags are a big no-no.
- Rich pins are great for bloggers, especially those posting recipes (this is really something I need to look into)
- Embedding other people’s pins via the widget is a way to share them on your blog without causing any legal issues…
Image from Jasmin Charlotte
The second, and my favourite, session was by the lovely Jasmin of JasminCharlotte. One of my favourite bloggers and a technical minefield of information, Jasmin gave one of the best explanations of SEO and strategy I’ve experienced. Let’s face it, it can be a horrendously boring topic but it was made light-hearted. This talk really fired me up and SEO is something I’ve been really working on lately…
I found this points really useful and have started implementing a few of them since the conference;
- Successful link building can be achieved by creating internal links, doing guest posts and commenting.
- Create a simple SEO checklist for yourself to use on every post. I currently have a Post-It stuck to my laptop screen, I plan to make a pretty version soon!
- Optimise social media too – Twitter and Instagram in particular. Now I have a new phone I’ve been able to ‘gram more and I’m loving seeing my followers slowly increase…
- ‘Good Content’ in Google terms is a lot different to what I would have expected – using more paragraphs, using more bullet points and keep words simple. And keeping posts between 300 and 500 words. This one pretty much fails then!
- Jasmin also cleared up the follow-no follow links issue on the day, though I’ve managed to since get myself all confused about it again. However hard I try this will NOT stick…
Image from Becky Bedbug
Monetising Your Blog
I have to say, I was really sceptical about my final talk – from Sarah of The Prosecco Diaries. Monetising your blog does happen, I occasionally get a few sponsored posts and I do review products here and there. What doesn’t sit completely right with me is putting yourself out there for collaborations, but again that’s just me. I have a degree to be doing, I’ve been working full-time, and I’m unlikely to ever make blogging my career. I can totally see why those who rely on it would go seeking opportunities and I honestly don’t blame them for it!
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by this. I felt it was perhaps branded wrongly, it was more a ‘how to get noticed’ talk in a way. I found it useful as Sarah talked a lot about what PRs look for. Perhaps not a talk I would have chosen to go to, but a good one all the same, with best tips being;
- PR’s aren’t always about followers – they want great content, professional layouts, decent photo quality, and a high standard of writing.
- Always have your contact details and social media easily displayed. PRs don’t have half an hour per blog to search for it.
- Email back. Stay in contact. Don’t disappear from the face of the earth…
- And regardless of how popular your blog is, if you aren’t professional, polite and generally nice, don’t count on the PR coming back to you.
The afternoon was reserved for meeting the brands, networking and generally getting stuck into things. As I mentioned about, I find self-promotion quite difficult so I did struggle at first. However I thoroughly enjoyed it and, whilst I’m not too sure whether it will bring any collabs, it’s definitely increased my confidence!
If you are feeling a bit apprehensive about approaching brands in person then have a read of these;
- Ask questions about the brand. It doesn’t seem pushy, and you can easily ascertain if any of their campaigns are likely to be relevant to your blog.
- Social media is key to brand interaction. Quite a lot of the brands were running little comps throughout the day – I even ended up winning a pair of Shopaholic’s boots via my #Shoefie.
- Business cards are vital. I genuinely thought these weren’t really a ‘thing’ anymore but SO many bloggers had them. I’m now working on getting W to design some for me!
As you can probably tell, it was an absolutely packed day. I learnt far more than I was expecting to, but more than that I had a fab time. Lauren definitely did a fab job in putting all of this together! Now it’s time to put what I learnt into action…
Have you ever attended an event like this? What’s your best blogging tip?