Blogging: Hints & Tips from the Big Blogger Conference

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!
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Image from Expllora

Pinterest

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…

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Image from Jasmin Charlotte

SEO

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…

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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.

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Brand Interaction

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;

  • SMILE.
  • 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…

 photo Big Blogger Conference6_zpsbeabgoay.jpgHave you ever attended an event like this? What’s your best blogging tip?

 

 

  • These is such a brilliant post! Thank you for summarizing the tips you’ve learnt and sharing them : ) Is there any chance you could show an example of a seo checklist?

    Kathryn | nimblenote.blogspot.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m thinking of doing my own post in a few weeks, will let you know! x

      • ninegrandstudent

        Let me know if you do! x

  • It sounds like you had a really interesting day! Love the Pinterest tips, I need to find out how to use the widget xx

    Toasty

    • ninegrandstudent

      It was a fab day! x

  • Sounds like it was a brilliant day! Those talks seem really helpful. I’ve just started an intern in SEO and marketing and I’m learning so much more. I find it all fascinating aha! Thanks for sharing what you learned!

    • ninegrandstudent

      Wow, sounds like a fab internship! x