Following my return from Blog On last month I promised you all a post packed full of all the things that I learnt whilst I was there. There is so much that I learnt and have since used I found myself having to write separate lists for each session.
What I Learnt About The Blog On Conference
- I realised that it doesn’t matter how significant your presence on the internet, Blog On welcomes all bloggers no matter what your DA, PA, Klout, Tots or whatever other score may be.
- You may have been blogging for a matter of years or days, it doesn’t matter either way as Blog On is beneficial to all that attend.
- Blog On is a fantastic opportunity to network with brands and bloggers, everybody is really friendly!
What I Learnt From The Sessions/ Workshops
I learnt so much from each of the sessions that I attended whilst at Blog On, I have tried to list some of my notes and findings from each session below.
Session One: Making Money with Mel from ‘Le Coin de Mel‘
Mel hosted an amazing session upon how to make money with your blog. She certainly gave me some ideas for future opportunities which I have already began putting to use. Here are some of my notes and the things that I learnt from Mel.
- Believe in yourself! It is really important to value yourself as a blogger.
- Know your worth!
- Try to create high quality, useful content.
- Images are worth a thousand words.
- Promote yourself, get your content out there.
- Be sure to read and comment on other blogs, share the love!
- Meet other bloggers when possible, find your tribe and help each other out.
- Be real, be yourself!
- Be professional and honest at all times.
- Be a good role model.
- List posts to Demo your work when pitching to brands.
- Be picky when working with brands, be sure to pitch to brands that you like.
- If you are wondering what you should be charging for reviews, sponsored posts or such like you may find a simple formula fairly effective. It is suggested that your domain authority multiplied by 4.5 will result in the perfect price.
- Always have a price in mind but be sure to ask the brand what their budget is before suggesting your own.
- Double whatever figure you may have in mind, what have you got to lose?
- Keep receipts.
- Keep a Spreadsheet as a form of recording all finances.
- Always Disclose when writing reviews, sponsored posts or such like. Also be sure to disclose if you are creating Vlogs.
Session Two- Planning Creative Blog Content – Finding Inspiration from the Seasons with Grace from ‘Eats Amazing‘.
I clearly remember walking into the Grace’s session as each table was filled with bits and bobs ready for crafting. I love playing around with crafts so I knew this session would be right up my street. Here are some of the many notes and things that I learnt from Grace’s session:
- Use the seasons for guidance on upcoming blog posts.
- Always carry a notebook and be sure to brain storm blog ideas.
- Always refer back to previous posts.
- Try creating a mini-series with a round-up to summarise the series.
- Be sure to dust off and reuse previous posts whether it’s through a link back or a simple revamp.
- Use Pinterest to gather data on popular topics, Pinterest is a fountain of inspiration for bloggers.
- Did you know that Pinterest does offer the chance to create secret boards for yourself which nobody else needs to see?
- Find other bloggers in your niche, bounce ideas off each other and perhaps create posts or even a mini-series together. You could cross-promote each others posts building traffic and readers.
- Consider all the seasonal themes which would make great collaborative posts.
- Always try to post seasonal posts in the run up to the season, no more than a month before as you don’t want to post too early incase readers become bored.
- Schedule content if needs be.
- Think about the long game, the bigger picture.
Session Three- WordPress (How To Give Your Blog An MOT) with Zoe from ‘MamaGeek‘.
Zoe wasn’t feeling herself during the conference, yet despite feeling unwell Zoe managed to host an interesting and informative session that seemed to really stick with me. I learnt so much from Zoe and have already begun following some of her advice to make improvements on my own blog. Here are some of my notes and the things that I learnt from the Wordpress master:
- 25% of the web is now hosted using Wordpress!
- Always display your social media icons above the fold on your website/ blog.
- Be sure to display your ‘subscribe’ options above the fold on your website/ blog. Readers need to be able to find a subscribe option quickly and with ease.
- RSS is not as popular but should certainly be offered to readers.
- Always ensure RSS feeds are valid.
- If you have created a contact page which uses a form be sure to also include your email address on the page.
- Be sure to keep your ‘About Me’ widget regularly updated, it is one of the first things that people read on your site.
- Be sure to organise tags and categories, remember tags are more specific whereas categories are a broader way in which to organise information.
- Be sure to delete all inactive/ unused plugins.
- Why not try using a slide show widget to display any brand badges (this will reduce the amount of space used on your website).
- Be sure to remove old/ inactive brand badges.
- Move less important information / widgets further down your website (ideally the footer).
- Try to use drop down options when displaying your archives and categories.
- Do not ‘over do’ adverts.
- Try not to use pop ups they are pretty irritating for your readers.
- Keep it simple when designing your blog.
- Try to keep your palette minimal.
- Use easy to read fonts.
- Be consistent, for example if you centre a post then centre all posts!
- Link your design to your header and logo.
- A little bit of white space can make things far less chaotic on your website.
- Try to keep paragraphs left aligned and justified.
- Always check your blog/ website on a mobile to ensure that your site is mobile friendly.
- Try to set images to match your content width.
- Be sure to install a security plugin for your blog.
- Ensure that you use a different username to your blog profile name for your blog database. Also be sure to use a secure password.
- Always back up your blog database. there are a number of plugins that can do this for you.
Session Four- Instagram with Kate Ellison from Mummy Daddy Me and Colette from ‘Going On An Adventure‘
I was fairly tired by the afternoon and whilst I tried my hardest to take everything in I found myself having to keep notes and re-read them at a later date. The notes certainly proved to be useful as I have already made major improvements on my Instagram simply by following Kate and Colette’s advice.
- Try to think of Instagram as a ‘mini/ micro blog’.
- Think of your pictures as ‘your shop window’.
- Try to post regularly (1-3 times per day).
- Keep post subjects consistent where possible.
- Join in with communities, there are lots of them on Instagram!
- Ensure that you follow other people.
- Interact and engage with others, interaction on your posts is often as valuable as a big follower number!
- Be sure that your photos are well-lit, bright and clear.
- Try to ensure that your photos aren’t blurry.
- Try to stick to certain colour palettes, blue is a popular photograph colour!
- Don’t post too much of the same thing.
- Don’t be afraid to tell a story.
- Research your hashtags, keep your favourite hashtags in a list, even better pop it into your notes on your phone so it’s quick to hand and easy to post.
- Interact with hashtags.
- Be present but not over present.
The main thing that I took from the day was to believe in my myself and my blog. I began taking things a little more seriously following the conference and you may have noticed that I have started carrying out more product reviews and such like on my blog. I learnt so much at Blog On and rediscovered my blogging confidence following the conference. I will most certainly be taking part in the next Blog On.