BlogCamp – The Lowdown

BlogCamp BlogCamp   The Lowdown

With the lovely Taming Twins and Brummy Mummy of 2 (Photo courtesy of Tots100)

Last Saturday many bloggers migrated to Birmingham for BlogCamp, which is organised by Tots100.  It is an amazing opportunity to meet other bloggers, network and learn from the fabulous free sessions; yes people BlogCamp is free!  There was so much information to ingest and so much to learn from the other bloggers too.  I thought the easiest way to disseminate this vast amount of information was just to write a good old list!  (we all know I love a list!).

Working with Brands/Contacting Editors

Kiran Chug (Journalist/Editor/Blogger at Mummy Says

  • Be confident.  You are a fresh voice.  You already have an online portfolio, which some professional writers don’t have.
  • Be specific.  Target who you pitch to and try to get their name.
  • Your pitch should include; what you do, a specific link to a piece of your work, why you wish to write this piece (are you an expert, have experience or have researched the area).
  • Tell them you have access to suitable images.
  • Demonstrate your social media reach.
  • Be concise in your pitch.
  • Think about whether you are you willing to work for free?  Decide at the outset.  This can be in the form of reviews or maybe writing for a website you love.  It can help you build your portfolio.
  • Be professional and take yourself seriously.
  • Don’t let people down.
  • Know your worth.  Parenting bloggers are very important.  As a collective we have a huge reach.  Your readers trust you, as you put yourself out there on a daily basis.  They know your family and can identify with you.
  • There has been a change in the appreciation of bloggers worth.
  • We are offering targeted advertising for products, which is so valuable.
  • Use twitter to chat to Editors. Don’t stalk!
  • Make sure your Linked In profile is up to date.  Editors will look at it before they hire you.

Lindy DeMelo -Garner (Tots100 + Blogger at Squidgyboo)

  • Find out what the brand’s expectations are at the outset.  Do they want video, links, post, social media?
  • Ensure you can meet deadlines.
  • Do a good job, which will help you get repeat business.
  • Take care with your images.  Make sure they are good and there is no rubbish in the background.
  • If you want to make money, you have to treat Blogging as if it is a job.
  • Be nice and understanding, when dealing with people.
  • Be unique and weave a story into posts i.e reviews.
  • Don’t burn your bridges.

Professional Blogging

Emma from Emma and three and Vicki from Honest Mum (Both full time professional Bloggers)

  • Be honest, if an opportunity is not for you respond and tell them why.
  • Negotiate with brands.
  • Ask your audience what they like reading best, i.e. via Facebook.
  • SEO so important.  Install Yoast to help you.
  • Tell a story and engage your readers.
  • Ask yourself whether it makes sense to agree to an opportunity.
  • Ask to run a competition alongside a review, as it will bring in more traffic than the review alone.
  • Spread out reviews on your blog.  Don’t publish one after another.
  • If you have any issues, communicate regularly with the brand to keep people informed.
  • If you are doing a review you can ask the company for high resolution images.
  • Look at blogs outside your niche for inspiration.
  • Use the bottom of your post to promote your social media channels.
  • Sign up to Pro Blogger.
  • Pimp your blog icon smile BlogCamp   The Lowdown
  • Use the same profile picture across all your channels.
  • Make sure you use a picture of your face, especially on Twitter.
  • If you promote the same post in different places, use a different photo.
  • If you want to work with a brand, comment on a sponsored post, as you know the brand will be reading that post.
  • You can find freelance work from Elance and People Per Hour.
  • Possible have an annual rate and a permanent rate for posts on your blog.
  • Conduct yourself professionally on all your social media, some brand check your networks before they agree to work with you.

Collaboration

Penny ( Wayfair A Residence) and Chris (Thinly Spread)

  • Linkies – Great way to collaborate with other bloggers.  Either link to someone else’s or run your own.
  • If you run a linky all the people linkers should get a follow link.  You could pin each post to a Pinterest board.
  • Videos – You could collaborate on a review vlog to give a different dimension.  Or video each other.
  • Guest Post – Gets you in front of a new audience and the back links help blog juice!
  • Organise a blog swap with a group of bloggers.
  • Google Hang Outs on a topic and subsequent posts.
  • Collaborative Pinterest boards.
  • Join with other local bloggers, set up a Facebook group.  Discuss goals and how you can help each other.  Be each others mentors.
  • Collaborate with Charities.
  • Set up a collaborative blog, more niche than your main blog.  Maybe you all offer different things, so it could work well.
  • Asking others for help, can build a community.
  • Collaborate with other bloggers on a giveaway.  You will be able to secure a bigger prize and all share the Rafflecopter code.

Professional Blogging – Advanced

Panel including Frank PR, Claire (Cheshire Mum) and Vicki (Honest Mum)

  • If someone pitches you an idea and you don’t want to do it, you could counter pitch a different idea to them.
  • When you contact a PR to pitch a story, make it personal.
  • Be original, find a unique idea.
  • Have a brilliant ‘About Me’ section, as that is where PRs go.
  • Don’t post under #PRRequest, as it flags up to agencies that you are not serious about creating bespoke content, you just want free stuff.
  • Write about your passions.
  • Be confident and fake it until you feel it.
  • Use your side bar to promote your achievements.
  • If you don’t want to do a post, refuse but offer to tweet out a link for them.
  • Screen grab all the coverage a post has got and send it the agency with the post link.  They will love you for it.
  • Recommend other bloggers for opportunities.

This is a selection of the tips and information given out to us, but I hope something will be useful to you.  Thanks to Tots100 and all the speakers who gave their time so generously to the blogging community.

Now onto BlogFest!  Are you joining me?

 

Follow Me!

twitter2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown gplus2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown facebook2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown linkedin2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown pinterest2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown instagram2 BlogCamp   The Lowdown
MMWBH3 BlogCamp   The Lowdown

The Black & White Photography Project #15

Photographer extraordinaire Charly over at Podcast Dove hosts a weekly photography linky, which gives us the opportunity to show off our Black and White pictures.

O.k, so I know this isn’t completely Black & White, but I couldn’t resist leaving a pop of colour!

BW 15 The Black & White Photography Project #15

Why not pop over and have a look at some other lovely black and white captures?


4d06e438 4e6a 4f3b 88b2 0c1093350397 zps361ad0e9 The Black & White Photography Project #15

Follow Me!

twitter2 The Black & White Photography Project #15 gplus2 The Black & White Photography Project #15 facebook2 The Black & White Photography Project #15 linkedin2 The Black & White Photography Project #15 pinterest2 The Black & White Photography Project #15 instagram2 The Black & White Photography Project #15

 

Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Love All Dads Award1 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Wow!  I think I might still be in shock.  A few weeks ago, I was gobsmacked to find out that we had been nominated alongside four amazing bloggers for the Best Non-Dad Blog award.  Having only been blogging just over a year, I genuinely thought that I had no chance of winning.  On Sunday I had been practicing my gracious loser face all day, as there was NO WAY we could win.  Sunday night arrived and just out of casual interest (!) I kept refreshing the LoveAllDads Twitter page.  Well blow me down, we actually won!

I don’t want this to turn into a Gwynnie Oscar acceptance speech, but I did want to just let you know what it means to me;  to show you how much I appreciate it.

About a year ago, around the time I started this blog, I was diagnosed with PND.  This in itself was a shock to me;  I was not the type of person to be depressed (ha ha, little did I know PND doesn’t care what type of person you are).  I hadn’t got time to be depressed;  I had everything I wanted so badly and I really felt guilty for feeling so sad.  However, it was true, I think crying several times a day should have given me the heads up!  For those who have never suffered, PND robs you of the essence of you; you change and at some points don’t recognise yourself.  The confidence you used to have disappears, the simple things you used to do easily become challenges and your emotional resilience decreases.

I was lucky, I found my blog and although I rarely post about PND, it has given me back my voice.  It is my place to escape to and something I love dearly.  However, probably due to the PND and being terribly British, I find I am quite apologetic about my blog.  I am always so surprised when someone tells me they have actually read it; even more so when they say they like it!  My confidence is pretty low, so I automatically think other blogs are automatically better than mine.

So this award, the fact that someone liked what we do enough to nominate us and then the panel selected us as the best in that category…. Well we must be doing something right;  maybe I should start to believe.  All the lovely comments that I have received through social media, congratulating me, were amazing!  I appreciated every single one.  So thank you to LoveAllDads for picking my blog and for helping to give me back my confidence.  Congratulations to all the other winners and finalists.

4214440889 493455662a z Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

I am linking up with Jaime at The Olivers’ Madhouse for #MagicMoments & Debs for the #MMWBH

magicmoments150x150 zps58f60c40 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014
MMWBH3 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Image: Steve Rotman

Follow Me!

twitter2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014 gplus2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014 facebook2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014 linkedin2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014 pinterest2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014 instagram2 Best Non Dad Blog in the LoveAllDads Awards 2014

Point + Shoot – I am the new co-host

Welcome to Point + Shoot, which is a great photography based linky run by my dear friend Em over at Snowing Indoors.  Recently Em asked if I would like to co-host Point + Shoot and I jumped at the opportunity to work with her.  Also as a bit of a photography obsessed Mama, the opportunity to snoop round peoples photos was too good to miss.

So what is Point + Shoot?  The concept is really simple, you’re sharing your weekend with the rest of the blogging community.  It can be one picture or a whole bunch, it is up to you.  An accompanying story is also fine with us.

 Rules:

  • You can link up to 1 post per week!  Be sure to paste the Point + Shoot badge on the post you would like to link up (code below – paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform).

  • Comment on this post to say hi!

  • Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love, it is what linkies are all about.

  • It would also be great if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #PointShoot) on your social media channels to help grow the community.  Em and I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us in your tweets! (@youbabymemummy/@snowingindoors)

  • Finally, if you could please follow You Baby Me Mummy (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) and snowingindoors (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) that would be fantastic!

 

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share.  You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be of absolutely anything, if you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up!

Just point…and shoot…and share.

Point Shoot Point + Shoot   I am the new co host
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.youbabymemummy.com" title="You Baby Me Mummy"><img src="http://youbabymemummy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Point-Shoot.jpg" alt="You Baby Me Mummy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>



Follow Me!

twitter2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host gplus2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host facebook2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host linkedin2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host pinterest2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host instagram2 Point + Shoot   I am the new co host

Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway

I was recently asked if I wanted to try a couple of sponges from The Sponge Market.  I was curious to try them, as I have never used a ‘proper’ natural sponge before.  I also didn’t realise that there were so many benefits of using natural sponges; so I thought I would share a few of them to give you some background.

Benefits of Natural Sponges

  • The sponge removes dead skin cells when washing to reveal the fresh new skin beneath.
  • Natural sponges contain microbial symbionts that may be used to control viruses, bacteria and tumours.
  • Create a better lather than synthetic sponges.

Natural vs Synthetic?

  • Synthetic sponges are impregnated with antibacterial chemicals / Natural sponges naturally resist bacteria.
  • Antibacterial chemicals can irritate sensitive skin / No irritants in natural sponge.
  • Synthetic sponges can be abrasive and ‘drag’ on the skin / Natural sponges do not have any friction or drag.
  • Synthetic sponges will discolour and corrode in a short time / Natural sponges will last and maintain the function for much longer – potentially years if looked after.
  • Natural sponges are much more absorbent.
  • Synthetic sponges are usually manufactured in huge factories by massive companies / The natural sponge industry gives work and income to villages/islands highly reliant on them.

sponge 1024x1024 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway

Our views

If you have never used a real natural sponge, then you may not realise that when they are dry, they are quite solid.  I was quite looking forward to seeing how soft they felt when being used.  Baby was gifted the small silk baby sponge.  This was super soft when wet, perfect for little ones skin.  It built up a great lather with a small amount of gel.  She was very happy to play with it and even tried to wash herself.

Baby Sponge 1024x761 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway

I was sent the large Honeycomb sponge,  which I think is great.  It is very luxurious and leaves your skin feeling very soft.  I wouldn’t hesitate to buy natural sponges again in the future.

The Sponge Market have kindly given me two Honeycomb sponges to give away to my readers (worth £24 each).  For your chance to win, just complete the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Discount code:  If you are not lucky enough to win the giveaway.  You can get 15% discount before the end of November by using the code YBMM

Disclosure: We were sent the sponges in return for an honest review.

I am linking up with the following fabulous blogger linkies

 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway
toddler Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway

Follow Me!

twitter2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway gplus2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway facebook2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway linkedin2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway pinterest2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway instagram2 Natural Sponge Review & Giveaway

A space to grow

As some of you will know we have recently moved Baby into a larger room, where she has more room to play.  I loved her nursery, it was beautiful, but didn’t give us enough room to spend much time in there with her.  From the first moment she saw her new room, she adored it.  Although I think her favourite part is the fairy lights!  I was quite glad to be able to take some of her toys upstairs, which we didn’t have space for before.  She has been in her new room for a week now and I think we all love it.

One of the best things has been using the little reading nook that I created for her.  One afternoon last week we had no plans, so we just went to chill out in her room.  It was lovely to see her take a book and retire to her reading nook!  She looked so comfortable and relaxed.  It was quite relaxing for me too, but I think it was the break from Disney Junior that I enjoyed the most!

Magic A space to grow

Every time we put her fairy lights on she gasps and heaven forbid we forget to turn them on.  Then we are told in no uncertain terms to sort it out.  I have now also popped in her little made over book case.

Book case A space to grow

I am so glad that she loves it as much as I do.  Her own little space where she can grow up and where we can all have lots of fun together.

Baby 2 917x1024 A space to grow

We always make time for puzzles and blogging!
Baby 5 1024x804 A space to grow

I am linking up with the following fabulous bloggers and their lovely linkys.

Katie from Mummy Daddy Me for #OrdinaryMoments

ordinary moment link A space to grow

Charly at Podcast Dove for #What’sTheStory whats the story A space to grow

 

Follow Me!

twitter2 A space to grow gplus2 A space to grow facebook2 A space to grow linkedin2 A space to grow pinterest2 A space to grow instagram2 A space to grow

Living Arrows 42/52

It’s time to link up with ‘The 52 Project’ (Practising Simplicity) and the ‘Living Arrows’ (I Heart Snapping).  The aim is to take a picture that captures the beauty and magic of childhood in our eyes.  I am also linking with Snowing Indoors and my Point & Shoot linky.

“You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth’ Kahul Gibran.”

42/52

Living arrows 42 Living Arrows 42/52

living arrows Living Arrows 42/52

practising simplicity Living Arrows 42/52

Point Shoot Living Arrows 42/52

Follow Me!

twitter2 Living Arrows 42/52 gplus2 Living Arrows 42/52 facebook2 Living Arrows 42/52 linkedin2 Living Arrows 42/52 pinterest2 Living Arrows 42/52 instagram2 Living Arrows 42/52

Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway

I first heard about Cheeky Chompers when Baby began teething last year and I purchased her a Neckerchew.  A fabulous bib with a built in chewing section, such a good idea!

Recently, Cheeky Chomper’s released a new product, the Comfortchew.

cc1 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway

Comfortchew is a luxuriously soft blanket with an inbuilt teething chew.  It has the added bonus of tags (which babies always seem to love!).

Vital Stats!

  • Beautiful animal print design, featuring Chewy the hippo and friends.
  • Light grey background and grey cuddle fleece reverse.
  • Ribbon tags and elasticated link for attaching to the baby’s wrist, cot, car seat, buggy or dummy.
  • Machine washable at 40 degrees.
  • Fleece: 100% polyester.
  • Patterned fabric: 95% cotton, 5% elastane.
  • Ribbons: 100% polyester.
  • BPA and phthalates free.

Now for the good news is that I have one fabulous Comfortchew to give away to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for running this giveaway.

cheeky monkeys 300x89 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway

Follow Me!

twitter2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway gplus2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway facebook2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway linkedin2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway pinterest2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway instagram2 Chewy & Co Comfortchew Giveaway

Our Week That Was Captured #42

This week has been reasonable quiet for us.  We have pottered around and it has mainly just been Baby and I.  We found out that we are finalists in the QHotels Ambassador competition (please feel free to throw us a vote if you are feeling generous!).  So here is our week which was, captured;

Our Week

TWTWC  1024x802 Our Week That Was Captured #42

  1. Sunday – We spent the morning at home finishing bits and bobs in Baby’s new room.  Then we took her for a car nap and had a wander round the shops.  Pretty chilled out really.  Baby made a little mess when she ate her spag bol!
  2. Monday – We popped in to town.  I tried to treat Baby to lunch in Pret, but she wasn’t *bovvered*!  I love how utterly unimpressed she looks in this picture!  Baby also insisted on wearing her veg basket on her head, while she was riding her rocking horse….
  3. Tuesday – We had swimming in the morning and in the afternoon we played in Baby’s room.  Another quiet day.
  4. Wednesday – Baby and I planned to go the the local Baby gym, however when we got there it was shut.  So we headed a couple of miles down the road to the local soft play centre.  Baby loved the sit in cars and the football pitch, but wasn’t particularly fussed about the soft play bits!
  5. Thursday – I posted my first weight loss blog post!  8lb loss (and 14″).  We went to visit one of my oldest friends, who is just about to have her baby.
  6. Friday – I had an opticians appointment in the morning and so Mr Hubby stayed at home with Baby.  I also had chance for a cheeky haircut before my sight test.  It was so weird walking around town without my hands on the pram.  When I got home Mr Hubby went to work and Baby and I played in the garden.
  7. Saturday – I went to Birmingham for the day to attend BlogCamp (a blogging conference).  More on this soon!

So that’s our week captured.  What have you got up to this week? x

As always I am linking up with the fabulous Hannah from Make Do & Push #TWTWC

twtwc badge Our Week That Was Captured #42

If you enjoy my posts, why not
 Our Week That Was Captured #42

Silent Sunday 19th October 2014

Silent Sunday 19th Oct Silent Sunday 19th October 2014

Silent Sunday Silent Sunday 19th October 2014

Sundaylge e1396359989177 Silent Sunday 19th October 2014

If you enjoy my posts, why not
 Silent Sunday 19th October 2014