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Blogging tips from BlogFest

Blogging tips

Blogging tips

Last Saturday I joined with an army of other bloggers and headed to London for BlogFest.  I love blogging get together’s, as blogging can sometimes feel like a solitary pursuit.  So it is great to have an opportunity to see your blogging friends, to learn, swap ideas, have a good gossip with lots of laughs.

I met up with various friends along the way and eventually we found our way to the venue, the fantastic Kings Place, which was a fabulous conference venue.  After drinks and pastries (not for me I must add!), it was onto the welcome by Mumsnet, followed by  a panel discussion highlighting how the internet shapes the way we think.  Onward to the first break out session, which gave us a chance to pick which session suited us best.  I went to the session ‘Making money from your blog’ and these are the main points I gleaned.

Gina Roughan (Zone)

  • Mum audience is hard to reach for brands.  Mums are tuned into bullshit and brands know they need to use Mum bloggers to target mums.
  • Mum bloggers get into the nooks and crannies of the internet that brands can’t.
  • Mum bloggers have credibility and are especially interesting to a brand if they have a particular passion in a niche.
  • Cut through – Mum bloggers know SEO and social media.  They also know who and how to connect.
  • They have trust, their readers trust what they say.
  • They encourage approaches to their agency.
  • If using images for gift guides etc, you can just take them, as you are promoting the product.

Why brands want to work with certain bloggers;

  • Traffic and figures.
  • Quality and regularity of content.
  • Social profile/following.
  • Previous brand work.
  • Reputation/relationship with agency.
  • Level of work involved.
  • Added social media support offered by the blogger.

Tara Cain – Sticky Fingers – 8 ways to work with brands

  • You are a brand – be professional at all times (especially on social media).   Don’t apologise for wanting to make money.  Be respectful when you turn a job down.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you – ensure all your contact details are in a prominent place.  If brands can’t find them quickly, they will move on.
  • Build up traffic and social media.
  • PR Yourself – make sure you have a media pack.
  • Join a blogger network.
  • Get creative – think for the brand.  If you don’t want to do something in the way it is pitched, counter pitch a creative idea.
  • Show off – list all the companies you have worked with.
  • Be in it for the long haul.

Alicia Navarro – CEO of Slimlinks

Skimlinks is an automated Affiliate link network.

  • Simply install one line of Javascript and Skimlinks will start to work.
  • Traditional advertising is peripheral, but affiliate marketing is within the content.
  • They are native adverts (the same format as the content) so they look more natural.
  • Simply input your usual link and Skimlinks will monetize it (if possible).  You are in control of the links.
  • Through the reports you can gain an insight into which pages drive most money.
  • Provide a url shortener which you can use on twitter/ FB etc.
  • Affiliate marketing makes brands notice you.  Then they start to approach you for other opportunities.
  • If you install Skimlinks it will convert historical links too!

Advanced Social Media – Paul Armstrong

  • Use Twitter lists
  • Beatrix – Gives you post ideas, cost approximately $9 per month.
  • Flipboard, great for drawing together content in one place.
  • Rapportive, adds a panel to your emails, which shows you the persons social media channels.
  • Hello Bar – nicely designed bar on your page, which you can edit as you wish.
  • Twitter Cards
  • TSU – pay for your posts.
  • Find out where your traffic comes from and interrogate it, in order to maximise it.
  • If your bounce rate is high – make sure your blog theme is responsive.
  • Increase FB traffic – Commenting, sharing with friends, good use of adverts.
  • Increase Twitter – Photo’s, GIFs and calls to action, asking for RT.
  • Google + is good for international traffic
  • Google hangouts are good for free advice,
  • Instagram – remember to tag, tags drive traffic.
  • Text people your blog post links. On average the response time for texts is 15 seconds!
  • If you are starting a blog, use Squarespace, not WP or Blogger.

The Science


The Facts

Monetize your blog roundtable – Chaired by Alison Perry (Not Another Mummy Blog)

  • Paul from Alfilinet – Brands want bloggers who can communicate their brand values.
  • Disclosure is VERY important.
  • Alison – ‘Your voice/tone is your niche’ 
  • If you are paid to tweet you should incorporate #ad or #sp.
  • Emma Nutrition – makes most money from joint ventures.  Her mailing list is the most important thing to her.  Join with a bloggers or companies and cross promote between each other’s mailing lists.  To grow a mailing list – offer an incentive to sign up.
  • Reviews – must be balanced, and show some negatives in some or you will lose credibility with your audience.

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Showing 32 comments
  • liveotherwise

    Thanks for summarising a couple of sessions I missed 🙂

    Question – did the guy who recommended squarespace over wordpress/blogger say why?

    Ta. Nice to see you in passing!

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      He was whizzing through it but he said it was easier to use than WP and it was beautiful as made my designers. x

  • Ryan Costello

    Good little summary with some interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing some of the knowledge you gained by attending.

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      My pleasure! x

  • Reply

    This is so detailed it’s like I WAS THERE! Brilliant post Aby, I must come back to re-read it when I write my new year blog plan!

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      Thanks huni, I wish you had been there it would have been great to meet up x

  • Laura Evelyn Bee

    Thank you for sharing such great tips. I found the one about writing balanced reviews really interesting…I’ve recently had a dilemma whether to include a bad review on my blog or not, but it would appear its important to do so to gain credibility! Interesting! .

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      I think you should always contact the company before publishing a bad review, maybe it is something they would like the opportunity to resolve. However, it is good to give the reader all the facts, positive and negative, not every product is perfect x

  • Christine

    Thanks for sharing. I was at Blogfest but not these sessions so it was great to read more about them.

  • brummymummyof2

    You are so clever bab with all your notes! You do amaze me. Lovely to see you very quickly on Sat xxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      Ah thanks huni. Bit of a geek I think! 😉 xx

  • Catherine

    Thankyou for this great list. Am pinning the post for future reference 🙂

  • Alice Megan

    Fantastic summary thanks!

  • Karen

    I love this!! So nice to be able to get some valuable information from the sessions I didn’t attend. Thank you for sharing these.
    Was lovely meeting you on Saturday. Hope to see you again soon.

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      You too hun, wish there had been more time to properly talk to everyone x

  • Amy

    Your tips are so helpful thank you. Especially to someone like me who’s never been to one of these before. Xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      Glad they are useful for you xx

  • Steph

    Thanks for sharing. It’s fantastic to be able to get a feel for the content of an event when you couldn’t attend yourself 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      My pleasure glad it comes across well. x

  • Emma

    This is a wonderful post and some really useful information! Thank you for putting it up!

    Emma |

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      My pleasure, share the knowledge 🙂 x

  • Cameron Dueker

    Hey great post. I’m not a mum but a da, but great info I could really use regardless. Much appreciated for us who couldn’t go.

  • Amy Everything Mummy

    great post your notes are alot better than mine 😉 lovely to meet you x

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      Ah thanks hun. Lovely to meet you too x

  • Mini Travellers

    This is so much better than my notes from the day! Next year I might just wait for yours! #thelist

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      Ha ha! Why not, sounds like a plan 🙂 x

  • Louise

    Great tips Aby, thank you for sharing them #thelist

  • Samantha Rickelton

    Fab tips and note taking – I’ve never been to a blogging conference but could really fancy it! #thelist

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      You should definitely go to one, great fun x

  • Mum Reinvented

    Love the ‘mums are tuned into bullshit’ bit lol! Pinned your post so I can refer back to it 😉

  • Mrs H

    Thank you for this honey. It is so helpful. You and I went to completely different sessions. So I now feel like I had a spy in these discussions. It is interesting to hear that you can be negative in some reviews. I always wondered about this. Thanks again. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy

      I think as long as it is constructive, so “it took a while to come, but it was because of X Y or Z”. Always give the company a chance to respond to your negativity or resolve an issue. xxx

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