Last weekend I, along with many of my blogging friends, attended Blog On Win; a blogging conference in Winchester. Luckily for me, Winchester is 30 minutes down the road, which was great. Blog On is the baby of Laura, who has organised these conferences in three different cities/towns, with the flagship being Blog On Mosi, in Manchester.
A couple of things make Blog On conferences unique. Firstly, they are really cheap to attend, with the tickets around £35 and secondly, you will get the biggest goody bag you will probably ever see.
with the lovely Katy
Like most, if not all, conferences brands also attended Blog On, so there was the opportunity to make new contacts and most of us took something away to review. The raffle and tombola raised around £400 for a local charity; a great bonus to the day.
with the scrummy Em
So onto the sessions, after the opening talk about social media, we could either attend a You Tube session or a photography work shop with Annie from Mammasaurus, which I opted for.
Annie’s session was fab and here are her top tips to defining your photography style;
- The pictures on your blog should speak to people instantly and tell them what your blog is about.
- Your IG photos can be as important as your blog photos and have the same style.
- Look at your IG feed. Is it consistent? Or does it look like loads of people have been posting photos?
- Think about 5 things your want your blog to reflect and write them down.
- The Golden Triangle to developing your style – Practice/ Stalk / Edit
- PRACTICE: Take loads of photos. The only real way to learn what you like and don’t like it to practice.
- STALK: Set up a secret Pinterest board and pin to it all the photos you like and why you like them. Then look at all of these pictures and write a list of why you love them. Cross off all the points that are not possible for you to achieve. e.g do they use lots of props, can you afford lots of props? If not cross it off. Then what you are left with is your photography style, the style you want to emulate.
- EDIT: Your blog photography is an investment. Annie advises investing in Lightroom, this edits and organises your pictures. Lightroom is around £8.50 per month.
- Watermarks. If you watermark to stop people stealing your pictures then stop doing it. There are so many professional free images that people aren’t going to steal yours. You may also watermark from a brand continuity perspective and that is fine if the watermark is unobtrusive. Semi opaque is best.
- Worth baring in mind that most big hitting pinterest bloggers do not pin images that have text on them or are watermarked.
Annie has put full notes on her blog
with the beaut Steph
Then it was time to choose again and I picked Bloggers and brands. A panel session with Tanya (Mummy Barrow), Laura (Blog On) and the PR Director of Exposure PR. The main points from the session were;
- Keep each page of your blog as the same value. To make it fair to brands.
- You can always pitch in response to a press release, if it is something that interests you.
- Some agencies, Exposure included, rank bloggers and score them on various factors.
- Think about the bigger picture, you might be reviewing something small now, but could it lead to bigger things? Or have you had larger things previously. Maybe think about what you have gained over a year from a certain brand/agency.
There’s no such thing as a stupid question session – Laura (Blog On)
- Page Rank has gone and Domain Authority will be on the way out soon. Now Trust Flow and Citation Flow are being considered important.
- Buy your domain name for 5 or 10 years as that will tell interest bots that you are serious and intend to stick around. Therefore they will trust you more.
- Use Majestic Chrome Plugin to show the Trust Flow/Citation score etc.
- Being a Limited company and employing yourself has many benefits.
- Disclosure: If you had full editorial control over what you write (i.e. the company don’t tell you to write certain things) then you don’t need to disclose on the bottom of the post (You still need a disclosure policy on your blog stating that some links are paid for etc).
The closing keynote session was from the utterly awesome Scummy Mummies. I had never heard of these ladies before, but wow, do they put on a show?! It was fabulous and their comedy performance had everyone laughing and confessing to dark scummy mummy secrets. After a lot of confessing, Annie was crowned as Queen of the Scummy Mummies! As you can see much to her delight!
Annie ‘Queen of Scummy Mummies’ being crowned by The Scummy Mummies
Then it was time to head home, weighed down by all the goody bags! Here are most of the things I brought home.
The goody bag!
If you fancy seeing what Blog On is all about, the next conference is Blog On Mosi in Manchester on 1st May 2016.