Blog On MSI 2016

Good afternoon sweetpeas,

So, as you might know, I was lucky enough to get my grubby mitts on a Blog On MSI ticket a few months ago and the lovely Alexandra {I’m Every Mum} was my partner in crime for the weekend as we attended the meet-up on Saturday over at the Red Hot World Buffet and the actual conference itself on Sunday.

I should have taken squillions of photos but I was just so busy meeting everyone and taking everything in that I totally forgot 🙁 *facepalm*

Plus, I was dosed up to the eyeballs with that bloody cold I was suffering with and pretty knackered.

These are my excuses and I’m sticking to them! {I must try harder next time}

Here’s a few that I did get anyway…

Blog On MSI Conference Collage

The Meal

If you’re local to Manchester and you’ve never been to Red Hot World Buffet, I can tell you now that you are definitely missing out on some yummy munch!

They also have restaurants in Leeds, Cardiff, Liverpool and Leicester.

RHWB is totally awesome although I seemed to have complete food envy as some of my fellow bloggers were coming back from the buffet hall downstairs with some gorgeous food and when I went I must’ve had blinkers on because I couldn’t – for the life of me – find the stuff 🙁

In the end I did manage to locate the duck pancakes {yes, not veggie at all} and the chocolate cake but apparently there was also a chocolate fountain? Arghhh.

There were so many different varieties of food, it’s well worth a visit if you’ve got a RHWB near you.

I was sat with some lovely ladies – Joanne from Kids Days Out Reviews, Vicky from The Motherhood, Donna from What The Redhead Said, Erica from Nine to Three Thirty and, of course, Alexandra from I’m Every Mum.

It was a great night and I really enjoyed finally meeting everyone!

I think I probably embarrassed myself a little but, then again, I did mix a full bottle of wine with cough medicine and flu tablets so really I can’t be held responsible for my babbling and nervous comments can I?

The Conference

Firstly, hats off to the Museum of Science and Industry. I’ve never visited the building before but, from what I saw, it’s completely stunning and we’re planning to take Lily in the next couple of weeks as I know she’d have fun rounding around the place and discovering everything!

Secondly, the conference itself is crazy good. So relaxed, such a fun atmosphere and hats off to Laura {Tired Mummy of Two} for organising such a huge event and to Alice {Life As Alice} who was just superwoman. I don’t think she stood still for a second!

There were tons of great brands and PR agencies to talk to, a tombola/raffle, lots of wine {yay for Echo Falls}, food, drinks and refreshments, a HUGE ball pool {thanks to Swizzels} and competitions.

We were advised to bring suitcases with wheels because there were THREE massive goody bags.

I had an awesome time and I’ll definitely be going back next year. I just wish I hadn’t felt so crappy so I could have said ‘hello’ to some more of the lovely bloggers attending and had a good old mooch around.

Because of my shortage of photos {I’m a terrible blogger, too caught up in everything to remember to take snaps!} I’d like to share this video from Lisa over at Hollybobbs which I think perfectly captured the day.

If you look closely, you can see the back of my head haha!

Sessions

I attended the following sessions:-

(1) How To Make Your Blog Attractive To Brands – Click Consultants

Blog On MSI - Session 1

Blog On MSI - Session 1

~ I thought this presentation was a little misleading when it came to ‘do-follow’ links and the penalties that Google can dish out if you go against their guidelines. Aside from that, I found some of the information quite useful.

Some examples:-

– As bloggers, we’ll usually be contacted by (1) PRs, (2) SEO Companies or (3) Brands {directly}.

PRs are looking for exposure for the brand and links {usually don’t mind whether the links are no-follow or do-follow}

SEO Companies’s main aim is to build links to push their clients higher up the search engine results. They almost always want do-follow links.

Brands are searching for a mixture of the above and usually have in-house PR and SEO assistants.

– Don’t go mad with the links in a blog post. One link is usually enough!

– Comments on your blog are a good indicator on high engagement.

– With SEO companies, the most important factor is how relevant your blog is to their campaign. They are usually looking for a good DA, Trust Flow and social reach.

– Why brands want to work with bloggers: to gain exposure for their brand // to build links // to spread brand awareness // to team up with people who want to endorse them.

– Linking to good quality websites is good for your own site.

– Try not to be tempted by every opportunity.

(2) Creative Photography – Charly Dove {PODcast}

Blog On MSI - Session 2

Blog On MSI - Session 2

~ I really enjoyed this talk but I spent most of time just in awe of Charly’s gorgeous photographs. She likes to be close to her subject which I can definitely see the benefit in and it just reinforces the need for a zoom lens for my camera.

Some points I came away with:-

– Imagine an invisible frame wherever you go of what you could or are going to capture in your shot.

– Black and white photography can be forgiving…

– Try taking photographs from a completely different angle and perspective. Charly had some fabulous examples of her shots of the London Eye.

“Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them” – Elliott Erwitt.

(3) Monetising Your Blog – Type The Hype

Blog On MSI - Session 3

Blog On MSI - Session 3

~ Gemma from TTH led a great session and I think she was really clear and upfront about what they can offer us, the different ways to make money via your blog and the guidelines we should be sticking to – i.e. follow/no follow etc.

Highlights:-

– No follow links are the best protection for both the brand and the blogger! *raises hands up*

– There are SO many ways to make money with THH – upfront payment {i.e. sponsored posts}, CPM {displaying brand banners and receiving cash per every 1000 impressions}, CPC {a set payment for each click through to the brand’s website from your blog}, product samples and gift vouchers {useful if you’re a fashion blogger so you can style your own outfit}.

– If there’s a brand you want to work with you can contact them and they’ll see what they can do for you.

– Another great way to make some extra money via your blog is to charge for inclusion in your newsletter {note: must start a newsletter!}

– Affiliate marketing is also a good way to monetise your blog further.

(4) Pinterest Advanced – Elizabeth Sellers {Rosalilium}

Blog On MSI - Session 4

Blog On MSI - Pinterest Session

~ This was one of the most useful and well-led sessions of the day. Did you know that Elizabeth has over 700k followers on Pinterest? Wow!

Key things:-

– Bloggers are eligible for business accounts + you should definitely make sure you have one AND you should get rich pins if you haven’t already.

– Business users have access to analytics which can be super useful. You can also check what else your audience is interested in so you can create new relevant content based on their activity.

– Pinterest are focusing on local pins to match your audience i.e. UK-based pins for a UK audience.

– Pinners start looking for ideas + inspiration on Pinterest months before an event or celebration takes place i.e. don’t publish Christmas craft ideas or recipes in the middle of December, get in there early.

– Pinterest should be viewed as a search engine instead of a social network. It’s a virtual discovery tool and a catalogue of ideas.

– The key to being successful on Pinterest is to be helpful.

– Organise your keywords in priority order. Lots of keywords is good – everybody sees something different in an image so branch out, create a story.

– Images with text overlays are GOOD. They give the pinner a reason to click through.

– You can use third party apps like Tailwind to schedule pins to avoid spamming.

– Have a board for your pinning stuff from your blog and then re-pin these out to other relevant boards to maximise exposure.

– It might be a good idea to work on an 80/20 basis. 80% other content, 20% your own.

– Babies are very popular on Pinterest. There are over 38M pins about them!

– The pinner journey narrows the search down from ‘just looking’ to ‘I know what I want now’.

(5) YouTube – Channel Mum Team

Blog On MSI - Session 5

Blog On MSI - YouTube Session

~ I have my own YouTube channel but it has not one video on it {I don’t think!} and I’d love to start vlogging so this was a brilliant session to attend.

Some things to consider:-

– YouTube don’t care about how many subscribers you have when they rank how high you show up in search results. They care more about how far in to your video your viewers are watching i.e. are they watching the whole thing or clicking away after a minute or two?

– Try to do something ‘interesting’ every 30 seconds to keep viewers engaged.

– Be yourself. It’s so easy to create the look of ‘perfection’ on a blog but with a video, it’s much harder and it’s not honest so why bother?

– There’s some good equipment out there but some huge vloggers just use their iPhones so don’t be put off.

– There’s also tons of different editing programs out there. YouTube recommend Adobe Premier but do what you can with what you have and use Google to access tutorials if you’re stuck.

– Try and stick to a schedule so your viewers know when to expect your next video.

I’m so glad that I decided to go to Blog On this year, as my first ever conference, and I can’t wait to get my tickets for the next event *peels eyes for announcement*

Have you been to Blog On before?

Do you have any blogging conferences planned this year?

Lucy Signature

Blog On MSI Pinnable Image

6 Comments

  1. May 22, 2016 / 8:03 PM

    I really enjoyed the Pinterest advanced session too – I had gone off Pinterest for a while, but since that talk, I’ve been back on and have re-organised my boards and set up rich pins – I found it really inspiring.
    Glad you enjoyed it… and how good were the goody bags?!

    • June 1, 2016 / 10:19 PM

      I’m in the process of sorting mine out as well.
      The goody bags were amazing, still going through them a month later!
      X X

  2. July 3, 2016 / 7:59 PM

    Lovely round up lucy and thank you for sharing my video! Xxx

    • July 3, 2016 / 11:58 PM

      Ah thank you for making it, I definitely didn’t take enough photos!
      It was lovely to meet you (I think it was BlogCamp wasn’t it?) and we must catch up sometime soon seeing as though you’re just down the road 🙂
      X X

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