Nicky and I spent Saturday at Mumsnet Blogfest. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s an annual conference for bloggers, mostly ‘mummy bloggers’ – or rather bloggers who happen to be mums (and dads too!).
Like any conference, there are various talks and sessions with plenty of time in-between for networking and trying all the free food on offer. I expected to have a lot of fun, and I did, but I also came away re-inspired about this blog and with lots of ideas to put into action. Life (and two babies) has been taking over recently, and I’ve been struggling to find not only the time, but also the headspace, to think about the blog – so this event gave me the kick up the bum I needed.
For me, there were a few key takeaway lessons from Blogfest 15 that I want to put into practice:
1. Be authentic
I like to think we’re already authentic on Everyday30, but this lesson re-emphasised for me the importance of authenticity. A theme that popped up a lot during Blogfest was this idea of writing as a creative outlet, almost as therapy, and in a way, I think that’s the best place to start. Even if one of your aims for your blog is to make money, there’s usually a whole lot of time in the beginning where you’re not (I’m talking years). So you’ve really got to enjoy what you’re writing about, and that in turn makes for a more enjoyable read I think.
2. Know your worth
Following on from the point above, brands are so keen to work with bloggers these days because we’re authentic. If a brand wanted their product in front of millions of people, they’d take out an advert. What’s so appealing about blogs is that they have a small, highly engaged audience. This our real value and we shouldn’t be afraid to put a price on it. It’s hard to know what that price is, especially if you have a small audience, but if a brand gets in touch and asks us to review a relevant product, take pictures and talk about them on social media in return for a freebie, who’s getting the better deal?
3. Data, data, data
I love data and I especially love a spreadsheet, but even I don’t look at our analytics nearly enough. In one of the talks given by Kathryn Tyler from Digital Mums she suggested setting aside time every week to not only look at your stats, but also reflect on them. For example, the blog post I wrote about Brixton restaurants is getting traffic from Google search – which is great, right? But before we start writing loads of restaurant posts, I need to do is dig a little deeper and figure out if this sort of content attracts the type of user we want on the blog. How long do they stay on the blog for? Do they look at more than one page? If not, then while it’s nice to have the extra traffic, we don’t need to suddenly become a restaurant blog.
4. Video is the future
We cannot escape it: video really is the future – by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. I have never made a vlog, I don’t even know the first place to start. But I do know that it’s the smart bloggers who will be getting on that bandwagon.
5. Stick with social
I’ll tell you a little secret: I kind of hate social media (apart from Pinterest, which I LOVE), yet I’ve ploughed on with Twitter and Facebook as it’s a really important source of traffic for any blog. Blogfest re-emphasised how important social media is as an extension of our blog and brand, so I want to step up our activity from now on – not in a contrived way, but as an opportunity to communicate with readers, other bloggers and brands we love.
One bonus tip: take a baby with you. Seriously, Thomas was the best conversation-starter ever. We were kindly sponsored to attend the event by iCandy and Thomas was, as ever, totally snug in his Raspberry buggy (find out why the Raspberry makes the perfect London buggy here).
— Everyday 30 (@Everyday30blog) November 21, 2015
Did you go to Blogfest? What was the biggest lesson you learnt?