Blog On this year was held at Hotel Football Manchester, which is literally across from Old Trafford Stadium.
As much as I love a free goodie, I didn't attend Blog On just for that. My main reason for going was to attend the brilliant sessions and learn a little more about blogging. So when we sat there for the welcome talk, I got out of my bag my notebook which has a front cover that I felt expressed exactly who I wanted to be at this convention.
The cover reads, Today Be Creative, Be Kind, Be Inspired, Be you.
There are so many sessions happening on the day at blog on and there were always 3 sessions happening at different times. They all sounded so good and I really couldn't make up my mind which ones to attend. A few times on the day I decided just at the last moment which session I would attend.
Live Media Pack Building
The first session I attended was about building a media pack. I already had a media pack but I was curious if I could improve on it. The session was so helpful and the first thing I learn't was that my media pack was basic. I never thought about using pictures on it, logo's or linking video's to it. We were shown how best we could make one using a free website called Canva. I have not had the chance to make mine yet but I keep thinking about how I want it to look and so even though i was happy with my old media pack Im now even happier now I know I can improve upon it. I left this session feeling ready to feel confident that the media pack I would now send to PR's would be a good one.
I was originally going to be attending the Instagram session but last moment I decided that I knew more about Instagram than I did about monetisation. In fact I was pretty clueless about monetisation. I was so glad I did attend this session as I learn't so much. My notebook has nearly 3 pages of notes written down and ever since this session I have felt so much more active with ways I can be better at promoting my blog and ways I can try and make some money out of my blog. Some ideas were such simple ones like posting your blog posts into groups and in places where thought provoking discussions were being held such as the loose women page. Not only that but this session made me realise that I probably should be putting in a lot more effort with other things than just writing my blog posts. It is only 4 days since blog on and i'm already seeing results from the brilliant advice I received that day.
Blog Life Balance
I didn't take as many notes in this session as the others as for me this was a more thought provoking session more than anything. I did learn about some great apps that could help me save a little time, though I have yet to try these. The first question to the session was How big do you want to be? Hobby, Secondary or main source of income. Im not quite sure I am ready for blogging to be my main job but I definitely want it to be more of a job than a hobbie. That being said my main problem with blog life balance is having people take me seriously enough to be able to put the time in to make it something more than a hobbie. Lets just say that this session I came out with some real big thoughts on how I could possibly manage my time more. I also knew that I wanted to take the blog more seriously and I also want other people to do the same.
How to help your audience find you
Im not sure who I mostly write for, myself or my audience but I think with blogging it is a really good thing to have a balance of it being for both. That being said I don't really think I spend enough time making sure that my blog posts get out to the right audience. In this session I learn't lots about how important words and phrases can be in a blog post to make sure that when people are searching for you, they find you. But one of the best points made in this session is that its a really good idea to write about things that interest you and your social circles. For me I feel I have been lacking in writing about subjects such as photography. Its a subject i'm really passionate about and so it should be something that I write about and share with my many photographer friends. I really do see how this could be a true fact that your circles are important when it comes to what you write about as lately I wrote about a local play cafe and it ended up getting into my popular posts. So I guess that from this session I learnt that to help your audience find you, you need to know your audience.
The last session I attended was comps 101. I mostly attended this session after being into entering competitions for the last couple of years and so being a big fan of all the advice Di Coke has to give. This session gave tips on where to host your competitions and the best ways to find people to enter them. I must admit I knew most of the things told in this session but learnt I may have to brush up on my terms and conditions in future ones.
What else is at Blog On?
But Blog on wasn't all learning learning learning and there was lots of more fun to be had down where all the brand tents were. It was really great to meet brands and try out some of their fabulous new toys. It did make me feel like a big kid at Christmas all over again.
There was also a secret santa, giant elves walking around behaving badly and the most wonderful Gringe that made me feel like Jim Carrey himself was in the room. The brands were handing out goodies for us to try and some of these will be featured on my instagram and Twitter time lines.
Have you ever been to a blogging convention?
Which session would you love to attend?