Saturday 30th September has been marked in the diary for so long it’s hard to believe #BML17 it’s been and gone. But been and gone it has, and so here is the inevitable round up post featuring some of the highs and lows for me, the bits I’ve scribbled in my notebook and the parts I’ll never forget (because there were some!).
- A lovely green Litecup. Yes, this year I was proudly representin’. In fact, had you talked to me on Saturday you may have been mislead into believing I was one of the brands on show in the foyer. Given that I could sell a Litecup to anyone, I probably should have got me a little table and I could have convinced the entire building to go home and rave about litecup to their friends. In fact, if you saw me wandering off the boat with some kind of glow stick you may have thought a rave was where I was heading (no it was just to the pub). My green glow in the dark litecup has already been fought to the death for, hunger games style by my kids, but you can get your hands on one in my giveaways page too…because we all need a little Litecup in our lives.
- A load of #CoolMumClub pride. I’ve been drawn into following a few blog awards over the last few years, and believe me when I say that the next best thing to being considered for an award, is seeing those you love, respect, and consider friends to bring home the bacon. A huge congrats to winners Bridie a #coolmumclub regular and also to our wonderful friend Claire (who made my day extra special by being such a integral part of it). So many other regular contributors to our community made the finalists lists so hats off to you all…such an amazing achievement.
- A half empty business card box. Mixed feelings about the brands this year BritMums. It felt a little travel based and less to network with than last year perhaps? I clearly misunderstood the agenda and spent two long hours in the main foyer waiting for the blogging sessions to restart instead of listening in to the brand talks. That was a loooong time! Still, I gave out my business cards so perhaps the Mauritus people will come knocking for me to review their Island?…
- Some blogging tips. Phew, I definitely grabbed a few at that Blogging Conference you’ll be pleased to hear.
- Do You Need a Blog Redesign? Jo Amos
- Hmmm…perhaps I do need a logo? @GeekFairyJo reckons it’s super easy to knock one up on Picmonkey or Canva.
- She also reminded me I need to sort out updates and back ups regularly
- And change usernames and passwords regularly
- She reccommended Siteground for hosting as they have an ace service
- And she said you only need to do the SSL cert thing if you are selling stuff
- Her slides are on her website if you want to know more
- How to be a great Influencer – Julie Falconer
- Wow @aladyinlondon (self proclaimed neither Brit nor Mum) was so inspiring. Her feed and reach was stunning and impressive, and she was so confident it was hard not to feel, well, influenced.
- Julie talked a lot about Consistency in branding – handles, names, colours, even writing style wheter in full blog content or social media captions.
- Get people subscribing! But avoid pop ups. Offer an incentive perhaps? A giveaway?
- Generate great content, of course. Test titles using AB testing and get to know your audiences preference.
- Answer questions people might google and show your human side in your work.
- Be your own PR – pitch to brands with great ideas and make sure you secure agreement that they will promote your work on their platforms.
- Her secret on Instagram success? Post great pictures! Question your photography and brush up on your skills. Post quality stuff and perhaps (?) a way around the algorithm could be to tag other people into your images.
- Who’s making money how? Digital Mums, Insanity Group, MrsOaroundtheworld
- Aside from an overview of Digital Mums (read more here) and those ready to take on a manager (errr…) I really felt inspired by Mrs O on the panel. Her attitude of only accepting or working with brands she’d use really resonated with me. let’s hope turning down £10K a night rooms becomes a problem we are all faced with one day! Jokes aside, it can be related in a more simple sense right?
- Pinterest Lizzie Sibley
- Can’t lie. Pretty shattered by this point…but…basically pin everything you love. Everything you read. Everything you’re thinking about and searching for. Create a board, make it your own.
- Download the Rich pin button on Business pinterest
- Hashtag on pinterest works! So get hashtagging and searching for trends.
- So do affiliate links and apparently they do really well over there guys…
- See who is pinning your stuff by looking on pinterest.com/source/yoururl.com
- Prepare to be amazed with the camera icon on pinterest – LENS – this is basically shazam for life. Try it – hover camera over a cup, a plant, a face! It shows you where you can find it…
- Do You Need a Blog Redesign? Jo Amos
- Instagram LOVE. Okay Instagram you get your own bullet. Alison Perry and Rachel Southern, you just took my love of instagram and raised me an obsession. Seriously, how am I going to ever walk past a lemon again without trying to photograph it? It’s already causing me problems… So here are the top tips…
- Content – Don’t be afraid of shooting the cliches!
- Light – Both Alison and Rachel couldn’t reiterate more the importance of good natural light. Not direct sunlight, and near a window or better outdoors if poss. Cloudy days are the best!
- Edits – Both use A colour story and Instagram. Double attack on brightness and use shadows and sharpen tools on insta to make colours and lines pop.
- Captions – Accessorise your shot with a dose of YOU. be real, be personal, let people in to your day.
- Props – Get your hands on some backgrounds – either style by Lucy or mock ups using wallpaper and sticky back plastic. Large sheets of card work well too at a couple of quid each. Save cool birthday cards or postcards and keep a box of props at the ready.
- Find great outdoor locations – even in the strangest places! Tiles, coloured walls, open your eyes and see (and don’t feel silly – no one cares!).
- Plan your grid – Mix up the shots so you get a random selection (headshots, objects, buildings, full body shot etc).
- Bank Images – If you’re wearing a new outfit or your house is super clean, snap away and take multiple shots from different angles. Mixing these up in your feed several shots later creates a blended consistency.
- Be true to yourself – Let’s face it, @IAmNotAlisonPerry. I am me. I love nature, texture, plants, my allotment, moody skies and landscapes. My childrens golden ringlets and the odd random object. Don’t try to be someone else or you’ll soon tire and it’ll fall short. Be you.
- A gorgeous set of nails. Now truth be told, I’m not really a nails and make up kinda girl. BUT given session two wasn’t really speaking to me, I thought I’d use the time to have a moment, grab my blogging buddy Dawn (Rhyming with Wine) and go for a coffee and catch up..and perhaps see that nail bar promoting #aminumber5, promoting discussion of heavy periods in women (wear white again). I don’t think I’ve ever had such nice nails apart from on my wedding day so thank you Brit Mums for the pamper!
- All the feels. I’m not going to lie but by the time the learning bit was over, I was flagging a bit. That is until the Keynote speakers switched the energy in the room right back up with their incredible words. The emotional rollercoaster of that hour or so was something else and hats off to every single one of you for making that closing session just electric. The emotion was RAW. After a long week, an early start and a full on day I think we all needed a drink after that.
- A goodie bag. In fact, two, no three. Having been scavenged by vultures the second they woke up, I can confirm the chocolate and pens (a lot of pens) went down well. A load of curry powder, a pinterest coffee cup, a kids sticker book, some skin care creams from La Roche Posay and bubble bath. Oh, and a wordpress pop out handle thing for your phone! Love that!
- A bit of a hangover. Those proseccos on the boat went down a little too well didn’t they? Wonderful evening holding on to precious face time with those we call our friends, our colleagues, our comrades; new and oldd. And for me, that is what Brit Mums is really all about.
Don’t forget – you can enter to win a LITECUP right here on my giveaways page.
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Disclosure: I was sponsored by Litecup to attend the BritMums #BML17 conference. All opinions are my own.