Monday, 20 October 2014

This one time, at Blog Camp....


You know you're at a blogging conference when you can stop the person beside you from moving while you take a picture of your feet and they don't think you're weird.  At least I don't think @PhotoJodie did. Well we had both posted instagrams of our feet on the way to Birmingham Blog Camp so it made sense to snap them actually there, plus the floor at The Studio was just so pretty. When we were talking I mentioned to Jodie that I know I think too much about the things I want to blog instead of actually writing them. I can give many reasons for this and lack of time is a huge factor but even if I do snatch a little time for myself I tend to over think and not manage to do what I'd hoped to. I've always been the same but I don't want it to stop me anymore. So here I am on the train home from Blog Camp, doing instead of thinking. Oh dear this could all go horribly wrong...

In case you hadn't heard Blog Camp is a Blogging Conference run by the lovely people at Tots 100 and - brace yourselves - it's free!! I wasn't sure what to expect, I wasn't exactly sure if we'd even be fed! But I did remember reading positive tweets in the past when the event was being held and feeling like I'd missed out. But not this time! On the Friday in a rare foray onto Twitter where I've hardly been of late I spotted that there was a Blog Camp coming up at the weekend. After a brief moment of feeling disappointed to have missed out again I checked for tickets on the off chance, looked for train fares, texted the darling husband of my hatching plan and in a hugely impulsive and last minute move it was all booked. Argh! Hardly a moment to think about how nervous and unprepared this made me feel. What no weeks of outfit planning and stalking twitter to see if anyone I 'knew' was going? Eek! It was almost like the birth of the new me happened right there on that Friday afternoon in the moments before I had to dash back out on the school run.


The atmosphere was relaxed and the feeling informal. Sally, Lindy and Kiran from Tots were lovely and welcoming and immediately put me at ease. The itinerary for the day was packed full of brilliant looking sessions I didn't want to have to choose between. Plus there was coffee, and lots and lots of cake!

The first session I attended was the Pro Blogging session with Lindy and Kiran. It was very  interesting to learn that editors are on the look out for new voices and not to be afraid to approach them. They also blasted some myths that have previously put me off being more serious about my blog because I was afraid I couldn't keep up to date with all these apparent rules and regulations of blogging that often raise their heads on twitter. I've also been dissuaded in the past by the opinion that trying to monetise my blog devalues my aspirations as a writer. After this session I felt assured that, no matter what some may think, there are no blogging police, there are no rules! And writers need to put food on the table too! It's about doing what's right for you and this could vary depending on your personal circumstances at any particular time. I was left feeling hugely empowered by the session and more than a little proud of being a blogger.

With my background in foreign language study and travel industry career the travel blogging session was something I was really interested in attending. It was valuable to hear from different perspectives of travel blogging and to get an idea of what sort of things could be possible. The brand panel was a great eye opener to what brands and PRs are really looking for. The honesty and enthusiasm of the panel was refreshing and inspiring so thank you all.

One of the biggest lessons I learnt at Blog Camp was the importance of pitching. It might sound strange to some but I hadn't really considered it before. Putting myself out there is not something I'm great at and I know I need to work on it but now I can see how important it is I am willing to really try. In the wise words of Honest Mum I will strive to 'Be more American!' Why are us Brits so reserved?! I'm likely more British than the queen if it were measured in reservedness!

Thank you @Tots100 for putting on such a fabulous event for free and also thanks must go to the sponsors Showroom and Cow & Gate Growing up milk who provided the beautiful space we called home for day and ensured that yes, actually, we were fed and very well so too! I left Blog Camp feeling hugely inspired, less afraid, more motivated, and with a pen that ran out of ink on the train home...

I am very excited about what comes next - watch this space there are glass ceilings waiting to be broken!


12 comments:

  1. Great post!
    I feel like I had a light bulb moment when I was there too. Start of a new adventure. Does 2015 have 8 days in the week? ;-)

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    1. Thank you :) was lovely to meet you there. It does feel like the start of something new. And yes I do believe 2015 will have 8 days, 'and the eighth day was set aside for bloggers to write and achieve great things in with no distractions whatsoever' ;) x

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  2. Hehe, love that you quoted me-so true those, those fabulous Americans really know how to put themselves out there and really inspire me. No bad thing in being reserved but do get confident about PR, you have a brilliant, engaging, honest blog and you are right, blogging for money, doesn't take anything away from being considered a writer. Thanks for sharing this fab post x

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog, they have really touched me. Self promotion is definitely were I struggle but you have really inspired me to try and put myself out there more *hums The Star-Spangled Banner* ! x

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  3. Love the feet photo!
    Impressed at your last minute planning to get yourself there! It took me weeks to arrange my childcare, train tickets etc etc haha x

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    1. Thank you. It was a very impulsive move but one I am glad I made! x

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  4. Fab post and I love your last photo - keep seeing photos of that lovely staircase and am now wishing I'd taken one too! :-)

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    1. Thank you. There are so many about I think you don't need your own! x

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  5. Lovely post and your photos are stunning. As I took photos of the stairs I said other people would have better ones lol.

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    1. Thank you so much, that really means a lot. I'm sure your photos are great though :)

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  6. Great post. You might have had my returned ticket!

    Pitching's definitely something that's becoming more prevalent, and something I need to work on, as mostly I just get people coming to me. But Britmums is coming up and my link with my previous sponsor/brand I work with will be ending as my son is getting too old to make use of their offer. So will need to get my backside in gear.

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  7. Thank you, and thanks for the ticket! ;)

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Thank you for your comments, they make my day! :)