Ten things I learnt at Blognix

So, it was Blognix on Saturday, and although I’ve written one post that relates to it already, it’s taken me until now to fully go through all my notes, process what I’ve learnt and what actions I need to take as a result of that.

I could write a giant post about Blognix. I could talk for ages about what a brilliant job Elizabeth and her team did, the splendid surroundings of the Custard Factory, the lovely lunch, awesome goodie bag, etc etc. All of that is true. But that would be less helpful for you than this…

 

Ten Things I learnt at Blognix:

 

Conferences are ace. Rad, in fact. And no, I’ve never written rad before…  Through a combination of lack of time, money and confidence, it’s taken me three years’ worth of blogging to get myself to a conference.  Now I’ve been to one, I’ll definitely be going back for more. Blognix feels really special because it’s a place for all kinds of bloggers, regardless of niche. I think that Elizabeth has done a brilliant job on creating a feeling of inclusivity.  And, regardless of any technological advancement, face to face networking works. I’ve taken away so many little tips and ideas just from talking to people, which I know is unlikely to have happened any other way.

 

Branding is key. From Elizabeth herself: If you want to work out what your blog is, start with what it’s definitely not and work from there. I know my blog now. Kind of. It evolves. But I definitely know what it’s not and so I can build a brand from there. Branding is a hell of a lot more than just about logos; amongst other things, it’s about values and the ‘feel’ of your blog. Once you’ve worked out your brand values, ensure you’re consistent with them across all forms of social media, and in how you approach people. When it does come to logos though, and brand colours, use a tool like ColorPicker to ensure they’re consistent too.  If you’re wanting to learn more about understanding your blog brand, I can recommend the Big Blogging Bootcamp, having done it myself in January.

 

Do all the ‘support’ stuff for your blog you’ve been meaning to do for ages. Add RSS feed. Check! Sort out disclosure information. Check! Install a decent analytics tool. Check! Actually start to use your editorial calendar. Check! Feeling a bit smug about this…

 

Podcasting is the new black. I’m a big fan of podcasts, and planning to have a go at one myself. You can all understand a Leeds accent, can’t you? The duo behind The High Tea Cast were just brilliant at explaining how to get started. Podcasts attract a whole new audience to your blog, often people who won’t read a blog, but listen to podcasts instead. Partly because they can do that whilst doing other stuff, like commuting to work, or doing the washing up, like me.  The UK isn’t overwhelmed with podcasts yet, and there are not many women doing them. It’s time that changed! I’m definitely going to do this.

 

Multipotentialites make great freelancers. As one myself, it’s an interesting thought. Future career plan, maybe.

 

‘Real life’ events can be a great way of promoting your blog. Ahmed Ahmed from the award-winning food blog Dine Birmingham has made me think about what kind of event might suit Margot & Barbara…any ideas? I love the idea of working in partnership with other bloggers, brands, organisations to make something come to life.

 

There are lots of ways of monetising your blog without ads. This talk, from Kim Lawler, was a real highlight for me. I have a couple of ads on my site, for brands that I really like and genuinely believe in. But, it’s always been important to me, as someone who regularly blogs about minimalism and who boycotts many major brands, that I have other ways to think about monetising my site. First step: list out all my skills. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some hiding somewhere. Then, work out ways in which to bring them and my content together into something of value. Watch this space…

 

Reader profiles are really helpful. Knowing who your audience is will help you to write with them in mind. Creating a reader profile of your ‘typical’ reader—even if you need to create a few different ones, as I do—will keep you on track when it comes to creating content, saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to sponsored posts or brand collaborations, and making sure your brand is consistent. When doing anything,  consider it with your reader profile in mind.

 

Bloggers are great at sharing. Most notably for me, the amazing Emma-Louise Trotter, who gave me loads of tips, offers of help and kindness. And I discovered we share a love of Alexandra Franzen.

 

If you’re shy at blogger events, stand next to the cake… Yep. Because there will always be someone else coming to the cake table. And then you can introduce yourself over a brownie. Plus, having cake to talk about gives you an easy opener…

 

I could carry this post on for ages. Blognix has given me such a renewed enthusiasm for blogging and alongside that enthusiasm, the confidence to make changes to the site—including starting my own weekly linky ‘ The Good Things’. And because I could only go to half of the workshops, there’s definitely more learning to be done next time! Overall, what I took away from Blognix is that there’s space for us all, and that in collaboration, not competition, we’re actually a stronger force to be reckoned with. A huge thank you to everyone involved in this conference. May Blognix go from strength to strength!

 

What did you learn at Blognix? I’d love you to share your tips!

 

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14 Responses to Ten things I learnt at Blognix

  1. Jen says:

    Wow, it sounds awesome!
    What a fab post-I feel like I have learned some things just from reading this-thankyou!

    PS. Have also realised that it’s hard to write a comment that sounds sincere and not like spam. I am not spam. I genuinely think it’s a fab post..!
    Jen recently posted…Decision Made! Kind of…My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      You really made me laugh! I am not spam… 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely-and-not-at-all-spam comment!

  2. Love this post! So useful, good luck with your continued blog development 🙂
    Westywrites recently posted…Plastic-free Me: The (almost) plastic-free pizzaMy Profile

  3. Lisa says:

    Loved the post – lots of fab tips! I’m not gonna list the bits I like because I’ll just end up duplicating the post haha!

    I’m going to get into podcasting too – aiming for the end of the year I’ve currently swamped myself with an overload of projects..
    Lisa recently posted…Women and work: Anissa LjantaMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! I’m quite terrible at making lots of goals for myself at the same time, I think it’s an excellent idea to schedule them in when you know you have the space for them…

  4. It was incredible wasn’t it?

    if you’re going to monetise your site, remember you need to keep records so 1) you prove your expenses are more than your blog income so you don’t need to HMRC anything, 2) you know what profit you make to tell HMRC about r 3) you tell HMRC you’re a business so you get tax relief on your expenses for your blog. It’s in the Essentials To Be Done Sooner NOt Later category 🙂 Hope over here for some free tools to help you: http://onemanbandaccounting.co.uk/tax-for-bloggers

    *Disclosure, I took the workshop about this at Blognix and my is about helping bloggers and freelancers with the money side of their blog.
    Rosie Slosek recently posted…Tax Tools For BloggersMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hello! Thank you for sharing this advice, it’s really helpful and something I need to get on top of ASAP!

  5. Melly says:

    This is such a good post. Standing next to the cake is a great idea. Definitely going to do that next time. I’m not even usually shy but I felt it a little at Blognix. Still had a great time. I’m definiely going to read up on podcasting! And multipotentialites!

    xx
    Melly recently posted…Blognix 14My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hello! Thank you – I was a bit shy with people I didn’t know (luckily had a couple of friends there) so I know just how you feel! It was a great day though, and so useful.

  6. Katie says:

    This is such a great round up of the event! And I totally agree with the tip to stand by the cake if you’re shy haha! Go go team podcast! x
    Katie recently posted…Tuesday Travel Inspiration: Sally GrimesMy Profile

  7. Ah, it sounds really good! I shy away from those types of events, and i really shouldn’t! Sounds like you learned a lot so that’s making me feel like I should try to get to one at some point!
    Lindsay Miles recently posted…Recipe: Carrot Pulp Cracker FlatbreadsMy Profile

  8. Sounds fab – I really want to go next year!
    Ruthy @ Minibreak Mummy recently posted…Goats’ milk products from St Helen’s Farm (review)My Profile

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