Fellowes on the Move | Work Better Feel Better with Viking

Hey Sweeties,

Over the last couple of months, my body and mind have been screaming out for a break, for some proper me-time to work on some self-care. While I am still working on finding those opportunities to get away and take some time-out, an email popped into my inbox a few weeks ago inviting me to the #Fellowesonthemove event with Viking. This event was going to focus on how to have a healthy work environment by showing me some easy desk-based exercises; a smoothie making workshop, massage treatments; and introducing the Fellowes Sit-Stand desk. For me, it was a perfect excuse to take an afternoon off work.

Fellowes on the Move

Fellowes on the move

Fellowes on the move

Upon arrival, I was given a Graze box and a coffee -winning!

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The Blogosphere Valentine’s Tea Party at the Tropical Library, London

Hey Sweeties,

On Saturday I attended the Blogosphere Valentines Tea Party hosted by Blogosphere magazine. A few weeks ago I randomly caught the tweet announcing the event and I jumped at the opportunity to purchase a ticket (for £15 which I thought was perfectly reasonable), and secure the date in my calendar.

It was also exciting following the #BlogosphereValentines tag on Twitter leading up to the event and connecting with fellow bloggers who were going; a great tip if you’re going to events alone like I do!

The Venue

The Blogosphere Valentine’s Tea Party was held at the Tropical Library in Lumiere London (SE1), a short walk from Southwark underground station. The building looked like any other on the street, but upon entering you walk up two flights of stairs before reaching the second floor where the party was being held.

I was warmly welcomed on arrival and I was glad of a coat rail as that would’ve seriously restricted my being had I had to have my coat and scarf over my arm all afternoon.

Blogosphere Valentines tea party

I was glad I arrived slightly before the 1pm kick off as it enabled me to see the room before it got filled with people, and it was a really pretty and inviting space.

Blogosphere Valentines tea party

Living Room goals!!

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The Bloggers Hangout Event | London

Hey Sweeties,

Last Saturday I attended my first  Bloggers Hangout event in London. I have missed out previously on these events owing to them being hosted during the day, or I can’t get there quick enough in the evenings, so I was delighted to see that in celebration of turning three, The Bloggers Hangout were hosting a three day summery birthday hangout.

Bloggers Hangout

Bloggers Hangout

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Blog at the Beach Party | My Weekend in Leeds

Hey Sweeties,

It’s been a couple of weeks but it’s finally time I told you all about a recent weekend in Leeds. I did mean to get this post live a lot sooner but last week I not only got struck down with a nasty fluey cold, but I also tragically suffered the sudden loss of my beautiful rabbit, Lola. People who don’t or have never owned animals, will never truly understand the hole they can leave and while some will say she was only a rabbit, Lola was my world and my daily companion and I miss her terribly. So, to distract myself from this recent sadness, I thought I would cast my mind back to a happier weekend at the end of April where I got the opportunity to finally re-visit my old haunt, Leeds and attend my first official blogger event.

*Probably worth making yourself a brew as this could be lengthy*

Back in early March, I was contacted by the lovely Emma at Icelolly.com, a holiday price comparison site, inviting me to their Blog at the Beach event in Leeds. While some would see the location as a bit of an obstacle, I jumped at the chance and confirmed my attendance almost straight away.

The event was to be a Mexican Fiesta with three speakers and an opportunity to meet and network with other bloggers; it sounded great! Owing to the distance Leeds is compared to my home in the south east, I decided I would travel up on the Friday night so I was there in good time, and would stay a second night in case there was an opportunity to socialise after the event; it would also give me a chance to reacquaint myself with the city before having to rush home again.

Aside from the hotel which I’ll tell you about later, I had a couple of hours before the event to explore the city and aside from walking around for a bit, I made a deliberate trip to Mrs Ather’s, a café situated just behind House of Fraser.

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Amazon Associates Event for Fashion and Lifestyle Influencers

Hey Sweeties,

Firstly, apologies for being quiet for all of last week; I had a busy and quite stressful week and I just felt having my blog commitments on top of that would be too much so I made the decision early on to just not blog at all. Also, since now upping my game on the photography front, I thought it would be both a shame and unacceptable to go back to my old ways for the sake of keeping to my weekly post schedule. So a week off it was and I certainly feel better for it.

So last week, quite randomly and dare I say spontaneously, I attended a Blogger event hosted by Amazon Associates at Amazon HQ in London on Thursday. I just happened to see a Tweet that morning announcing a final call for any Bloggers wishing to attend a free event with Amazon that evening and with an afternoon already booked off (in lieu) I thought why not? …and I am so pleased I did!

The evening, asides from an opportunity to network, was essentially a free seminar/workshop for Bloggers to get advice and tips about ways to improve their (our) photography and writing but also how to make money from our blogs. The evening was shared between several speakers including a presentation by Amazon Fashion and those I will talk you through below.

How I became a Professional Blogger by Ella Gregory (CocosTeaParty.com)

Although I may have heard of Ella’s blog in passing, I am otherwise not familiar with Cocos Tea Party. However, I was very interested to hear the story of a professional Blogger and Ella was a great speaker talking us through how she turned blogging into a full-time job. Essentially her advice came down to five key points:

1. Blog as a brand -think of your blog this way and keep styles and posts consistent by using the same fonts, photo sizes and so on.

2. Get into a routine -Be realistic with how often you can write and publish a post and keep to a schedule. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to plan posts in advance.

3. Be on your A game constantly -Always work to your highest standard.

4. Keep jealousy in check -You will never know why someone has more followers than you or gets better opportunities when you seemingly do the same so don’t let this get the better of you. (Easier said than done of course, we’re all guilty of it).

5. Don’t be afraid of change.

Engaging your Readers and Viewers by Gemma Royston-Claire (Cosmopolitan Magazine)

Before the sad demise of Company Magazine, I was aware of Gemma from her monthly column but now she works with the Digital team at Cosmopolitan. Her job now is all about creating content that gains clicks, clicks=engagement! Her presentation concerned sharing and making yourself look good as a result of the content you publish which can include images as well as written work.

One of her key messages was to create mantras -pillars of your content- points to consider when creating content such as: What is the benefit to the reader/ what can they get from your article/would I share this?).  Ultimately make readers choose you and create evergreen content -work with no sell by date so you can keep on bringing readers back to it with purpose.

Some of her points slightly conflicted with Ella’s but I found Gemma’s attitude very refreshing and more relatable. I was really fotunate that while I wasn’t in the mood to network with other Bloggers on the night, Gemma happily(?) gave me her time during the break for a chat which I both thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.

Shooting your Perfect Style by Rachel Story (Freelance fashion stylist)

A presentation more for the fashion Bloggers in the room (which was most of them I reckon), Rachel shared her top tips on styling outfits for photos (to use in blogs and social media channels). Although my blog is not focussed on fashion, I will still share some of her key tips in case any of you guys are.

1. Colour -think about creating evergreen content, so don’t always involve looks that will not be relevant later

2. What could you do with a piece that everyone has (i.e. a denim shirt, a pair of jeans…) and create posts around five different ways to style that item.

3. Focus on the detail

4. Consider bringing more things into the shot for context and maybe things people can relate to -a magazine, a flower prop…

5. Lead with the best angle -the best part of an outfit may not always be on the front!

How to use Affliate Marketing by Reena Rai (Fashion Daydreams.com)

Reena talked us through how we can monetise our blogs using affiliate programmes such as Amazon Associates, Skimlinks etc. which for those that don’t know what that is, it’s basically allowing a Blogger to earn commission from any sales made on the back of their posts. I’ll be honest, this is something I’ll maybe consider looking into doing in the near future because why not? Bloggers earning money always seems to divide people but I really don’t know why. Retail Assistants earn commission from sales they make (to you) and Bloggers do the same thing albeit virtually. If you feel strongly enough to make a purchase off advice and/or a review they have shared then just because it wasn’t directly with you in store then they have still made a sale and should therefore earn a little bit of commission.

In summary, I arguably took more away from this event than I did in some of my old Uni lectures! I took something away from all of the speakers but if I am honest, asides from Google Analytics which I can’t use until I self-host my blog, I do kinda’ do everything else I feel. Let me just set the record straight here though going forward; I will never be a full-time Blogger, that train has long past! However, this blog will I hope one day land me a future job and/or enable to work as a freelance writer therefore this blog to me, is my working portfolio demonstrating my enjoyment for the written word. That’s not to say however, that in time I won’t be able to make some money blogging…

Have any of you been to any great Blogger events lately or have any to look forward to?

Until next time x