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