Blogfest 2016

Blogfest 2016

On a cold and wet morning I headed into central London (well actually Kings Cross) to attend the much anticipated Blogfest 2016 organised by Mumsnet. This is my second blogging conference this year, and my second since setting up my blog. This time round I felt unprepared, had no elevator pitch, my blog felt unprepared but I had my business cards packed. However for me the day is not about that. It’s about catching up with other bloggers and learning a thing or two. That’s not to say I didn’t feel excited, nervous and a little apprehensive about the day ahead. Meeting up with Sarah from Mumzilla and a huge coffee from Starbucks at Kings Cross calmed me down a little on our walk to the venue.

There will be so many blog posts about Blogfest 2016 being written this week. I’m sure a lot of them will be about how feminist it was, and how uncomfortable it must have been for all the male bloggers in the room. This post is not going to be about that, it’s going to be about what I learnt and gained from attending this year’s Blogfest 2016

Talks

I won’t go into too much detail on this, as I could write about these forever.

  • The first talk (well panel) was Women Online – Where to from here. I found this quite eye-opening and empowering. I need to go and check out the blog written by Victoria Smith @glosswitch who’s turned her blog into her career by chance. I also found Jess Philips (MP in Westminster) really inspiring, you go girl.

Blogfest 2016 Women Online

  • The next talk I went to was all about You Tube, and how best to vlog. I’ve never done a vlog before. I’m too scared, and hate the sound of my own voice. It was really interesting to hear how the Saccone-Joly’s, Mother Pukka and Vegan Family TV do it. I also attended this session as I really like Mother Pukka. I’m very inspired by her, and think that she’s doing a great thing with her flexible working campaign. During this session I also set myself a little challenge by asking Rebecca from AAUBlog to nominate me for the 73 Voque questions vlog. This task has happened and I now need to vlog. Argh!

Blogfest 2016 You Tube

  • The Think Bombs were great. These are 5 minute short snippets of a topic that the speaker really believes in. Ed Balls was meant to be here today, but he had more important priorities to train for Strictly. Lucy Porter did a great Think Bomb on how we shouldn’t judge anyone at the school gates.

Blogfest 2016 Think Bombs Lucy Porter

  • The Know Your Voice talk was led by some powerful women. The theme here was getting your voice heard over the noise. This was another panel style talk including Sara Pascoe, Cash Carraway and Miranda Sawyer, who have all been journeys to get to where they are today.

Blogfest 2016 Know Your Voice

In the afternoon I attended two talks that were much more blogging related. The first talk was Building a Brand from your Blog lead by Steph Douglas from Don’t Buy Her Flowers, who used her blog as a stepping stone to set up her own (very successful) business. My key take outs from this were your blog needs to remain true to you and your values. Be clear on your brand pillars, this will help you decide whether an opportunity is right for your blog or not. And lastly take a different stance when writing review posts, this should be about how your post is “useful” for the audience. How can it help them.

The next session was Digital Strategy for Bloggers which was lead by Digital Mums and Alison Perry from Not Another Mummy Blog. What I learnt from this session is content is king. Your blog posts should be what people want to read, and should be something that people are searching for in Google. I have a couple of evergreen posts that I could probably boost with a few keyword and title changes. I also learnt that long-tail keywords will rank much more highly in Google compared to short-tail keywords, and I’ve made a mental note to use these far more going forward.

The Best Bits

Now onto the best bits of the day:

Blogfest 2016 Tribal Chat

  • I finally spoke to Tim from Thatcham Dad, and was a little gutted he wasn’t singing a parody this time. I still have Pretty in Pink in my head from BML16.
  • I mentioned it above, but I have set myself a challenge to have my first vlog published in the next 6 months, no later than the 12th June 2017 (also Kelly from Bringing up Georgia 30th birthday). So watch this space if I’m brave enough to make the move….
  • Meeting up with the #KCACOLS crowd and having our picture taken together. This picture was courtesy of Sunita from Lucky Things Blog. Meeting Sunita was also one of the highlights of my day as we’ve been chatting for a while, and personally I find her inspirational setting up the Lucky Things meet-ups, and trying to fill us with confidence. I’ll be at the next Lucky Things meet up for sure.

Blogfest 2016 KCACOLS Crowd

  • Seeing the Scummy Mummies was one of my favourite parts of the day. I had seen them earlier this year at a baby friendly comedy at The Ivy House donned in gold lycra. This year they were dressed in blue lycra up on stage, taking the p**s out of motherhood.

Blogfest 2016 Scummy Mummies

  • Hearing that people really love my logo, I had this comment quite a lot. This made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. My logo was designed earlier this year by Katie who’s one of my NCT friends, in exchange for a bottle of Gin. I love my logo, and have kept that core identity as people are beginning to recognise that.
  • Meeting up with the lovely Kimberley from Media Mummy and James from A Life Just Ordinary, and sharing some blogging tips on self-hosting, WordPress and DA.
  • Seeing Fran at Whinge, Whinge, Wine winning Best Comic. Well done Fran. We even got a mention from Davina that she liked our whoop in the audience when Fran won.
  • The Prosecco and Cocktails at the end of the day in the bar overlooking the canal. It was good to have a chat and laugh with my fellow bloggers, including having a chat with Franca about linky’s and bumping into Narky Mum who is a friend’s husband’s sister (it’s a small world when it comes to blogging).

Blogfest 2016 Drinks in the Bar

Next time

There were a few things I didn’t do that I’ve learnt for next time:

  • I didn’t speak to many brands this time, I was too busy chatting to bloggers. If I do come to Blogfest again I’ll try to get a little more involved, and give out some business cards.
  • I am also so gutted that I didn’t meet up with Emily from My Petit Canard, next time…
  • Lastly I will take a secret stash of food with me. I only had half a burrito and who wants fish balls? Consequently by 4pm I was starving, and then alcohol got involved at 5pm so the few glasses of Prosecco and Mojito went straight to my head.

Did you go to Blogfest 2016? I would love to read about your experience.

Claire x

My Petit Canard
Pink Pear Bear

49 Comments

  1. The Unsung Mum November 14, 2016 / 10:06 am

    It was amazing to meet you! I had a fab time too and learnt loads but wish we had a session on pitching, even if it was to each other for practice. Hope we get to meet up real soon!!
    The Unsung Mum recently posted…Tutters Lip: Self-Immunisation StrategiesMy Profile

  2. Kimberly November 14, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Yay! High five to you too. Fab to chat techie and fun stuff. Must write up my thoughts too, enjoyed reading this. You have a crazy good memory!
    Kimberly x
    #MarvMondays
    Kimberly recently posted…Love and social filters.My Profile

  3. Sunita November 14, 2016 / 11:11 am

    So cool seeing you Claire. We had a fab time didn’t we? The day goes so quickly. Tim (Thatcham Dad) made a good point that a few of the talks kept referring to mums instead of parents. The intro talk was a good way of waking us all up with a bit of inspiration. Loved the vlogging talk too. Good luck for your first vlogging mission. You’ll be fab. Thanks for the lovely shout out. Catch up soon anyway. X
    Sunita recently posted…#Blogfest16 – Seven inspiring thoughts from the opening talk – Women online, where to from hereMy Profile

  4. Mouse, Moo and Me Too November 14, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Really lovely meeting you finally! Oh I wish I went to the YouTube session too – not really my bag as a blogger but I love Mother Pukka and i bet the tips were brilliant. You’d best be on it before that deadline! X
    Mouse, Moo and Me Too recently posted…Applications Now Open for Early ‘Landrush’ .blog DomainsMy Profile

  5. Jo from Organised Jo November 14, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    Sounds like yiu had a lovely day. I haven’t made it to any blogging conferences yet but I am to out that right next year. I had never heard about long-tail and short-tail keywords, what are these? #MarvMondays

  6. Lianne harris November 14, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    I’ve read some remarks about a lack of acknowledgement of dads which I suppose can put a dampener on their experience but it sounded like I missed out on a great day, even slightly gutted I couldn’t join in the #KCAKOLS snapshot!
    Good luck with the venture into vlogging, I’ve been considering whether I’d do it but I’m definitely not going to yet! I sound like a child still!
    #marvmondays

  7. James Hopes November 14, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Lovely seeing you there and it is an awesome logo!! See you again soonish hopefully!

    • The Pramshed November 15, 2016 / 7:56 am

      Thanks for the comment Jane, so lovely to see you too. A long tail key word is something that is really specific, and used less by others so if searched in Google it will rank higher. For example Shoes is a short tail keyword, and if you add that as a keyword and someone searching Shoes in Google then Nike or Adidas will be the top rank. If you have a keyword such as Best Shoes for Walking with Baby as your keyword and someone searches that keyword in Google you have a better chance of your page ranking high in Google. Does that make sense? I’ve got loads of posts I want I want to change now. Yes steer clear if the PTA ha ha x x

      • Jane Taylor November 19, 2016 / 9:51 pm

        Thanks Claire!

        • Jane Taylor November 19, 2016 / 9:52 pm

          And I was back #fortheloveofblog

  8. Kat November 15, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Ah it was a great day and so lovely to see so many amazing bloggers! I can’t believe we didn’t actually say hello despite being in the #KCACOLS photo! The scummy mummies were fab, I’ll be listening to their pod casts on the school run now haha! #MarvMondays
    Kat recently posted…Slipping Through My Fingers – Week OneMy Profile

  9. Notmyyearoff November 15, 2016 / 10:58 am

    It sounds like a really interesting day. I’ve done Britmums a few times and Blog On a lot too but never Blogfest and I keep telling myself I’ll go one day!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…A day at Ferrari world (and some tips!)My Profile

  10. Louise Pink Pear Bear November 15, 2016 / 11:52 am

    That sounds like a great day! It’s nice to hear some positives from the day as I have heard an awful lot of negatives recently. What a lot of fun you had! Thanks for partying! #bigpinklink
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…Big Pink Link Numero 40!My Profile

    • The Pramshed November 15, 2016 / 11:57 am

      So many negatives, I do agree with some of them, but wanted to keep this post positive. Thanks for hosting, I’ll get commenting later x

  11. The Mum Reviews November 15, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing some of the bits of advice you learned from sessions I didn’t attend, like the thing about long tail keywords. I wish you luck with the blogging goal too! Despite the serious lack of food and daytime booze, and some unfortunate man-bashing, there were still a lot of interesting and inspiring bits. The best thing was meeting other bloggers though. So enjoyed meeting you!

  12. My Petit Canard November 18, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Im so gutted we didnt get to meet either! Definitely next time 😉 It looks and sounds like you had a great experience. I love the angle that you’ve captured your post in – things that you took away from it which made me think about what I’d taken away from it. Meeting other bloggers was definitely the highlight! Great recap post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

  13. Themotherhub.ie November 19, 2016 / 9:11 am

    I’ve read lots of posts about blogfest this week – it’s got mixed reviews , but you can’t please all the people all the time. I think it sounded great ! #fortheloveofblog
    Themotherhub.ie recently posted…ADHD: Diagnosis for Dollars ?My Profile

  14. the frenchie mummy November 19, 2016 / 9:52 am

    I love the positivity in your post. It looks like you had such a great time! I didn’t bring business cards but I don’t think it was the point here. I am not too disappointed about networking with brands. #fortheloveofBLOG

  15. Fran Back With A Bump November 19, 2016 / 9:58 am

    I’ve read mixed things about Blogfest and feel like I didn’t miss out too much. Shame you didn’t get to meet Emily either! #fortheloveofblog

  16. Let your light shine Mummy November 19, 2016 / 10:08 am

    I’ve read another blog, which was about the more feminist aspect, so it’s great to get another side, though it does seem that the food is a running theme. It’s so helpful to read this and get some understanding of Blogfest. I haven’t been to any conferences yet. I will eventually. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…Don’t sweat the small thingsMy Profile

  17. Ali Duke November 19, 2016 / 10:43 am

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned some great stuff. I have never been to a blogging event, partly due to cost and partly as I am a bit scared lol. I will get to an event at some point as it would be lovely to meet all og you beautiful blogging ladies.
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Ali Duke recently posted…Getting A New Guinea Pig CageMy Profile

  18. Lucy grace November 19, 2016 / 11:02 am

    It sounds like you had a great time! I’m aware that there was some unrest about the degree of feminism that made dad bloggers uncomfortable and sympathise with them but I would still love to come to the conference myself in future. It sounds like a great way to meet fellow bloggers and learn some interesting things… I’ve learnt so much from this post alone so thank you!xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  19. The Mum Project November 19, 2016 / 11:15 am

    I wish I could have gone, I was on a media business course for work, really different worlds! Would have rather been at Blogfest : ). The Think Bombs sound really interesting and the Scummy Mummies look hilarious, hopefully I’ll get to meet up with you guys next time! : ) #fortheloveofblog
    The Mum Project recently posted…#StayClassyMama Link Party No. 34My Profile

  20. Morgan Prince November 19, 2016 / 11:36 am

    I’m so happy to read the positives from someone else. I’m glad you had a good time, I have to agree about the food and I’ll be sure to take a packed lunch with me next time!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. Sam November 19, 2016 / 11:44 am

    Sounds like you had a fantastic day. I would love to attend one of these events in the future, they sound very inspiring.
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sam recently posted…Date NightMy Profile

  22. Mummy Times Two November 19, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’m really keen to go next year so it was great to read your overview.

  23. kris November 19, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    It’s on my list to try and get sponsorship for this for next year!!! Looks fab. #fortheloveofblog

  24. Lucy's Locket November 19, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    I love your logo too, it looks so professional but also fun Thanks for sharing links to some of these people, I’ll go check them out #fortheloveofblog

  25. Josefine November 19, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    Sounds like a great day of learning! Good luck with your vlog adventure and I agree with the others, your logo is perfect!
    Josefine recently posted…A bit of Q&AMy Profile

  26. Kirsty - Winnettes November 19, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    This looks like lots of fun, I wish I had been able to make it. I will look out for your first vlog, I also find Mother Pukka really inspirational. I don’t think I could vlog either, I’m not sure I would have the confidence… who knows!
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Kirsty – Winnettes recently posted…Help! We’re Applying for SchoolsMy Profile

  27. Twin Pickle November 19, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    Looks like fun! I have no idea is they have something like this over here in the US but I’d definitely be interested! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Twin Pickle recently posted…Diagnosis Mom FluMy Profile

  28. Louise -Mummy Miller November 19, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    I really wish I had gone to Blogfest now, it looks great! I love Mother Pukka, I love she just says it how it is and doesn’t hold back. Good luck with the vlogging, I would love to vlog but I think I would find it awkward chatting to the camera, but I suppose with time you get used to it! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Louise -Mummy Miller recently posted…My baby boy: you’re 9 months oldMy Profile

  29. melissa November 19, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    We really want to get ourselves to blogfest next year, everyone has had such different experiences it sounds brilliant!
    Interesting you mentioned about it mostly being woman in attendance. #fortheloveofblog

  30. Michelle November 19, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    It sounds like it was a jammed packed day and very exciting. #fortheloveofblog

  31. Sara November 19, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    Ah, very insightful, thank you! I can’t wait to go to my first one, hopefully next year! Good luck with your vlog challenge – I don’t know if I’ll ever get there! #fortheloveofBLOG

  32. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) November 21, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    Hi Claire popping back again from fortheloveofBLOG – have taken a couple of your top tips from the day on board. Hope vlogging goes well. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Jo (Mother of Teenagers) recently posted…Whale Watching in MontereyMy Profile

  33. shaney (imummyblog) November 21, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    I’ve never been to blog fest but it sounds really useful and like you had a good time! You’re logo is fab by the way. #fortheloveofblog
    shaney (imummyblog) recently posted…Now you are 3!My Profile

  34. Geraldine November 21, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    Sounds like you really enjoyed it. One of the best things about these events is meeting up with bloggers you’ve chatted to online for so long. #fortheloveofblog

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