My experience at #BML16

My experience at #BML16

Waking up last Saturday morning felt a little surreal, today was the day that I was going to meet all the lovely blogger’s who I have been chatting to online for months, and reading their blogs. Last Saturday was the day that I attended #BML16 (or BritMums Live 2016). I had visions of it being like speed dating for bloggers, with over 500 blogger’s attending, lots of presentation, and talking to the brands, there would be only be a few minutes to talk to other blogger’s.

My day started by travelling the short train/tube journey to Moorgate, where I had arranged to meet up with Fi from A Mum Track Mind. Fi looks exactly like how she looks on her blog, so she was easy to spot, and is so lovely too. It was great to finally meet my co-host at #fortheloveofBLOG after months of chatting, and hosting our Linky.

We walked to The Brewery together and my nerves completely disappeared, and excitement took over. I quickly spotted the ladies from #tribalchat and we all got chatting before heading in to take our seats for the intro presentations and talks. I was inspired hearing the talk by Julie Creffield @fattymustrun, she has achieved so much and one of her goals now is to complete an ultra-marathon. It has made me realise that I need to get another half-marathon under my belt, to restore my love for running again – I think I’ll put that onto my bucket list for something to do in the next 12 months.

Talks

A huge part of #BML16 is the talks and there were 4 sessions scheduled throughout the day, the talks range from creative sessions, to technical sessions, to sessions on how to make money from your blog. I attended the following sessions:

  • SEO which was led by @judithlewis @MostlyAboutChoc, I found the session fairly useful it was good to understand the differences between Follow and No Follow link, and I also picked up some tips on checking Google Adwords and SEM Rush to help improve my ranking. Unfortunately the session over-ran and there was no time to talk about Yoast, which was the part of the talk I was most looking forward to. Luckily I have the slides so I’ll be checking them out later this week.
  • Innovative Ways to Make Moneyย session led by Tash Courtenay-Smith, Vicky from Honest Mummy and a chap from Affilinet. If I’m honest I struggled a little with this session, as I found it to be very above my little blog that only has 2,500 – 3.000 visitors a month. But I have a lovely list of things I did learn:
    • Create content (lots of it!) it doesn’t matter how often you post, as long as you post.
    • Be self-hosted, brands will only work with you if you are self-hosted i.e you own your URL and website.
    • It helps to set-up an email address that goes through your domain name, I should do this and have hello@thepramshed.co.uk as my email address.
    • 50,000 – 80,000 views a month is good (did I get that right? if so I have a long way to go).
    • Follow up old leads, if you’ve previously worked with a brand, follow up and see if there are any future opportunities – they can only say “no”.
    • Most blogs tend to be monetised once you get 10,000 views a month.
    • Create a media kit, work out your rate and negotiate with brands.
    • Don’t be afraid to promote yourself to brands, what’s the worst that can happen.
  • Creative Inspiration led by @rosalilium @mother_pukka and @mywarehousehome, I am completely in awe of these ladies! I am not sure how they have made such a huge success of themselves, and were brave enough to give up their day jobs to follow their dream. This was by far the best session I went to, and one of my highlights of the day! Check out Mother Pukka on Instagram, her pictures are gorgeous!
  • Pinterest led by Emily Leary @AMummyToo. I wanted to go to this session as I knew that Pinterest is a huge platform that can help boost my blog traffic. I loved finding out that the average Pin has a half-life of 3.5 months, compared to 24 minutes for a Tweet and 90 minute for a Facebook post. If you don’t know what half-life is then Google it. I also found out that we should all have Pinterest Business Accounts for our blogs, something that I need to set-up. A really useful tip is that the Pinterest lifecycle is huge, pins should be planned at least 3 months in advance of a post/event happening, so that they are searchable and have matured once the blog post goes live. There is so much to learn here, and I can see Pinterest being a bucket list item for July and August.

Brands

There were lots of brands located in The Hub area of The Brewery, all had really cool stands and were attracting bloggers with their set-up to get the conversation and engagement flowing.

  • Coca-Cola were running a taste test between normal Coke and Coke Zero Sugar. I took part in the taste test, and concluded that Coke Zero Sugar tastes nicer than normal Coke, it has a more refreshing and bubbly taste to it!
  • Munchkin were giving out really nice goodie bags containing their latest products – spoons, cup, bottle and bath toy. So far I have tried out the cup with a non-chew mouth piece that my little girl is practising drinking from. The bottle also clicks when the top is on properly, making a nice reassuring click! The bath toy is fab too, you put it in your baby’s bath, and it will tell you whether the water is too hot, as well as this it acts as a great teether too. I’ve also signed to Munchkin’s blogger programme, so hopefully I’ll hear something positive from that.
  • MAM, I unfortunately missed the demonstration in the MAM lounge but I was very impressed with their event set-up. The cupcake was delicious, and they have developed a brilliant product which is a self-sterilising bottle, removing the need for big bulky sterilisers.
  • Boots Soltan, the range of suntan’s lotion on the market is huge and Boots Soltan have something for everyone. I had a lovely chat to one of the PR’s, telling her my experience with Soltan and our recent trip to Spain, and telling her about my love for the Soltan SPF15 with the fake tan included. A nice touch was receiving a little tube of SPF50 suntan lotion in our goodie bag, that is perfect to go in my daughter’s nursery bag.

Highlights

There were so many highlights of the day, and here are some of my favourites:

  • Meeting the lovely Fi from A Mum Track Mind, we met up a few times during the day, and managed to get a photo for our Linky page and have a glass of bubbly together.
  • Meeting up with the lovely #tribalchat gang, we had been What’s Apping for months and talking on Twitter so it was brilliant to finally meet them in person.
  • Meeting up with the #KCACOLS crowd and Franca, we had a good catch up and I got some good blogging tips from her.
  • Meeting Cuddle Fairy, although we only chatted for about 1 minute, I can now say I’ve met Becky from Cuddle Fairy.
  • Seeing Tim from Thatcham Dad singing Pretty In Pink during the KeyNote speeches. The song remained in my head pretty much all day yesterday. Well done Tim, a very brave performance.
  • Eating lots of free food and prosecco! The food on offer throughout the day was lovely, Costa Brava were dishing out tasty Spanish tapas, and then the catering company served up the most delicious lunches too.
  • Seeing Emma from Island Living 365 (fellow tribester) winning the Fresh Voice category in the BiBs Awards! Huge congratulations to Emma, she is such a talented writer, if you haven’t checked out her blog please do.
  • The party before the awards and the awards themselves, there were so many fantastic blogs and bloggers who were shortlisted for the finals.
  • By far my favourite session was the Creative Inspiration session, the talk was one of my highlights of the day, I am so impressed by what these three ladies have achieved.

Before I went to #BML16 I wrote a post all about my hopes and dreams (and fears)ย that the day might bring. I feel that I have pretty much achieved everything I set out to do,ย and I would love it if an blogging sponsorship or collaborative opportunity came about, but lets wait and see. I have also learnt that your blog is what you make it, it will be as successful as you want it to be, but success is earned, and you only get back what you put in.

Thank you BritMums for organising such an amazing event, I loved my day and evening at #BML16. I will be back next year!

Claire x

Mudpie Fridays
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37 Comments

  1. Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine June 27, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    It was lovely to meet you Claire! I’m annoyed I missed the creative talk. I can’t remember what I went to instead so it can’t have been that good!

    • The Pramshed June 27, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Did you do to PR one? That was on at the same time. Lovely to meet you to Fran, glad you’ve got your blog mobile optimised now x

    • The Pramshed June 27, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Did you to the PR one, that was on at the same time? xx

  2. MouseMooMeToo June 27, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    Brilliant – I’m managing to pick up some good tips without even having gone ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a shame that the monetising session wasn’t more useful but it sounds like you were able to take away something from every session regardless. I must look at Yoast etc as hearing it talked about loads but pretty clueless on that side of things. Thanks for writing up your experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The Pramshed June 27, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Yes it is a shame as I was looking forward to that, but the tips were super helpful, and made me realise that we all need to start somewhere. Yoast is great from what I know of it so far…..I can see a future blog post coming once I’ve read the slides on Yoast. Thanks for reading and commenting x

  3. A mum track mind June 27, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    It was lovely to meet you too! Such a fantastic day – I just can’t believe its over already!! x

  4. Laura: Adventures with J June 28, 2016 / 9:05 am

    This sounds wonderful! I wish I’d been able to make it. I definitely would have gone to the Pinterest talk. I love usung Pinterest for myself but don’t know how to use it for my business. Most of all I would have loved meeting more tribsters! #triballove

  5. susannabritmums June 28, 2016 / 10:00 am

    So glad you had a good time, see you next year!

  6. Elizabeth @ Rosalilium June 28, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Hey! I’m so pleased you found value in our session. I felt like it was over too soon as we could have shared so much more.

    I did just want to let you know that some of the tips you’ve picked up aren’t necessarily fact and I don’t want that to hold you back from opportunities.

    Firstly, at 3000 visits a month you can certainly be working with brands and picking up opportunities. You do not need to be at 50-80k visits a month. Vicki might be at that now but that’s not the starting point you need to aim for.
    The 10k figure was a base figure that some advertising networks such as Mode use as a benchmark. But that’s for display advertising.
    For PR work you can find opportunities with much lower stats, particularly for niche sites.
    There’s no one-size fits all with this at all as it depends much more on audience engagement, niche, content quality and the professionalism of the blogger.
    You can totally start on that now! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Also, you DO NOT need to be self-hosted to get work. I know A LOT of the top fashion bloggers in the UK who are still on Blogger. Self-hosted only work tends to be from the SEO agencies. But PR companies will be more interested in stats, content and audience.

    That being said I do recommend being self-hosted when you can. But that’s not the deciding factor.

    Hope that helps!
    x

    • The Pramshed June 28, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, your feedback and comments are really useful. They were only tips I learnt from the session, and it’s great to hear your viewpoint on it. I know that my 3,000 views per month (which are climbing) is brilliant and can only get better. It’s interesting about being self-hosted as I thought that was a given, but can still work for you if you’re not. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, that means a lot and I really appreciate it x

      • EmmaT June 29, 2016 / 9:42 pm

        Totally agree with Elizabeth’s points above. I was in the same session and Vicki is way over what is standard for UK blogs. At Blog Camp, it was shared that the biggest views tend to be for craft blogs and food blogs. Parenting views tend to be lower – the average for top 100 of tots is about 16k (but I’m usually around the 100 or just inside, and I’m usually around 8k nearly hitting 10k earlier in the year. You can definitely work with brands before those numbers, but generally the 10k is used as a guide to say when you’ll start making reasonable affiliate money.

        Handy pinterest tips about planning that far out (I tend to work a year behind because never do it in time before!)

        • The Pramshed June 30, 2016 / 4:18 pm

          That’s good to hear! And great for clarification on the working with brands and affiliates. Thanks for reading and commenting x

  7. islandliving365 June 28, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Oh such a lovely post! I had such a great time at Brit Mums, highlights for me were meeting you and the rest of the lovely tribe, jumping on a trampoline and nearly knocking the coke stand over! Then the bonkers fact that I won an award. I love how you end the post too and it is great to remind other blogs that there is still work for us bloggers just starting out and developing our blog. Yaaaaay here’s to blogging!

    • The Pramshed June 28, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Thanks lovely! Where was the trampoline, how did I miss that? xx

      • islandliving365 June 28, 2016 / 8:58 pm

        How did you miss the trampoline?! It was opposite naked man…..oh that’s how you missed the trampoline ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Rachel Bustin June 28, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    It’s great to hear that you got what you wanted to get out of it. I will hopefully be able to go next year!

    #triballove xx

  9. ohlucy June 28, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    Eeek! So glad you had a good time! Hopefully everyone will be back next year so that I can meet them too! And more awards for us all to celebrate! Lucy xx #TribalLove

  10. blabbermama June 29, 2016 / 10:18 am

    The pinterest session sounds so useful! Also would’ve been interested in yoast. I’m making the move to self hosted soon so it’ll be interesting! Hopefully will get to BML next year. Glad you enjoyed! #bloggerclubuk

    • The Pramshed June 29, 2016 / 4:14 pm

      Good luck with the move to self-hosted, it is much easier than you think and what it sounds x

  11. Sarah - Mum & Mor June 29, 2016 / 10:47 am

    I’m sad that I couldn’t attend BML this year and didn’t get to meet you and others. Hopefully next year! I’m glad to hear you had a good time and got a lot out of it. #TribalLove #BloggerClubUK

  12. thebritishmaple June 29, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Lovely to read this! I am a fairly new blogger and your post has given me lots of things to think about (not right now though, right now my life is upside down and inside out!!!!)

    Definitely need to join your linky too…Good stuff mama

    • The Pramshed June 29, 2016 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you lovely! Yes please join our Linky, we are back this Saturday at 8am! xx

  13. Annette June 29, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Ooh it sounds like it was quite an adventure. Was is hard going having everything packed into 1 day? I went to a 1 day social media conference a bit before BML16 for something else and I was shattered afterwards! #BloggerClubUK

    • The Pramshed June 29, 2016 / 4:12 pm

      It was a really busy and hectic, but I think I would rather have it on one day than spread over 2 days (taking a whole weekend) x

  14. Squirmy Popple June 29, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    It sounds like a great event – I’ll need to attend next year! Thanks for the run-down – it’s helpful to get some of the high-level tips. I can’t imagine me hitting 50,000-80,000 views per month anytime soon,so it’s just as well I’m not trying to monetise my blog! I know I should go self-hosted, though… #BloggerClubUK

    • The Pramshed June 29, 2016 / 4:11 pm

      No neither can I, but 10,000 views a month apparently should be enough to monetorise your blog. Hope you can make it next year x

  15. everythingsrosieandgeorge June 29, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    It sounds fab! Glad you had such a good time. Hope to see you there next year x #bloggerclubuk

  16. bridiebythesea June 29, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    It was so lovely to meet you finally and put a face to name! I had a fab weekend, I think my highlighted were definitely meeting the tribe and seeing Emma win her award! I agree with what you say at the end too, working with brands and sponsorships would be amazing but it’s nice to just sit back and see what happens! x #triballove

  17. Emma Plus Three June 29, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    I’ve just gone self hosted Claire for a few reasons but was getting plenty of lovely opportunities before. I also am only at around 3500 – 4000 view per month but rarely get asked for my stats, I don’t think its always important. Glad you enjoyed BML x #BloggerClubUK

  18. Jane Taylor June 29, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    Claire, I loved finally meeting you all! I still grin just thinking about what an amazing day it was. It helped that I had gotten to know you all virtually first and we all found each other in the thronging masses. It was so lovely to see Emma win as well. I also felt so encouraged to hear it wasn’t just page views that attracted PR and brands. #UKbloggerclub

  19. moderatemum June 30, 2016 / 7:42 am

    My goodness you crammed so much in, seems well worth it. Also any event with bubbles (the good kind not the kid kind) is okay by me #BloggerClubUK

  20. wendy June 30, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    Wow it sounds like you had a really busy but amazing day! The creative session sounds really good and you’ve made me want to go do some research about using pinterest better for blogging. Would loved to have been there are met you all, maybe next year xx #BloggerClubUK

  21. James Hopes July 1, 2016 / 12:00 am

    Cracking review – sounds like something I’d be interested in for next year! Some really useful tips in there too, so thanks! #BloggerClubUK

  22. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) July 3, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Sounds like a brilliant day and it was a great review for someone like (poor old) me who missed the day. I wish I’d been there to meet all the #tribesters too. #BloggerClubUK

  23. mudpiefridays July 4, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    What a great round up ๐Ÿ™‚ I am totally gutted to have missed it but with Monkeys birthday that weekend and having Kipper it would have been a step too far on the juggling front. Would have been great to meet you, I’m intending on going next year and just weighing up going to Blogfest. Thank you so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week xx

    • The Pramshed July 8, 2016 / 10:49 am

      It sounds like you have your hands full at the minute lovely, don’t worry too much about missing it, but would have been lovely to meet you. I’ve just booked my ticket to BlogFest, hope to see you there x

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