Top Tips I learnt at #BML17

Top tips I learnt at #BML17

Last weekend it was #BML17. A brilliant all-day blogging conference organised by Britmums. I went last year and loved it, this year was more intimate with less bloggers, better food and venue, and I found the talks a lot more informative. I don’t know if that’s because I’m much more seasoned blogger and no longer felt completely in awe or out of my comfort zone. I learnt loads that I’m going to start applying to my blog and social feeds from today onwards. So here’s a run down of what I learnt:

You Tube

I don’t even have a You Tube channel, I literally have the fear of You Tube. But I need to break through that barrier and set one up and start vlogging. Watch this space.

  • You need to have 100 subscribers to set up your own channel.
  • Schedule your content. It doesn’t need to be daily, it can be weekly. But always upload and publish at the same time. That way your audience will now your new content is there, a bit like knowing that they can watch the latest episode of their favourite TV program.
  • Find your voice. Your voice is unique to you, it’s no one elses. Don’t worry too much if you’re not entirely happy with something, as no one else will notice it.
  • You Tube live streaming. This is a good option for anyone who doesn’t want the faff of editing and the long upload time.
  • Hashtags. Use hashtags in your video descriptions. They are indexed so they are searchable.

Instagram and Instagram Stories

This was one of the sessions that I was most looking forward to, led by the fabulous Harriet from Toby and Roo, and Alice from More than Toast. If you haven’t already check out their Instagram feed and stories.

  • Choose beautiful images. Your feed needs to look tip-top and crisp. Taking pictures on your camera for your feed is always better than using your phone.
  • Instagram is a micro-blogging platform. I whole heartedly agree with this that Instagram is a side extension to your blog. It’s a place where you can demonstrate the real you to your audience, especially using Instagram Stories.
  • Instagram knows if you’re using your phone or camera to take the pictures. I found this really interesting. So if you’re using your phone or camera and use the same hashtags, when you search that hashtag it will bring up images taken on a camera, or those taken using a phone. Interesting.

Top tips I learnt at #BML17

Instagram Styling and Flat Lays

This was by far my favourite session of the day, I loved it and it was practical. This was led by Alison from I am Alison Perry and Rachel from The Ordinary Lovely, and again they both have amazing Instagram feeds. So here’s what I learnt and did:

  • Drop the shadows right down. I’ve started doing this and I can already tell it makes a difference. In the Instagram filters scroll to shadows and whack these right down. It instantly makes your images pop and seem more vibrant.
  • Capture by Lucy flat lay backgrounds. Have a look at these flat lay backgrounds, they are perfect to create that wooden floorboard look, and make out that you have a gorgeous home with a white painted floor and more. See my header image, I created this during the session.
  • Cheat wall colours. Go to HobbyCraft and purchase the big sheets of coloured cards. They make an excellent background to any product shots or brand shots you need to do.
  • Take many pictures of the same thing. If you’re doing an interior shoot take many pictures at different angles. You can then use these in future, and it helps to sync your feed together, keeping the same look for consistency.
  • Keep an eye out for great locations. Doors, walls and brightly coloured buildings all make lovely Instagram images, and put yourself in the picture. I always find that images of me have far better engagement than those without.
  • Colour Story. This sounds like a great app, and it’s used to help brighten your images. You’ll notice that very white images may look a little grey. To overcome this brighten it up in colour story, and then brighten it again in Instagram.
  • Let there be light. If it’s too dark inside or if there are too many shadows, then take your props outside. It’s far better to use natural light for your pictures than enhanced lighting indoors.
  • Take the glass out of the photo frame. If you’re taking a picture of a picture, and you get the reflection on the glass. Simple. Just take the glass out of the photo frame.


I’m in the process of really trying to bolster my Pinterest account and make it work for me, to hopefully drive (a lot) of traffic to my blog. That’s the aim and here’s what I learnt:

  • Every pin should be actionable. There needs to be a reason why people seeing your pin or re-pinning your pin should visit your blog.
  • Content is evergreen. The best pins are those that link to evergreen content i.e content that never expires.
  • Pin limit. Pinterest has set a limit of 15 pins per day of your own content. I don’t think that there’s a limit on re-pinning other people’s content.
  • Rich pins. Set these up. It’s super simple just get a code from Pinterest and add it into your blog. It’s a great way to support traffic driving.
  • Images. As Pinterest is a visual platform your images are super important. They need to be a magazine style high quality, and they are best to be 900 x 600 pixels.
  • Text overlays. These work really well and it’s known that pins with text overlays, drive more traffic than those without the text.
  • Plan ahead. You need to be at least two to three months in advance when it comes to developing content for Pinterest. Start to think about Christmas now, otherwise you could be too late. Where possible use Affiliate links to drive traffic to a branded site or shop, and you could start seeing the benefits.

So that’s it. Those are my top tips that I learnt at #BML17. I had a wonderful day and it was so nice to catch up with lots of other lovely bloggers, and be part of the riverboat cruise that evening down the Thames.

See you next year #BML

Claire x

P.S I forgot one thing. I also learnt to taste Spanish wine.

Top tips I learnt at #BML17




  1. Heather Keet October 4, 2017 / 8:05 am

    I’ve been working my courage up to youtube by doing Insta stories. I’m still terrified! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Heather Keet recently posted…Poll Tuesday week 30…My Profile

  2. The Mummy Bubble October 4, 2017 / 8:15 am

    Cheers dude! Love your flat lay, glad you’ve put what you learned in the Insta talk from Alison as I missed that one. Brilliant tips here, so much inspiration x #fortheloveofblog

  3. The Squirmy Popple October 4, 2017 / 8:20 am

    I also have the fear of YouTube – I recently did my first vlog interview and it felt very strange to be in front of the camera. I know video is the future, but I love writing so much and feel like I’m a better writer than screen personality! I haven’t tried to go anywhere near Pinterest – I’ve always felt like my blog content doesn’t really suit that platform, but maybe I’m wrong. #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…Working parents: is your sick child affecting your job?My Profile

  4. The Rhyming Mum October 4, 2017 / 8:43 am

    So many good tips here. I’m not even a lover of having my photo taken so YouTube is still a massive leap for me!

  5. justsayingmum October 4, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Aww thanks for sharing lovely! I found the instagram session interesting with Harriet and Alice too – had no idea about that camera versus phone and hashtags – interesting! I feel there is so much more I’d like to learn about instagram and would love a session next year at BML with someone from instagram itself! Glad you learnt so much. Gorgeous to see you if only very briefly! #fortheloveofBLOG
    justsayingmum recently posted…I’ll Miss YouMy Profile

  6. Noleen Miller October 4, 2017 / 9:28 am

    Still not at a point to youtube yet. So many great tips here.#fortheloveofBLOG

  7. mummy here and there October 4, 2017 / 10:51 am

    Interesting read, not sure if I agree with all the points but still food for thought as they say X #fortheloveofblog

  8. Catherine October 4, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time and learnt so much! Its so great that others will share their knowledge with everybody. Such a great community! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. Rabbit Ideas October 4, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Really useful info here- especially about instagram- thank you for sharing these tips! #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. JADE THE PARENTING JUNGLE October 4, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    These are amazing, I have been trying to boost my Instagram, I want to branch out into more shots of things I love rather than just my sons face! Pinterest is still on my get a hang of this list! Thanks for the tips!xx #fortheloveofblog x

  11. Vicky October 4, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Im way behind on my IG feed, I use VSCo, but it takes time to go through all the filters! This was very helpful though. thank you, *gets pen and notepad out to make notes * x
    Vicky recently posted…It’s hard being a working motherMy Profile

  12. Jaki October 4, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I need to up my Pinterest game – I keep saying this and never get around to it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  13. Kiri October 5, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing, those are great tips! I really need to sort out my pinterest boards #fortheloveofblog

  14. Ali Duke October 6, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    Some brilliant tip there. I will be noting down the Pinterest ones as that is what I am working on right now.
    Ali Duke recently posted…September Review & October GoalsMy Profile

  15. Lisa Pomerantz October 7, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    Brilliant tips and it sounds like an amazing event for all. Thanks for sharing! Especially for those of us on this side of the pond! xoxo #fortheloveofBLOG xoxo
    Lisa Pomerantz recently posted…Detective G is turning up the heatMy Profile

  16. Nicola October 7, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    These are great tips…I would love to go to a blogging conference, it’s on my to do list for next year! #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. Mrs Mummy Harris October 8, 2017 / 10:45 am

    I really need to up my Youtube game. Half the reason I bought my Macbook was so I could do Youtube… I am currently sat with no makeup on, hair in a high ponytail that I slept in and a top that has a mixture of water and cats meat on it from Ben falling over the cats bowl and me having to clear it up… I doubt that is the ideal Youtube look.. I’m sure zoella won’t be seen looking like this hahahaha! #FortheloveofBLOG

  18. Kelly October 9, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    I really should have written up my notes afterwards!! I have my three things to take away… but haven’t even had a chance to look at my notes. How bad is that? Fab post lovely x

  19. Helena October 9, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    I’ve only touched upon one out of three of these. Pinterest frustrates me somewhat. I think you need Tailwind to find success with it. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Helena recently posted…Wild Woods Day with BBOWTMy Profile

  20. Briony October 10, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Great tips. I’m glad you shared these as I couldn’t go. #fortheloveofblog

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