There is nothing better to stir up the wanderlust in a travel blogger than inviting them to a bloggers event hosted by a travel company. So when icelolly.com invited us, to their recent Blog At The Beach event held at the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds, I (Vicky) jumped at the chance to attend.
So armed with my lovely little Busy B notebook to take copious amounts of notes throughout the day, a hand full of business cards and in the company of my best friend (actual best friend since we were born!!!) – the lovely Samm from The Inspiration Highway we hit the M62 eager to find out what useful tips I could pick up.
The theme of the event was a Mexican Fiesta complete with welcome margaritas (I’m sure mine was pure tequilla!), blow up cactus, sombreros, piñata, a lunch of nachos and chorizo (which of course I spilt down myself) and the pièce de résistance – an actual mariachi band, who were AMAZING! ARREBA!!!
Armed with my lanyard, proudly displaying my name and blog together with our itinerary for the day, we all headed through to the conference room to listen to the 3 very informative presentations:-
1. Kirsten Thompson – Rock Your Blog: Protect Your Brand and Reputation
Kirsten from the Kooky Traveller gave the first talk of the day and highlighted the need for us bloggers to be conscious of what information we are putting out there on the World Wide Web. As bloggers we tend to disclose a lot of personal details without even realising it therefore allowing people the opportunity to build a log of information which could then be used against us. So in a nutshell, keep the stuff you don’t want Joe Public to have off your blog i.e. mobile telephone number, home address etc.
- Set up google alerts (free service) for yourself so if anyone googles you, you will get an e-mail notification
- LinkedIn profiles rank highly on google – set yourself one up.
- Manage your digital identity for both your Blog and your personal accounts.
- Use WHOIS Database by paying for private registration, it will show details of your host rather than yours.
- If you do not want people to know your location, deactivate your location setting when using the camera on your phone.
- Use strong kick-ass passwords that not even Sherlock Holmes could crack.
- Don’t pinch photographs off the internet – they are not yours and if the owner of it/them finds out that you have used it/them, they will not be pleased.
- Don’t give apps permission to access your contacts – it might be a scam!
- Set up more than one e-mail address in case a dirty hacker strikes one.
2. Mi Elfverson – The Power of Video: From Blogger to Vlogger
Mi from The Vlog Academy gave a very informative talk regarding how a blogger can take the leap to vlogger. I must admit vlogging is not for me and it’s unlikely it ever will be, nobody needs to see my ugly mug on their screens or hear my voice – they probably wouldn’t be able to understand what I was saying :)! But for the newbie vlogger or anyone wanted to get into it, I think Mi gave some excellent tips and pointers.
- You do not need high tech equipment when starting out, most smart phones have cameras that are more than adequate. Plus if you decide vlogging is not your thing you are not left with expensive equipment that you have no need for.
- A selfie stick (*shudder*) is actually a great investment when vlogging.
- Invest a few quid in a mini tripod and lapel microphone.
- Remember that when making a blog your audience will be viewing it this way – 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and only 7% what you are actually saying!
- Speak to the camera/your audience like you are speaking to a friend.
- If new to vlogging keep videos to around 3 minutes – you don’t want people losing interest.
3. Sabina Trojanova – Do You Want To Build A Snow…cial Following?
The last speaker of the day was the lovely (and the super approachable) Sabina from Girl vs Globe who spoke about how bloggers can grow their social media following. Having gained over 100,000 followers in just two years herself it appeared she knew what she was talking about. Not only did she engage us with her Frozen themed presentation but she also brought chocolates and who doesn’t listen to someone who brings chocolates?
- F – be a friend to your audience, address them directly and make the feel that you are specifically talking to them.
- I – be your audience’s inspiration. Create content to inspire your readers into thinking/doing the stuff that you do. Couple it with amazing photos and watch engagement with your stuff grow.
- G – be your reader’s guide, produce ‘How To Guides’ and engage with your audience. Help them follow in your footsteps easily. Also be transparent and honest. If you make money from your blog, say how much. If you travel for free, explain how etc – help a sister (or brother) out!
- Another main point Sabine emphasised was the importance of working with each other and collaborations with other bloggers, you can then tap into each others audience and maybe grow your own.
- Also attend blogger events and conferences face to face networking is vital for building relationships.
All in all a great opportunity to network and also pick up some great blogging tips which hopefully I can implement. Oh, and the best part of the day – the aforementioned lovely Samm from The Inspiration Highway only went and won her self a blinking holiday and guess who she is taking with her??? Yours truly – can’t wait for a girlie break later in the year, location to be TBC, so stay tuned! Well done my sweet!!! 🙂