I hadn’t actually planned to go to Brit Mums Live 2016 but on the spur of the moment I decided to buy a ticket and head to London. I’d had a very full on week looking after the 3 kids on my own while my husband was in the USA and I felt that I needed a bit of a boost and a bit of blogging inspiration. It’s taken me a bit longer to publish this post than I’d planned as I managed to loose my notebook at the event. A massive thank you to The Brewery Venue who found and returned it to me.
The first thing that I noticed about Britmums Live is how much more confident I am as a blogger than I was in the early days of my blog. It was so different than when I went to Blogfest (my first blogging conference) last November – I’d only been writing for a few months at the time and I felt a little bit of an impostor. I knew so many more bloggers now and it was really great to put names to faces and meet online friends in real life, especially those I speak to practically everyday.
I feel like I rode a bit of a Britmums emotional rollercoaster. Anne-Marie Cockburn (author of 5,742 Days) shared her story of losing her daughter Martha at age 15 – the fact that your life can completely change in a split second really hit me. Oana from Mamas Haven talked about the tragic death of her 5 month old son Georgie and the rawness and reality of life after loss. Her presentation was incredibly moving.
Julie Creffield from Too Fat to Run talked about setting big, fat, stupid goals. I’ve had a read of her guide to goal setting since the event. Tim from Slouching Towards Thatcham was a total star singing his version of Pretty in Pink. He was very brave, there is not enough money in the world to get me up singing in front of hundreds of people. TV presenter Cherry Healey was hilarious talking about her book Letter to my Fanny. She somehow got people to publically share their most embarrassing personal stories – which I’m way too discrete to report here! She also spilled the beans about what it is like behind the scenes on Celebrity Master Chef.
I went to 4 practical sessions throughout the day.
Writing workshop, by Amanda Jennings (author of In Her Wake, The Judas Scar and The Sworn Secret).
I loved this session all about how to find and refine your unique voice. For a moment during the writing exercises that we did I got a glimpse of what it could be like to be a novelist. It started me thinking is there a professional writer inside me?
YouTube: Collaborate and Grow Your Audience, by Kate Rushworth, Google/YouTube
I don’t know anything about YouTube (other than loosing hours of my life watching it) and don’t have a YouTube channel linked to my blog like a lot of other bloggers do. Even so I was completely fascinate by this session and how the big YouTube stars build their audience. I though Kate was so enthusiastic and I love the idea that your job could be all about watching YouTube!
Understanding Goggle Analytics, Gori Yahaya
This was a session I forced myself to go to as I’m completely rubbish at analysing my site stats using Google Analytics. It was quite an informative session and Gori did a good job of making the subject interesting. Some good tips I took away:
• Google have a free online learning platform called #DigitalGarage I’ll have to check this out as it sounds like a useful resource.
• You can check out how mobile friendly your site is using a free google tool found at g.co/mobilefriendly
The full slides for this session are at goo.gl/jQ3r08
Blog Success on Pinterest, Emily Leary from A Mummy Too
I really liked this session. I haven’t really got my head around how to use Pinterest to attract readers to my blog but it is something that I would like to use more. Emily came across as a massive fan of Pinterest and it really inspired me to get pinning.
The standout points for me:
• Pinterest isn’t really like other social media in that you go on Pinterest looking for inspiration – rather than Twitter or Facebook which are more about wasting time!
• You need to have a business account.
• The shelf life of content on Pinterest is about 3.5 months compared to minutes on other social platforms, so it is great for giving life to your older posts. It is worth going back to old posts and optimising them for Pinterest.
• That content is very seasonal and people look for things very early on Pinterest so will start looking for Christmas content months in advance).
• Google looks at your first board so move any seasonal boards to be your first board.
• Pinterest analyses a pins description so it is best to add lots of useful content into the description (you can reword a paragraph of your post to use as a description).
Brilliance in Blogging Awards
At the end of the day there was the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. It was great to celebrate the great work of other bloggers in categories like travel, food and inspiration. Some of the winners were from blogs that I don’t yet know so it has given me a lot of new content to read.
Britmums Live was such a great day, I’m so glad I got a late ticket. The people that I met were the best thing about the day. The day reminded me what is so great about the blogging community and gave me an extra boost of blogging motivation.