Technically I have been blogging since November 2014, however, I have written regularly since July 2015. I still call myself a fledgling blogger; I am eager to keep learning about writing and improve my blog as well as advance my ability on social media outlets (I am rather reluctant with social media). Thanks to organiser Fiona, I discovered an Irish Blogger Conference happening in Cork. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn from others. The day before the conference, I went to Cobh (previously Queenstown, the final port for Titanic) where I visited museums and enjoyed the views while eating amazing food.
I was nervous beforehand as I went alone and I did not know anyone attending. My nerves were eased slightly by Marion from ‘All The Wee Things‘ and Holly from ‘Sweet Like Cinnamon‘. They had the misfortune of sitting beside me and they were great to talk to. Marion even snapped up the ‘Best Dressed’ prize. The wide variety of speakers allowed for a lot of learning. Here is what I learned at conference:
1. Your Media Kit is key
Edel Cox from The Beauty Dial spoke about ‘Blogging and PR’, heavily mentioning the need for a media kit. This is something I am working on at present, but something I struggle with as I hate having to sell myself. Within a media kit there should be an overview mentioning your target audience, statistics of your readership (including social media), awards and most importantly your contact details. Free Candie has a wonderful media kit on her new website.
2. Blog in a timely manner
These are wise words from Anita White of dolledup.ie. Blogging in a timely manner means posting relevant to events, for example writing about Christmas in the lead up to it and not in July (unless the post is about a ‘Christmas in July’ event).
Ahhh, remember #BloggerBlackmail? The moral of this story was touched upon by Corrina, the travel writer for Cherry Sue Doin’ The Do. When working with a company or brand, set your expectations and understand their needs before commencing work. This avoids the unfortunate situation that recently occured between a blogger and a patisserie. On a side note, I could very easily eat £100 worth of macarons.
4. Google alerts
I thought I had read it all when it came to monetising your blog, but as Sue Jordan (sister of Corrina) spoke, I felt as if a light switch went on. She told us to set a Google Alert for “writers wanted”. Something simple, but a great piece of advice. I admit, it was only as I was reading my notes I set this up, so I cannot comment about its success yet.
When multiple award winner Allan Dixon tells you he does not take many photos he deems good enough for Instagram, I worry. I have a terrible camera on my phone and my best photo would be laughable to him. There is light at the end of the tunnel however, as James Kavanagh taught us ‘How to Snapchat real good’. Snapchat is the dodgy cousin of Instagram and that is a great thing. It is good to not have to take the perfect photo and it is all right to show the world that you burnt your dinner. I have yet to download Snapchat (insufficient space on my phone…) but I will amend this soon and I can bombard you with my adventures.
6. Speak to people
This may not have been covered in the conference itself, but I need to feel comfortable (or less uncomfortable) in a room with people I don’t know. I left very quickly when the speakers finished and I didn’t browse the trade stands in attendance due to social anxieties. They may have mostly been beauty and fashion stands I have minimal interest in, but there was a cake stand with FREE CAKE and maximise this opportunity. I need to step out of my comfort zone, rid myself of the fears and loosen up.
I learned plenty in Cork, and I plan to build on this knowledge in November when Laura from Day Dreaming Foodie and I go to another conference in Dublin. Watch this space!
What is your number one blogging tip? How to you put yourself out there when you have social anxieties?