The first BLOGGERCONF was held in the Marker Hotel in Dublin. It brought together brands and bloggers to showcase how to work together effectively. There were talks subjects like social media and brand affiliation; some included inspirational messages of how to keep yourself real and how to build yourself up from the bottom.
I attended BLOGGERCONF with Laura from Day Dreaming Foodie. We had an early start, meeting at Sprucefield before making our way to Dublin. The coffee lovers in us felt we needed to stop for a caffeine hit (with cake) on the way down and as Laura made sure we left early, we were still in Dublin with time to spare.
My first blogger event was the Irish Blogger Association conference in Cork and I was ready to add more knowledge to what I learned there. Here are some of the lessons I learned in Dublin:
1. Create a media kit
Rachel Dalton spoke about working with brands and PR companies. Her first point was to create a media kit. I remember this being the first point of the IBA event too and I promised to quickly rectify this. I have yet to do so, but I signed up for the new Travel Blog Success course focussing on working with tourism boards. As part of the course, I get help producing my media kit, so I do not have an excuse.
Rachel mentioned an interesting statistic; the average person is exposed to a brand seven times before they commit to purchasing.
2. Misconceptions of blogging
The beauty, lifestyle and fashion panel discussed how blogging is seen to be rather glamorous. It is easy for readers to see free samples and invites to wonderful events. What they do not see is the manic typing at 3 am and evenings spent working on social media. Oh, the glamour!
3. Watch what you say
Media lawyer Sinead Keavey showed us examples of court cases and out of court settlements resulting from posts on social media. She told us that we have to be incredibly careful and if we post something, we must be able to prove it is either factually correct or state it is opinion. We even saw examples of cases in which the tweeter only implied that something had happened.
4. Google PageSpeed Insights
Yigit Yucel from Google spoke about AdSense at BLOGGERCONF, but PageSpeed Insights really stood out for me in his presentation. I am afraid of having a slow website, so I put off checking and rectifying this. This Google tool seems user-friendly and shows you how to fix your issues. I hope it won’t show many (or any) problems for TheSarahStory.
5. Choose your social platforms and commit
Laura Haugh from MummyPages spoke about ‘The good, the bad and the money’. She recommends choosing certain social media platforms and committing to them. This is something I struggle with; I want to be a master of all trades. Recently, I decided to focus on the ones I enjoy the most. Twitter wins (by a long way), followed by Facebook and Pinterest. I never fell for Instagram (I am odd); I don’t even use it to scroll others, so it is not something I focus on.
6. Keep it real
“Be yourself” and “keep it real” were phrases mentioned throughout the day. I like to think I do show my true self online. I don’t filter my selfies before uploading them. (some of you probably say I should!). I am honest when I write about things. Joan Mulvihill, CEO of the Irish Internet Association spoke about how all bloggers need to be more authentic and not create an online persona that misleads readers. She spoke brilliantly on the subject; it is clearly something she is passionate about.
7. Associate with others in your niche
Technically, other bloggers in your niche are your competitors. That is not how you should look at them. These bloggers should be used for inspiration, generating ideas (not copying – be yourself!) and for advice and guidance when needed. I mentioned Travel Blog Success already and I cannot recommend it enough. Sometimes I am blown away by being able to talk to some of the industry leaders in our (secret) Facebook group. It is a fantastic resource for learning and building your blog. It has given me more confidence and I am learning daily.
I enjoyed my day in Dublin with Laura, especially as it ended with a three-course meal in HQ. I am unsure if I will attend another event like this. I want to learn more about blogging and get deeper into the specifics on how to improve on social media, rather than a general overview of the topic. Another niggle of the day was timekeeping. I did not want to leave early (although many did), but the event ran over by almost an hour, which explains why people left. That aside, Emma O’Farrell organised a great event that had a great turnout. I hope I get to know more Irish bloggers as time goes on!