This post has been sitting in my drafts since June 2015. Instead of randomly publishing it I thought I’d wait and publish it today. Why today you ask? Well tickets for Blogtacular 2016 went on sale this weekend!! I wanted to share my experience incase any of you are thinking of going on the 18th of June 2016.
As some of you will know from my social media accounts, I was in London last weekend for Blogtacular 2015. I flew over on Thursday and had a great weekend of sight-seeing, food, shopping, and of course the Blogtacular fun itself! I wanted to share my experience and some of the things that were discussed over the weekend, as well as a couple of tips from some fabulous creatives.
What is Blogtacular Conference
Blogtacular is an inspiring blogging conference that has taken place in the Royal Institute in London for two years now. Not only were there a great selection of keynotes, speakers, workshops and styling sessions to choose from, but a number of bloggers covering a whole range of topics to talk to. The only way to descibe the atmosphere was buzzing! It was amazing to be able to chat away to other creatives about a common hobby.
The weekend started with dinner on Friday night where I got talking to Elizabeth from Bridal Musings, Tessa from All Things Stationary and Ellie from Yellow Lolly. It was lovely to get some time to meet everyone and talk the night before the event. The next morning, we all arrived at the Royal Institute between 8:30 and 9:50, for some welcoming drinks and to network a little. We then all gathered into the main theatre and after a quick introduction to the day from both Kats it was time for the first session.
Opening Keynote – Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge
Grace’s topic was “The Power Of Fear – How to embrace what scares you and use it to grow your personal and professional life”. It was a perfect start! Grace was so interesting to listen to and seems like such a lovely person. It was great to hear about her creative journey and fears, and see her growth from starting a blog back in the early 2000s with no goals to where she is now.
She talked about the best 5 ways to get past these fears, and had us talk about our own fears. She also told us not to be afraid to share our fears. I’ve noticed this a lot in Facebook groups. I’ve also noticed that people are becoming more open about the different aspects of blogging and business (sharing processes, blog reports, incomes reports, and so on), and I really love and respect that. One thing that was consistant throughout the conference was community, find yourself a “tribe” that you can discuss ideas with, share problems and support each other.
Full Time Blogging – Francesca Stone of Fall For DIY
The next session was a choice between Francesca Stone “Full Time Blogging”, Marte Marie Forsberg’s “Creativity & Inspiration”, or Monica Scott “Travel Blogging”. I decided to attend Francesca’s session on full time blogging. Although a full time blogger isn’t where I see myself in the future, I found the talk about her experience really useful, especially as someone who freelances in many areas. I had to agree with her when she talked about consistent quality content over a consistent schedule, this is something I mention time and time again because I honestly think it’s important to not feel guilty about not blogging. Don’t just put out posts for the sake of it, build a quality blog. Taking time away from your blog isn’t a bad thing at all!
Grow Your Audience Panel – Cate Sevilla, Elizabeth Muhmood Kane, Kristabel Plummer, Sam Baker
After lunch, the choice was between a panel discussing How To Grow Your Audience, Kat with a Photography session and Zoe Pearson with Pinterest Q&A. I decided on the Grow Your Audience Panel as I’d met Elizabeth the night before. I really enjoyed the chit chat format of this panel, they each shared their opinions and tips about growing an audience. The best part was they each had their own path, and this is something I explain a lot to clients or readers who email me. We all start differently, and we all grow differently. That’s what makes this so interesting!
Instagram Panel – Allison Sadler, Benjamin Hole, Grace Bonney, Leona Thift-ola
The next session was between an Instagram Panel, Food Photography and Styling, or Creating Community. I really struggled to choose between the Instagram and Community one but decided to stick around for the Instagram Panel. The overall conversation was to be picky with what you share, and encourage engagement because that is what Instagram is all about. Think of it as an extension of your blog – be consistent, have a visual identity, connect with others, schedule updates and share your story in a personal way.
My Turn! DIY Your Blog Design – XOMISSE
After a short break it was my turn to hold a session on how to DIY your blog design. I really enjoyed the experience and want to take this time to thank everyone who came to my talk as well as Blogtacular for having me.
Closing Keynote – Anthony Peters of IMEUS
Anthony spoke about Creativity in the Digital Age, which really hit home with me. As a digital media graduate, web/graphic designer, front-end developer, freelance writer and blogger – creativity can be something that is really difficult to “hold on to” day to day. With so many briefs and deadlines, it can be hard to be creative. I could relate to a lot of what he said, you can watch the talk below.
It really was a great day, and hopefully I’ll be able to attend again in the future! One of the main things I took away from the day is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently – we all blog because we love to blog, we don’t need to put pressure on ourselves, we don’t need to “rule” the internet, we don’t need to be an overnight success. If you are happy with your blog, your audience and the growth of your blog then your blog is successful. I could blog more often, pin more strategically, stick to an Instagram theme, create more products, blog full time, etc. but I’m happy with my blog, I’m happy with my readers, I’m happy with my clients. That’s all that matters!