Blogging & Vlogging Festivals: What really happens? + Top tips

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I’ve managed to get these Yorkshire hips around the country to a few blogging and vlogging festivals now.
The thought of “networking” has always petrified me and made me cringe. Even more so when it comes to schmoozing with “online influencers” (calling yourself that feels the same as calling yourself an “entrepreneur.” #cringe).
But as you know I look to push myself out of my co-sleeping-chav-running-comfort zone.
I do this by spontaneously booking stuff when I’m having a caffeine high which inevitably results in a  hangover the next day when I think to myself: “Why can’t I just be a good normal calm stay-at-home mum?!” (Hence my recent trip to New York with the kids on me tod!).
I blame all my years of bellydancing for shaking my brain up.
Anyhow, that’s my waffle, but what you really want to know is the why go? What happens? And what do you actually learn from these blogging things?! 
So I popped my blogging-schmoozing-cherry at last year’s Mumsnet’s BlogFest.
Then I hopped off to Manchester earlier this year to Blog On festival which I returned to in September aaand then last weekend I found myself at Brit Mum’s Live in London.

So why go? 

– As much as I hate networking, it is really cool to meet so many online friends in real life (although I won’t lie it is awkward at first when you half recognise people that you know but don’t actually know.).
– You learn lots of stuff (see below for the best bits of what I’ve learnt, or at least what I can remember learning).
– You meet brands face-to-face. I’ve built up lots of relationships with brands by meeting them in person.
– It inspires you to keep on blogging, Vlogging & social media-ring.
What happens? 
– Tons of free coffee and food
– Brands have stalls which you can visit (it’s a great chance to get some work!)
– Sessions & workshops to learn lots
– Chatting & schmoozing
– Lots of competitions
– Goody bags!!!
What I’ve learnt:
– Social media: Be social, have a conversation with people, don’t just send out lots of auto messages. It’s about engagement and interaction, not just link dropping.
– Instagram: Tag the location you are in your posts as well as tagging brands you’re using/wearing. And interact with others. Use the full 30 hashtags allowed.
– YouTube: It’s easiest to grow your audience by sticking to a schedule and your own unique format. Consistency is key to sustainable growth.
– Monetising: Go into blogging and blogging with passion not for the money. If you’re passionate about your subject the money will come.
– Brands: Work with brands you’re already customers of. Pitch to them with ideas rather than just asking for stuff.
– Photos: At BlogFest it was all about being snap happy. I remember Davina McCall admitting how she takes 30+ photos to get one good shot for social media (believe it or not but she has body hang ups like the rest of us.
At #BML17 we learnt about flat laying and photographing straight lines… (which was really useful.. but harder than it looks to take a nice shot)

– Pinterest: Lots of people have raved about Pinterest and the boost it provides to your blog traffic (hence all my blog images are now pinnable! All with a simple WordPress plugin).
– Sponsorship: It’s possible to get companies to sponsor you to attend the events.
So a huge thanks to Hippychick for sponsoring me to go Brit Mums Live 2017 and Blog On in Manchester.

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