I CAN’T help but find it ironic, that after attending my first blogging conference last weekend, I have been utterly rubbish at blogging this week.
(This world works in funny ol’ ways doesn’t it?!)
Anyhow, for those of you who may have missed all the excitement, last weekend saw me attend BritMums Live for the first time, kindly sponsored by the wonderful Yellow Mellon. (If you haven’t already, do check out this lovely childrenswear brand.)
It was, as you can imagine, rather brilliant. I spent two days surrounded by immense blogging talent, listened to some brilliant speakers, picked up many tips (you should see my to-do list) and basically had a ball. Not a bad life ey?
Originally I was going to do a detailed run down of all the top blogging and social media tips I picked up from the many seminars and the like, but the wonderful Bod For Tea beat me to it and did it so brilliantly, I decided not to bother. ;-)
Here instead, are five lessons I learnt from BritMums Live, that are (quite possibly) as relevant to life in general as they are to the blogging community. Enjoy! x
My biggest highlight from the entire weekend wasn’t picking up some new tips or enjoying a couple nights of amazing sleep (although admittedly this last one is most definitely up there!), it was, without question, spending time with some of my closest blogging pals.
It never fails to amaze me how you can connect so well and form lasting friendships with people you’ve mainly spoken to across social media or via their blogs, but it does happen and when it does, it is amazing. Magical in fact.
At BritMums Live, I had the absolute pleasure of being in the company of a bunch of ladies who are not only beautiful, talented, funny and kind, but whom are also becoming special friends of mine. Spending time with this wonderful group of women – the gorgeous and vivacious Vicki from HonestMum, the serene and beautiful Zaz from Mama- And More and the glamorous and oh so wise Mirka from All Baby Advice and more was an absolute joy and I swear, as conversation and wine flowed, so did ideas, positivity and belief.
(If you look hard enough, I reckon you can even see it in the picture above ;-) – Thanks for letting me pinch it Vicki!)
Other women I met who I’m looking forward to getting to know much better include the lovely Michelle from Bod For Tea (a kindred spirit I feel!), Hannah from Mums’ Days (who is definitely on ‘my page!’), Katrina from Cool Bananas (it was only a fleeting hello but nevertheless was a pleasure), Natalie from Style Me Sunday (whom is my new style crush, her dress on the Saturday? Stunning!) and Ceri AKA The Ginger Warrior (who made me laugh so much and even managed to persuade me to natter on film!)
Friendship is magical. It empowers, it entertains, it soothes, it makes life a hell of a lot more interesting and a whole lot more special. As women, we are stronger together. And friendship is where it all begins.
Knowledge is power…
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are (or feel) it’s never too late to learn something. Or anything in fact.
BritMums Live is an event that has to cater for all levels of blogging, from the beginner to the more experienced to the professional, and I’m sure everyone who attended the conference came away with some new tips that will help to improve their blog.
Spending two days soaking up knowledge and information was really wonderful. Always the eager Beaver (a nod to my old surname there – yes really!) I have come away from the conference feeling more informed and excited about this blog and it’s future potential.
But here’s the thing. Although the seminars were great, some of the best knowledge I gained, came not from them, but from fellow bloggers I met who were kind and honest enough to share their secrets for success as well as some of their past failings. Powerful stuff I tell you.
And I guess that is what is so incredible about learning. We never really know where are best lessons will come from. Sometimes we have to sit down and listen. Other times, we need to ask the questions. But all in all, as long as we’re receptive, knowledge is always there for the taking, to make our own.
…But it’s what you do with it that counts.
On the train on my way home on Sunday, I went through my BritMums Live notes and highlighted all of the things I needed to do. The blog changes I need to make, the people I need to connect with and follow on social media and the rest of the umpteen things I need or ‘should’ really do after listening to the experts and my peers.
As I sat there with my pen in my hand, it all felt a bit overwhelming. My to-do list is massive and if I stopped to think about it as a whole, it would feel impossible and I’d quickly feel deflated.
But if I don’t attempt to tackle this list, then I will have failed and my time at the conference will have been wasted. Because that’s the thing with knowledge. For any of it, to do you any good at all, you have to put it into action.
Otherwise it’s a bit like having a wardrobe full of fancy clothes and shoes that you only ever look at. Lovely yes, but what’s the point of owning drool-inducing fashion, if you never wear it?! Knowledge is power, that is true, but it’s putting it into action that can and will make the difference.
Do it for the love of it
I attended BritMums Live because I want to be a better blogger and because I want to become more successful.
I want to earn more money, I want my words to touch and inspire people and I’d love for Pouting In Heels to become a household blogging name (that’s the dream people!). But even if these things don’t happen, I will still continue to blog. Why? Because I just LOVE it.
At BritMums Live, I heard all kinds of tips and suggestions being banded about and a whole lot of ‘shoulds’. There are of course some fundamental principles that us bloggers need to adhere to (like don’t pinch other people’s work for example) however I’m also a firm believer that as our blogs are OUR spaces, it’s important to hold on to the love that we have for them and do and write about what works for us and our blogs.
Yes, I want to earn money from it. Yes, I hope this blog will continue to bring amazing opportunities my way. But essentially, I write for the love of it. And that – when I think about all the popular blogs I adore – is the real key to success. As long as there is loved involved, you can’t really go wrong.
It’s the little things that count
I was spoilt last weekend. Totally spoilt, because I spent two nights at The Montcalm at The Brewery London City, which I have to tell you, was a total treat.
I have stayed in some fabulous hotels in my time (one of the perks of being a journalist!) and this one is definitely up there with my favourites. Why? Because the hotel was brilliant at the little things.
Bowls of red rosy apples for guests to treat themselves to. Beautiful orchids in the lobby. A doorman who happily showed me to my room and made me feel welcome. Luxurious toiletries in the bathroom. Home made mayonnaise for my room service meal of burger and chips. A goodnight gift left on my pillow which I returned to after a long and exhausting day.
This hotel has everything that other hotels have. The comfy bed. A decent bathroom. Good food etc. But it was the little things that made me appreciate it. The little things that made it stand out.
And this, if you think about it, is the same when it comes to blogging. All the blogs I remember have little things about them that I love. It could be an interesting linky that they host, a regular blog series that is published, the way a blogger signs off a post or even as something as simple as their logo.
Hotels, blogs, people, love. The big picture is always great to look at, but when it comes to being remembered and standing out from the crowd, it really is the little things that count.
To everyone whom I met at BritMums Live, it was a pleasure! Thank you all for making a BritMums Live virgin feel so erm… loved! ;-)
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! (I don’t know about you but I’m ready to give my brain a little rest!)
With love (and pouts)
Psssttt – If you fancy treating your kiddywinks to some new clothes, my lovely sponsor Yellow Mellon are offering all BritMums Live attendees 30 per cent off all clothing! Simply enter the code: BRITMUMS at the checkout! x