Those of you who know me – and who I have told about this blog may be following to see what I’m up to.
The rest of you probably aren’t!
The truth is, raising awareness of your blog, and indeed letting people out there know you exist, may just be the hardest part of all. I know this because I’ve been working in marketing for several years so have had my fair share of generating and building awareness of campaigns. It’s kind of different when it comes to your own work though and you’re literally building something totally from scratch. I’m enjoying the process though and it’s nice to be doing things at my own pace. I like the thought that it’s just me and my keyboard for now.
My friend Sarah – who inspired my very first post is a bit of a blogging pro. She writes a beautiful blog called Taming Twins and records fantastic videos for You Tube. If you’re a bit of a foodie – you’ll love them!
When Sarah mentioned there was a blogging conference aimed specifically at creative types she didn’t have to ask me twice. The thought of a room full of people who enjoy making and creating sounded right up my street. Not only that, I would also get to meet in person several of the people I have chatted to and linked up with on Instagram. As far as social media platforms go it is definitely my favourite of all and it is rare for me to go a day without posting something. A platform as visual inspiring at Instagram was always going to win with me.
Blogtacular took place in June and was held in a beautiful building in Mayfair. The location couldn’t have been nicer and the beautiful summers day really made it special.
We travelled up on the Friday and stayed until Sunday. It was a real treat for a country girl like me to be let loose in London for a few days.
We explored the shops, ate nice food, chatted non-stop and of course met some truly wonderful bloggers.
The toughest part of the trip was deciding which speakers to go and listen to at Blogtacular. There were so many to chose from it was difficult to make up my mind which room to go to.
Grace Bonney was the opening speaker and really set the tone for the day. Her talk was so inspiring and she spoke all about moving with the times, and basically just getting started.
I briefly wrote a blog some years back. It was a beauty blog and there were quite a few other girls who had just begun blogging too – Lollipop26 who is now Buynowbloglater, Zoella – who obviously needs no introduction at all, along with a few others who I regularly chatted too as we made our way in this new World. It was all going nicely – until I decided to stop! I was younger then and hyper critical of myself. If the truth be told I didn’t think I was any good. There were so many other people with such interesting things to say. Or so I thought. Obviously looking back now I realise there is space for everyone and there will always be at least somebody with shared opinions who wants to hear what you have to say. You just have to get out there and get involved!
So after introductions it was time for the day to begin. The schedule was packed with inspiring talks and I had to try and decide which to go to. Decisions it seems were to be the hardest part of the whole day.
I needn’t have worried though. The talk from Marie Forsberg knocked my socks off. She really is the most engaging of speakers and had us captivated in the library with her inspiring talk. She spoke about finishing university and the challenges she faced. The fact there were so many options open to her but all she wanted to do was follow her heart – eat nice food, take photos, that kind of lovely stuff.
So she did just that. She followed her heart and her intuition and now travels all over the world running workshops, working for amazing brands like Fortum and Mason, and yes, you guessed it, taking photos and eating nice food. Of course having talent helps, as well and being a genuinely nice person with a warm smile and a great story to tell. She quickly became my favourite instagrammer with her beautiful images of delicious food, her snaps of her gorgeous dog and interesting trips back to her home in Norway.
I liked it so much in fact that I nipped back to her next talk in the afternoon. This time is was a workshop all about photography, her special tips and tricks for getting the most out of light. We did a little group shot of afternoon tea and she made us laugh with her stories of clambering onto tables to take photos of food. It needs to be done in a subtle way, she was quick to point out!
I next went to a panel discussion featuring amongst others Sam Baker who was once editor of Just Seventeen, my teenage bible. She later moved to Cosmopolitan and then Red. She pretty much had my dream career but spoke about that need to move with the times. Publishing has changed massively – as we know. I’m a total magazine addict but even I do much of my reading online these days. It’s just so easy and immediate. She spoke about why she set up The Pool and what she hopes to achieve. I loved listening to her – along with the other ladies too of course. There was just something about Sam which engaged me and made me want to hear more. It’s what the day was all about really – finding your place in the blogging World and writing about what matters to you.
The day past by in the blur of inspring talks, introductions to my favourite bloggers – there was so much to take in and I was shattered by the end of it. So much excitement in one day.
Sarah and I took a stroll over to Sketch for some tapas and a quick chat, before heading on to a special Blogtacular and Pinterest UK event held at West Elm. The store was alive with workshops and beautiful furniture for us all to lust over. Have you been to West Elm? It’s such a great place and packed to the rafters with all my favourite kind of things – stylish dinner party gear, gorgeous blankets, beautiful furniture and great vessels for floristry – I obviously spotted those!!
We left west Elm at about 10 and sauntered through Soho stopping for a lobster roll and a glass of wine. Sarah wanted to remind herself of a pre-baby trip to New England where she has enjoyed lobster rolls and beer under the stars. I was happy to oblige of course.
Theres something about London which draws me in every time. It’s just so different to my life in the country and it always makes a lovely little change to be in thick of the smog and the action. Taking in the sights and the sounds, and wondering what it must be like to live there full time. I wonder if Londoners do that when they visit the country?
Did you go to Blogtacular this year?
I’d love to hear from you if you did, or maybe you can recommend some other blogger events for me to go to.