BlogConLDN & other Blogging Conferences

It seems like yesterday when I woke up in January 2017. I remember setting the intention to take this blog to another level, merge the online with the offline. I searched for blogging events in London and now - 3 months later - I am staring at the same old SiteOrigin Editor but in so much has happened. Many great bloggers have crossed my way leaving me even more motivated than ever. There is something quite magical about connecting with others who share your mission. 

The Bloggers Hub

(C) sheynareece.blog // In this photo from left: Me & Nikita Nevison

 

You can't even imagine how nervous I was, finding my way all by myself to the very first blog conference somewhere in a East London. I ran into the lovely twin bloggers Lauren and Maddy who were a bit early just like me. How cool it must be to have your very own twin, running a shared blog seems like such an "easy" task but there must probably some discussions going on in the background.

I soon realised that blogging events are something special, or maybe that was because I found myself sitting in this ultra-mega-hipster apartment of a German photographer in London? So for the very first time, I was able to ask someone else when they would sit down and write, how they managed to juggle a full-time job and blogging and much more. I love exchanging ideas on what works and how to stay consistent.

 

Nikita Nevison
Ashtangi Yogi & Lifestyle Blogger
nikitanevison.co.uk

 

Farheen
A little bit of everything Blogger
Didn't get a chance to talk to her much but she was leaving the coolest comments to discussions.
And, oh my! Her makeup looked amazing... Seriously considered becoming a beauty blogger after all.
farheenxo.co.uk

 

Lauren & Maddy 
Twin Bloggers
twogirlssamepassions.com

 

I couldn't believe how stunning it looked. I was so in the moment that I didn't even realise that I didn't take any photos. Felt so lucky to find out afterwards that the photographer had taken such cool snapshot.

 

 

#BloggersAreUs♥

 

Soon I found myself all styled up, walking through the streets in Shoreditch. The second blogger event, organised by Ashlee, was held in some secret space at a bar. Lots of bloggers, lots of chitchatting, lots of enthusiasm. I learn that many blogs come and go but only a few really make it. We don't care, we are in it for the fun. Blogging is a creative outlet. The lovely Tehmina Ahmed (the photo above) was displaying her self-made t-shirts. If you are up for it, check out her collection, or reach out to her, here. I find that blogging, or working in the creative field, works both ways. The more you care for others, the more others will care for you.

I'm also particularly grateful to have met this beautiful lady: 

Elizabeth Okoh 
www.sewafolie.com

Who produced the below video. So freaking London! I really like Liz's blog concept to interview entrepreneurs in Nigeria. She is about to publish a novel, so excited for it to come out. Oh, and in case this isn't enough, she also set up her own fashion line - check it out here.

 

#BlogConLondon

 

 

This was by far the biggest conference, held at a huge venue in Westminster. Weeks in advance the famous blogger John from John’s Road to Volunteering had created a Twitter and Whatsapp group for all the bloggers he was connected to and who would attend the conference. I’m talking more than 250 bloggers here! Slightly overwhelming but I liked his spirit.

There were mainly girls in their early twenties at the event. The majority of the brands who were there were of the beauty and fashion industry. I felt a bit awkward initially, as you know that’s not really the content I’m passionate about. But then I just walked to people who would also be standing by themselves, I met Mario who was a twin blogger ! I started seeing a pattern here, at the first event I had made the twin bloggers Lauren and Maddy and now another one. Does that mean my imaginary twin is somewhere out there?

Mario and I strolled around and discovered a cool travel blogging stall from an American tour operator called TrekAmerica. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw they had an Oculus! With all the VR talk going on, this was THE MOMENT that I tried it on a headset for the very first time. With the snap of a finger, I found myself standing in a place which must have been the dessert in Arizona, exploring the area with a group of others. Really crazy experience, definitely something which screams: More, more, more! (What's quite funny is that the lovely girl I was talking to at the TrekAmerica booth was the travel blogger Milly from mini-adventures.com.)

 

 

I was floating between chatting with strangers who share my passion, learning little tips and tricks and taking it all in.  

"You have to schedule your post, to just take 30 minutes or so on a Sunday and then have some content automatically published for the next two weeks."

Sounds good, if but the content needs to be there first.

Katy from LittleMissKaty talked about how one’s digital strategy needs to connect together on the various different social networks. It seems obvious but I guess I’m not really doing that. What I usually do on Instagram is not 100% connected to what I write about on my blog. On Insta, I put quotes below images but don’t push my own writing. Maybe I should be more real, open up more and let that big Insta-crowd see more of what I do on the blog. It’s just that I need to get over that little fear holding me back.

As well, there was a talk about monetization and its direct or indirect avenues. So there are affiliate links, sponsorship, etc on the one hand, as well as selling your own product or service on the other. The key is to grow one’s very niche, to be focused and even more targeted. Who are your followers? Find some data points to understand them better. Be a product manager of your very own company. Rather than focusing on the amount of following, he stressed that sell-through is what matters. It’s not about being liked by everyone but if 4% of your following love your idea, that’s all that matters. 

 

 

Eventually, I bumped into the gaming blogger Michael (follow him on Twitter as he is currently rebranding his site). He said, in blogging it would all boil down to whether you want to do a good job or "your job". Doing a good job blogging would require you to know your essence to its core, know your product, your keywords and so on. Then the "your job" part of the building mechanism is your personality. Keep a personal touch rather than focusing on yourself. It can be hard to find a balance. I recalled that I was doing this in the early days on Instagram: "Hey people, I'm this biological machine and I get my needs met at this moment. Look at my food."

Some other great people? Mina from onecorporatechic.com came all the way from Paris! And Ashleigh and I bumped into each other at the Love booth.

The Decerning Man talked about the importance of keeping a database regarding the brands which one contacts. He is also seeing that blogs are turning into online magazines. His biggest advice was to never be afraid contacting PR or social media manager as they might just not have the time to discover one yet. Sounds obvious, but hearing it was soothing. You write about travel? Let’s contact travel PR agencies or search the hashtags #prrequest or #bloggerrequest. Think about what you want to be, set five targets and remember that at the end of the day we are building relationships.

Some other tips and tricks:

  • Learn SEO and watch the videos at moz.com or find them on YouYube
  • Where is your strongest asset? Poetry? Make it easy for yourself.
  • Balance consumption versus producing content. Don’t consume too much.
  • Be consistent, be there for your audience when they need you.
  • Have regular writing days.
  • Be an entrepreneur.

So yeah, a whole lot of blogging events to start 2017 off right. That's it for now but I'm certainly keeping my eyes wide open for the next events. If you come across any good ones in London, please give me a shout!

I'm not sure why but my gut tells me that publishing, journalism and blogging are at crossroads and I'm motivated to keep going, despite the fact that I have no idea where it may take us.

 

 

PS: Find me on Snapchat 🙂 snapchat.com/add/finjkem

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  • Tijana Boskovic

    How have you organized the blog into sections as opposed to chronological – ie the five headings at the top and then the subheadings of travel by areas ? this is beaut, i know you specialize in digitization, as a start-up blogger with wordpress, is this outside of my customization range? so excited by how you’ve organized this, and the slowed-down feel of it, with the music and poetic musings, it’s like a virtual experience and not a blog. do you have to know coding to do this kinda stuff, or hire out people + pay for hosting platforms to have a well-designed site? just a bunch of general questions i hope you can answer! muah congrats this is really special

  • Mademoiselle Coconath

    Such a great post! Love the pictures
    xx
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    http://mllecoconath.com

    • Thank you love!! Have a great week!

  • MSA

    Nice pictures too!

  • MSA

    Love this post! I can totally relate to where you are coming from and I found the information you wrote about useful. So sad that I missed out on BlogConLondon!!! But hopefully i’ll be there next time. keep on blogging. xx

    • Yes, bummer that you were not there! let me know when you hear about any other events? will also keep an ear out and let you know about it! 🙂 hope your week is starting out well! xx

  • Emma Farley

    What fun events! I miss out on a lot of these, being based in Cornwall, not driving and having a small child. Fingers crossed for some more widespread events!

    • Omg you live in Cornwall, it must be so amazing! So I guess I’m the one missing out…. such a lovely place you live in! Wishing you a very warm summer and lots of days near the beach. 🙂

  • Beautiful post! I wish I knew about this blogging event- so close! Will attend next year for sure. But in regards to attending another blogging event, another blogger by the name of Natalie brought my attention to the Bloggers Market happening next month. Here is the link for more information. (http://www.whatoliviadid.com/2017/03/the-bloggers-market-4.html) Never been, but looking forward to attending for the first time. It’ll be great if you can make it too! xx

    http://www.wanderingadventurer.com

    • ahh thanks for the link rae! i’d love to go and meet you, that would be lovely. the link doesn’t lead to the event though, and I can’t find anything on olivia’s site searching for market on there. when is it and where can i register? 🙂 xx

      • Hey Finja! Sounds terrific! The event is a free walk in and cash only. Check and see if this link works. If not, I copied and pasted the event’s address and timing at the bottom. I look forward to meeting you there! 🙂 xx

        http://www.whatoliviadid.com/2017/03/the-bloggers-market-4.html

        Address: Camden Collective
        110 Hampstead Road
        London
        NW1 2LS

        Time: 11:00am-4:30pm

        Nearest tubes: Euston, Euston Square, Warren Street, Mornington Crescent
        P.S The event is cash only and free entry, with a percentage of profits donated to our selected charities- ask us on the day for more info!