On Sunday I travelled up north to Manchester to attend Blogs Up North‘s first blogging conference, Blog On. It was held at the Museum of Science and Industry, MOSI for short hence the hashtag #BlogonMosi. MOSI is an absolutely amazing building and although I went straight up to the floor the conference was on, from what I saw the museum looked fabulous so we’ll definitely be going back there to have a look around in the not so distant future.
After grabbing a super quick coffee, apple and cookie (balanced diet?) I made my way into the main event room just as Laura of TiredMummyofTwo for the conference to begin. I was made welcome by recognising some smiley faces; Pippa of RedRoseMummy and Amanda of LifewithASD so I instantly felt at ease. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling that nervous about attending. After reading up on who else was attending, the blogging community up north is incredible. I’d like to think I was an honorary Northern girl for the day and fit straight in.
First up was a Photography session from John (@floyduk). I’m a bit gutted because I didn’t write a lot of notes, I really should of done but I did take away two things from the session; photos should utilise leading lines and the subject in a photo should be placed on a rule of thirds.
We were split into groups and the first session for me was Blogging Beautifully with Annie of Mammasaurus and Helen of Actually Mummy. To me, these two ladies are part of the blogging elite. What these ladies don’t know, isn’t worth knowing! There was discussion about how to improve our blogs and build blog traffic as well as encouragement to be nice. Share some blog love and comment more, people love comments.
– Be bold and join different linkys in different countries to attract wider audiences.
– Comment on blogs and make someones day (hint hint!)
During the lunch break, I managed to grab a bite to eat and spent a good half an hour chatting with the brands in the Brand Den. I got to catch up with one of my favourite brands, The Essential One and spent some time introducing myself to other brands including Swizzels Matlow, Kaleidoscope and Sodastream.
The second session was all about Laws and Lies in the blogging world. I found this session really informative and picked up a couple of tips that I’ll be putting into action in the next few weeks. It also reinforced some things I already knew which was quite a good feeling..
What you need to know:
– Google is not the law so it is up to you should you want to use follow links or not.
– Disclosure is absolutely necessary if you have received an incentive for a post – in fact, it’s illegal not to (SEO’s take note!)
– As soon as you start to receive payment for a blog post, you must register as self-employed
– Whatever you write on your blog is your responsibility
– Mummy Barrow has a very useful blog post should you want to read up more
After another well timed coffee break and a quick chat to another brand, I went to my final session ‘Building Relationships’ chaired by Cat of Yellow Days, Liz Weston and Dan from Push On. In this session we discussed what we thought brands should approach us as bloggers and what they wanted from us. What was interesting was the view of an SEO who gave us some insight into what he would be looking for in a blogger he was matching with a brand. Of course, it’s entirely up to you if you want to work with brands but this session helped me gain a bit more perspective.
What I picked up:
– Check your domain authority (anything above 10 is good)
– Check you page rank (most bloggers are PR2 or PR3)
– Blog regularly (at least twice per week) with your own content
– If you undertake reviews, you should post one review post in every four of your own content posts.
– If you use social media, be active and engage with your followers.
The day wrapped up with a look at some of the photographs bloggers had taken of the day found on twitter using the hashtag #BlogonMOSI and the raffle was drawn. I won a couple of prizes which was fab but what was nice was bloggers digging deep to support the cancer charity Clic Sargent.
As we prepared to head home we were given our goody bags which were rather heavy but AMAZINGLY full of fab bits and pieces as well as another bag from Swizzels Matlow full of sweets! I had a brilliant day meeting and catching up with lots of lovely bloggers and I’m pleased I was able to go.
A big thank you to Laura for organising such a fabulous event, MOSI for the fab venue and to all the lovely people I met on Sunday for being bloody brilliant.