Yesterday, I had my first day away from Theo to attend Blogtacular in central London. I don’t usually post on a Sunday, but I just need to get this all down, as my mind has been buzzing since I left the conference. As I wrote about here, I had watched my Twitter and Instagram feed with envy last year, as the whole thing looked so amazing. Well, I was not disappointed. It was such a lovely day and went by so incredibly quickly. Each session was an hour long, but felt like 15 minutes.
I heard Grace Bonney talk about overcoming fear (and developed an overwhelming girl crush on her, if I didn’t already have one); I heard about Marte Marie Forsberg’s life and how she approaches creativity and inspiration, which was fascinating; I got some fantastic Pinterest tips from Zoe Pearson, their marketing manager; I headed back to do food styling with Marte Marie, then did more styling with Charlotte and Charlotte from Betty Magazine and then… that was it! I had to leave before the final keynote to catch my train, which was such a shame as it sounds as though it was amazing. But my feet were in agony (I wore untried flats, fail!), and I desperately needed to put my flip flops on (thank god I packed them at the last minute) and get home to spend some time with Theo before bedtime.
So, what did I learn? So much. But my particular favourite take aways were:
- From Grace Bonney – In the blogging world, when one blogger does well, we all do well, because their success means you can use them as a case study when pitching to brands (or publishers or journalists etc).
- From Marte Marie – When you go into a pitch or scary situation, write down 3 things you like about yourself, even if it’s just ‘I have nice eyelashes’. Then if you struggle at any point or feel you are out of your depth, remember those three things and give yourself a nice boost of confidence.
- From Zoe Pearson – Think about how Google will view your boards. This is a big one for me! I had named them things like E A T, with spacing in between the letters. It looked pretty, but Google can’t read that, so that’s seriously cutting down on the number of people who will see that board and my pins!
- From Zoe Pearson – Helpful descriptions work way better than basic ones, like that ones I’ve been using (another thing I’ll be changing going forward!) – if you type in some basic keywords, their helpful search will suggest other words people have been searching for alongside those words, and you can use that to help write your description.
- From Charlotte and Charlotte – If you are taking photos of outfits that you would like a magazine to use, always take the photo at least three different ways – show the entire outfit including shoes, then a closer up image without the shoes, and a cropped in, moodier shot which can just be the face. Think of your photos of a set, and don’t be afraid to go back and reshoot the first image again at the end – sometimes you’ll get a better shot as everyone is more relaxed.
The two styling sessions were so interesting – I just wish we’d had more time to play and take photos, as that’s definitely my favourite thing and the thing I want to learn more about. My problem is pretty much laziness. I love styling and think I’m not too bad at it when I put in some effort, but 9 times out of 10, I just want to take a few quick photos and then move on to the next thing. It was great to do the second session with Laura and Lou – their blogs both feature the most beautiful styling, so it felt like I was on a team with two pros. I hope they didn’t mind me barging in and joining them!
The best thing of all, of course, which I haven’t mentioned yet, were the other bloggers. WOW. What an incredible, inspiring and fun bunch of (mostly) women. I am NOT keen on networking, and always feel awkward approaching people I don’t know, but the people I met were so lovely and friendly and I came away from every conversation feeling pumped. Is that ridiculous? But really – there was just such an incredible energy in the room.
It was great to meet people who I’ve known online for a while… Leanne, who I finally got to meet, and talked to about a potential collaboration; Sabrina, who I didn’t talk to for nearly long enough, but who was so friendly; Laura and Lou, who I created this beautiful image with; Teri, an incredible designer who created some stunning postcards in the goody bag; Abi, whose blog is absolutely stunning; and an extra special shout out to Jen, Sarah, Natalie and new friend, Sarah, for being amazing south London bloggers who do good photobooth (and for being my new blogging support network!). Awesome ladies, every one, and there were so many more. And so many more I wanted to talk to, but didn’t find on the day.