I attended Britmums Live for the first time this year. I wasn’t sure what to expect and nothing could prepare me for the sight of about 500 bloggers congregating at The Brewery dressed in their summer best, many sporting tiaras and carrying cute babies. It felt incredible to be part of such a vibrant, diverse community and most of all to meet fellow bloggers outside the blogosphere. There was almost too much to take in, but in this blogpost, I’ve tried to distill what I learned.
Top 10 blogging tips #Britmumslive
1. Be original – This may sound like an obvious tip but it quite possibly the most important one. Develop your own voice, be true to yourself – essentially be your own ‘brand’. Comparing yourself to other bloggers can be very disheartening, “comparison is the thief of joy” (sorry to sound epigrammatic). There’s always someone who is ‘better’ than you, more skilled and well connected. In most cases, they have worked very hard to get there – learn and be inspired from those you admire.
2. Find your niche – As you develop your own brand or voice, you may lean towards a certain style or area of interest. What do you enjoy writing about the most? What has proved the most popular post on your blog? If you take a look you will see a pattern emerging and it may not necessarily be what you originally set out to do!
3. Set yourself goals – If you have been blogging for a while without a sense of purpose, this can be enormously helpful. In my case, I want to move Supergolden Bakes to WordPress, and develop and improve the blog. That’s my immediate goal. But goals don’t have to be enormous or life-changing. Even small steps can make a huge difference.
4. Harness the power of Social Media – I can’t even begin to explain how important this is! MsMarmite Lover, who was a spirited speaker at Britmums, talked about how good content will be discovered and recognised, but a blog cannot exist in a vacuum. You have to share your content.
- Twitter is extremely influential – learn the power of #hashtags, copy the brands you love on relevant tweets, tweet your content more than once (more chance of it being seen). Twitter drives traffic and affects rankings. I found this article today from Be A Mommy Blogger that goes into a lot of detail about hashtags and maximising your Twitter presence.
- Google+ is important because you can claim authorship of your posts and your content gets indexed. You can interact with other users, ‘hang out’ with brands and post on ‘community‘ boards relevant to you. Come find me on G+ – it really isn’t a bad place to be!
- Pinterest – where would food/craft blogs be without it? Think of Pinterest as a search engine. If your content is ‘pinnable‘, Pinterest will drive traffic back to your blog, especially if you become a contributor on influential group boards.
- Instagram – I have to admit I am still learning about how to use it. Take a look at Britmums speaker Marte Maria Forsberg‘s profile. She managed to build a successful career as a photographer through her feed. Listen to her advice ‘think of Instagram as an extension of your ‘brand’ not a place to post cute kitten pics’ (unless that’s your niche). Hashtags are as important here as on Twitter.
- Foodgawker, Craftgawker and other similar sharing sites – they won’t necessarily draw loads of people to your blog but sometimes a little can go a long way! People use them as a search engine for inspiration.
- Add share tools on your blog and make it easy for people to comment.
- Facebook: Not quite sure how to utilise that one. I am open to suggestions!
- Create a conversation with other bloggers you admire on Twitter. Follow them on Pinterest and Bloglovin – see who they follow. Take a look at their Google+ pages, Instagram feeds, comments. I swear this isn’t (strictly speaking) stalking!
- Consider collaborating with other bloggers on projects of joint interest. Find a ‘blog buddy‘ someone you can confide in and who can critique your blog honestly.
- Join link parties, comment and interact with the other bloggers. Commenting in general is very important – and should be reciprocal. It isn’t always easy to maintain (not enough hours in the day!) but is how most newbie bloggers build their network.
- Attend blogging events and network face-to-face. Early bird tickets for #BritmumsLive2015 are available now.
- Join blogger outreach programmes and blogger advertising communities.
7. Develop your skills – is photography important to your blog? Being a good photographer is not innate, it is a leaned skill – research and work at it.
– Recipe writing is another skill – learn how to read and similarly structure your recipes.
– Blog design – how to present your blog for maximum impact. Lucy did a talk about how to make your blog gorgeous. I will try to share her tips in another post – maybe when I finally redesign here. Look at templates you can buy to instantly improve the look of your blog.
– Vlogging – YouTube channels are hugely popular. I would love to develop this skill!
8. Share your skills – If you have skills in one particular area then by all means share them with other bloggers like the fantastic speakers at Britmums did. You may be excellent at writing / pitching brands / photography or be a web genius. Help others and they will help you in return. I will post a couple of long-overdue food photography / styling articles very soon. If you have any questions I can help with, please comment, email or tweet me (@supergolden88).
9. Create your own opportunities – Be bold – don’t wait for brands to approach YOU, go out and pitch them instead. But first make sure you research and know the brand and their objectives. Kirstie Pelling of the Family Adventure Project gave a very interesting talk about approaching brands and turning everything – a competition; an anonymous PR email – into (potentially) a long term relationship. A media pack is an essential tool if you are going to pitch. If you have a book idea then create a proposal and approach an agent or a publisher (there was Literary Agent speed dating at Britmums).
10. Celebrate your achievements. You don’t have to have thousands of followers or Facebook likes in order to feel proud. So what if you have 100? Last week maybe you had none. It is all about growth and engagement. Savour your successes however big or small they are.
Which brings me to… I was surprised when I discovered I was nominated for a #Bibs2014 in Food category. I was thrilled to have been shortlisted amongst some amazing food bloggers many of whom I now consider friends. I am elated to have won. Thank you for voting for me and for supporting me and this blog – it means the world to me.