A few weeks ago I attended one of the most useful networking events that I’ve been to. The day involved learning new skills from industry experts, networking, cocktails, food and even more networking. I didn’t take many photos throughout the day, I was too busy taking notes and chatting with other bloggers. I’ve pulled together a bunch of useful tips on SEO, travel blogging and video. I hope you find them useful!
I found this photo of what I was wearing and thought I’d share it with you. I really must get into the habit of showing my face more on the blog, like I used to. The t-shirt is an old one from Gap, the skirt is from The White Company last year, the sunglasses are from Dita and my handbag is also a year or so old from Zara.
I took the train from Sheffield to Leeds and met up with Fran and Sophie at the train station. Along with a few other bloggers we made our way to the event. The day started off with networking over a drink while everyone started to arrive. There were lots of familiar faces at the event and everyone was very friendly. Blogging events can often be a bit overwhelming and it’s easy to feel shy amongst a crowd of so many people. However, with an easy ice breaker (move around the room to countries you love and ones you hope to go to) we were all eased into things very quickly. I actually found Katie from The Hostel Girl (you must visit her blog) when we both decided upon Peru as a future holiday destination.
Icelolly’s Brand Director, Suniel welcomed everyone to the event and told us a bit about Icelolly.com and what we could expect from the day. Icelolly is based in Leeds and is a holiday price comparison site. The website is clear and easy to use. I personally like the option to search by ski, city, cruise or sun. It makes narrowing down your chosen destination that bit easier.
The first talk of the day was from Robb Frost from WMG. Robb tackled the topic of SEO for bloggers. He broke everything down into bite-sized chunks, supplied us with useful websites and really focused on the importance of SEO. Although I know the basics of SEO I always like to keep up to date with the latest information and how to apply it to my blog. This was a very useful talk from Robb. Here are 4 top SEO tips you should keep in mind when blogging:
– Title tags (the phrase seen in search results) should be 30-65 characters and you can use this tool from Moz to get the best title tag
– Find out who’s linking to your blog with Majestic
– Use Yoast or WordPress SEO to optimise your posts for Google
We then took a break for cocktails, kindly and deliciously prepared by The Alchemist team. This little break made for a nice time to chat with other bloggers about what we’d just learned. Everyone at the event had similar interesting; blogging, travel and a keen interest to improve upon their content. This made striking up a conversation very easy.
Next up was Monica from The Travel Hack. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Monica’s blog, I actually interviewed her for my Career Inspiration series a few months ago. She focused on the topic of working with travel brands without compromising your blog’s identity. I found this topic very useful because I’m currently in the process of bringing Prettygreentea into more of a niche. Here are 4 key points and tips from Monica’s talk.
– Brands are looking for: personality, trust, multi-skilled, strong stats, and a clear niche
– Always stay on brand – only accept freebies when it’s something you would actually pay for
– Include the following when pitching to brands:
Introduce you blog – do you have a specialist niche?
Share your stats
What do you want?
What will you provide?
Why do your brands fit together?
Share examples of previous work or testimonials
Can you provide any extras? Professional photos, social media advice, videos etc
The last talk was from Greg Brand from Travizeo on travel video. Greg is full of passion, energy and a love for video. That all shines through in his energy and he wants to share everything with you. Greg had a very simple format for his talk. He took all the questions which had been sent in via Twitter and went about answering each one. I thought this worked very well and he even had some extra time to address more questions. Greg pulled up videos, apps and even his own work to show demonstrations of the things he mentioned. I’m a very visual person so this worked well for me. Here are 4 key points from Greg’s talk:
– Lighting is very important, try to use natural lighting where possible
– Shoot from different perspectives to capture truly what your eyes see
– If you’re serious about video then dedicate your time to learning appropriate software. I’m going to be using Lynda to learn Premiere Pro
– Use sites such as Audio Jungle and Pond5 to find free music
Finally, as I always say with photography you don’t have to have the best equipment to get started. Take your smartphone and start filming. If you’re not ready for YouTube then try Storie, an app which allows you to string together your day in a simple vlog format. If you want to keep things real, don’t have time for editing and enjoy trying new apps then download Beme (find me @prettygreentea).
I want to say a huge thank you to the Icelolly.com team. This event was well organised, informative and set up perfectly to encourage networking. A lot of hard work and planning went into this event and I can honestly say it’s one of the very best I’ve been to.
I’d also like to say thank you to Robb, Monica and Greg. All three of them delivered very interesting, useful and engaging talks.
I left Blog At The Beach filled with inspiration, motivation and a real kick to get started with taking Prettygreentea to the next level.