What a busy week last week was! A trip up to London to take part in a Bake With Maria Pastry Masterclass (SO good - review and details to follow!), a late night chocolate cake baking session ready for a colleague's retirement on Friday and a quick dash along the M4 to get ready for the first ever Blog on Cymru in Cardiff on Saturday.
This was my first ever Blogging Conference/Event and I'm not ashamed to say I was pretty nervous.
Luckily I had arranged to meet Lina (Cookies & Cwtches) & Kate (Willow Makes Three) beforehand as we were all travelling in from Barry. They carried on holding my hand (metaphorically!) all day and I don't think I would have enjoyed the day as much without them - thank you ladies!
I knew plenty of the names of attendees and I follow a lot of their blogs, but I didn't know THEM! When you're a small scale blogger you (or at least I) hold the bloggers with a big following in such high esteem you're almost too afraid to introduce yourself and I have to admit I was too nervous to say hello to Victoria of VeViVos of Emma of Crazy With Twins to name a few, I did however grin manically at them whenever I caught their eye!
The day was organised so brilliantly, the welcome really was welcoming, with a very funny truth or lie quick game...these were Laura's for me to choose...
There were two question & answer sessions on brand engagement and making the most of your social platforms which I found very useful as well as a hands on photography session run by Lucy from Capture by Lucy which was absolutely brilliant. I've realised its fine to use your smart phones to take blog photos, as long as you have good lighting and time to edit the photos - this is one I managed to take on the day that represents my blog
It was the Keynote Speech that really made me sit up and listen. Karin told us all about Embracing Happy, taking time at the end of each day to sit back and think of three things that made you happy. Once you do this every day for at least 30 days you've formed a habit and it should be easier. She is starting an Embrace Happy Blogger Challenge and I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one joining up! All the details can be found on her website, there is also an Embrace Happy Facebook group.
And of course the goodie bags, what can I say? These were incredible, so many great brands being hugely generous, that I'll be writing about and engaging with these brands for a very long time!
So what did Blog On Cymru teach me?
It's OK to step outside of your comfort zone and be a little scared sometimes
Stats are not everything!
Different people follow you on different channels, you need to target your posts, tweets & photos to take advantage of that.
Good light changes everything!
My About Page needs some work
Most of all...
Blogging is a community. As soon as you start blogging you become a member, but it is up to you how big your community becomes. You may only want to engage with people in your immediate geographical area or blogging genre, you may only want to be a part of the Twitter or Instagram community; or you may want to engage with people all over the world, across every blogging genre and every social platform. Only you decide how big your community becomes, because to get people engaging with you, you need to make the first move.
Thank you Laura and Blog On Conferences for making my first event such an enjoyable one. Manchester is the next venue, unfortunately all ther tickets are sold BUT Blog On is coming to Winchester on Saturday 3rd October - Early Bird tickets are now on sale and I made sure to buy mine as soon as I heard it was happening!
Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?