As part of my 2017 Goals I wanted to attend more networking events and develop my blog, so when the blogging opportunity talk came up in Gateshead I jumped at the chance.
Tell more about this talk?
The Blogging; create your own opportunities talk was apart of the Q Festival which is on down at the Quayside on the Gateshead side near the Baltic Square from now till the 6th August.
It was in partnership with The Culture Vulture, they invited all North East bloggers to listen to infamous bloggers who have made a name for themselves in the blogging community. Such as Samantha Rickleton, North East Family Fun who turned her love for going to family events into her own business. We were also joined by Rachel Kershaw, Life in Geordie Land, who blogs about tourist attractions in the North East.
It was a chance to learn about the blogging industry and to be inspired by the speakers on how to develop your own blog.
Chance to Network
I did take my new flash business cards and I spoke to a few bloggers who were sat on my table with me but it didn’t seem to be the appropriate time/event to be handing out my cards.
What did you learn from the event?
I wrote down a few handy tips that I had learnt from the talk, Samantha gave some useful tips on how to make your blog successful. And here a few that I took on board: authentic Be true to yourself and your blog as it is your own platform, so don’t be afraid to express yourself. engagement Talk to your audience, engage in conversation with your readers and fellow bloggers in the community. stats- Make monthly targets on your social media, maybe focus on increasing numbers on Twitter and then switch it up to Facebook.
As Samantha is a full-time blogger, I feel like her points were more relatable to those who are making a living from blogging. And Rachel has a full-time job working in radio, so she blogs part-time. As I also work and blog when on I have days off, I found what Rachel had to say more appealing. She made some great points about the important of networking and making contacts even though it may not be useful now, you made need those contacts in the future. It’s important to attend networking events and engage in other bloggers so you can meet new people, so you can share and learn new skills.
It’s interesting how Rachel got started with her blog, it is long story but all I am going to say is Fan In A Van you can read about it here . But the moral of her story is, when it comes to blogging just run with the opportunities that are given to you as you never know what could happen.
From reading that you may think that I really enjoyed the talk and you are right, I did take some interesting points from it but the fact is it made me really angry and question myself and why I even bother blogging.
When I was at the event I noticed that most of the bloggers were all older/experienced that me and I felt like I should not even be there. I was sat around a table of women who were using their blog as a form of a marketing tool for their own businesses.
I simply use my blog as a creative outlet/ a medium to express myself and write about my passions in life. But to these guys, blogging is a serious digital skill, I thought I knew how to use social media and yet here I am talking to bloggers who are showing me apps to edit photos and add filters to instagram. I am a dot to this whole blogging/ media industry.
And it really made me question myself, should I even be blogging if there is no money/marketing strategy? I don’t have a separate Facebook or Twitter Page for my blog as I don’t think I need one yet as A- I don’t have enough followers and B- I don’t want to have one, I am who I am, one day I might be posting about going to the gym and the next I will be posting a link to my blog post. I want to come across as a human being, as myself.
Another thing (sorry this is going to be a slight rant) I was hearing words like brands, business, marketing, money and free stuff. THIS IS NOT WHY I BLOG, I don’t own a business and I don’t blog for free stuff. Yes when I review a performance I get a free press tickets that is not why I blog. I review theatre because that is what I like to do and you guys know that I am honest in all my reviews, if I don’t like a show I will say so. I don’t write reviews for the hope that a theatre might mention me if they use my review as a marketing tool and that’s their decision and they are allowed to but I don’t write a review for the theatre anyway, I write it for my readers.
I also heard that image is everything, taking great photos and investing in editing software is key for a blog. Again I don’t want a great image for my blog, I don’t care about bloomin filters I would just like people to read my content instead of the pretty picture.
Sorry about that rant, I do apologise but it is just the way I feel.
Sadly the event has put me off blogging and social media. Whilst I have scheduled a lot of blogs for this summer already as you read this, rather than stop blogging I am going to take a break from blogging and maybe even give myself a digital detox.
Just to give myself some time off and to think seriously what I want from this blog.