Saturday 7 October 2017

BritMums Live 2017 #BML17

At the weekend I attended the BritMums Live blogging conference, marking the fifth time that I've attended. I've always enjoyed myself and found the conference really helpful and inspiring, so I was very excited to be able to come along again. This year there were some significant changes to the event, with a new date and a new venue on the Southbank and with a much smaller and more intimate feel. It was also the first time that I didn't stay overnight - with Ram's birthday the next day I didn't really feel able to, so I just travelled up for the day - made much easier by the fact that Waterloo station is a much more straightforward train journey for me!

As part of the BritMums team I helped out with registration, which was fun as I was able to see people arriving and match some faces to names. There was a full breakfast spread on offer, and plenty of mingling.

BritMum's Live 2017 badge

For the last few years I've spent most of my BritMums Live time chatting, and then ending up forgetting to attend any of the sessions. With a smaller event and a smaller brand hub there was less to distract me, and so I made much better use of my time.

After arrival it was straight into the sessions. I started with the 'YouTube Deep Dive'. The session was in two parts, with a more general first half and then the second more specifically aimed at parent YouTubers. There were lots of really good examples with different ways of using YouTube, and I picked up some useful tips. Mainly that I need to get more consistent! Jules Fournier said that if you have a schedule then your viewers will always know that there is new content, and although they may not look for it as soon as it is published they'll remember it when they are next on YouTube, and that made a lot of sense to me. My YouTube use has been a bit sporadic of late and I don't plan my content at all, so I need to come up with a more consistent schedule.

After the break I attended 'Smash your goals with focussed blogging' with Aby Moore from You Baby Me Mummy. Aby definitely knows her stuff, and she covered a great deal. She talked about the importance of first setting goals and then drilling down on the individual tasks which will help you to accomplish them. I don't have any blogging goals set, apart from vague ones like 'get more people to read it' so I could definitely do with sitting down for a good thinking and planning session. Aby also talked about how much time we waste when we hop about from task to task, something that I'm definitely very guilty of!

Next I went to 'Instagram & Instagram Stories: How to maximise, what to avoid & top-notch storytelling'. The session was a chat with Alice Judge-Talbot and Harriet Shearsmith about how they use Instagram and what they've found works for them. I do love Instagram but I'm sometimes a bit hesitant to post as I feel that I want my images to be perfect and I'm not the best photographer. I've never dived into Instagram Stories and this session has given me the push to give it a go, I just need to make the leap to getting started!

Lunch was very nice with a good selection of hot and cold food which you could help yourself to. There were also some delicious cakes and other snacks throughout the day!

I mentioned that the brand hub was much smaller, and I must admit that none of the brands that were present really interested me. There were travel brands, and of course I do write about travel, but I don't have enough of a travel niche that I felt they would be interested in me. There was quite a long time set aside for brand presentations, and I didn't go to any of them as I didn't really want to be sold to. But I did discover the fantastic Jennie Maizels and her Sketchbook Club table, and I spent a happy hour or so sitting here working on a water colour bird picture.

BritMums Live 2017 #bml17 blogging conference

Jennie uses a technique with pencil to transfer pre-printed images into your sketchbook, which you can then colour with watercolour or pencil and embellish with ink or gel pen. I loved using the watercolours, I've not done proper painting for years and it was really relaxing. 

BritMums Live 2017 #bml17 blogging conference

I was very proud of my finished bird! I took him home to show Mia and she was impressed too, she was inspired to add a few decorations of her own to my page so I have designated it a shared sketchbook with pages that we can work on together.

BritMums Live 2017 #bml17 blogging conference

In the afternoon I attended 'Understanding and using Google Analytics'. This was quite a basic session, but as I'm pretty hopeless at using Google Analytics I found it really helpful. I came home with a few things to try. For example I've found out how to find my most popular posts, not just overall but also from past seasons, so I can see which types of seasonal posts have done well in the past and use that to influence future content.

BritMums Live 2017 #bml17 blogging conference

Finally I stayed for 'Do's and Don'ts of Working with Brands' with BritMums co-founders Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze. There was some really useful information about the things that they are looking for when they choose bloggers for campaigns, for example engagement, original content and the overall look and feel of your blog.

BritMums Live 2017 #bml17 blogging conference

Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay for the BiBs Awards party with City Cruises as I needed to get back home, but to be honest I was exhausted at this point anyway as I always find blogging conferences very draining! So I grabbed my goody bag and headed home before it got too late, with my head spinning and full of new ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had a good time and learned stuff too. We must sort out a catch up x


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