BML16 | My Blogging Conference Experience

I’ve never been to Britmums Live or many blogging conferences and to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m not new to blogging having blogged on Charlie Moo’s since the sites conception in 2008 and writing here about small business since 2010. BUT I’m always of the opinion you never stop learning and networking among like minded individuals.  Previous years BML has been held on over 2 days and always on weekends where we had plans. The single day suited me and Kara from ChelseaMamma offered to drive, so last year I bought my ticket. I didn’t seek out a sponsored I saw the £60 as an investment in my small business.

I’m sure you have read lots about the conference so I’ll try and not bore you with the same details!  Any networking event is a great way to meet your support network. The people who keep you sane online as working from home can be very lonely.  During some general chit chat I learnt a cool Instagram hashtag trick from the lovely Zena’s Suitcase!

Instagram Trick : 

On your phone or iPad go into the settings and under general find keyboard. Select shortcut and create yourself some #hashtag shortcuts. This means when you start typing your shortcut the whole list of hashtags is dumped onto Instagram. Genius! I know! Where has this been all my life! I’m forever adding hashtags three weeks later when I suddenly remember one!

Making Money or Not :

Most bloggers are there to learn, develop, make connections with bloggers and brands. The ultimate goal is to turn their blog from hobby into viable small business. I mean what other job provides great perks but also ultimate flexibility than one you build for yourself. I was really disappointed in the making money session, I actually left feeling quite deflated. The speakers didn’t really have a plan (OK their plan was a Q&A which meant relying on questions and most questions quite frankly were irrelevant to making money.) they didn’t share any new information or how to actually make money from blogging. Instead throwing out large numbers ( I think at one point someone mentioned getting paid £100K) and talking a lot about themselves but not in an inspiring way, far more undermining. I’ve begun to feel that blogging as a way to earn a living is maybe a pipe dream and out of my reach.

SEO and Google Analytics : 

The SEO and Google workshop were really good. Lots of tangible, useful and actionable tips to go home and work your way through. It was so handy to have someone actually talk and walk you through where to find specific things on Google Analytics.  It was a revelation when I accidentally discovered which posts were making me the most money via adsense!

Developing Connections with Brands : 

The mix of brands was quite limiting. I’m not a travel blogger and there were lots of travel brands. Nor are my children under 3 and there were a few baby brands. It was great to see the ladies from Fellows and the iconic Bankers Boxes. I did enjoy messing about in the photo booth with Kara and playing a spot of tennis.

I didn’t feel the event was very inclusive towards male bloggers or even those who don’t blog about children. The bronzed man advertising pants and Cherry Healy did make me feel a little uncomfortable although it was a bit of light relief  I’d have preferred a more inspiring story session. You know one that made me fist bump the air and think I can do that!

Conclusion : 

I’ve organised events in the past and I know and understand the sheer volume of work that goes into something like BML. However this event just isn’t for me. I’m not won over by a goody bag. I felt the content was lacking in some areas and I’d have liked more in depth, tangible steps that I could go home and work through and in some cases that wasn’t the case. I also felt just because a blogger is doing it right doesn’t always make them the right person to talk about that subject.

I really admire the Britmums team and what they have accomplished, being the #MumsinBiz Round-up Editor has really helped me push forward how mums can run a business around children and work from home. Having our cake and eating it!

If anything it’s spurred me on to finish writing my second book!

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