Britmums Live second time around – what I did differently at #BML16

I love the buzz of blogging conferences – the chance to learn new things and to meet up with fellow bloggers. Not to mention that for a few hours I am completely me.  Being “Mummy” is the best label in the world, but to be able to regain my own identity for just a few hours is always an amazing feeling.  A couple of weeks ago I went to Britmums Live for the second time.  Whilst I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time (if not more), it was quite a different experience second time around.


Amanda Jennings speaking at #BML16

1) Being more confident

Last year, I was both excited and nervous about attending Britmums Live for the first time. I’d never been to such a big blogging conference and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  This time around, I was just excited – there were no nerves at all. I was looking forward to meeting up with the friends that I’d already made within the blogging community at previous blog events, and excited about meeting other bloggers who I’ve connected with online, for the first time. I knew that there would be plenty of friendly faces to see.


Meeting up with blogging friends at #BML16 - including Angela from Days in Bed, Mel from Le Coin de Mel, Talya from Motherhood: The Real Deal and Fiona from Coombe Mill
(clockwise from top left) Angela from Days in Bed, Mel from Le Coin de Mel, Talya from Motherhood: The Real Deal, Fiona from Coombe Mill


Last year, I still felt like a newbie blogger, finding my feet to some extent. This year I was comfortable and confident in my own blogging skin, and happy with who I was as a blogger.  Some of the brands attending were those I had worked with in the past. I was looking forward to meeting some of my PR contacts face-to-face, such as the lovely Sarah from Boots Soltan who was happy to pose for some fun photos with me.


Meeting brands at #BML16 including The Clangers, Noddy, Mim-Mim from Kate and Mim-Mim and posing for photos with Sarah from Boots Soltan


2) A different approach to choosing which sessions to attend

Last year, I came to Britmums Live keen to learn more about how to grow my blog. To find out how to improve my stats, how to boost my social media following.  I wanted to learn about SEO, how to monetise my blog, how to market myself and my writing.  To grow, to improve – and maybe to turn a hobby into a full-time job.


This time around, I was looking for the sessions that just sounded interesting, or would help boost my creativity.  Growing my blog and my stats wasn’t on my agenda. My focus was on the things that make blogging more enjoyable. I was also happy to skip a session slot if there was nothing that grabbed me and just enjoy mingling, eating cake and chatting with brands instead.


My two favourite sessions this year were Amanda Jennings’ session on finding your voice when writing, which was full of great tips for using personal experience and turning into fiction, and Jennie Maizels’ Sketchbook Club session, where I was able to embrace my love of drawing and rediscover a technique I hadn’t used since schooldays.


Drawings of the letter 'B' with butterflies and swirls: Rediscovering a love of drawing at Jennie Maizels' Sketchbook Club session


3) Being prepared for an emotional ride

Last year I certainly wasn’t prepared for just what an emotional experience Britmums Live could be. The Bloggers Keynote at the end of the conference took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt quite emotionally exhausted by the time I arrived home.  This year, I was much more prepared for that. Thankfully it was less of a rollercoaster ride as a result!


The biggest thing I took away from my Britmums Live experience last year was the discovery of who I was as a blogger and what I wanted.  I went thinking that I wanted to learn to be a pro-blogger. I left knowing that it wasn’t want I wanted at all.  It taught me to be comfortable in who I was as a blogger; to stop getting stressed out about stats and rankings.  I slowed down a little and took a step back. While today I might blog just as frequently as I did then, I don’t allow blogging to take over my life in the same way.  I’m in control of my blog – not the other way around. It’s a much happier place to be.


This year, I didn’t leave with any big epiphany moment – just the memories of a fun day catching up with friends, learning new things and enjoying every minute of it.  And if that’s what I take away from every blogging event I attend in the future, then that sounds good to me!


Posing in my pretty dress at #BML16
Thank you to Sunita from Lucky Things blog for taking this photo


30 thoughts on “Britmums Live second time around – what I did differently at #BML16

  1. What a lovely post, hearing what you did differently. It was my first #BML16 the other week so I’m sure I’ll have a different experience next year and at November’s BlogFest. The day really is about connecting with people and connecting with yourself! For many of us to have a whole day to ourselves was pretty cool. Glad you liked the pic and I spotted you so you could be in my #BML16 style round up X Sunita

    1. Thank you Sunita – hope you have a wonderful time at BlogFest. Thank you so much again for including me in your style round-up 🙂

  2. I just love that dress! You looked amazing and noticeably more relaxed and confident this year. Glad to hear this is how you felt too. Keeping your blog in perspective and not letting it take over is a skill, I need to watch myself on that one. Thank you for the lovely mention, it is always a delight to catch up with you.

    1. Thank you Fiona – I was definitely more relaxed and glad to hear that came across. I definitely have moments where the blog still takes over but I know once I start getting stressed about it, then I need to take that step back again. So lovely to see you again at #BML16 🙂

  3. Ah this is a lovely post Louise – so nice to hear your experiences this time round compared with last time too. I wish I’d gone to the sketchbook club too, it sounds like it was really fun and interesting. Next year!! Lovely to meet you, it really was – one of the sunniest bloggers around and I loved your dress…I was very envious of the petticoats particularly! X

    1. Aww thank you so much Lucy, that is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. So lovely to have met you at #BML16 🙂

  4. I still wish I went to BritMums Live. I hope I can go next year. Your dress is lovely and you look so relaxed in the photos, in my opinion. I hope I won’t be a nervous wreck if I give it a go! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thank you Sarah – I hope you do get to go next year and hopefully you won’t be a nervous wreck if you do.

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely time. I think you went with totally the right attitude. I have heard so many say it wasn’t a great conference but I wonder if maybe they had just set it up to be something it wasn’t! Lovely pics and you look fab in that dress #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thank you – I think it is easy to go with high expectations and find it a different experience to what you imagined – I think I felt a bit that way last year although I did enjoy it. I much preferred it this year, going just to enjoy myself and meet up with friends.

  6. I love your photos – it looks like you had such an amazing time. I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t make it this year as I would have loved to have met you and all the other fab bloggers that were there! It’s brilliant to see how confident you are in where you are as a blogger and I think you have a great outlook on things. You’re right in that we should be in control of our blogs and not the other way around!

    Lovely post to read xx

    1. Thank you – I would have loved to have met you too, maybe next year! It has made such a difference taking that step back and not letting the blog control me – not that it’s always been easy to do though!

  7. Every blog post I’ve read about BML16 makes me want to be at the next one! It sounds great, getting to meet all the people who’s lives you read about. I’ll be a year in by the next one, wonder how different (as a blogger) I’ll be by then! Xxx

    1. It is a fab event and interesting to think about how the year might change you as a blogger – I’ve certainly changed over the past year.

  8. Lovely post – it’s so interesting to hear how you found it the second time round. I found it much like your first time, and wanted to learn more about growing and monetising my blog. I came away feeling quite overwhelmed and I’ve decided to be a bit more balanced about blogging too. It was lovely to meet you at BML and hope to see you next time! xx #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thank you Bridie – I think it can be overwhelming and learning to be balanced about blogging is a good thing to take away from it – even if it wasn’t what you expected. Lovely to meet you too at #BML16 🙂

  9. I’m so glad we got to meet, although it was brief! Next year we will have to get a photo & have a proper chat. I loved your dress it’s so pretty! I’m going to take your advice on next years sessions & go for interesting ones instead of the learning ones as I didn’t take much from them being honest. And yes on the emotional rollercoaster!! I had the tissues ready luckily. x

    1. Thank you Becky – it was so lovely to meet you too even if it was brief. Glad you liked my dress – I couldn’t resist treating myself to it and #BML16 was the perfect excuse. Sorry to hear that you didn’t take too much from the sessions you attended and hope that you find ones you like better if you go next year x

    1. Thanks Catie – actually yes, perfect is a better description – there really wasn’t anything I would have done differently this time around! Thanks for hosting #ablogginggoodtime, always lovely to link up 🙂

  10. It sounds like you got a lot out of the event – I wish I could have gone! I agree that it’s all about being comfortable with your blog and where you want to take it – that takes a lot of the pressure off. Love the dress! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thank you – being comfortable definitely takes the pressure off and makes blogging more enjoyable. Glad you liked my dress too! 🙂

  11. It’s interesting reading people’s blogs on BritMums16, as I have never been and particularly interesting hearing the contrast of your first and second year. It’s all good food for thought for me – thank you for sharing. Alison x #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thanks Alison – it was interesting reflecting on the differences between the two – I definitely enjoyed it much more this year.

  12. Hi Louise, I was sad not to be able to make it to BML16 but have really enjoyed catching up on all the reviews. It’s great to hear that you felt more comfortable this year and were just able to enjoy the experience. I am heading to Blogfest in Nov and already nervous!!! Thanks for the tips, must remember to pack tissues – I’m an emotional wreck since having kids! 😉 X #ablogginggoodtime

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