“It’s like meeting up with my friends except I’ve never met them before”
When I attended my first Tots100 BlogCamp event as a newbie blogger last October, I was excited, nervous and a little in awe of the established bloggers. I was looking forward to meeting up with other bloggers, putting faces to the blog names and learning more about how to be a better blogger.
Fast forward six months and those feelings were back again. Only this time I wasn’t the new girl anymore. This time I was travelling up with another blogger who I’d met at the previous BlogCamp and whose blog I love – the lovely Mel from Le Coin de Mel – and this time it really did feel like I was meeting up with a big group of friends.
Once again I was looking forward to learning tips and tricks for improving my blogging skills. So many wonderful sessions to choose from – tips on photography, food blogging, fashion blogging, pro blogging, improving writing skills, vlogging advice and how to build relationships with brands.
Here are some of the things I took away from BlogCamp:
- Be realistic about the hard work involved.
- Have a clear view of where you would like your blog to go.
- Set specific goals and targets and write them down.
- Be proactive with regards to approaching brands.
- Be professional and remember that you are visible.
- There are seven different pieces of information used to calculate the scores, all of which are equally weighted.
- The Tots100 rank is comparative – your rank each month depends on how your scores compare to those around you in the charts.
- It is possible for your points to go up and your Tots100 ranking to go down as fewer tied places in the charts mean that more rank points are available.
- A big drop in your chart position (more than 300 places) may be due to a piece of information being missed – email the team if you think your ranking may be incorrect.
- Blog like you love it – not to try and boost your Tots100 score.
- Learn how to use the camera you have.
- Don’t be afraid to leave negative space – it also allows for cropping and editing later on.
- When photographing groups of objects, odd numbers work better.
- Take shots from different angles.
- Think about what’s in the background and make sure your horizon is straight.
- Think about what your first three lines say and how they engage the reader.
- When listing things in a sentence, groups of three work best.
- Anaphora – repetition of the first part of a sentence in successive sentences – can be effective, e.g. “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.”
- Contrasting pairs can also be effective – e.g. “she went out of the room only to come back in again”.
- When writing a blog post, wait for at least an hour before reading it back and editing.
Working with brands
- Having a good ‘About me’ page and good social media presence is important.
- Be reliable – if you can’t meet a deadline, let the client know as soon as possible.
- Know your worth and who your audience are.
- Take the time to build relationships with PR companies.
- Your blog and your social media presence are your shop window.
My favourite session of the day was the writing session led by former BBC journalist Fiona Steggles. I was amazed by just how much I learned in just 45 minutes. I left with a notebook full of tips, a head buzzing with ideas and a feeling of inspiration.
Opportunities to learn how to be a better blogger weren’t just confined to the sessions though – chatting to other bloggers and sharing advice was also a great way to pick up tips and tricks.
For me though, the best thing about BlogCamp was having the virtual world and the real world collide for a few hours – putting faces to blogs and getting to know other bloggers a little better.
A huge thank you to Sally and the Tots100 team for organising such a fab event.