Blog On MSI Winter 2016

Early Sunday morning, 25th September I woke up stupid o’clock (for a Sunday morning) and headed out the door destined for Manchester for my second Blog On conference of this year. I really do enjoy attending this conference for the main reason is that it’s in Manchester, back in the north with all my northern blogging friends who I don’t get to see very often. But also this is an affordable, informative and fun conference. I’ve been attending Blog On conferences since they launched in 2013 so it’s no surprise that when tickets go on sale I find myself raking up loose change to buy myself a ticket so that I can go.

Travelling from Shropshire alone can be a pretty lonely and boring 2 hour treck, so this time to help me in my aid for company I arranged a couple of bloggers to travel with me. It was lovely to spend the day with Emma from Mrs Shilts, Beth from Twinderelmo and Emma from The Cheshire Wife. I also find that car sharing helps build relationships with these lovely women where we can talk and share our blogging hints and tip but was also a great boredom buster for our return journey home on the car park motorway known as the M6!

This second conference for 2016 was a huge success from start to finish, focusing on all things Christmas and helping us bloggers get into the Christmas spirit. There were so many brands and PR companies we really did have a ball making new contacts and also finding out whats hot and possibly not this coming Christmas.

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As per usual the day is also mixed with various sessions, aimed at helping bloggers with technical support, creativity and finding out how changes in the world of social media affect our blogs and businesses. There were 4 sessions throughout the day (I only made it to 3 of them as the day just went by in a flash) and I learnt so so much, some of which I am already putting into force with my blog and attitude now.

Before the day began at Blog On MSI, we have our introductory talk and also opening keynote from the lovely Liv (Over at @LivsRecoveryKit) talking about her recovery of alcoholism and becoming the amazing woman she is today.

Soon it was time to follow the schedule of the day.

Session 1, for me was all about making money, something of which I would love to be able to do with my blog in the near future. Its only fair is it? I’ve been around for 3.5 years now and not really earn’t a penny, I’d love to see that change now. This session was held with Mel who blogs at LeCoinDeMel who makes money from her blog daily, she has put together an excellent blog post (here) about her top tips for making money as a blogger. My favourite of her tips which I am hoping to really focus on are over delivering, photography commissions, ad placements on my blog and knowing my worth with an excellent equation just by simply using my Domain Authority! You can find more about this equation in a blog post here written by Aby at You Baby Me Mummy.

 

Session 2, held after lunch time. This is actually the session I missed out on, I’d got so wrapped up with a gorgeous lunch of turkey pie, cranberry and brie tart, potatoes and pigs in blankets, then talking with the vast amount of brands and PR’s on site that I missed the start of the session and then got busy talking again! (Whoops!)

 

Session 3, this session was the main session I’d been waiting for all day, WordPress MOT with Zoe who blogs at MamaGeek. Since moving my blog to WordPress 2 years ago I’ve actually known very little about the platform, shying away from clicking any buttons of which I know very little about. Somehow earlier in the year I managed to change the layout of my blog and add a new theme without actually breaking much (hurrah!) but I still know very little as to what WordPress is capable of, especially the plug ins. At this session it was advised that we took the time to get to know our plug ins, something which I’d never really done, until now. Previously the thought of touching the plug ins which support my blog actually scared the life out of me, but I knew I needed to get to know them and see what they do so this week I have played with all of my plug ins and made some little changes. I’ve removed conflicting plug ins which could cause problems working along side other plug ins and removed/disabled plug ins which are no longer required or can be left to a side just in case for another day. From a list of Plug In’s which Zoe recommended and uses with her blog I have even taken a look at them and look forward to having a play with one or two of them in the near future… I think I’ve tinkered enough for this week. You can find here, part 1 of Zoe’s talk on how to give your blog an MOT.

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In the final break before session 4 I think it’s important to mention this fantastic cake which was donated to Blog On MSI from the fab team over at Sambro. Chocolate cake is always a winner in a room full of bloggers, and my daughter LOVED the look of the Marshal Paw Patrol dog on the top of the cake!

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Session 4, this session was a little bit of a last minute decision as I’d intended to go to the Business Card/Media Pack session again with Zoe but then ended up in the Instagram Session with Colette from Going On An Adventure and Katie from <a href="https://www plavix dosage.instagram.com/mummydaddyme/” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘outbound-article’, ‘https://www.instagram.com/mummydaddyme/’, ‘Mummy Daddy Me’]);” target=”_blank”>Mummy Daddy Me (Instagram links provided, follow them!!!). Both ladies are a complete whizz at Instagram and are also very popular, both have different styles of photography, but one passion… kids! In this session we talked about Hashtags for getting the most likes for your photos, linking them to different social networks and also apps to help you get the most of your photography.

After all the sessions it was time to head back to the main room, where competition winners were announces and raffle prizes claimed (I won Lewis a huge Lego set, which I haven’t photographed as it’s hidden until Christmas). Each year raffles and tombolas are held to raise money for a chosen charity, this year it was the turn of #TeamCowley and with a fantastic total raised at over £1500 was absolutely amazing. There was also a surprise lucky dip to raise money for Gary the Cat who belongs to Jenny over at The Brick Castle. Our day was rounded up by the hilarious Darrel Woodman talking about “The Art of Being Brilliant” and the positive psychology to help raise self esteem.

At the end of each Blog On MSI conference we are all handed a huge goody bag each, containing so many samples, goodies, chocolates, sweets and much more. Details of this goody bag I will show you in more detail soon.

 


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2 Comments

  1. Jenny @ thebrickcastle

    6th October 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Awww, it was lovely to see you. Glad you had company on the way there and back. I always feel guilty about people having to travel, and I’m home before 6pm 😀 xx PS. Gary is doing awesomely 😀

  2. Emma - Life According to MrsShilts

    5th October 2016 at 11:58 am

    It was lovely to spend some time with you again Bex, I really enjoyed the day and got so much out of it. Will be making more changes to my social and blog in the next few months too! Thank you for the lift too, you’re a super duper star x

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