Tricks of the trade from the blogosphere’s finest
Last night I went along to the Company Blogging Forum in London Bridge to learn a few hints and tips from some of the most experienced and celebrated bloggers around! It was great to hear the panel discuss and give their views on what makes a good blog, tips on how to up your readership and also share their wealth of knowledge and own personal experiences with us all.
The panel was made up of:
@companyedvic – Company Magazine editor Victoria White
@susiebubble – Self-professed “grandma of blogging” Susie from stylebubble.co.uk(she’s not old, just super experienced, being one of the first fashion bloggers, starting up 7 years ago!)
@fashionrocksms – The adorable Rhiannon from fashionrocksmysocks.com who told us she started her blog in a coffee shop whilst pretending to her parents she was at uni (!) and has a really successful YouTube channel
@boohoo – Roxanne, boohoo.com’s Social Media Manager
@HandpickedMedia – creator Krista Madden (who has been big in the blogosphere for 13 years!) and also has her own personal blog beautyandthedirt.com
@OhMyLoveLondon – Sally the PR and Social Media Manager of ohmylove.co.uk
It was a really fun event with some time for networking and a glass of pink bubbles beforehand and there were even some of Made in Chelsea Jamie Laing’s Candy Kittens handing out free lollypops! Yea boi!
The actual forum was great, with some fabulous tips and advice on how to create a really great blog, with a loyal readership (fingers crossed I can channel everything I learnt into Thinking Outside the Pickle Jar!!) Here’s some of the main points I took away from the event:
1.When you start a blog, you’re joining a community – network and integrate with existing bloggers and use hashtags on twitter to join conversations about topics you’re interested in – you’ll find new friends and be able to discuss similar interests (and hopefully gain some readers for your blog!).
2.Bad spelling / grammar is never a good look – the whole panel agreed that this was a real key point, and is one of my real bugbears too! Always double check your posts for spelling / grammatical errors. It looks unprofessional and sloppy, and can make it quite hard to read. This could put brands off from working with you / sharing your posts etc. Swearing, on the whole, should also be avoided.
3.Promote your blog across multiple social media platforms – always link to your other social media channels to increase your reach. If you have a YouTube video, leave your twitter name and blog URL in the comments page / at the end of the video etc. However be careful with Instagram on Twitter – many people (including @HandpickedMedia!) will not click on an Instagram link on Twitter. Pinterest is also a good platform for sharing and showing off aspects of your personality which you may not necessarily blog about.
4.How often should you blog? – general consensus was that it is not necessary to post every day. However, when you’re starting out it is a good idea to blog everyday to establish yourself and your content. Once you are up and running, perhaps 3 – 4 times is better. Some bloggers find success with having themed blog posts on a particular day of the week (i.e. Monday Manicure posts etc) so readers know when to look out for content they enjoy.
5.Manners cost nothing – this links back to the first point, and is also one of my favourite life mantras! If people RT you, or send you a sample, it’s always polite to say thank you, or favourite their tweets, and always reply to comments on your blog. It’s a great way to engage with your readers too!
6.Photos should always be credited properly – if you are using pictures on your blog which you have not personally taken you should always ask permission from the owner first, or at least make sure you credit their original source, i.e. linking back to where it’s from.
7.Stagger your @ requests – everyone likes to feel special, so if you are reaching out to several people on Twitter to have a look at your blog post, don’t send a huge heap of @ requests in one go! The brand / person will look at your tweets and see that they were one of many targeted and will lose interest.
8.Use topical content and trends – this is a great way of tapping into what people are interested in at a certain point in time, and will also likely increase traffic to your blog (though these may not necessarily turn into regular readers).
9.Raise your natural SEO – give your posts decent titles which include keywords so you are more likely to come up in Google searches. Naming your blog / URL something which obviously identifies what your content is about is also a good idea and will mean it is more likely be included in Google searches. Hmmm…Thinking Outside the Pickle Jar?!
10.Blog design is important – as with your blog name, it’s a good idea to incorporate aspects of your content in your blog header so when people click onto your site they can see what to expect from your posts. Having a good design is more important now than it used to be, as people are much more savvy when it comes to coding, using HTML etc. so are making better designed blogs. However, if you aren’t a technical whizz yourself, or can’t afford to pay someone to make one for you, reach out to your fellow bloggers and see if someone will do you a new header / design relatively cheaply or in return for some products / guest blogging!
Phew! So as you can see, quite a lot was covered in the hour and a half! All of the panellists were really interesting and engaging and it was great to get their own personal insights into the world of blogging.
As well as the panellists’ tricks of the trade, we also got a jam-packed goody bag to take away with us, which was AMAZING and included all sorts of treats! Keep your eyes peeled for a few reviews of individual items coming soon……
This wasn’t the firstCompany Blogging Forum and I’m sure it won’t be the last, as it was such a successful event. The only thing I thought which could be an improvement for next time, would be having wifi access at the event. At £25 it was a really fun, inexpensive way to spend an evening; meeting lots of likeminded people and learning more about what is fast becoming my favourite past time! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next event. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!