So my first bloggers conference finally happened! Blogtacular took place yesterday at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and hundreds of bloggers came together to learn from each other and share hints, tips and dreams. Guest speakers shared their experience and advice on everything from design and time management to social media and good business sense. The more experienced bloggers seemed to be in their element, asking questions as the mic was passed around and sharing their own blogtacular stories, whilst the rest of sat there feeling incredibly motivated yet slightly overwhelmed.
Inspirational speakers led seminars in the main theatre whilst smaller talks and workshops took place in more intimate areas of the building. My three favourite talks were led by Will, Tilly and Ellie.
Will from Bright Bazaar shared his experience of juggling his blog and his work. He explained how, as his blog became more popular, he took the plunge and quit his day job to follow his dream. Will has now just published his first book and, as well as having a hugely successful blog, writes for interior design and style magazines all over the world.
Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons led the seminar on going from blogs to books as she has just published ‘Love at First Stitch’. She was cute as a button and, although we all know I’m the least likely person to pick up a needle and thread, she was totally inspiring. Tilly gave advice on approaching publishers, talking to literary agents and writing a book that wasn’t just a collection of blog posts. Completely down to earth, she was the first person of the day that really ‘spoke to me’. She said, “It’s not just about time management, it’s about energy management.” I know more than many how true this is, I just wasn’t smart enough to articulate it in this way! In fact, I might just pop it on a post-it.
Ellie Tennant is a freelance Interiors Journalist and she led an interactive workshop on styling your photo shoots. Ellie was so incredibly approachable; she kept things simple and talked perfect sense about things that are quite alien to me. She shared practical tips that I know I’ll be implementing next time I get my camera out; I feel like I really learnt things from her talk that will make me a better blogger. At the end of her talk, Ellie turned the tables on us and, with the help of stunning props supplied by The Hambleton, we were asked to style a tabletop and photograph it from above. Not an easy task with a small amount of time and a large amount of creativity in the room, but lots of fun all the same. I got far too excited with Lauren from The Dare Project by all the props available, and pretty soon the aim of creating a simple table setting went right out the window!
Creativity continued in to break times with Meg from My Sister Lives in the Future. We painted flower pots supplied by B&Q and got the chance to talk about all things bloggy.
I ended up leaving the conference early because, fun and information aside, I’m still the person seeking a life less physical and it was a pretty exhausting day. However, it was well worth it and I took a lot from it. Here are the top three quotes from the day that I’ll be taking away and applying to my daily blogging life.
Isa Seminega reminded me that if we wait for something to be perfect before clicking “publish”, we’ll never publish anything. She said that having a less-than-perfect blog is better than no blog at all and reminded us to be proud of what we’re doing.
Tilly taught me that you can have a successful blog that addresses a niche area; you just need to build on that niche because trends and areas of focus are constantly changing. She reminded me that it’s going to be far harder to try and cover everything and please everyone all at once.
Anne credited @Modern_Dog with this quote but as far as I’m concerned, she’s the powerful woman that brought the mantra into my life. She taught me to keep focused on how I want my blog to look and where I want to get to, because that end goal is the best motivation there is.
These three fabulous women said things that apply to so much more than blogging, and I think we can all take something from their words. Stop striving for perfection, stop trying to please everyone, and don’t lose site of what you’re working for; just shut up and get on with it!