After months of anticipation and incredible planning from the Next team, the day came for the #NBNWorkshop.Monday morning saw us heading East to the wonderful Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch; an incredible venue that is full of little surprises around every corner. The event was held in 'The Apartment' which was definitely the best apartment ever, with each room being transformed for our blogging expertise talks to be held. The Next Blogger Network is 2 years old and has in excess of 5,000 members. Thanks to storm St Jude a few of the lovely members had to pull out but still an overwhelming amount of bloggers attended the day. I have attended many events since I started blogging but the Next workshop topped the list due to its insightful talks and the interactiveness throughout the day (competitions galore).
Our day was full of 2 things: Experts blogger talks and A LOT of food. (left to right: NBN Cookies, Afternoon tea, Lunch, Dessert, Cocktails!!)
A 10am start meant we had our stomachs filled with pastries and coffee, ready for our first session with AbiMarvel and FashionFoieGras. The talk was on branding yourself as a blogger and advertising. We got given some great tips from the both of them which I have summarised below:
- Think Big!!
- Don't waste time - you don't want to be person saying 'Yeah I had that idea'
- Work hard
- Be nice - you meet your new best friend or next investor!
- Try not to approach a brand without having written about them first
- Mind your manners
- If you stop loving it, stop writing it
- Read as many books about managing a business as you can
- Social, social, social. Work the networks
- And my personal favourite 'Make Twitter your bitch'
A delightful lunch full of pasta, salmon bagels, chicken ciabattas and chocolate cake desserts was followed by session 2 on photography & film by beauty bloggers Lily pebbles, Vivianna Does Makeup and Style Slicker - The beauty bloggers helped us a great amount with our vlogging and even made me consider getting into it myself! Whilst Style Slicker shared with us her top photography tips:
- Be patient & engaging on social media
- Be consistent
- Be unique
- Be supportive & interactive within the blogging community
- Create something you are proud of
- Have confidence and only put up videos you're happy with
- Take constructive criticism
- Teach yourself better editing skills
- Pay attention to light, shadow, colour temperature
- Capture the moment and tell a story
- Tool tip - use kitchen foil as a reflector
Again, this was also followed by more food. A great spread of afternoon tea was put on for us, including the delicious cookies which I could have ate over and over again. Our final session of the day was with Fashion Beauty Etc and Diego Puglisi from Greenlight and helped us with our SEO (p.s I shamefully had no idea what this was till the day - it's 'search engine optimisation' for newbies like me) & Web Design:
- Avoid handwritten/decorative fonts for body text
- Black text on white is best
- Streamline your sidebar
- Make sure all posts have share buttons
- Upload images in the size you want them to display
- Work on page speed loading time
- Do not have a busy background image
- SEO is so important as it drives free traffic to your blog
- You can check whether your blog is accessible by google by searching 'Cache:Http://yourblogsurl' on google
The greatest thing I took from the day is that everyone starts in the same place and that you really do need to work at it and overcome your fears of blogging. Everyone has self-taught what they know and all the professional bloggers on the day told us that everything they know is from google. So if you really want to get the best out of your blog then read and learn as much as you can! (or if your lazy just find some techy friends to do the job) A special thanks to Gemma who put on an incredible day which was super organised and one of the best events I've ever attended. Also a quick mention to the lovely ladies I met!!