It’s not often that events happen up north so when the lovely Hayley at IceLolly sent a tweet out asking if anyone was free to go to an event in Leeds I jumped at the chance.
As you know I am a Hobby Blogger, I do this outside of my current permanent job so I don’t get to go to many events so having opportunities like this is rare and I was intrigued to learn more from a brand and other bloggers who aren’t too far from me.
IceLolly.com are a price comparison site for holidays. A post will be coming up soon on them in more detail and the event #BlogAtTheBeach has been running for five years. They invite bloggers to network with other bloggers as well as listen to guest bloggers present on different blogging know how.
When I arrived I was really chuffed to see that some of my favourite blogger pals were there and it was lovely to get to see them in real life. Since being part of the We Are Thirty Plus blogging movement I have made some lovely online blogging friends who I finally bumped in to including:
- Pixie Tenebaum – Fashion Voyeur
- Em – Oh Gosh Blog
- Keeley – Phat Cupcake
I didn’t know they were going so it was such a lovely surprise and they were just as nice in real life as online.
The day was split in to 3 parts and a speaker in each. These included:
- Kirsty from Kirsty Leanne – Pitching to brands
- Bee from Queen Beady – Taking your blog to the next level
- Kaye from Fordtography – Travel photo tips
All 3 were able to offer advice from their success which, for me personally, makes it really credible as they can evidence and back up what they’re presenting. They all did incredibly well and were all wonderfully lovely when I managed to catch up with them in the breaks.
I thought I would summarise the useful tips I got from each of the talks.
Pitching to brands
- Do your research – show your passion for their brand
- Keep a spreadsheet of brands you are contacting
- Don’t use a template email
- Create and update your Media Kit
- Tell them your ideas and show them evidence on how you have done it before
- Think of 3 things your blog can offer (you don’t have to have a large following
Taking your blog to the next level
- Use your skills from your 9-5 job to influence your blog
- Re-invest in your blog – sponsorship or paid opportunities, use the money for something new, web host, domain, logo, camera, photo editing. Just keep it refreshed and updated.
- Find your style, you have your own voice and style so highlight that difference rather than trying to do the same
- Create community blogging hubs so you can take photo’s of each other on lunch breaks or weekends in your area
- Try and find the photo from a different perspective
- Use manual settings on a camera, YouTube has how to’s on the basics
- Try and find someone who can take photo’s with you, especially when you’re travelling
- If you are a lone traveller and want photos of yourself invest in a tripod
- You don’t have to have an amazing camera but recommend one with basic manual settings
(trying to utilise some of the tips below!)
We were also given feedback on each presentation from IceLolly representatives about how, as a brand, they would want a blogger to pitch and what they expect from someones blog. This really cemented what the speakers were already saying.
All in all I felt that the event was really well planned and the speakers really delivered insightful and well needed advice.
I 100% intend to put myself forward to the event for next year, if it is still in the North!
Did you go to the event? What did you enjoy?
If you didn’t go and you would like to go what would you like to see?
Do you ever pitch to brands? Are you looking to take your blog to the next level? Have you wondered about how to improve your photography skills?
Have you thought about working with Brands like IceLolly.com?
Eloise Wren says
This was interesting, I’ve never pitched to brands but a lot of bloggers are doing it nowadays and it’s something I’ve been thinking about – I’ll have to get a media kit first though! xx
I make them with Canva – They are so much easier. Have you seen one before? x
Emily Richards says
I loved this post! I’m still fairly new to blogging and I never knew how much there was to it especially with these events and communities! It’s all so exciting and I would love to eventually be a part of it!
Keep an eye out and follow IceLolly on twitter to see when the next event is 🙂
Sounds like a really good day out for bloggers. Hope I can make one in the future – I’ve never been to a blogging event but they look really useful and I’d love to meet some of you guys in real life.
Rhian Westbury says
I really wish this event hadn’t been so far away from me as I’d have loved to go. I saw so many people’s tweets over the weekend about this x
It sounds like it was an amazing event! Unfortunately I live too far away otherwise I would have liked to have joined. The talks were definitely very useful, especially the ones about photography and interactions with brands.
Sarah Bailey says
What a great sounding event – it looks like they had really thought about the speaker they had, to include things that are very travel related and ones that aren’t. So awesome you got to meet up with some blogging friends as well.
Afshan Nasim says
This looks like a great event and at least you didn’t have to travel to London and it was local for you. Some useful tips too. Great post!
MELANIE EDJOURIAN says
That sounds like it as a fun event. I am sure you learnt loads from being there. I’ve never been to any events like this myself but am sure I would find it very beneficial.
This sounds like it was really informative I like going to events like these, you meet some really useful people
Lynne Harper says
I have never been to a blogging event like this before. I’m sure you learnt so much. its definitely something that I want to go to this year plus I would love to meet some new blogging girls:)
I really wanted to go to this but it was too far north for me. Looks like it was an interesting conference
Baby Isabella says
Sounds like a great event and that you picked up some great blogging tips too. We’ve never heard of it but will look into it next time!
lisa prince says
oh wow sounds a wonderful event i wish i could have been i bet it was so lovely and satisfying shame it was too far
It’s great that brands are doing more events up north now. Us northern bloggers have a lot to give too!
Melanie williams says
Looks like the brand offered some great tips and hints. I love pitching to brands, as it is exciting to brainstorm new ideas and take them from idea to an actual project x
Tanya Brannan says
This was a fab post to read as even though I wasn’t there, I’ve learnt loads from the info you’ve posted.
Leeds isn’t too far from me so I would love to attend if it happens next year.
I need to sort out a media kit too :-/
Laura H says
It’s so fun meeting people you’ve followed online for ages in real life! I’m always really nervous and never sure how to approach them haha
These are really great tips. It seems you got a LOT out of the event, which is great. Did you read about the poor blogger who contacted a hotel in Ireland and got ripped to shreds on social media? That’s put me off pitching to brands for a while!