#BlogAtTheBeach | Leeds event

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In April, I finally had the pleasure of attending my very first #BlogAtTheBeach which was organised by the lovely crew over at Icelolly.com. Last year when I hadn’t even started my blog, I had seen loads of bloggers attend and write about it, so when the invite came way my, I was absolutely buzzing. For 2016, their chosen theme was Mexican and with the location being the White Cloth Gallery, they really couldn’t have accommodated us better as the décor had quite the Central American vibe to it.BlogAtTheBeach0BlogAtTheBeachBlogAtTheBeach1
In terms of entertainment, let’s just say the team hit the nail on the head: 100% tequila margaritas (they meant well), piñata, blow up cacti’s and the highlight just had to be the Mariachi band.BlogAtTheBeach7BlogAtTheBeach4BlogAtTheBeach8BlogAtTheBeach9First up was Kirsten Thompson from the Kooky Traveller, who shared her advice on protecting both yourself and your brand online.

As I work in the online industry, a lot of these points I already knew, but it was a good reminder of just how visible you are online. As a blogger, of course you want a strong online presence, but what Kirsten really highlighted was about what type of information you were giving away at certain crucial points. With the nature of the Internet, information can be accessed 24/7 meaning that from the perspective of a travel blogger, you may want to consider when you’re checking in and tagging yourself in locations when your home is unattended. Food for thought here is, are you leaving yourself vulnerable at all? 

Three of my favourite points discussed:

  1. Check yourself up online and look to see what there is. A great start would be using ZoomInfo or WHOIS- both of which are databases that will probably hold information of you on them. On WHOIS, you can pay for a private registration which will then then display your host’s details rather than yours.
  2. Double, triple, quadruple check your phones settings for an automatic location tag. Whether it’s through your camera or social media channels, just be aware that your phone may automatically have these options activated.
  3. ­Photographs that you did not take… just be wary that when you first started blogging and used images downloaded from the web, you may be causing yourself a little headache. My personal advice would be to use either replace them with your own or find sites where images are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero, basically meaning you can do whatever you like with the photos. Unsplash or picjumbo are brilliant photography databases.

BlogAtTheBeach11Next was the super likeable Mi Elfverson who runs The Vlog Academy. With the name giving it away, this presentation was all about vlogging, understanding what makes a good video and simple tricks to help you master a vlog. I’ve never tried vlogging, but listening to Mi and her passion it was really quite infectious. I’ll even admit, that night I had my first attempt and thought ‘ugh awful’. I guess rule number one of vlogging is to get used to yourself in camera first!

Mi’s three key points were:

  1. Stick to your basic equipment for now. Smart phones these days have amazing cameras that will allow you create the perfect vlog. Just be sure to film yourself landscape so that your video actually takes up the full screen and not just a section of it. Using just your phone is absolutely fine, but a lapel microphone (which plugs into the phone’s jack) will help create a crisper sound and make your voice the primary focus in the recording.
  2. When filming yourself, look into the camera. It might seem awkward at first but this essentially creates the dialogue between you and your viewers. Although it’s easier said than done, but Mi’s advice was to talk as though you’re nattering away with your best friend.
  3. A successful vlog is basically you at your most comfortable. A crazy fact Mi shared was that your audience will pick up on these three following things: 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and only 7% what you are actually saying. Bizarre, right?!

BlogAtTheBeach12BlogAtTheBeach13Last to present was the mega lovely Sabina from Girl vs Globe who gave us the 101 on growing a social following. The inspiring talk was all about building a relationship with your audience and a reminder for us as bloggers to hone in on those elements that makes our work special. With over 100 million blogs dotted across the web (!!!), it’s your readers, speciality and personality that makes you stand out… and it’ definitely doable. With Sabina having been at last year’s #BlogAtTheBeach, it was really inspiring to see how far Girl vs Globe has come; mega hats off! 

Sabina had some up with a really lovely anagram of three points to work on:

  1. F – friend. Connect with your readers by being a friend to them. Similarly to what Mi said, address your readers and open up to them… only of course with what you’re comfortable with. That being said, express yourself and show your personality. Whatever you do, just be a friend 🙂 
  2. I – inspire. Share your experiences with your readers and aim to inspire them. Become their idol and someone they will look to regarding the interests you have.
  3. G – guide. With all your inspirational content, why not look to create guides your readers can use. Whether that’s a useful itinerary of a location, or even ‘how to guides’ where your readers can learn something from. Just think useful information, amazing for engagements and easily shareable! One thing Sabina here reiterated what the fact that we should all be more open and transparent when it comes to our blogging success and tips. For example, in a Girl vs Globe newsletter, Sabina openly shared how much she earnt from travel blogging and gave insights to how she achieved this. Nice nice; sharing is caring!

And… because it was such a lovely thing to encourage, I just have to break the rule of only three points per presentation. Sabina really emphasised the power of collaborating with other bloggers, especially those in different niches. Makes sense right? And for someone who works in digital marketing, I know exactly of the benefits this will bring to my blog, yet even I’m guilty of being a solo-blogger. Next step for me? Yes, you’ve guessed it, find some new columnists for Crunch Corner!

The day was brilliant, and I learnt some great new tips that I will definitely work towards; hopefully with tips you can take away too.

Charlotte xxx

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    Lovely post my dear! You’re mastering that camera now, hammering out gorgeous pictures 🙂

    Let’s collaborate! You want to be featured on my blog, in my expat interview series?

    xx

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Charlotte Corner

Lifestyle blogger & cat mother

And I really love a good brew. If I'm not busy writing, I'll either be eating, sipping a cocktail, hiking or convincing my boyfriend we need another cat.

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