28 June 2013

#companybloggingforum


In a bid to put myself and my blog more "out there", I (wo)man-ed up and purchased a ticket to this year's Company magazine Blogging Forum. On Monday evening, having hauled myself across London after work, I arrived clammy (eww) and stressed as I was late (surprise surprise). Whilst attempting to find the entrance, I introduced myself and decided to join forces with the stylish killer-heels Katie who looked in the same boat. Entrance found, on entering the lobby we were greeted with Candy Kittens lollipops, a nice sweety surprise, and then ushered into a lecture theatre for the talk with some pink bubbly - this was slightly surreal as for a brief moment thoughts of exams came flooding back!

The panel included super-star-blogger Susie Bubble of Style Bubble blog, video blogger extraordinaire Rhiannon of fashionrocksmysock blog (also winner of Company's 2013 best new fashion blog), Oh My Love, Boohoo, Handpicked Media and Company editor Vic. After answering various questions on how to start a blog as well as tips on how to keep up and grow existing blogs, there was a lengthy Q&A session which just showed how popular and influential blogging has become in recent years. For me personally, the whole session highlighted the number of talented bloggers out there and listening to Susie's honest recount of her 7-year journey as a blogger made for a really inspiring session filled with both advice and a realistic view on how to have fun in the blogosphere.

Three key pieces of advice that stuck with me were:

1) The blogosphere is a noisy and crowded space - therefore content requires thought; make sure your blog standouts either through a niche interest and/or great writing // i.e. pictures of daily outfits week-in week-out isn't that different or interesting anymore. // "There's room for great voices in fashion content that don't just revolve around what you're wearing"  // "You should set up a blog because it's something you love and that you're passionate about"  // "Quality of content will keep people coming back over quantity"

2) Blog about something you love - blogging requires time and effort so if you blog about things you love then it will make it easier to keep up-to-date on a regular basis // i.e. if you're just starting your blog to make money, you won't. // "I went into blogging as a hobby. You can't get into it purely for money"  // "You should set up a blog because it's something you love and that you're passionate about"

3) Get social - the minute you start to blog, you are joining a community so make every effort to support fellow bloggers, comment on their content if you like it, reply to comments on your posts and just be sociable // i.e. engage in conversations but don't be pushy, rude or annoy others while you're trying to promote your blog // "Interact with people on twitter and network, rather than just pushing your links out all the time" // "Use hashtags on Twitter to reach a bigger audience and use Pinterest to showcase your inspiration"

All in all, a really interesting event. I'm glad I went for both the experience and the lovely (and oh so stylish) ladies I met as a result - Katie of Desperately Seeking Freedom, Yasmine of Yazmataz and Waj. All I wish was I had brought my camera (such an amateur)!

For any aspiring or current bloggers, I would recommend going to similar events as I think it allows you to have the space to remember and think about why you wanted to blog in the first place and how you can make the most out of your blogosphere experience. I definitely wish I'd had the advice when I first started but then again there's always time to improve :)

Thanks to all the speakers last night for a great forum, Company Mag for hosting (and for the goodie bag!) and Candy Kittens for the sweet treats!

Company's coverage: The night in pictures here | Some of the stylish attendees here
Other great reviews of the night: by Katie of Desperately Seeking Freedom | by Yasmine of Yazmataz