A week ago today I was lucky enough to attend the Next Blogger Network workshop at the fabulous Hoxton Hotel in London (I say lucky because St. Jude's Storm only made me a couple of hours late rather than missing it altogether which happened to some unfortunately due to the cancelled trains)! The clothing line Next held a workshop day for their network members, with top bloggers and industry experts hosting blogger masterclasses for things like SEO, photography and brand advertising.
They laid on a brilliant day with amazing food in a great location, and the most important bit was the content: although there was a lot I'm pleased to say I knew and am doing already, I still picked up loads of great tips and thought I'd share some of them with you. If you're not a member, you can sign up to the Next Blogger Network here so you won't miss out on the next event.
So here's my 11 top tips I picked up on the day - see the end of the post for Next's links to the full workshop presentation notes :)
#NBNworkshop 11 Top Blogging Tips
1. Think BIGI'm starting with my favourite tip of the day... THINK BIG! Think ahead about how your blog can expand and grow. The only person limiting you is you - be extraordinary and believe the sky's the limit.
2. Don't procrastinateIf you have an idea, act upon it now - or someone else will come along and do it first. You don't want to be the person thinking "Oh I had that idea ages ago".
3. Create something you'd want to read yourselfBe proud of what you write and publish - think "Would I want to read this?" Only post content, photos and videos you are happy with.
4. Be consistentWhether you're publishing on your blog, uploading videos to YouTube or uploading to Facebook - be consistent so your readers know when to check back and expect something new from you.
5. Repeat your keywords everywhereRetailers often ignore long-tail keywords so this is something to target within your posts. In other words, repeat your keywords several times in the page titles, page headings and content to increase traffic to your blog. For example, if you're writing about the most coveted item of the season, instead of calling your post "Pink" or "What I'm Coveting Right Now", be specific and call it "M&S Oversized Pink Duster Coat" - and repeat, repeat, repeat those long-tail terms (within reason - you don't want to put off your readers).
6. Bye bye, GFCGet rid of the GFC followers widget on your sidebar: Google Friend Connect is on its way out and looks untidy. Replace it with Google+ if you haven't already or you'll be left behind.
7. Give follow optionsEnsure you have a "Follow by email" option - everyone likes to follow blogs in different ways and this is one that bloggers often forget to offer.
8. Improve page load timeIf your blog is slow to load, people won't have the patience to wait. Find out your page speed time (and how to improve it) using website speed tool GTmetrix. I've used it and have made loads of improvements already - you'll be amazed at what's slowing down your pages.
9. Be social - work the networksSocial, social, social! Work the networks - they are the biggest tool we have as bloggers. Support and interact with your fellow bloggers.
10. Be professional when working with brandsIt's a great idea to approach a brand to work together, but make sure you've written about them first. Remember it's a business relationship so be professional in your dealings with them, and remember to thank them afterwards. Hand-written thank you notes may be a dying art but you'll certainly be remembered and it will be greatly appreciated by a brand - this is a sure fire way of building a long lasting relationship with them.
11. Work hard and be nice to peopleYou never know how or when your next opportunity will present itself, so be prepared to put the hours in and go the extra mile. Go out of your way to help people - in person and online - and build relationships. A small gesture or random act of kindness could lead to the most amazing new connection or stroke of luck.
Tomorrow I'll post the outfit I wore to the event - in the meantime here's some photos (courtesy of Next) of the day! The centre photo is me with two gorgeous girls I met: (left) Mollie from Mollie Bylett and (right) Janine of What Renee Made (it's so nice to meet bloggers in person!). Also a big shout out to the lovely Carissa of Little Likely Lads (with me, top left) for agreeing to meet me at the tube and turning up late together... We'd never met before and found out on the way to the hotel that we grew up in the same place - small world or what?!
Thanks to Gemma and the Next girls Ellie and Vicki for all their organising, plus the guest speakers for their input and amazing advice:
Abi from Abimarvel
Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup
Diego Puglisi - Senior Search Manager at GreenlightEmily from Fashion Foie Gras
Faye from Fashion Beauty Etc
Kit from Style Slicker
Lily from What I Heart Today
And if you want to read the presentation notes in full here they are:
Have you learnt anything new? Let me know in the comments what you're going to implement!
See you tomorrow for the full outfit post :)