Icelolly held an Ibiza themed Blog At the Beach Event at the beginning of June in Leeds. I know, not somewhere you’d expect to find a beach themed party but it worked. We were all given little press badges to wear, and I’m not going to lie it made me feel super important. It’s weird how a lanyard with my blog name in does that! We put our badges on and made our way to the free drinks on offer. There was orange juice or sangria…. I’m sure we all know which I chose! Any time I can get a glass of sangria I will! It reminds me so much of time in Spain!
The location of the event, Lambert’s Yard, was spacious but I’m still surprised at how many people were able to fit! Icelolly had been able to separate the room so that food could be placed in one area, whilst the talks could be held in the other. It was a nice area to mingle, and bump into a few old and new faces. I found it relaxing and comfortable to be there.
The first talk detailed how to grow your instagram (organically) by Rhianna Olivia. It was really informative, and gave a lot of tips on what you can do. I have tried some of them out, and they seem to work. But I think my main issue is that I am not consistent enough. I feel like the main take away from the talk was to be as consistent as possible. And I guess that’s the case with any sort of blog or instagram growth. Although I may not have done so well with this in the past couple of weeks, I am looking to improve! Honestly, I’d be happy with getting to 500 followers by the end of the year. It only people stuck around on it!
She also mentioned a couple of apps you can use to track how well a picture has done. But I’m yet to download or use any of them, mainly because I forgot! They are something I want to get into though, it may seem to be taking some of the fun out and numbers shouldn’t mean anything. It is something we are all guilty of though, I definitely get a boost from seeing good stats! The ones she mentioned were unum and Planoly for anyone also wanting to look into this.
After this was lunch! I admit I didn’t eat a lot of this, I’d had a sandwich before I got there! But it looked divine! The food was tapas themed, but I have never seen tapas quite like this!! I usually expect patatas bravas or meatballs (two of my favourite tapas dishes) but the corn on the cob was great! If a little messy to eat! There were some desserts brought out but I was too late to snap a picture of them! The choice was between a chocolate tart or a lemon tart. Unfortunately for me, there was only one lemon tart left and no chocolates when I grabbed one. I have to say it wasn’t the nicest but it tasted like there was some form of alcohol in it?
The next talk was by Jenny Lowthrop and how to keep the creativity on your blogging. Not necessarily because we aren’t creative but to give us an extra place to go. It was a little weird how she made us all dance, but also a little freeing. The overall idea is to be happy and daft without feeling embarrassed. Easily said than done, but we can try can’t we? One of the ways she tried to get us to be more creative was to write a spontaneous poem about something in the room. I opted for the air conditioning but I didn’t read it out loud at the event. But you can read it, in it’s unedited glory now 😉
The uncomfortable summer heat,
The only salvation
Man’t last solace,
Is it too good to be true?
We pray that it will
We pray and hope
Hope and pray
You will never fail us
The icy blasts freeze the air
Now we find our jumpers,
To fight off the chill
How I wish it was warm!
I think this may actually be one of my better poems, a little awkward really.
Jenny also made us go and talk to someone new to get new ideas for our blogs. It was a little awkward and not something I really enjoy doing but I did get a good page of ideas on what I can blog about in the future which is better than nothing! It was also interesting to see someone else’s thoughts on what might be a god fit for my blog. I guess doing something different could be good?
The last talk was given by Jess Gibson a luxury travel blogger who has the majority, if not all of her holidays paid for. Is there anything that sounds better? Jess was there to talk to us about how we can monetise our blogs. It’s a bit of a touchy subject, with not everyone wanting to make money from their blog, but it was definitely interesting. Making money from my blog has never been the end goal for me. I enjoy writing but if I got the chance to earn a bit of extra cash I wouldn’t say no.
I picked up so many useful tips. The main one that I’ve taken is that you should know your worth. If a brand contacts you, ask them if they have a budget. It’s very rare that a brand or PR company will come out with this information off the bat. If they can get free publicity then why would they want to pay? A lot of people feel awkward asking this question, it can make you feel like you are only in it for the money. At least that’s how it makes me feel. But if you don’t ask then you won’t know.
If you want to ask brands about their budgets or want to get payment for any content you make then it’s a good idea to have a media kit ready. Don’t forget to update this on a regular basis. And it should include important stats, including social media following, what your blog is about, proof that people are influenced by you, and what other brands you’ve worked with. It’s kinda like a CV but for your blog. And it is pretty much essential.
Other areas that you can try to earn a little extra money is from the use of affiliate links. Some companies offer the chance for you to sign up to a scheme whereby you can earn commission from purchases made via your unique links or codes. An easy way to earn without additional costs going to the customer. There are also certain networks you can join to look for opportunities yourself.
I think if you want to make money from your blog, you need to be proactive. You can’t sit and wait for opportunities to come to you. You have to find the opportunities and make them work in a way for you. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is probably the way forward with this sort of endeavour.
I have to thank Icelolly for hosting such an informative event. I feel like I’ve come away with so much new knowledge, now I just need to put it into practice! It was a really fun event, and I’m glad that I went along.
Hasta la fuego