For the past couple of days John, Erin and myself have been in Manchester so I could attend Blog On, my very first blogging conference. I’ve been blogging since 2010 but only in the past year have I been taking it seriously and trying to make a career out of it. I’m not even close to that yet but that’s exactly why I went to Blog On! I wish I’d read a post beforehand about what to expect so I’d been more prepared so here it is; How to Survive Your First Blog On!
How to survive your first Blog On!
Blog On is held at the Museum of Science and Industry which was perfect really as John and Erin got to go and explore after dropping me off. After seeing his pictures of the fun he had with Erin I have to say, I want to go back myself another time. The conference is in a separate part of the museum where there are brands to meet, wine to drink and sessions to attend. Oh, there’s cake and some amazing goody bags too but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Don’t be nervous
The evening before I met up with Katy from Katykicker and some of her money blogging friends so I wasn’t feeling as nervous as I could have been. I’d also met Susan from Susan K Mann at the launch party too, who I’ve known online since 2010, so I knew there would be a friendly face around somewhere! However, if you are going for the first time, are new to blogging and don’t really know many or any people, DON’T WORRY! People are very friendly and there are others in exactly the same position as you. Introduce yourself to someone you might recognise, even by blog name! Say hi to the person sat next to you in a session. You won’t find yourself being alone for very long.
The day started off with an introduction from Laura Seaton, who organises the whole event. This was the Blog On Schedule
Get the most out of the sessions
Honestly, I should have picked which sessions I was going to go to beforehand. It’s very unlike me not to be organised but I just couldn’t decide! I ended up panic picking on the day and while it worked out fantastically, it might not have done. Really think about which sessions you think you’ll get the most out of and think about what you want to learn!
Working with brands
6 steps to going pro
Advanced blogging shite
I actually only went to the Facebook sessions because it was the last one of the day and I was bloody exhausted and I couldn’t be bothered to move; the session I’d gone to before was in the same room! I think I probably learned the most from this session though so I’m really glad I stayed where I was!
Eat cake and drink wine
Blog On can be quite overwhelming, especially when it is your first time. There is a break of some kind after each session so you can can your breath… or get a drink! Lunch is after the 1st session and there is a cake and wine break after the 2nd session. There are other drinks available all day but by this point, a wine will look really good!
A raffle takes place during the third break and there are amazing prizes to be had. It’s absolutely mad though if I’m honest. There are loads of prizes and when you win you have to go up and grab a prize from the table. Obviously the earlier you win, the better the prize you’re going to get. When I won it was a bit like battling through a wedding dress sample sale. You know that scene from Friends? Yeah, like that but with prizes. I saw a lovely red Pavers bag on the floor so grabbed that and ran back to my seat!
Take a suitcase
When I was thinking about going to Blog On, I saw people saying to take a suitcase. I thought they were bloody mad. They weren’t. Honestly, there will be a couple of hundred bloggers there with the biggest suitcases they can find. The reason? We went away with 3, yes 3, goody bags! If you’re super lucky in the raffle too then you are going to need some space! You’ve been warned.
Get some business cards
Now, this really isn’t something you actually need but I found having some with me super useful and it saved my hands! At Blog On you’ll have the chance to talk to some amazing brands and introduce yourself. All of them give you to enter competitions and pass over your blog details for future opportunities. So many people commented on how cute my business cards were so I think it pays to stand out a bit.
I really think that this is the most important piece of advice that I can give you. I LOVED my first Blog On and I’m gutted that I can’t go to the next one in September due to work. I will, however, be going again next year in May and I cannot wait!