I literally booked my train and event tickets for Blog Camp 2015 at 7:30 a.m on the day, 25/04/2015. That is what I am like - very spontaneous. Anyhow, I headed off to Birmingham on the 8:30 a.m train for a 10:00 a.m start.
The event was held at The Studio, in Birmingham, and this was very well placed for people arriving
by train as it was only a couple of minutes, if that, to the New Street Train Station. Blogcamp was organised by the Tots100 team and it was lovely to get a feel for the behind the scenes of what happens at Tots.
When I arrived, I'll be honest with you, it was quite daunting walking into the room, if you are on your own. Everybody seemed to be with a group of people they already knew, so I did feel like I was gate crashing a party every time I sat down. I thought this would be easy for me as I attend Teacher Training events, like this, regularly, but somehow this was different. By the end of the day, I stopped going into the coffee room, because it was easier to have a roam about in the shops outside.
Next time, I go, I will try to mingle a bit more, but it is hard 'butting in' on other people's conversations, when you are on your own.
Nevertheless, I did get a lot from the day. The speeches were very informative and I attended 5 sessions. They were about Pro-Blogging, Metrics, How to be a Good Vlogger, Being Camera Ready and Working with Brands.
So without further a do, this is a list of the 5 main things that I learned at the event.
Number 1 - Don't Be Afraid To Approach Companies With Your Own Ideas.
I have recently wondered what the protocol is on this and often thought about trying it out. 'If you don't ask, you don't get,' is what they say and what is the worst that can happen? You receive a polite no. I am definitely going to get braver with this, but I need to get some help with my media pack first.
Number 2 - I Need To Get More Instagram Followers.
In the metrics session, I found out lots about the Tots100 rankings. Now I know these aren't the be all and end all of blogging, but I discovered that your number of Instagram followers counts towards your score and I believe that brands look at the Tots list before assigning contracts.
Number 3 - You Can Get Free Music For Your Vlogs.
I did already know this, but didn't know where from. Free Music Archive and Sound Cloud were mentioned along with Vimeo and Audio Bed. There may be a small charge with the last 2. People were saying that the quality of this music is better than that you can get from Youtube. You can also search by clip length or price, if you want something specific. If you use copyrighted music in your vlogs then you can't get money for that vlog from Youtube.
Number 4 - You Can Use An Egg Timer To Improve The Quality of Your Vlogs.
Basically, you need one of those spherical shaped egg timers that you turn and then it counts down for x amount of minutes. You then attach your phone, with a piece of blu-tac, to it, and it videos in a circular fashion for you. Brilliant idea, but you'd have to mute the ticking sound out that it would be picking up in the background.
Number 5 - I Am Not Intending To Be A Pro-Blogger.
I already have a good, well paid job. I am slightly envious of those that have made it as pro-bloggers, because they get to spend time with their children in between the work they do. I wouldn't be able to cope with wondering where the next job was coming from to be able to pay my mortgage and I worry about the longevity of blogging in general. Will it still be 'the thing' in 20 years time when I am still working in my current role. Now I know you can move with the times, but I'd be too stressed. I am glad that I attended the Pro-Bloggers session though, because it has confirmed, for me, that I want my blog to remain a hobby with the occasional nice treat thrown in, every now and again.
Blog like you love it! Not to move up the rankings!
This is number 6, I know, but it resonated the most with me on the day! I know it slightly contradicts what I said in Number 2, but if you blog like you love it, you'll move up the rankings anyway. That's what I mean to say.
Looking forward to my next Blog Camp.
Did you go to Blog Camp Yesterday?