18 Things I learnt at the Big Blogger Conference

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This title should actually read “The 18 Things I Learnt At The Big Bloggers Conference – That I Actually Remembered To Write Down To Share With You.” To say I was preoccupied with the free jelly beans for breakfast would not be untrue….But whatever, you people are smart, you don’t need me to tell you it all.

So last weekend was finally the day of the Big Blogger’s Conference, obvs London came out trumps for our visitors and gave us a casual 30 degrees. Arriving at the Hotel Russell, think lots of telephone boxes, marble staircases, and DSLR cameras, it was a bloggers’ Disneyland.

I attended three different workshops (I know, get me, so fancy) they covered things I thought I already knew stuff about – like SEO and Connecting with Brands (turns out I know NOTHING) and Pinterest, which I already knew I was a novice at.

So get a pen and paper people and follow my lead.

  1. Pinterest is not meant to aid bloggers as a social media platform but to serve as inspiration for planning your own content and to be used as a way to visually build your brand identity.
  2. 80% of Pinterest users are on mobile devices – so make sure your images are vertical (as well as bright and generally lovely of course.)
  3. Content on Pinterest is evergreen – not time sensitive like Twitter or Instagram where it disappears down your newsfeed – you can still get traffic for content you pinned years ago,so make it good.
  4. For maximum re-pinning, you need to have your seasonal boards ready 2 months ahead of the occasion – for example, people will start pinning Halloween at the end of August and Christmas in October (who are these people?!)
  5. Don’t use hashtags to describe your images (classic school boy error. guilty) – use long descriptions with lots of adjectives and searchable phrases.
  6. Google only searches the top 2 rows of your boards (lazy), so put your best and most relevant high up.
  7. Bloggers should have a ‘Business Pinterest Account’, which is free $$$, but allows you access to lots of juicy analytics – a bloggers favourite past-time obvs.
  8. SEO is important BUT content is king, so don’t get caught up in writing for a search engine and neglect your readers (clearly I’ve taken this one to heart as I ramble like I’ve had 8 cups of coffee this morning.)
  9. ‘Good Content’ for Google means – using more paragraphs, using more bullet points and keep words simple. Google, you simple.
  10. Keep your posts between 300 and 500 words for maximum search engine pleasing.
  11. Your page authority is hugely affected by link building.
  12. Successful link building can be achieved by: creating internal links (to your archives and historical posts), doing guest posts on other blogs & commenting on other people’s blogs (not the best way but definitely still worth a go).
  13. Do a Technical Review of your website (use a website like http://nibbler.silktide.com) and it will tell you all the stuff you are doing wrong (my boyfriend works in a similar way) but does also apparently tell you how to fix it. That’s my Thursday night sorted.
  14. Create a simple SEO checklist for yourself to use on every post – e.g. pick your keywords, add them to the headline, add them to the alt tags, and throw in an internal back link. It may seem simple, but it’s the kind of stuff we all forget when you’re writing a post and watching Bake Off in the background (I promise that’s not what I’m doing…)
  15. To optimise your Twitter – use images, schedule tweets with an app like Hootsuite, analyse the best times for your tweets and engage with blogger chats.
  16. To optimise your Instagram – use TagsForLikes to suggest the best hashtags to get ALL THE LOVE, the optimum number of posts a day is 3 but at the least 1 (I have no time to take 3 Instagram-able photos a day) and if Twitter is more successful for you then promote Instagram there too.
  17. Yes, PR’s are looking for people with lots of followers, but they also care about the quality of your content, clean layouts, photo quality, consistent colour palate, your writing the best it can be and social media/email address easy to find.
  18. And regardless of how many followers you have, if you aren’t professional, polite and just generally a good egg, don’t count on getting a call back.

Thanks so much Lauren for organising the whole event!

  • This is great! Thank you so much for sharing – lots of things I didn’t know on this list! :)

    Sophie Cliff

    • Oh I’m so glad to hear it was useful Sophie!! Thanks for leaving a comment xxx

  • LOVE this post, just lost half an hour of my life on that Technical Review site you linked. If you could now please do a post on what all the words that came up on there meant that would be fab because I understood less than 5% about what it told me. Please and thank you. And also don’t forget to send me those COS shoes ASAP. Please and thank you again. xx

    Shot From The Street | Fashion Blog

    • I’M SO GLAD people are finding it useful. I thought I might have just exploded my brain on the page and then rearranged into numbers.
      Please don’t tell me the technical review is as hideous as I’d imagined. I think I might just ignore it and decide that I know better and my website is 100% technically fab. That’s the sensible thing to do right? xxx
      p.s. the shoes are NOT made for this world. This weather will melt them like butter.

  • I really wish I could have attended this event!! Damn you work. Hope you had a lovely time. This is a super useful list of tips and tricks, I’m going to give a few of them a go once i’m home. I don’t even use Pinterest so maybe I should get on that! xxx

    Hannah x hannatalks

    • I wish you could have been there too! We could have finally had our rendevouz! I know I’m so useless with Pinterest. I felt like a big of a blog failure during that particular session…. xxxx

  • so many useful tips! thanks for sharing!

    http://www.heyprettything.com

    • No worries Carolyn – glad they were of use to you :) xxx

  • These are great tips, thanks for sharing! I’ve already seen people pinning Halloween and Christmas stuff already — it’s crazy how quickly the summer has went by!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

    • No problem Eden – always so lovely to see your comments popping up :) yes 2015 has gone insanely quickly – I’m glad the Pinterest theory is correct then :) xxx