Nuffnang Blogger’s Workshop: Useful + Beautiful

On Saturday I attended Nuffnang’s blogger’s workshop at CitizenM hotel in London.

I’ve written about a few different blogging conferences and workshops such as Cybher, Traverse, Blogstock and Food Blogger Connect.

I love going to blogging workshops mainly because I love being able to meet new bloggers, no matter what blogger category they fall into. I’m also a bit of a geek and love learning new blogging skills. I think it’s really important to attend courses and workshops to keep your skills up-to-date. I make even more of an effort now that I work for myself because there’s no one around to tell me that the method I’m using is old-fashioned or there’s a new tool I should be using.

I’m terrified that one day I’ll wake up and realise the whole world has overtaken me and I’m so far behind I’ll never catch up. I don’t think this is a bad fear to have, especially in such a fast-paced industry like blogging.

Keep Learning

Lesson #1 by Fran from Fall for DIY

The main thing I got from Fran’s talk was the importance of Pinterest.

Fran told us that she spent just a little time on Pinterest and saw her first piece of content go semi-viral. She went from 100 pageviews per day to over 8,000 pageviews per day thanks to this pin.

These extra pageviews gave her the motivation to keep blogging and helped her realise which types of posts were getting her noticed.

She then invested in a good camera and spent time improving her photography skills. Her beautiful images are what help her to stand out from the crowd and get her noticed on Pinterest.

Fran admitted she’s a little obsessed with stats and recommended using your stats to develop your blogging strategy. Look at where you readers are coming from, what they’re clicking, what they’re spending time reading and also look at what doesn’t get much attention. This analysis should help you plan your future posts.

 

Lesson #2 by Carrie from GoodPrint and Not the kind of girl you’d marry

Carrie’s talk was my favourite one of the day. She left me feeling motivated and inspired and that’s exactly what I was hoping for! Carrie was talking about branding and the importance of your personal brand.

One of the main things she emphasized was the fact that ‘people buy people’. As humans, we like to read about other humans. We want to learn about other people and that’s why blogs are so flipping awesome!

Personally, I’d rather read about the travels of my favourite blogger than the travels of an unknown writer in a glossy magazine. Use this to your advantage when you’re blogging and let your personality shine through. It’s your personality that will build your brand. It’s about more than just the logo and colours and fonts you use on your blog, it’s literally everything that goes into your blog.

Top tip: ‘Don’t post what you think people want to see. Post what you can’t wait to share.’ Secrets to a good blog post

Lesson #3 by Marlene from Chocolate, Coookies & Candies

Marlene spoke about changing the focus of her blog and proved it’s OK and definitely possible to rebrand.  

Lesson #4 by Teri from The Lovely Drawer

Teri used her blog to launch her freelance design career and still seemed a little shocked that she was able to do it. I loved how humble and gracious she was although she’s obviously very talented at what she does so I’m not surprised she’s doing well! Teri’s best pieces of advice came in the form of photography tips:

  • Buy a 50mm fixed length lens – It doesn’t have to be expensive but she finds hers to be great for close up product shots
  • Use natural light
  • Keep styling simple
  • Use negative space to enhance a product
  •  Use a tripod
  • Take lots and lots of frames

 

Lesson #4 by Sarah from The Laughing Medusa

Sarah is a freelance writer and I really enjoyed her refreshing and philosophical thoughts on extensionalism.

This is basically (sorry to simplify it so much) taking personal responsibility for your actions and taking control of your own life. This is something I feel really strongly about but I hadn’t realised it had a name. We all need to take responsibility for our own lives because we’re the only ones who can change them. This sounds really deep but what I took from this was ‘get off your arse and do the things you really want to do’.

Sarah also recommended getting an ‘accountability partner’. If you work for yourself and work alone at home it can be difficult to get everything done because there’s no one to answer to. Find someone in a similar work position to yourself and chat daily to keep each other in check. I do this informally with lots of bloggers and it really helps!

 

Lesson #5 by Jesse from Nuffnang

The final workshop was by Jesse, the organizer of the event. She briefly spoke about her learning curve with the Nuffnang newsletter and shared some great tips.

She basically emphasized the importance of having a newsletter, suggested using MailChimp and stressed that your non-blogging readers won’t be on social media all day so it’s really important to reach them in an alternative way.

 

Lesson #6 from all the speakers

Every single one of the speakers put a lot of emphasis on not copying what other bloggers are doing. They all admitted that they’d looked up to ‘super bloggers’ and tried to recreate what they were doing.

Of course, it didn’t work. But each speaker said that as soon as they stopped trying to copy others and just did their own thing, their blogs were much more successful.

This sounds so simple but it’s not easy to do your own thing. It takes years to ‘find your voice’ and figure out what style works for you.

I hate it when people talk about ‘finding your voice’ as though you’re going to stumble across it on your way home from work one day but it is something that develops over time. Use blogs for inspiration but don’t compare yourself to them and try to just be yourself.

Be yourself or a unicorn

 

What’s the best blogging conference or workshop you’ve ever been to?

There are so many out there so it would be great to know the ones that you think are worth attending.

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (14)
  1. Such a good roundup, Monica! Lovely to meet you and I echo your words about the workshop – the point about going your own way and not copying others is so important as we find our place in the blogging world. I’d definitely recommend Nuffnang workshops and I went to Blogtacular last year and was bursting with inspiration and ideas after it. The next one is in June 2015. Leanne x

  2. Really enjoyed reading this – I’ll definitely need to get on board with these blogger conferences now (it’s early days for me). I love the idea of an accountability partner! I worked for myself a few years ago and gave up because it wasn’t working for me – to be honest I don’t think I was in the right industry – but so far I’ve found the travel community to be incredible and supportive. Thanks for a great read.

  3. Hello!

    Fairly new to the blogging world and toying with the idea of going travelling next year and continuing my blog. Currently blog for fun/keep as an online diary to look back on (my handwriting is too rubbish to keep a real life diary!) Would be interested in attending some blogging events – I was curious about how you find out about these events?

    Thanks

    Naomi

    1. I find out about most of them through emails. I’m signed up to the Nuffnang emails and also Traverse and TBEX. I also follow a lot of the brands on Twitter and just keep an eye out for details. There are so many it can be hard to keep track or know which ones are worth attending.

  4. Great summary. I came away with two key nuggets which I thank you for sharing with us.
    First is the quote “Don’t post what you think people want to see. Post what you can’t wait to share”,
    and then what you say about “finding your voice, like if you would stumble upon it in the street one day” !

    I can see how I’m starting to get the hang out of blogging in general but I haven’t found my voice yet and suspect it’s going to take me another year to get there. But the journey is interesting nonetheless.

  5. This is really good advice- I have been blogging for almost four years, mainly under family lifestyle and now more recently under travel and I still love going to blog workshops and conferences- with Cybher, Blogtacular etc under my belt. x

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The Travel Hack

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.