I have been blogging since 2009 and originally I found that it was quite a lonely hobby. Although there were a few bloggers about at the time, as blogging wasn't as widely accepted, people weren't letting others know if they had a blog. Nowadays it is the complete opposite as everyone has a blog, or is really into social media - hurrah! I haven't been to a huge amount of blogger events over the years, mainly because most of them are too far away, but when I have been to a blogging event, I have left feeling unbelievably inspired and motivated to kick my arse into gear and get my blog in shape once and for all!
I have come up with my top ten reasons why you should attend a blogging event. Hopefully you will read these and will go on to find out about a blogger event near you!
- You can promote your blog to new readers. Not everyone will automatically like your writing or photography style, but you will find that most people you meet at events are keen to find new blogs to read and will be open to checking yours out! Sometimes people think the only way to promote your blog is via social media, but actually it can be a lot more effective offline when people are able to put a face or a personality to a blog. I'd advise getting some little business cards made with your key information on it so that you can hand it out at events.
- Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Going into a social setting where you potentially don't know a single person is an incredibly daunting thing to have to do. But look at it this way...how bloody courageous are you for putting yourself out of your comfort zone by forcing yourself to do something you would never normally do? Go you! A lot of bloggers admit to having anxiety issues, and that they find their blogs to be a private safe haven for their thoughts. So when it comes to having to meet people in real life, you're terrified. Telling yourself that you are going to take the plunge and are going to go along for even just half an hour is something that definitely deserves a pat on the back!
- You meet new people. What could be better than being in a room full of people who all have one common connection? Find one person in the room and I absolutely guarantee that you will be able to talk for a little while about something! Whether it is photography, social media, videography, products...anything. You will be able to relate to their issues and will probably laugh afterwards at the fact that you thought you would have nothing to talk to people about. I would recommend that you ask for their blog or social media details and then follow them straight away. There is nothing nicer than receiving a tweet after an event from someone saying how lovely it was to meet you!
- You meet brands. I worry sometimes that newer bloggers think that blogging is all about 'getting free stuff' as that certainly isn't why I do it! Blogging has its perks, there is no denying that, but often, it is more important to meet the right brands than to work with anyone. You may have a specific idea about the type of content you want to publish, and might meet a company at a blogger event that you had never even thought about working with that would be perfect for your blog. Make sure you have your best smile on and simply explain your blog to the brand whilst you're there. Confidence is everything, so make sure you leave with a few contacts to get in touch with once the event is over.
- Content. Attending an event is something that readers will inevitably want to read about. Grab your camera, go to a blogging event and you have not only had a good day out, but you have also got something to write about. It might be that you talk about specific brands you met, the venue or maybe the people you met...whatever it is, you will have got a new blog post out of it! If you enjoyed it and are able to write about it with enthusiasm then your readers will want to read it.
- Experience somewhere new. As I mentioned, often events are far away in London, or another big city, which means that you are probably going to have to make a conscious effort to attend the event. I think people need to realise that if you hop on a train and have to use your google maps to find your way to the venue, then you are experiencing something new! How awesome is that? Blogging has brought you to somewhere that you've never been to? I've spent most of my life going back and forth to London and I am still so pleasantly surprised to know that blogging takes me to so many new and exciting places.
- You get inspiration. If you really know how much work goes into blogging, then when you are surrounded by like-minded people who also understand the work involved then it can be such a relief. No one blogger is the same, and you can learn a hell of a lot from each other. The blogging community is incredible for sharing tips and tricks, so take advantage of it! Why not try something new on your blog that was recommended to you by someone at an event? Be inspired by the people around you and ask questions. The inspiration might be huge, or it may be minor, but I have no doubt that it will show in your future blog posts.
- You develop your knowledge. Often blogger events involve workshops or talks from people in the industry, or 'bigger' bloggers. It is easy to think that you know everything when you're cooped up in your room with your laptop, but be open to developing your knowledge and you will be surprised how invigorating it is. Listen to everything that everyone says whilst at a blogger event, as you may just learn something new!
- You may win something! This may seem like an unusual reason to attend a blogging event, but you would be surprised at how many competitions are going on at blogging events. I am a big believer in the fact that if you don't give it a go, then how on earth would you win anything? I went to a blogging event last year and won the runners up prize - an awesome goodie bag. The winner won a fricking DSLR camera! All because we put our business cards in a pot and that lucky devils name was pulled out. Embrace every part of a blogging event and take advantage of the fantastic opportunities in front of you - who's knows what will happen?
- It's FUN! I feel like I don't need to go into much detail on this point. If you let your hair down a little bit then blogging events are really, really fun. The organisers put in so much effort and it is really admirable that they do it all for us. Blogging brings people together, whether that is through creating new friendships, or through connecting with brands - either way, it all happens because some lovely people have decided to put their blood, sweat and tears into it. I guarantee that if you don't have a good time at a blogging event, then it will be because you haven't made the most out of it!
All these photos are from the Scarlett London Bloggers Ball from a couple of months ago. Scarlett puts a huge amount of effort into her events and she is a real inspiration to so many people in the blogging community. If you get the chance to go to one of her many fantastic events, or alternatively get the chance to go to any other event you hear about then definitely do it. Who knows...you might just enjoy it!
I filmed a little bit whilst at the event, so please feel free to take a look at my video on my channel above...