Where do I even begin? What an amazing day to be part of!
This was my first trip to Brit Mum’s and I was beyond nervous. Loads of people on the blogger Facebook group I joined were counting down the days to the event and shouting out how excited they were. I wasn’t excited…I was crapping myself, especially as I was heading up to London on my own. This is coming from a girl who needs to use her sat nav to get to her local supermarket! Just looking at the tube map made me feel sick!
In April 2016, after dedicating 9 years of my life to the Carphone Warehouse I made the choice to hand in my notice to care for my 3-year-old Son Riley who was diagnosed severely Autistic in July 2015. I already had a blog with WordPress (rsvpplus1) which I used mainly to post about how I was feeling about life, parenting and wherever the wind blew me, I loved getting it all out. Prior to writing I would build my stresses and tension high until one day out of nowhere I would explode and have a meltdown, blogging really helped me find a way to control my feelings.
In April I knew 100% blogging was the right path for me, I loved it and I have never had the chance to do something I truly loved or felt passionate about (accept being a Mum) due to one reason or another. One evening I bought my domain name, went self hosted, created a website and registered to go to one of the biggest blogger events of the year. I thought if I want it I gotta go for it. No-one is going to do it for me, so I need to pull my finger out and face my fears! I live by that popular saying ‘do something that scares you everyday’
Luckily a few days before the event Sinita from @luckythingsblog got in touch with me through my blog. She asked about meeting up and heading to registration together as it was her first visit to Brit Mums also. I was so thankful someone was waiting for me at the other end.
I thought the train journey was quite quick. I didn’t get a chance to finish the episode of Holby City I’d downloaded via BBC Iplayer the night before, I was left in suspense until the journey home, boo! The underground wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be. I loved the fact I could use my bank card the same way Oyster cards are used to get through the barriers, so much easier than the poxy ticket machine!
When we arrived everyone was happily chatting away to one another, there were lots of friendly smiles and hello’s bouncing around. Even through everyone was a complete stranger to me I was made to feel very welcome, it was a lovely atmosphere. We headed inside to collect our lanyard with our name badges. I was well and truly outside of my comfort zone. The Brewery was very posh, everyone looked super lovely and there was me slumming it in my £5 Primarni flip-flops! (hands over eyes!)
Coffee, tea, cakes, juice I was in my element! It goes without saying that I love my babies but hell I was truly enjoying the break! I almost felt waited on by how convenient it was to grab a hot coffee or to top up my energy levels with a bite to eat. This is the life! You can probably tell I’m easily pleased and probably need to get out more!
The conference started and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people there were, now I was buzzing, energetic, enthusiastic, switched on and prepared for whatever came my way.
It was time to ‘connect with brands’….freebies?! I was gone like a supermarket dash! Nothing is free in this world so there was me happily picking up everything I could until it got to the point I though my arm was going to break! ‘did I need it all?’ thinking back now? Probably not but it was my first dose of Brit Mum’s so why not, ay plus Summer my 2-year-old loved everything I brought back. Next year I’ll be sure to bring a small push along suitcase, bugger carrying all that again!
12:50 – 14:00 – Up your game: Innovative ways to make money. This was right up my street and what I had been waiting for! The chance to meet Vicki from Honest Mum and ultimately tips on how I could make money from my blog. As much as I love writing it for my own benefit and I love connecting with people, trying new things and taking on challenges if there was a way to make money from this, well I’d like the front seat please!
I’ve never been a big note taker, usually things would go through one ear and out the other and anything I was interested in would maybe stick but my motivation was somewhat lost and has been for a long time. The moment Vicki (Honest Mum) opened her mouth I had arm ache! My pen was poised and I was scribbling away through the brewery notebook like there was no tomorrow! That woman talks some good shit, I actually love and idolize her! We have so much in common except I’m massively lacking both the confidence and knowledge within this particular industry but I hope to change that very soon.
- Build up good content and maintain your blog to increase visibility whether this means doing a tweet or 5 Facebook lives, you make the rules.
- Work with brands that matter to you
- Always be true to yourself
- Write about what you care about, you don’t have to find a ‘niche’ if you don’t want to
- Be smart, reach out, over deliver, be confident and put yourself out there as that’s what sells!
- Theres enough success for everyone, confidence is key!
- Always negotiate a price, pick up the phone or discuss face to face
- Take ownership and be your own publicist
- Pitch a fee, go to brands with ideas
- Write a wish list
The golden rule – Be genuine, honest and do what you want.
Vicki and Natasha’s motto – Crack on!
Jeez I miss Brit Mum’s already, I’m hoping to get a sponsor for the next big blogger event – Blog On. I cannot wait, I was in the zone. I felt like a sponge soaking up as much advice and as many tips as I could. My motivation was back, courtesy of Vicki. She gave me the much-needed kick up the backside. My brain was on overload. ‘I’m creative’ I thought. I can be confident once I have a good knowledge and understanding in what I’m doing, I’m energetic, enthusiastic, loyal and bursting with ideas! I can do this, it was such a great motivational talk!
Next I headed to Google Analytics which I very much enjoyed with a glass of bubbles and green tea ice cream, nommy! In the past I would have given up before i’d even started with a subject like this, telling myself I couldn’t do it. I will hold my hand up, there was a lot I didn’t understand but I want this and I am prepared to put in all the hard work to get it.
Link to the slide show if anyone missed it – goo.gl/jQ3r08
Once Emily turned on the microphone during her blog success on Pinterest talk I was all ears! Pinterest always gets the better of me. I usually nip onto the app to have a quick look at something and then I realise 3 hours later I’m still hooked! However Pinterest in general and advertising my blog on this platform has been a bit of a grey area so I’m really glad I went.
Pinterest tips –
- Make your pins exciting
- Set up a business account if you’re a blogger
- Add your logo to any pins for a personal and advertising touch
- Add the save button
- Embed widgets (Pins, boards and profiles)
- Pinners start the hunt early
- Plan for key seasonal events
- Get a content calendar
- Be unique, be specific
- Share your pins, promote your presence
- Round up posts do really well (lists) and how tos
- Be consistent, optimise your content
- Add a detailed description, offer usefulness about the content, longer descriptions do better
- Develop a style using text overlay, the taller the pin the better
- Play around a lot and pull posts to the top when an event is coming
- Have a good couple of rows of boards
- Hash tags don’t work on Pinterest
After this presentation I lost my one blogger friend Sinita! I made my way to the big hall like a loner for ‘A chat with Cherry Healey‘ I jumped on the first empty chair I could spot I didn’t want to cause any disruption as I got as red as a tomato when I’m shy or put on the spot. 2 minutes after sitting down and I was happily laughing my head off on my own. Cherry was hilarious and some of the story’s bouncing around the room about ’embarrassing moments’ almost had me pissing my pants!
Something to eat and more bubbles came next. Again, it was so lovely to sit in peace and enjoy a hot meal without crying, screaming or moaning children (for a change) I pottered around on my lonesome making small talk with a few people.
I found it quite funny when I introduced myself as ‘Mumsy Mum’ a good few people said ‘Oh Mumsy Mum’ I felt myself saying many times ‘NOT the legend ‘the unmumsymum’ (as if they didn’t already know) I’m ‘Mumsy Mum’ I then went onto explain how ‘Mumsy Mum’ was initially a little spin-off from ‘the unmumsymum’ and my thoughts behind the domain name and website was that everyone already knew the unmumsy mum and it hopefully wouldn’t take long before I could be just as well-known.
I do wish now that I’d come up with a completely different name but I do think I am quite Mumsy like.
The definition of Mumsy in the dictionary is very different to how I portray being mumsy. I see it as a Mum who is very hands on perhaps a little too much sometimes, too many kisses and cuddles when dropping your child off at preschool, baking, being overly involved with your kids. Ultimately all us Mums want is what’s best for our children I think sometimes I’m just a bit OTT about it!
Finally it was the BIB’s party and out came the wine, thank goodness! I needed something to take the edge off due to fact I had been stood alone in a huge room for quite some time. Everyone already seemed to know each other and had their clicks. I guess this comes in time?
Oh hey…did I just spot ‘the unmumsymum’ Yes I did indeed and alone or not I was going over to introduce myself. After a lot of comments and messages I’d made myself pretty well know to Sarah, the unmumsy mum (hopefully in a motivated non stalker’ish way) She gave me a hug and said how nice to was to finally meet! Happy happy happy! I asked a lady to take a photo of the unmumsy mum and I. It only bloody turned out I’d asked Mother Pukka! My day was getting better and better.
I wonder if some of the people I met yesterday got annoyed that I didn’t know who they were. It’s not my ignorance it’s just I’m still relatively new to all this. Give me a year and I aim to know everyone by both personal and blogger names (wishful thinking) I have a memory like a sieve!
Time for the awards, I perked myself down at a table close to the front and then realised I was sat on the same table as Mother Pukka, score! I enjoyed every moment and remember sitting there think bugger having to go up there in front of all these people and talk, I’d probably trip over my own feet! Then I thought…I want an award and imagined just how amazing it would feel to even see my name in the nominees list. Aim high, aim big and all that!
The whole day from start to finish (minus the being a loner part) was truly amazing. All the people I follow on Instagram under one roof it was crazy good. I feel hugely determined to up my game, pull my finger out and push myself to be better.
Thank you for letting me share this experience with you Brit Mums and bloggers, hopefully see you all next year if not beforehand 🙂
A very happy Mumsy Mum x