Brit Mums Live 2016 – It’s Time To Up My Game!!!

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.

Some advice from Vicki –

  • 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!