Billions of Bloggers Blogging in Brewery
My second conference at BritMums Live and who did I know? Some familiar faces from two years ago, but otherwise only a couple of acquaintances who’d be there for a while. Not as scary as Stand-Up comedy but it’s up there. But hey, I’m a blogger and this is what bloggers do. But by the end of the day this happened many times …
I arrived late due to London Transport closing all the direct lines from Marylebone to Moorgate, and everyone was in a session when I got there, so after a lovely welcome from Kirsten, I headed for the courts. Better get warmed up for practising for Wimbledon – our exports may not be as attractive abroad given the soon-to-be-raised tariffs, but a home grown tennis player is always good for shifting barley water and trainers. Serena I’ll be seeing you next year.
The lovely Will from LTA put me through my paces for 10 minutes, and feeling more relaxed though a bit steamier, (sorry about the whiff especially with the double hit of chorizo breath from Costa Barcelona), was feeling ready to introduce myself to complete strangers.
Here’s my sketch of the indomitable Vicki Psarias-Broadbent from Honest Mum. I’ve seen her before but our paths never really crossed. She gave some great advice in her session about blogging. Here are some of her tips: –
“There is enough success to go around – enough for everybody”.
“If you’re approaching a possible client, follow up and crack on – don’t just give them your card and not do anything about it”.
There are no rules about how many times you should post a day. The more content you create, Google will be over it. Learn the rules then know how to break them”.
I’d love to have met her in person – first time I was at BML I was a bit shy and didn’t talk to that many people, but was prepared this year to speak to some of the Blogging Grandees. However, Vicki is such a ball of energy, she was off like the Road Runner every time I came close! (Could it have been the chorizo?). Will try and catch up with her next year, if I can move fast enough. Well done to her for winning both Social and Outstanding BiB Awards. Bet she’s celebrating all week.
This is me and Carol Smillie. Yes, the Carol Smillie that everyone knows – apart from me. I was pondering aloud whether to buy a pair of her fabulous Diary Doll pants, and whether it meant reverse potty-training. (This would enable me to sit all evening in the wine bar without having to get up). I said to her,
“I’m sure we’ve met before, you look really familiar”
Carol was absolutely delightful and happy to talk to this oblivious blogger. We had a good old rant about the extraordinary events taking place in the world outside, and I bought a pair of her pink knickers which will be much needed as I won the Chucklemums Pants-wettingly funny blog Award recently. Chatting about the undercrackers and Carol Smillie with my husband the next day, he said,
“Is she something to do with John le Carré?” which shows we need to get around to paying that damn TV licence and start watching. A woman cannot live on a diet of The Archers alone.
Since coming home, I’ve organised an informal photoshoot with Plummy Mummy in the garden. She’ll be wearing her Diary Dolls to Sports Day and hoping to make a bit of a splash when she joins in the 100 metre Mummy hurdles in her tennis skirt.
Here are Mission Mum and Higher Flyer testing them out – LOOK! NO LEAKS!
Wayhay LUNCH! In the Orangerie I caught up with the very sassy Catherine Boardman from Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays who was a fellow Shortlisted blogger in Reader’s Choice. More importantly, she knew where to get the delicious colour coordinated meringue tarts.
This is us plus Alice from The Fairy Blogmother (who knows EVERYTHING) after we’d demolished a whole plateful. You can see the sugar rush on our faces.
Tips for success: –
You need a good looking media kit.
Tell PRs everything about you and make it easy for them to get in touch by email – they don’t have time to be trawling through your site looking for a way of making contact.
Make sure you get clients’ names right.
Set up a date with them by saying “I’m going to be in your part of the world in 3 weeks time”.
Always use a proper title ie. Ms or Mr. Younger people often assume using a first name is fine, but some might see this as over familiar.
If you’re going away during a campaign or assignment, let them know when you’ll be back.
A sketch of bloggers at that session. Recognise yourself? Apparently the Sketchbook Club run by Jenny Maizels which ran at the same time as this one was really good – I couldn’t be everywhere though. As others have said, two days of BML would have been a bit less frenetic, with more time to really digest information.
Now I’m kicking myself a little, as the most fantastic dress of the day – mine was only a little bit fabulous ! – was worn by Fiona from Coombe Mill, and I didn’t take a photo! A hand-knitted slinky green / yellow shift and her Blog name in vast letters all over it. With 6 children and an idyllic if slightly muddy life in Cornwall, my hammer clanged the bell very high up on the envy metre – but what a lovely, inspiring woman. Oh yes, a huge cheer as she WON the READER’S CHOICE AWARD and I wasn’t even a teensy weensy bit like this …
Next up I found my way into the Instagram talk but only because I was following Jen and Susannah, admiring their glamorous dresses yada yada yada and that’s where they were headed. I don’t even do Instagram for goodness sake, but I was taken with Ali Clifford’s fabulous bird dress and stayed if only to find out where it was from.
Ali and Maggy Woodley from Red Ted Art (wearing a skirt from the same designer – I did a little research there!) looked extremely natty and both twirled for my camera. The clothes are designed and made by Bryony and Co. Their website is brilliant – go and have a look, but can we agree not to wear the same one if you’re thinner than me?
Instagraming seems to be one platform I’ll have to let slip as they own all visual copyright – rather at odds with this artist trying to make a living.
The irrepressible Tim from Slouching Towards Thatcham stood on the stage and bravely sang his musical parody. I love poetry and W.B.Yeats is in my Top 5, so although we didn’t talk poetry, it was great to meet another fan (another Shortlisted blogger from Reader’s Choice). A decent, smart and brave person who is exactly as I’d imagined him to be. For my money, he should definitely have got through to the Finals. There’s always next year …
Getting changed into my LBD for the ceremony, the wine started to flow, and the cheering and clapping for all the unsuspecting winners went on till we could hooray no more. One of the highlights of the whole day for me was meeting the funny and talented Beth from The Adventures of Beta Mummy.
… not to mention Fran from Whinge Whinge Whine …
Finally, we all hugged goodbye and I tottered back to The Montcalm, where I found out the most uplifting word in the English language …
Give me a shout if you’ve been tagged in any of these pictures – I’d love to hear from you. I met too many others to mention but you all added to a fun day and stay in London. It was a bit of a whirl trying to fit everything in, and session-hopped a bit, missing some of the best bits. But I came for the craic, loved the tennis, and met some amazing bloggers for the first time in real life. Yes, I’ll be back! Will you?
nb. Despite the company links, this isn’t a sponsored post, I just wanted to share the love.