There is nothing more that I love then a good old Christmas blogger event. There is something about gathering with my blogger friends and talking about all things blogging under the Christmas tree that makes me so happy and motivated for the upcoming year. This year’s Blogosphere Christmas Festival was different as it involved a number of panels throughout the day. The panels were absolutely fascinating and I thought I would share with you what I learnt from these fantastic bloggers.
Panel 1: Sharing your personal style with the world
Siobhan: Wear what you want and experiment with your style. Give things a go and be a bit daring, even if you wearing it around the house.
Jamie: Groundbreaking is a label that people put on me. I’ve never bought shoes and thought I’d be groundbreaking. You need to be authentic, don’t wear anything you are not comfortable with. Ask for something dangerous this Christmas and have fun whilst we are here on this Earth. Life is too short. I like the energy that I can do what I want and be a bit dangerous.
Paige: Start in your own comfort zone and to start with, take photos in your own house. If you love yellow, wear it.
Siobhan: Surround yourself with people who know your angles and can help boost your confidence.
Paige: If you are new to fashion blogging, start with a friend who is doing the same thing as you so you can take photos for each other.
Panel 2: Finding your authentic voice online
Vix: I don’t think if other people will like my post or my content, I write the way I want to write.
Brogan: I write the way I talk so my voice carries over from my YouTube channel. It is about how I feel and who I am, and it doesn’t matter if people don’t completely agree.
Vix: I always think what I get emails about opportunities, what did I get into blogging for. You have to look at the offer and think is this brand a part of my brand. I am a massive blog fan and I want to write what I would want to read.
Brogan: If brands come to you, don’t be afraid to give them your ideas.
Vix: If get those campaigns that are not appropriate for your channels, you can say no. Your brand integrity suffers if you say yes to everything.
Panel 3: How to earn money from social media without jeopardising your brand
Samantha: I started to get contacts for sponsored content through affiliate links. I am happy to pitch ideas to brand and it’s something I encourage.
Rhianna: I ask if there is a budget involved. As a lifestyle blogger, it is ridiculous the things I get emailed. I do tell them that it doesn’t fit me, I recommend other people who may suit. If the brand fits in with my blog, I ask if there is a budget involved and then I pitch them content. If I see a brand has worked with other bloggers, I do pitch to them if I am interested in them too.
Charlotte: I weigh up the opportunity so is it organic or is it paid. I try doing it organically, if I genuinely love the brand. If a brand wants 5 videos and 3 blogposts unpaid then I’ll go back to them and say if you were to hire a copywriter and a videographer, you would have to pay.
You have to balance your content between paid content and your own content. If it’s all paid, people will lost interest. Make sure you are writing your blog out of passion, it should not be a chore.
Rhianna: You can work with a brand and if you really love them, not to get paid. It doesn’t all have to be paid content.
Samantha: If a brand wants to get behind a product and send it out to you, then you can give them a real honest review.
Rhianna: Who I work with is my decision. For me it comes down to how much I love them and how much they relate to my brand, then I will consider working with them. Payment comes into it when it is going to take days out of my life for editing, photography etc.
Samantha: Bare in mind what you see as your worth can change week to week. Never feel that if you have been invited to an event or done some work for them, they can use your photos. Ask to get tagged. It is your content and you should own that.
Charlotte: Know your audience, your demographic, analytics and educate the brand about it. They should tag you if your content is being used on their paid for platforms.
Rhianna: I keep a list of ideas that come in my head. I consistently put up organic content and then I may put up a sponsored post. I put my own spin on paid for content too. Stick to what fits into your brand and tweak it. You can say to brands what will work, they shouldn’t dictate your content.
Samantha: I’m lucky that I have a lot of content to dilute the sponsored content. So I make sure it is a maximum five sponsored pieces of content a month. It is what your audience responds to, if they are responding well sponsored content to each week then carry on.
Charlotte: Sponsored content should fit into your organic content. Understand what is important to you and what is important for you to push out there. You started blogging because you were passionate about it, not to push out sponsored content.
Rhianna: You can say no to brands and say you are too busy but I want to work with you in six months.
Samantha: If a brand is pitching to you and can’t meet your expectations then there is something wrong with that pitch. It’s all about your style and the content you create.
Charlotte: Be realistic and what you can produce. Know this is the stuff I can produce. If a brand is asking for the utmost content, think about that balance.
Charlotte: If it is an unpaid opportunity and you want to do it organically, exchange content on instagram and try to get on there. They can then come to you in the future and give you paid content.
Samantha: You have to remember it is about building relationships with brands. Build a conversation with these people, it is not about say yes to one post. It is about building something long term.
Rhianna – I don’t have set rates because it depends on the brands and their budgets and if I want to work with them. I ask other bloggers what they would charge and quite often they will go higher. You have to take it one by one.
Samantha: Don’t be afraid to negotiate. It’s okay to go a little higher and be prepared to be batted down. Have a bottom figure that you won’t go below, that only you know.
Charlotte: I package it up. So it not just one instagram post and a blogpost, I may throw in an insta story post for free.
Panel 4: How to maintain an online presence while you travel the world
Yaya: We instagram on the go but create the actual blogposts at home. We use insta stories to create engagement. I use Adobe Sketch on my iPad to create drawings. I don’t feel as though I need lots of technology, it is more about the ideas.
Kara: I am precious about my annual leave. I don’t take a day off for an admin day. It is a part of my routine to do an hour or two in the evening to write blog posts and edit my photos.
Lloyd: Don’t think about travel as being abroad, focus on the UK. There is a big appetite for UK travel abroad.
Blogosphere’s Christmas Festival is definitely one of the best events I have been to this year because I learnt so much from these bloggers. It has definitely made me reconsider my content for next year and what I will be producing.