|Cute stationary c/o That Lame Company|
This month, one of the biggest things for me blog-wise was the #EastMidsMeetUp, a networking event for 40 bloggers that I helped to organise. This post is the third and final post in the #EastMidsMeetUp line-up, and you can read about the event in Part 1 and the raffle and goodie bags in Part 2. I just wanted to take a moment to share everything that I felt about planning a blogger event for the first time.
|Image Credit: Charlie Jones|
The event was amazing!
Going out of my comfort zone
I had never planned an event before, (although I was Prom Comittee regular!) and it was something I had always wanted to do. I'm generally not the most organised person, so setting myself a challenge like this really helped me develop my skills, and is something that would most definitely look great on a CV!
I mentioned before that my main role was getting brands involved for the talks, goodie bag and raffle. I've never been one to make the first move contacting brands, mainly because I'd reached out to a few that I loved earlier on in my blogging career unsuccessfully. After that, I thought "if my blog is right for the brand, they'll find me".
I got back in touch with many brands and PRs I worked with previously for this event. I also researched a lot of brands through social media, found their PR contacts and reached out, gaining valuable contacts with brands that I would have thought too big for our local event.
This has put me on the radar of brands that I would love to work with in the future, and it has made me more confident to reach out to brands that fit my blog. Now that I have honed in my niche, I will be looking for more meaningful collaborations, so this is something that will definitely benefit me in the future.
|Image Credit: Charlie Jones|
Dealing with hiccups on the day
Getting behind and feeling overwhelmed
For me the main downside to the event has been getting so behind with my blog. I wanted to put my all into this event, and I really did dedicate a lot of my time to contacting brands. I had also recently started YouTube, which I absolutely love, but it is so time intensive. These last few weeks I've been desperately trying to catch up with blog work, but that time also comes with more events, more emails from brands and new collaborations, meaning that I don't feel like I've even touched the sides yet!
Something that this whole process has ingrained in me however, is refining my blog and focusing only on the content I really want to create. There have been a few brand collaborations that I've regretted saying yes to, so I'm going to be more choosy in the future. I want to increase the amount of fragrance posts, and think about whether I'd actually buy the item rather than "oh heck, it's free, I may as well try it".
I've also been thinking a lot about events, and the coverage I give. I often find writing up events a chore, and I don't feel proud of the posts because they don't fit in with the style of my usual posts. It pains me to say no to events, but I need start saying no to those that aren't in keeping with my blog niche. I may write this in the "negatives" section, but I'm sure in time to come, I'll see this as a turning point in growing my brand.
Having to take the rap for bloggers not giving coverage
Having dedicated so much time into convincing brands to take the chance on our event, it's hard to see only a few brands get the mentions on social media and in blog posts. This unfortunately reflects on me as an organiser, and I really want to see all the brands get a ton of love! A lot of the brands that worked with us are those with whom I already have solid contacts. I do worry about being binned by a brand I adore because of not getting enough coverage from the event.
And with that, let's assume normal Behind The Blog business shall we...
MOST LOVED POSTS OF AUGUST
I was honoured to work with one of the most prestigious heritage fragrance brands, Penhaligon's. I took the themes behind two of their new launches, Luna and Endymion Concentré and gave it a creative reworking. Luna EDT is such a beautiful rose-based fragrance with a twist, definitely worth checking out!
This was the first time I had coloured my hair in such a long time, and I was hooked from the word "Go" with Naturigin. The brand is natural, vegan, SLS-free, ammonia-free. It didn't smell like a traditional box dye and still gave a great, hi-shine colour result.
If you're in a bit of a blogging funk, I have 64 lifestyle blog post ideas. There's everything from travel to TV to food post ideas! This post had a surprising amount of love, especially from Bloglovin'. My posts are rarely featured in the "explore" section, but this one earned a whopping 36 loves and 61 saves!
I'm really passionate about my fragrance content, so it means the world to me when they become some of my most popular posts. When I saw that my go-to suncare brand Hawaiian Tropic had launched a line of body mists, I knew I had to pick them up. I grabbed two, Summer Dreams and Golden Paradise, and it's safe to say they smell just as amazing as their sun products!
This is the first instalment of #EastMidsMeetUpPosts. As the title suggests, I cover everything from the planning process, what happened at the actual event and what the bloggers said about the event. I love that this has been one of my most popular posts this month!
THINGS THAT ROCKED DURING AUGUST
I've been really focusing on my Instagram (cheeky plug: follow me here!), putting some real effort into the quality of my snaps and developing a theme. I felt like this made a real difference, and began to see my follow count increase a lot quicker.
Instagram is kinda also on my "things that suck" list because I decided to have a clear out. Due to the new algorithm, I wasn't seeing any of my favourites on my feed, so I cut almost half of the accounts I was following. Although I now love being able to interact with more of my favourite IG-ers, it has unfortunately affected my own follow count, which is dropping progressively. I'm going to try and make up for that drop with engagement and continuing to post regularly with good quality snaps.
I don't do all that many sponsored posts in general, as I find a lot aren't in keeping with my niche/quality of content, and I don't want to compromise my integrity and encourage blackhat SEO with paid-for follow links or non-disclosure. This month I did a sponsored post for a great company and was really proud of the content I managed to produce. I've also got another sponsored post in the pipeline. It's great to finally find companies to work with that aren't dodgy AF! Check out the post: 5 Rituals for a Better Sleep.
Reaching my goals!
This month I reached my first milestone on my YouTube channel. I reached 100 subscribers, so I won't be getting my silver play button in the post just yet, but it's better than 0! I mainly make beauty videos and vlogs, so if that's your jam then please do come over and join the fun, I'd love to make it to 200 by the next Behind The Blog post! I also reached 1500 Bloglovin' followers, after being so close for so long! Why is Bloglovin' SO hard to build?
GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH
The main one for me is catch up with all the posts I've pushed back. It's not a nice feeling, being behind, and it's definitely had an effect on my mental health. Once I'm caught up, I'm planning to reduce my schedule to around 3 posts per week.
I've attempted to keep up with videos, and I've posted at least one a week, but I've been a bit slow at getting the vlogs out there. I'm hoping once my load lessens, and editing gets easier, I'll be able to stick more to a schedule. I'd love to put out at least one main video and one vlog per week.
Plan out my days
At the moment, I'm working more towards daily to-do lists, and this is working well. I'd like to plan out my days more effectively so I'm giving a balanced amount of time to writing posts, photography, filming and editing videos to ensure nothing gets left behind. I'd like to be more productive too. I tend to have my email (and Facebook, oops!) open all day and I find it distracts me a little, so it might work better to check it periodically throughout the day.
Be more engaged
Work on DA
Honestly, I was fuming to see my DA decrease, so I'm going to dedicate more time to removing broken links etc, which I think is my downfall due to having a ton of old social media links on old posts from before my rebrand. Who the hell even invented DA anyway? Ugh.
What's been your highlight of the past month?
What are your blog goals for September?
What are your blog goals for September?