Some stuff I learnt at Blog At The Beach

On Saturday I headed to Leeds, where I had lived and studied for three years in the late 1990’s, to icelolly.com’s Blog At The Beach event, aimed at travel bloggers.  The event featured three presentations all related to travel blogging – a bloggers basic guide to digital marketing, working with travel brands while keeping your style and a travel video Q&A.

So, what did I learn?

Leeds has changed – a lot

Three of my university night out haunts had disappeared from the city centre – no more Planet Earth with the revolving dance floor, no more Majestics nightclub which I had been at on its opening night and no more Observatory, a bar which no matter what time you went in it always smelled of sick.

leeds

Leeds Town Hall

But if the cocktails which were on offer at Blog At The Beach were anything to go by, Leeds new nightlife offerings are a cut above what was available in the 1990’s.  Check out this bubbly cocktail from The Alchemist – it tasted even better than it looked.  All I can remember (and I only had one) was that gin was in there.

cocktail

Check out the cocktail from The Alchemist in Leeds

It was nice putting faces to names….and meeting new ones

After many a tweet I finally met Karen from Mini Travellers in person, who is just as friendly in real life as she is on Twitter.  I sought out Kelly Michelle from Around The World In 80 Pairs of Shoes to discuss the merits, and disadvantages, of having such a long blog name.  I met Monica aka The Travel Hack, one of the very first travel blogs I followed.

And, I met lots of new people too although my favourite has to be Danielle from Dancing Through The Fire who is a fellow Oldham born, Leeds uni alumni.

My blog name is annoyingly long

In fairness I have known this since I decided on the name but the presentation from Robb Frost on digital marketing further proved this when he was explaining how important SEO titles are on your posts and why you need to keep within the character limit.  Adding my blog name to any of these titles immediately takes it over the character limit.  I am going to see what happens if I delete the blog name and concentrate on the post title.

There are more sites to make you anxious about stats

Not only can a blogger avidly watch their Google Analytics or Clicky Stats there are other sites where you can use the free tools to get anxious about the volume of people, other than your family and friends, who read your blog.  Check out moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar and majestic.com

The Travel Hack reminded me to think like a brand

I have worked in marketing since I graduated and have almost 20 years experience of working for high profile entertainment and leisure brands.  I shouldn’t be shy about contacting brands with pitches regarding my blog and Monica Stott reminded me of that when she was giving her presentation on working with brands.

I want to start making videos for my blog

I already have a YouTube channel but have only uploaded one video.  Greg Brand from Travizeo gave a presentation on making travel videos; it was so passionate and engaging, even if he did get a bit techy in places.  I loved that he just rattled through the questions that the blogger attendees had asked via Twitter including my own on commentary versus natural ambient noise and is your iphone good enough to make video content for your blog.  The answers are ambient noise and yes.

I’m going to give video a go on our next holiday in a few weeks so watch this space.

I also raved to Mr ATWWAH the following day about Trek America after watching Greg’s video.  Watch this and you will definitely want to go.

It was a great blogger event

Despite being a family travel blogger I much prefer going to blogger events which aren’t dedicated to parents.  There is more of a mix of people, although I think I was possibly the oldest blogger there.  I also think you can come away with more ideas as the people you talk to are going on different types of trip, use social media platforms in other ways and think about their blog content in a different way.

I definitely left feeling inspired and with a bit more of a spring in my step.  The team at icelolly.com did a brilliant job of organising the day and were very accessible and friendly throughout the event.  It was their first blogger event and hopefully there will be more.

 

If you are wondering who icelolly.com are they are not a frozen treat manufacturer, they are the UK’s leading holiday price comparison site.  You can compare the best deals from a range of leading holiday providers.  Check them out here

 

 

 

 

1 Comment
  1. ah sounds like a wonderful event – I hadn’t heard anything about it otherwise I would have loved to attended. Boooooooo! Thanks for sharing your top tips though – very helpful! I look forward to your YouTube videos x

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