20 Oct 2014

What I Learnt at Blog Camp 2014 #bcuk

October 18, 2014. The day I headed off to Birmingham to attend my second Blog Camp organised by Tots 100. Unlike a baby, where all the novelty has worn off by the time the second one comes along, my second Blog Camp experience was every bit as, perhaps even more enriching than my first one.

And as, in my technologically-challenged old-fashioned way, I took down all my notes with a pen on a piece of paper rather than use my phone, I am now having to type everything over. Hence I present the abridged version of what I learnt at my day out at Blog Camp.

Here are the highlights from three very useful sessions I attended. The Pro-Blogging session with Lindy (Squidgyboo) and Kiran (Mummy Says), the session on Blogger Collaboration with Penny (A Residence) and Chris (Thinly Spread) and the Brand Partnership panel comprising of Jacqui (Mummy's Little Monkey), Claire (Cheshire Mum), Vicky (Honest Mum) and Katy and George from Frank PR.

  • Be confident about who you are.
  • Believe in yourself and know your worth.
  • If you expect to be treated as a professional, act like one.
  • Stick to deadlines like glue.
  • Communication is key. Always keep all involved parties in the loop, whether it is your editor or PR.
  • Master the art of negotiation. You will need it in the world of pro-blogging.
  • Be unique, be original.
  • Highlight your expertise.
  • Collaborations work in the world of blogging. What one can do, two can do better.
  • Collaborate on everything, from linkys and hangouts to blog clinics and competitions. 
  • Be nice, honest and help others.
  • Contact people, but don't hound them. Not on social media, not in real life.
  • Consider writing for free or guest posting to gain some experience.
  • Content is key. Make sure it is good.
  • Use photos and videos to add to your writing.

Here is how I got on with the Food Photography session.
  • You can pipe a fairy-cake if you set your heart to it. Even if you have never filled a piping bag before in your life. There is always a first time for everything.
  • A photography workshop at Blog Camp is not the time nor the place to come to grips with the fancy new camera that belongs to the OH. The one that you have never used before.
  • You can work photography magic even with your trusty old i-phone. Just as long as you know what you are doing.

  • On a more serious note, the focus was on styling with props, picking up the little details, and the use of lighting to make the most of your food photos.

And here are a couple of essential survival tips I learnt.
  • You will never go hungry at Blog Camp. 

  • There will always be enough cake to feed a multitude of hungry mum bloggers. And coffee.

The day was made even more special as I got to meet quite a few fellow mum bloggers in person for the very first time. It is one thing commenting on each other's blogs using on-screen avatars. It is quite another to be able to chat face-to-face about food, writing and all things Mum.

For me, the take-home message of the day was 'Be nice and collaborate'. I intend to stick with this mantra for the rest of my blogging life. 

So, dear people, if you are reading this and are looking for a collaboration with someone nice, please do get in touch. We might just end up doing something good.

(A huge thank you to Sally and her team for organising Blog Camp. I look forward to the next one, and not just for the biscuits x)


  1. These are the sessions I didn't go to. Glad you had a great time and learnt so much. Food is always amazing with Tots :)

  2. Great post and brilliant summary of the key things we learnt at Blog Camp. Was lovely to meet you there :)

  3. Blogcamp always looks a lot of fun.

  4. I love 'Be nice and collaborate' - I haven't been to Blog Camp but the more I hear about it, the more I really want to go next time.

  5. I really need to get myself along to Blogfest. It looks like a really useful day full of lots of tips and handy hints!

  6. I wish I could have made it, but we have all been so under the weather

  7. Thank you so much for this, it's been very helpful! Might pop back and read it again later!

  8. I couldn't make it this year, but Blog Camp sounds as though it was very useful. Thanks for your list of tips, extremely helpful!

  9. I'm hoping they do another London Blog camp. I really enjoyed the one I did a couple of years back

  10. The first rule of Blog Camp is: you blog about Blog Camp. The second rule of Blog Camp is: you blog about Blog Camp! Third rule of Blog Camp: someone yells "stop!", goes limp, taps out, the post is over-stuffed with keywords. Fourth rule: only two links in a sponsored post, any more is overkill. Fifth rule: one blog post at a time, bloggers. Sixth rule: No shirts, no shoes - PJ's are the bloggers uniform. Seventh rule: blog posts will go on as long as they have to, but don't take the piss. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Blog Camp, you have to blog. Nude.

    1. Good job it wasn't my first time then! It is too cold to be blogging in the buff.

  11. Blog camp always looks so much fun, and the food looked delicious.....Great pictures xx

  12. sounds like you had a great day - I couldn't go in the end

  13. It was lovely to meet you and chat all be it for a few minutes! Like you I was note taking on paper in red pen!

  14. Wow, the food wasn't like that the year I went to Blog Camp! Good tips. I wish I could have gone but I ended up needing to take an exam that day. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I've heard so many things about Blog Camp - it sounds like it was a fun and informative day for all who went :) X

  16. It sounds like a great event. Such a shame I couldn't make it.

  17. There is always something new to learn at blog camp, and always new people to meet...it was lovely meeting you Vai and I hope we meet again someday :)

  18. I really want to go to blog camp, but wish there was one closer to me

  19. I had to miss it this year, but always find it so interesting. I was trying to follow the hashtag on twitter so thanks for the tips. Good to hear that you had a great time. That dessert in a cup looks delicious!

  20. I still haven't managed to attend one but it's high on my to do list. Next time i really hope to be there


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