Blogger event: blogging tips at #BlogAtTheBeach

blog at the beach | this city life

A couple of weeks ago I spent a slightly rainy Saturday at a blogger event for icelolly.com and got to meet some of my favourite travel bloggers too! I was so pleased to have been invited to this event as it was my first one since moving to Leeds. And it didn’t disappoint. #BlogAtTheBeach was a total success.

The day was really well organised, with a bit of cocktail tasting from one of the best bars in Leeds – The Alchemist, mixed with super informative talks and blogging tips from travel and blogging experts. Here’s a run down of what I learnt from the day.

The blogger’s guide to SEO basics

Robb from WMG Agency began with a talk on SEO basics and the tools you can use to improve yours. I’ve worked in digital marketing for so long that my SEO knowledge should be spot on, but it was nice to know from Robb’s advice that what I’m already doing is good enough!

One thing I did notice though was since a change of theme on my blog, my Header 1 (H1) tag had disappeared, which really could have made a difference to my appearance in Google searches. Thanks to Robb’s reminder about header tags, I soon fixed it. Thanks Robb!

Robb’s top blogging tips:

  • Use Moz.com to check your rankings and backlinks. It’s free
  • The best SEO plugins for WordPress are Yoast and Wordress SEO (Note: I use Yoast)
  • Use at least one keyword per post and only one H1 tag
  • Majestic.com tells you who’s linking to your posts. Great for creating relationships.
  • How to work with brands without selling out

    Monica writes one of my favourite travel blogs on the internet, The Travel Hack, and she gave a really informative talk on how to work with brands while keeping your unique style. I’ve seen so many bloggers accept every invite and every freebie given to them, filling their blogs with so much random advertising. If you’re only in it for the freebies, you’ll find it hard to captivate an audience and keep an authentic voice.

    Monica talked about working with brands that match your blog personality and creating a collaboration rather than an advert. Instead of writing a post that’s all about how great this product/place is, create a story and let your personality shine through.

    She advised to never work with brands that don’t fit your style. I’ve been approached so many times to post about car tyres, kids toys and weight loss products, but I know that’s not what my readers want to see. If you wouldn’t recommend something to your best friend or family, don’t commit to working with them.

    But, just because we’re travel bloggers doesn’t mean we only have to work with travel brands. If you can find a nice angle for a post on a food brand for example, go for it! Monica wrote about Sweaty Betty while on a press trip at a yoga retreat and it just fit perfectly.

    bloggers | this city life

    What’s the collective noun for a group of bloggers?

    Creating inspirational travel vlogs

    If there’s one thing I’m too scared to venture into right now it’s vlogging. But after Greg Brand from Travizeo‘s talk on creating travel films, I just might start giving it a go!

    Greg held a Q&A on vlogging, from how to get started to his top tips on creating the perfect film. He told us about using a tea towel as a way to get a smooth shot across a table, and propping your phone on a mini skateboard to get a cool 360 view. Bet you didn’t think any of those would work!

    He also told us his top vlogging tips:

  • Use plenty of natural light – first thing in the morning is ideal
  • Be yourself – they make the best, natural videos. You can always edit down
  • Post regularly to build an audience, and collaborate
  • Try out new vlogging apps – from Vine to Beme
  • Learn more skills through lynda.com – online tutorials
  • Cocktails and catch ups

    It was my first time catching up with Adventures of a London Kiwi, Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes and Runawaykiwi since I left London, and it was so great to say hello again over a few cocktails. Plus, I got to meet some other awesome bloggers – The Cosy Traveller, Why Waste Annual Leave, She Gets Around, Pack Your Passport and Beyond Blighty, to name a few!

    Thank you so much icelolly.com for inviting me to such a great event.

    Amazing cocktails at #blogatthebeach!

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    3 Comments

      • 31st August 2015 / 3:07 pm

        Thank you! I’m having some trouble with the mobile version though, hmmm.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
      3rd September 2015 / 12:29 pm

      What a great round up of the day Charley! It was so lovely to meet you that day – I hadn’t been sure if it would end up being worth the trip up from London but it totally was and I’m so glad I went!