Blogfest 2015

24th November

Approaching the 3rd anniversary of this blog and I'm at a slight loss as to why I am still blogging. 
A great day out with highly motivated and interesting,
inspiring women
Taking the bull by the horns so to speak I bought a ticket to this years Blogfest hosted by Mumsnet, in the hope I could be reinvigorated and could find my blogging purpose.

I know why I began but I am not sure why I am continuing, so what did Blogfest do for me?

It made me realise I am a contradiction, I am a small fish in an ever enlarging sea of the internet.  There are so many passionate women (and men) out there writing wonderful posts about all sorts of things they have a burning desire to share that in actual fact it is overwhelming. 

Blogfest was smoothly run, time management was fantastic and apart from one hiccup, although quite major, we could not really hear the live link from Canada of the wonderfully talented Margaret Attwood, the day seemed to go without glitch.  But what did I learn?

There is so much to share that I am dividing the post into two, Blogfest ~ the speakers

The day was divided up into 9 slots, nine!! Lots to learn and take in.  There were 3 'breakout' sessions where we could choose in advance what we would like to learn more about, I chose 10 things to learn from Buzzfeed, Building your brand and How to be a YouTube sensation.  So, what did I learn?

The buzzfeed session blew my mind away in the speed of delivery by Digital Mums, co founder, Kathryn Tyler.  She is a font of knowledge but the time slot we had there was not enough time but to gloss over this huge subject.  I came away still not really knowing what buzzfeed was or really how to use it other than I should and that I should have a buzzfeed button on this blog and allow people to share my post with their own buzzfeed.  As said I'm overwhelmed and need to look into this further...

That said, looking over my copious notes I made in this session, maybe I did learn more, but just need to digest it further and supplement it as said.  Do you use BUZZFEED?  What advice or experiences have you had, please share and help me.  

The second breakout session was branding and this I was excited to attend.  Jude Brooks, ex Tesco marketing director was presenting.  Yet another highly qualified speaker who helps people connect through digital marketing communication.  She came well prepared with slides galore but it was so aimed at BIG brands that I lost a lot in translation.  She spoke much of the guru, Simon Sinek and the 'golden circle' but more importantly towards the end of her talk she mentioned his work on 'start with why'.  Be clear, she said about why you are blogging, be clear why you are sharing this particular post and be clear why you have this purpose.  What did I learn in this session?  Be more focused, more strategic and schedule more, what do you think?  She also stated that our blogs were already a brand and that we should start thinking like one, I guess I have much to learn and am learning...

Why, remember why you do things ~ Jude Brooks

YouTube sensation was the last break out session and by far the most practical and best of the day.  Having never considered making video tutorials before this Blogfest, Kate Rushworth, from YouTube took the session and held our hand from showing us videos that did not work and why to showing similar ones that did work.  It was a practical session full of facts and statistics yet practical both for the beginner and intermediate.  Having never thought about a video tutorial, it is now on my periphery vision, who knows, maybe one day...  Have you watched or created video tutorials, what do you think of them, should I give it a go, would it be useful?

Tomorrow I share with you anecdotes of some of the great speakers throughout the day.
How do you schedule your posts, on a specific day, time of day?  How do you work out what to post?  Lets start a discussion...  and if you don't blog, what would you like to see and how do you know when there is a new post? 
All feed back really appreciated, I'm trying to find my feet...


  1. My blog has been gathering dust since the summer. I started blogging again when I started to knit and crochet, with the good intention of at least posting when I'd finished a project. I feel by the wayside when I knitted a scarf for my niece's birthday and didn't want to blog about it until I'd given it to her; By the time I had given it to her, I had a backlog of projects and ended up posting nothing at all! I think I'd got a bit disheartened, too - I'm not sure anyone was even reading it and I got very few comments.

    I've been blogging, on and off, since 2001. When I started there were very few blogs with a 'purpose'. Most were more like chatty online diaries. I remember switching to GreyMatter, then Movable Type, because they both had easy commenting features, which Blogger didn't back then. A lot of blogs that I followed were more like conversations and I'm still friends with many of the bloggers I read back in those days, even though our blogs disappeared a long time ago.

    I've used an RSS reader of some description to follow blogs for years. I can remember when I first discovered them - it was like magic! Up to that point I'd had to check all the blogs I read every day to see if there was an update. As with blogging software, RSS readers have come and gone. I currently used Feedly.

    Most of the blogs I read these days are to do with crafting, but I also follow a few book review blogs and some rugby blogs. One thing I love about Feedly is I can categorise the blogs I read. A sample of my categories include: books, craft, crochet, knitting, quilting, rugby, genealogy and World of Warcraft!

    My favourite blogs are still the chatty ones. While I might start reading a blog because it has great knitting tutorials, I love to read about all kinds of bits and pieces. A blogger might blog about things I know I'll never do, but it's still interesting. For example, I love your posts about your Scandinavian recipes. I loathe cooking and am never going to try them myself (all though I might drop a few hints to Himself, who does all our cooking!) but they're really interesting.

    I hope some of this rambling is useful :)

    1. Not rambling at all. I love what you write here and it's more to think about Shelagh. Feedly is interesting and I never knew you could categorise them. I really need to look into that. I know what you mean about being disheartened. With crafting blogs it's so hard to create quickly and worth while projects to blog about. It all takes soooo much time. It is frustrating when no one comments as it's hard to know if the blog is being read or just glanced at and hoe the post lands. Comments like your today make it all worthwhile. Thanks so much

  2. I've been blogging for 3-4 years, can't remember exactly. I blog because our family is scattered all over the USA and our daughter is in Japan. I blog about what interests me, what we've been up to, and it's sort of a diary for me. I don't do videos and if others have them on their blogs I generally skip them.
    I read lots of book review blogs, travel blogs and blogs from England because that's our favorite place to travel.
    I don't really schedule posts, if I have something to say I post it. Sometimes I see something on someone else's blog that triggers an idea. I love read other people's blogs even if I don't comment a lot.

    1. A lot of what you say resonates I am says blogging what I want. I began this blog to leave some Christmas notes for my children and it carried on from there. I have not ever scheduled a post but thinking ahead to December when I post everyday it has crossed my mind but not sure I would be organised enough for that but it's a lovely thought. I have watched some crafting tutorial when I'm not sure about a certain stitch but nothing else. Interesting that you skip them. I follow a great blog that reviews book, she's based here in the UK you may like to take a peep at it. inthenickioftime.wordpress

  3. What an interesting post, so much to think about. When I started I was told I should blog at least 3 times a week. This became such a chore with so much pressure to produce content that I completely went off my blog. After taking a long break I decided that I what suited me best was once a week (and sometimes not even that) and I've been so much happier. The lesson I've learned was not to take advice as gospel.

    1. Amalia being happy has to be the most important thing surely. Wow to posting three Times a week that is just too much. I find with all the crafting I do that takes up most of any spare time I have It's a tough fin old life isn't it?

  4. www.thetwistedyarn.com25 November 2015 at 11:41

    Maybe some of what was said at Blogfest applies to people who are very single-mindedly trying to focus on making their blog a business venture. For those of us who are very much blogging because we love making things and talking about making things, perhaps we shouldn't worry about the rules too much. I hope that you're not losing your blogging mojo, because your blog is inspiring and beautiful and colourful and interesting.

    As for your questions, I don't schedule anything, I just put up posts as soon as I've finished them. I aim for at least twice a week but have lapsed in the past few weeks due to illness and moving host. See, not very businesslike!

    Knowing you in real life, I think you'd be very good at vlogging, because your warmth and personality would come through in the video. Vlogging does seem to be the way that things are going, which is a pity for those of us who are more interested in the written word!

    1. Thanks Phil. I think you're right it was perhaps aimed at a slightly different audience. But as each day passes since Blogfest, the more I think I took away from it too. Vlogging maybe an interesting step forward. Might want to trim the old body up first ;). Thanks for your encouragement x

  5. I think I blog (occasionally and erratically) to have contact with people who share similar interests and outlooks on life and to introduce my self to new and different ones...where ever they may live.

    Living many thousands of miles from family I love I first began to blog to easily and immediately share what we were up to.
    But being an open window to the World there are inevitable constraints and a learning curve.

    Do I want to entertain/educate etc etc can I maintain this? the answers to these at times were yes and yes and definitely no .... lol
    and would a wider audience conflict with personal contact ...for me probably ..yes I think if I wanted to go that route I'd have to maintain two blogs no chance of that one happening anytime soon :o)

    So I end up rambling along ...just like life actually ha ha

    In the end I found that I rather like maintaining contact with a few blogs where I get to know (virtually at least) some lovely people.

    Other blogs I visit, may be for a specific purpose eg of the "How do I ?" variety . A very popular blog is usually necessarily impersonal and that is not a bad thing ...just a practical fact and these however charming, have to be read like a magazine and there is nothing wrong with that.

    The medium is very fluid and some blogs evolve delightfully or stay the same also delightfully and probably every emotion in between.
    I'm sad when blogs I enjoy disappear especially when pressure to conform to timing/output etc are the reason.
    If I enjoy reading a blog I'm quite happy for it to be on the bloggers own terms ..what ever they decide they may be.

    This is turning into a post rather than a comment so I shall shut up!
    (and I enjoy reading your blog or I wouldn't be here :o) and shall be interested to see how it evolves!

    1. Val I loved reading this response so honest and thought provoking. I hadn't thought about how some blogs one reads like a magazine but you're so right!! Do I want this for my blog, no I don't think so. Would I like mine more polished and together, yes I would. Can I leave emotion out? No that's just not me. I want to push on and grow readership and meaningful discussions but I also don't want to be constrained by schedules. There's lots of thought still to be had on my part as I figure it all out...

  6. I knew before I started blogging, just under six years ago, that more than once a week would do me in. Like Amalia (an earlier commenter), I'd heard that one needs to post at least three times a week. But I knew I'd never be able to consistently keep that pace. So I post just on Thursdays, every Thursday. Sure, my blog would be more "successful" with a more frequent posting schedule, but I'd be a crazy woman! :D


I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...