Budding bloggers from all over Ireland ( and some further still), gathered recently, for the first birthday of the Into The West Blogger Network.
Held at the beautiful G hotel in Galway, we were once again treated to fantastic guest speakers covering a range of topics designed to help and educate the beginner to advanced blogger.
It doesn’t matter if this is a beloved hobby or a chance to make something professional out of your work, ITWBN has something for everyone.
’10 Things We have learned about Blogging from ITWBN’
1. Community Support – Doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned pro or a rookie blogger, ITWBN is your home. Connections, help and advice on anything blog related. All you have to do is ask. We have found a whole network of blogging buddies at different levels, all with something to add.
2. Branding – You and your blog. Beauty, Sport, Lifestyle, Health, Fitness, Music, Art. Whatever your topic or niche. Find your voice and decide on your personal branding. Dee from Castle Print Galway, gave us the run down on branding at its best.
Keep it uniform across all your media, both printed and social. People will soon start to recognise you. Think Tiffany blue, Apple’s Apple, the Nike tick: Logos and branding recognisable everywhere.
3. The importance of Networking – Walking into a room of people and talking about your blog. ITWBN gathers us together and then sets us loose. The result is a flurry of ideas, creativity and new friends made. It is also a lesson on how to get your self out there both in person and online. You are connecting with people who are interested in you and your content. Get out there!
4. Marketing – Your blog and its message reaching the people who want to hear it. Through ITWBN, we have learned what marketing channel suits us and how to utilise it. How to use your website better, which social media outlets suits you? printed media – what works and what does not?
5. Social Media – Youtube? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? the list goes on.The pros and cons of each, finding out which one works best for and which one you can be consistent at. Valuable talks on how to work each platform to our advantage, has been a great learning experience from ITWBN.
6. Dealing with PR’s. – You have a blog and an audience. You have worked hard on creating great content and would like to approach companies that are relevant to your niche. Simply stay in touch. Email, Twitter, Instagram. Wherever they are, you can be too. Always remember to include all your details if approaching about a collaboration/review opportunity. Be polite. If companies are not in a position to work with you right now, they could do in the future. It’s about building a relationship.
7. Online Reputation – Think before you type/speak. Anything you put out there is a representation of you. This is an important lesson for every single individual, not just bloggers. Pictures and comments from years ago, can emerge at any time. We have all heard the cautionary tales of jobs lost and lives ruined from an idle comment or unlucky photo. Once something is on the internet, it is there forever. Speaker and author Wayne Denner gave a great talk about protecting and improving your online presence. (Also check out his logo. Excellent branding right there!)
8. Be Yourself – People want to hear about what you have to say about your niche so get out there and talk about your perspective, your insider view.
9. Belief – You have something here. Your vision for what you want to say and what about. Blogging is for absolutely anyone who wants to do it. We have met quite a few people who said that they were afraid to start and that ITWBN helped them get over it. Siren and Soul knows this well, as we were once in that boat.
10. Creating Opportunities – Many of the great speakers we have met through ITWBN have highlighted how one thing leads to another.
Minnie Melange/Sinead Burke writes about the world from her perspective. Her blog was originally centered around fashion, but she herself is now known as a broadcaster and public speaker. (Check out her fantastic interview series: Extraordinary Women)
Karen Brown from Karora tan spoke to us about just going for it. She started with nothing and now Karora is a world-wide tanning phenomenon.
After every ITWBN event the help and support continues. Siren and Soul can’t wait until the next meet up. Roll on September!
Siren and Soul would also like to acknowledge the fantastic sponsors of the event:
Revive Active, Isadora Ireland, The G Hotel and its lovely staff, GoBus, Pixy Natural Skincare, Blank Canvas Cosmetics, So? Fragrance Ireland, The Handmade Soap Company, The Body Shop Ireland, No. 7 Ireland, Wet N Wild Ireland, Memeoirs.com , Karora Tan, Insight Haircare, Debenhams Ireland, Tiger Ireland, Atir Shapewear