Blogtacular 2016 is only 3 weeks away! I'm so excited!
Last year was my first, and several people have asked me why I'm going back, so I thought this would be a good time to have a think about that - what I want to get from this year's conference, and consider whether I really did get the things I'd hoped to out of last year's...
So what (other than chopping all my hair off) has changed since last June? Well, I no longer write one blog. Back in August I quietly, and tentatively, started my new personal blog Sundays in Suburbia. Part of the charm of my weekly, Sunday ramblings over there is that I don't have many readers and I feel I can waffle on to my heart's content... I have had some good engagement from the readers I have though and I've recently re-branded it to make it look pretty. Then last month I took up the (voluntary) role of blogger for the Just A Card campaign. So, from a blog perspective, things have changed quite a bit!
I've gone from a couple of hundred Instagram followers to a couple of thousand - but there's still masses of room for improvement there (especially with my second account). Twitter continues to trundle on in the way that it does...
So, what did I think I'd got out of last year's conference when I got home. and what did I plan to do? A quick recap:
Photography - taking that thing off auto
I went on a course - I'm not practicing enough though and take far too many photos with my phone (but it's so good!). I'm aiming to spend some time practicing again before the conference so I can get better images this year.
The Betty Magazine styling session last year was fab. That and the Instagram panel really got me thinking and I've been working hard on my styling for my shop and my Instagram feeds. I think it's getting better all the time.
Generally making my blog/website look better
Never satisfied here... I moved my site from Wordpress to Squarespace a few months ago and I know it looks a lot better than it did a year ago, but I do constantly feel the need to tweak. Oh, and some of my old posts didn't migrate that well and I really need to go through and tidy all of them.... Of course now I've got my new look Sundays in Suburbia I'm no longer satisfied with this as I think that looks better. They're different sites for different purposes though so I'll try and remember that!
This is arguably the most important thing of all. Meeting people I already knew but hadn't seen for ages. Meeting lots and lots of people I knew online but had never actually met. This year I'm determined to be well and not sound like Joan Rivers on a bad day (I'd had laryngitis) and make the most of this opportunity! Also determined not to be star struck by the more famous bloggers and to actually go and talk to them. It always shocks me that quite a lot of people know who I am - once I realise that, as an introvert, I'm a lot happier!
Anyway, the meeting of people has led to lots of work and opportunities over the past year so that definitely paid off.
So, what am I looking forward to this year? I'm hoping to pick up useful tips and inspiration for all 3 of the blogs I now write, but in particular I'm excited about:
Lisa Congdon's opening keynote - I'm going to finish reading her book first!
Phone photography and visual storytelling with Sarah Tasker of Me and Orla - I'd aimed to attend one of her workshops recently and couldn't, so hoping this will make up for it.
I'm hoping to get a place on a photowalk this year (fingers crossed).
Laura Jane Williams' writing masterclass promises to be really good.
I've been suffering from a little blogger's block recently so I'm also hoping to get to Kirsty Smith's content development workshop (although I did discover that just being there last year left me with weeks' worth of ideas!).
Oh and of course seeing everyone and having a good natter!
Are you going to Blogtacular this year? If you are please say hello - I'm a tad shy even though people think I'm not! If you haven't bought your ticket yet there's still time (although the ticket prices go up on Monday so get in quick before they do).