Last Saturday was an inspirational day. I went to the Birmingham Blognix – The Blogger Picnic with a Twist, organised by Elizabeth Sellers, from Rosalilium.
We got great tips from experienced speakers and delicious cakes, made by some of the attendees! Now my head is full of fresh ideas and I can’t wait to start putting into practice (the change of colours in this blog is just a little one). It was stimulating to meet such enthusiastic bloggers. During the day, I tried to practice a little bit of photography, the subject of one of the workshops. So expect a lot of images in this post.
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The first speaker was Jen Holmes, from A Little Bird Told Me, who talked about working with PRs (photo below). It’s something I do often on my work as a journalist, but the relationship between a PR and a blogger is slightly different (or, at least, my own is).
I was glad to see Jen mentioning disclosure: “always disclose when you’ve been paid to feature something”. When I used to work for a newspaper, all the press trips we joined were clearly stated to readers as “invitations”.
Emma Cossey, from The Freelance Lifestyle, was the following speaker, pointing out useful social media tools and techniques (I will definitely apply many of them on my next projects). She mentioned good examples of bloggers who are creating a community around their blogs, such as El, from A Thrifty Mrs, who was on the schedule to talk about Blogging as a Career, but unfortunately could not join us.
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Then we had some time to walk around the venue, the Custard Factory – a place to vintage’s lovers, but where I’m not very often able to pay a visit. I’ve never seen it so lively as in this sunny Saturday, there was a vintage fair going on and other activities around.
I had a quick chat (and some popcorns!) with Rickie, while she was spreading the word about Yelp.
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Back to the Zellig Building, it was time for some (more) food. In an event where many of the participants were lifestyle bloggers, that’s a serious matter.
The word “picnic” was not merely there to attract more attendees. No. We actually had an indoor picnic!
It was a lovely idea that made the event more pleasant and relaxing for us, all we need on a Saturday.
A cake competition was another “attraction”. I must say I didn’t prepared anything (shame on me!), but all the sweets composed a very nice table and added to the picnic atmosphere.
By the way, did you notice a blue bag among the cakes? Not by chance: that was the prize for the best one, by a new brand of leather goods in England called Brit Stitch. Another lovely model was the Daisy one (missed the oportunity to take a shot), made exclusively for Blognix.
Maybe because my mother had worked in the shoes sector of a department store, maybe because Brazilian shoes have a very good quality and the country is a big exporter, I am quite picky when it comes to leather goods. So I was happy to see these fine models (and they do deliver in Brazil – shipping cost: £30 per bag).
And the winner was… the most colourful cake I’ve ever eaten (and a really good one).
I’ve also tried one of the sweets made by Kiss Me Cupcakes.
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The afternoon was dedicated to workshops. Each person could choose two of three: Blog Design, with Kim Lawler from Finest Imaginary; Photography for Blogging, with Hazel Paterson from It’s not f***ing rocket science; and Effectively Monetising Your Blog with Colleen Bulfin from Reward Style.
My first one was with Colleen. Reward Style is a type of affiliate marketing program, with bloggers using trackable links to get a commission on products sold because they wrote about them *sound of falling coins*. Here’s a link to an interview with their president, to give a better idea.
As one of my activities on my work and my main hobby is photography, I am always interested in hearing any professional who likes to share a little of their experience. So there I was to listen to Hazel. We got very useful tips (and links!), not only for photographing, but also about copyrights, and had the oportunity to walk around the Custard Factory for some more shots.
It was a very productive and enjoyable day. In my next post, I’ll show some of the interesting people I met there. (UPDATE: click here to read the 2nd part of my Blognix experience).