|Me with the headmistresses! Kat Williams, me, Shauna Haider and Gala Darling.|
Photo courtesy Lesley Burdett Taylor, Infinity Photographic
I'd always wanted to take my blog to the next level--increase readership, and perhaps make my blog a way of marketing "brand me" to the greater world so I could find a job I truly love. The Blogcademy gave me so many ways to achieve both these objectives and so much more.
The first day of the workshop focused on getting "blogcadettes," as we've dubbed ourselves, inspired and thinking about regular features which could be posted to our blogs. There was a section on blog monetization, the importance of social media, and a discussion about how to do a brand-audit to make sure your online brand is conveyed consistently across the Internet. I think most of us left at the end of the day overwhelmed by all the amazing, new ideas we'd gotten in day one alone.
Day two was equally good. There were more in-depth discussions about diversifying a blog's income sources, how to build a new brand, or go about rebranding an existing one, and a section on photography. I think the most interesting part of day two for me was learning how to build a brand from scratch. I've been thinking for a few months now about the direction I'd like to take my blog, and what kind of design I'd like my blog to have which will clearly convey my blogging brand. It's still a work in progress, but I definitely learned a few things which will help me focus and hopefully relaunch my blog in the coming months.
There was a bit of technical talk throughout the two days--talk of which blogging platforms are best, etc.--but most of the information was really around strategy and how to turn a blog into a business of sorts.
Perhaps the best part of The Blogcademy, however, were all the chances we had over the two days to connect to fellow bloggers and the headmistresses (Gala Darling, Shauna Haider and Kat Williams). There is such great value in being able to bounce ideas off fellow bloggers, and discuss in detail plans for taking your blogging to the next level. And the headmistresses were available during all the breaks to ask questions, which was absolutely brilliant. The Blogcademy community for the London sessions was so enthusiastic that we've already tentatively planned a day out in Cambridge for April.
|The venue was beautifully decorated, and totally on-brand.|
These were the key takeaways I had from the two-day workshop:
- I need to seek out and follow more blogs I find interesting. It's a great way to get inspiration and learn more about what types of blogs/posts you like to read, and what types of blogs/posts you don't like, and hence, will avoid in your own blog.
- I need to make more of an effort to gather "inspiration items" to help develop my brand. One of the quotes we were given during The Blogcademy was from Jonas Peterson, "You will never find your style. Style will find you." Maybe the same goes for branding, but I think the best way to formulate style is to gather inspiration and follow it.
- I need think about my blog's content and direction--where do I want to go/what do I want to achieve? This has not been a small task for me. I've been racking my brain for the past week thinking about where exactly I want this blog to go, and what I hope to achieve. It's taken a bit of soul-searching, but I think I'm getting ever closer.
- Social media is important. Social media can be what makes or breaks you brand, and for many bloggers, is what directs traffic to their blogs. Being active, sharing content that is not just your own, and conveying a consistent message across all social media outlets is super important. Not only that, but I think being true to yourself is important. If you put up a front, people will catch on, and your brand could be tarnished forever.