Blognix 2014

003

To use Blognix founder Rosalilium’s favourite word, Blognix was RAD. Having been in on some of the planning this year as part of my role at The Custard Factory, it was fantastic to see the huge amount of hard-work Elizabeth and Raj put into the event pay off. Around 80 bloggers descended on the site, and every single person I spoke to loved every minute.

Friday night, I stuck around late to help with the set-up and spent a couple of hours lining up chairs, filling goody bags and making name badges. Eventually, delirium set in as we all got tireder and after watching a group of bloggers shinny up a pillar to hang bunting, I decided to call it a night and head home. I pinged out of bed bright and early on Saturday morning and after a few discarded outfits, I was on my way.

008

A quick cup of tea and a pain au chocolate later, and I was settling down for the first talk of the day. Blognix founder, Elizabeth, spoke about blog branding. Your brand is so important if you want your blog to be a success, but I think it’s something that can be very difficult to define. Elizabeth talked about ways to pin down your brand, including first working out what your blog isn’t, before you decide what it is. Inspiring stuff.

Following that was the talk I think I got the most out of. The Truth About Freelancing. Speaker Emma Cossey talked about the realities of freelancing, and the sort of people it can be suited to. I had a vague idea that freelancing is something I’d like to, but Emma’s talk definitely confirmed for me that working for myself is something that I want. It’s a way off yet, but it’s definitely going into my life plan and I intend to start working towards that goal now.

012

Next, we had talks from Bonjor Blogger‘s Hayley on disclosure and from Dine Birmingham founder Ahmed on taking your blog offline with an event. We broke for lunch at this point, and a very important part of the day. The Great Blognix Bake Off.

021

It was decided that the competition should be judged by the chef from event caterers The Old Crown, Ahmed, Sarah from Team Blognix,  and as a representative from The Custard Factory, me. Yes, I got to judge a cake competition. I had to taste each of the cakes. It was a challenge, I can tell you. Eventually, we selected an excellent Victoria Sponge as the deserving winner, although standards were high across the board. Look out for me next season on the Great British Bake Off alongside Paul and Mary.

023

Cake devoured, it was on to the workshops. I ran off to attend Pump Up The Volume, a podcasting workshop from the amazing High Tea Cast. I LOVE Sam and Lea, so was very excited for this. They talked us through some podcasting basics, and we even got to have a little go ourselves. In short, I fan-girled at Sam, fell in love with Lea’s jacket and left feeling like podcasting is something I really want to have a go at. Anyone want to join me? Podcasting alone doesn’t seem so fun.

Next, was London Beauty Queen talking about brand collaboration , and Kim Lawler on ways to make money from blogging beyond advertising. Both super informative and left me with a blog to do list as long as my arm.

Last on the roster of speakers was Justice Williams. Justice Williams MBE, no less. Justice spoke about following your passions and forging your career in them. She was, quite simply, amazing. What a woman!

027

And with the fastest event take down I’ve ever witnessed, we set off for Alfie Bird’s for some cocktail and pizza sampling. Us bloggers took over the cocktail lounge and set to work testing out the menu. Perfect end to the day.

I learnt so, so much at Blognix again this year, met some fantastic bloggers and made some new friends too. I cannot begin to thank Elizabeth and Raj  enough for the incredible event they put together. So…Blognix 2015?