Blogfest 2016

Blogfest 2016

On a cold and wet morning I headed into central London (well actually Kings Cross) to attend the much anticipated Blogfest 2016 organised by Mumsnet. This is my second blogging conference this year, and my second since setting up my blog. This time round I felt unprepared, had no elevator pitch, my blog felt unprepared but I had my business cards packed. However for me the day is not about that. It’s about catching up with other bloggers and learning a thing or two. That’s not to say I didn’t feel excited, nervous and a little apprehensive about the day ahead. Meeting up with Sarah from Mumzilla and a huge coffee from Starbucks at Kings Cross calmed me down a little on our walk to the venue.

There will be so many blog posts about Blogfest 2016 being written this week. I’m sure a lot of them will be about how feminist it was, and how uncomfortable it must have been for all the male bloggers in the room. This post is not going to be about that, it’s going to be about what I learnt and gained from attending this year’s Blogfest 2016


I won’t go into too much detail on this, as I could write about these forever.

  • The first talk (well panel) was Women Online – Where to from here. I found this quite eye-opening and empowering. I need to go and check out the blog written by Victoria Smith @glosswitch who’s turned her blog into her career by chance. I also found Jess Philips (MP in Westminster) really inspiring, you go girl.

Blogfest 2016 Women Online

  • The next talk I went to was all about You Tube, and how best to vlog. I’ve never done a vlog before. I’m too scared, and hate the sound of my own voice. It was really interesting to hear how the Saccone-Joly’s, Mother Pukka and Vegan Family TV do it. I also attended this session as I really like Mother Pukka. I’m very inspired by her, and think that she’s doing a great thing with her flexible working campaign. During this session I also set myself a little challenge by asking Rebecca from AAUBlog to nominate me for the 73 Voque questions vlog. This task has happened and I now need to vlog. Argh!

Blogfest 2016 You Tube

  • The Think Bombs were great. These are 5 minute short snippets of a topic that the speaker really believes in. Ed Balls was meant to be here today, but he had more important priorities to train for Strictly. Lucy Porter did a great Think Bomb on how we shouldn’t judge anyone at the school gates.

Blogfest 2016 Think Bombs Lucy Porter

  • The Know Your Voice talk was led by some powerful women. The theme here was getting your voice heard over the noise. This was another panel style talk including Sara Pascoe, Cash Carraway and Miranda Sawyer, who have all been journeys to get to where they are today.

Blogfest 2016 Know Your Voice

In the afternoon I attended two talks that were much more blogging related. The first talk was Building a Brand from your Blog lead by Steph Douglas from Don’t Buy Her Flowers, who used her blog as a stepping stone to set up her own (very successful) business. My key take outs from this were your blog needs to remain true to you and your values. Be clear on your brand pillars, this will help you decide whether an opportunity is right for your blog or not. And lastly take a different stance when writing review posts, this should be about how your post is “useful” for the audience. How can it help them.

The next session was Digital Strategy for Bloggers which was lead by Digital Mums and Alison Perry from Not Another Mummy Blog. What I learnt from this session is content is king. Your blog posts should be what people want to read, and should be something that people are searching for in Google. I have a couple of evergreen posts that I could probably boost with a few keyword and title changes. I also learnt that long-tail keywords will rank much more highly in Google compared to short-tail keywords, and I’ve made a mental note to use these far more going forward.

The Best Bits

Now onto the best bits of the day:

Blogfest 2016 Tribal Chat

  • I finally spoke to Tim from Thatcham Dad, and was a little gutted he wasn’t singing a parody this time. I still have Pretty in Pink in my head from BML16.
  • I mentioned it above, but I have set myself a challenge to have my first vlog published in the next 6 months, no later than the 12th June 2017 (also Kelly from Bringing up Georgia 30th birthday). So watch this space if I’m brave enough to make the move….
  • Meeting up with the #KCACOLS crowd and having our picture taken together. This picture was courtesy of Sunita from Lucky Things Blog. Meeting Sunita was also one of the highlights of my day as we’ve been chatting for a while, and personally I find her inspirational setting up the Lucky Things meet-ups, and trying to fill us with confidence. I’ll be at the next Lucky Things meet up for sure.

Blogfest 2016 KCACOLS Crowd

  • Seeing the Scummy Mummies was one of my favourite parts of the day. I had seen them earlier this year at a baby friendly comedy at The Ivy House donned in gold lycra. This year they were dressed in blue lycra up on stage, taking the p**s out of motherhood.

Blogfest 2016 Scummy Mummies

  • Hearing that people really love my logo, I had this comment quite a lot. This made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. My logo was designed earlier this year by Katie who’s one of my NCT friends, in exchange for a bottle of Gin. I love my logo, and have kept that core identity as people are beginning to recognise that.
  • Meeting up with the lovely Kimberley from Media Mummy and James from A Life Just Ordinary, and sharing some blogging tips on self-hosting, WordPress and DA.
  • Seeing Fran at Whinge, Whinge, Wine winning Best Comic. Well done Fran. We even got a mention from Davina that she liked our whoop in the audience when Fran won.
  • The Prosecco and Cocktails at the end of the day in the bar overlooking the canal. It was good to have a chat and laugh with my fellow bloggers, including having a chat with Franca about linky’s and bumping into Narky Mum who is a friend’s husband’s sister (it’s a small world when it comes to blogging).

Blogfest 2016 Drinks in the Bar

Next time

There were a few things I didn’t do that I’ve learnt for next time:

  • I didn’t speak to many brands this time, I was too busy chatting to bloggers. If I do come to Blogfest again I’ll try to get a little more involved, and give out some business cards.
  • I am also so gutted that I didn’t meet up with Emily from My Petit Canard, next time…
  • Lastly I will take a secret stash of food with me. I only had half a burrito and who wants fish balls? Consequently by 4pm I was starving, and then alcohol got involved at 5pm so the few glasses of Prosecco and Mojito went straight to my head.

Did you go to Blogfest 2016? I would love to read about your experience.

Claire x

My Petit Canard
Pink Pear Bear


  • Sunita

    So cool seeing you Claire. We had a fab time didn’t we? The day goes so quickly. Tim (Thatcham Dad) made a good point that a few of the talks kept referring to mums instead of parents. The intro talk was a good way of waking us all up with a bit of inspiration. Loved the vlogging talk too. Good luck for your first vlogging mission. You’ll be fab. Thanks for the lovely shout out. Catch up soon anyway. X

  • Mouse, Moo and Me Too

    Really lovely meeting you finally! Oh I wish I went to the YouTube session too – not really my bag as a blogger but I love Mother Pukka and i bet the tips were brilliant. You’d best be on it before that deadline! X

  • Lianne harris

    I’ve read some remarks about a lack of acknowledgement of dads which I suppose can put a dampener on their experience but it sounded like I missed out on a great day, even slightly gutted I couldn’t join in the #KCAKOLS snapshot!
    Good luck with the venture into vlogging, I’ve been considering whether I’d do it but I’m definitely not going to yet! I sound like a child still!

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for the comment Jane, so lovely to see you too. A long tail key word is something that is really specific, and used less by others so if searched in Google it will rank higher. For example Shoes is a short tail keyword, and if you add that as a keyword and someone searching Shoes in Google then Nike or Adidas will be the top rank. If you have a keyword such as Best Shoes for Walking with Baby as your keyword and someone searches that keyword in Google you have a better chance of your page ranking high in Google. Does that make sense? I’ve got loads of posts I want I want to change now. Yes steer clear if the PTA ha ha x x

  • Kat

    Ah it was a great day and so lovely to see so many amazing bloggers! I can’t believe we didn’t actually say hello despite being in the #KCACOLS photo! The scummy mummies were fab, I’ll be listening to their pod casts on the school run now haha! #MarvMondays

  • The Mum Reviews

    Thanks for sharing some of the bits of advice you learned from sessions I didn’t attend, like the thing about long tail keywords. I wish you luck with the blogging goal too! Despite the serious lack of food and daytime booze, and some unfortunate man-bashing, there were still a lot of interesting and inspiring bits. The best thing was meeting other bloggers though. So enjoyed meeting you!

  • Jo (Mother of Teenagers)

    It’s so nice to read a lovely positive review of your day as there has been so much negative comment. Also great to hear the best bits of advice you pulled out from the day which is always great if you haven’t been able to make it. Thanks. #bigpinklink

  • Tooting Mama

    Ooh thanks for the write up, I would have love to attend and see all these amazing mummy bloggers in real life, and the fantastic roll call of speakers, what a super treat! Thank you so much! #MarvMondays

  • My Petit Canard

    Im so gutted we didnt get to meet either! Definitely next time 😉 It looks and sounds like you had a great experience. I love the angle that you’ve captured your post in – things that you took away from it which made me think about what I’d taken away from it. Meeting other bloggers was definitely the highlight! Great recap post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

  • the frenchie mummy

    I love the positivity in your post. It looks like you had such a great time! I didn’t bring business cards but I don’t think it was the point here. I am not too disappointed about networking with brands. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Let your light shine Mummy

    I’ve read another blog, which was about the more feminist aspect, so it’s great to get another side, though it does seem that the food is a running theme. It’s so helpful to read this and get some understanding of Blogfest. I haven’t been to any conferences yet. I will eventually. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Ali Duke

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned some great stuff. I have never been to a blogging event, partly due to cost and partly as I am a bit scared lol. I will get to an event at some point as it would be lovely to meet all og you beautiful blogging ladies.

  • Lucy grace

    It sounds like you had a great time! I’m aware that there was some unrest about the degree of feminism that made dad bloggers uncomfortable and sympathise with them but I would still love to come to the conference myself in future. It sounds like a great way to meet fellow bloggers and learn some interesting things… I’ve learnt so much from this post alone so thank you!xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • The Mum Project

    I wish I could have gone, I was on a media business course for work, really different worlds! Would have rather been at Blogfest : ). The Think Bombs sound really interesting and the Scummy Mummies look hilarious, hopefully I’ll get to meet up with you guys next time! : ) #fortheloveofblog

  • Morgan Prince

    I’m so happy to read the positives from someone else. I’m glad you had a good time, I have to agree about the food and I’ll be sure to take a packed lunch with me next time!

  • Sam

    Sounds like you had a fantastic day. I would love to attend one of these events in the future, they sound very inspiring.

  • Kirsty - Winnettes

    This looks like lots of fun, I wish I had been able to make it. I will look out for your first vlog, I also find Mother Pukka really inspirational. I don’t think I could vlog either, I’m not sure I would have the confidence… who knows!

  • Claire

    Having only started my blog in August I haven’t been to any conferences or anything yet, but i’m hoping to step it up a bit next year, alongside a new theme and hopefully, a recognisable logo of my own! It sounds like such an interesting day! x #fortheloveofblog

  • Louise -Mummy Miller

    I really wish I had gone to Blogfest now, it looks great! I love Mother Pukka, I love she just says it how it is and doesn’t hold back. Good luck with the vlogging, I would love to vlog but I think I would find it awkward chatting to the camera, but I suppose with time you get used to it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • melissa

    We really want to get ourselves to blogfest next year, everyone has had such different experiences it sounds brilliant!
    Interesting you mentioned about it mostly being woman in attendance. #fortheloveofblog

  • Sara

    Ah, very insightful, thank you! I can’t wait to go to my first one, hopefully next year! Good luck with your vlog challenge – I don’t know if I’ll ever get there! #fortheloveofBLOG

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