I remember when I first started blogging, I used to look at bloggers going to blogging conferences in awe and I hope that one day I would be able to go to. BlogOn was actually one of the first-ever blogging conferences I went to. I remember it fondly as this lady I had never met before had volunteered to give me a lift and just turned up at my house and drove me there. That lady was AK from The German Wife and we have been friends ever since.
BlogOn has been going for years and is a much looked forward to event in the blogging calendar. It is a great way to meet up, network with other bloggers and brands. The social aspect for me is one of the best parts. This year had even more significance after lockdown and such a long time since we have done anything like this.
This year was my fourth Blogon, fifth if you count the virtual event last year. It never fails to deliver. From Laura Seaton’s sweary introduction, to an array of talented, humourous and insightful speakers. The Brand room is superb for networking and the goody bag is enviable and spectacular. In the evening the wine flows, the disco is the source of much merriment and all in all I just had a fantastic day. As soon as tickets for next year were released this week, I purchased them straight away.
This year, while we were happily having a blast. A few internet trolls decided to take exception. There is a website which I will not name or give any more airtime than I really have to, that simply exists to my mind (and I have made a deal with myself never to read it since the one and only time I looked), to be unkind, ridicule and bully bloggers and influencers. And it got me thinking, at what point did ‘mummy blogger’ (and there were plenty of Dad there too) or ‘influencer’ become dirty words. Often said with a sneer or perhaps a roll of the eye.
There are exceptions to every rule, but a lot of the ones I know actually work quite hard. They’re good writers, creative, social media experts, talented at photography and video making. Never mind the SEO and technical aspects that go with the role.
Amongst the speakers at BlogOn there were people who have become published authors, contributors to leading magazines, those that manage large scale social media campaigns for leading businesses and establishments. I saw people who had achieved amazing things through their platforms. Raised thousands of pounds for charity. Brought greater awareness around autism, learning and disability needs. People who had gone to parliament as a consequence of their blogging and given evidence in issues that affect motherhood and parenting. For the greater good of all parents in the UK. One of the highlights of my own blogging career was participating in the government’s roadmap to equality.
I love how social media has changed the rules of marketing and advertising. Like everything it has its dark side, but I love seeing people succeed. I often buy things I see shared, and get inspired by home decor and organisation tips. People share their passion, challenging beliefs and educating along the way. It’s just a new and emergent way of marketing. Surely this is something to be applauded and respected? Working hard and striving towards your own success?
When I started blogging, I never expected to make money from it. It was a creative outlet for me, a way of coping whilst being at home with a toddler and a baby with a dairy allergy where some days I thought I might be going mad. But the fact that I do now is something I am so very grateful for. So if you ever feel like sneering or being mean about a blogger remember that most of them are just normal Mums or parents you see on the school run, very few are crazy rich. We are all just trying to get by in this mad world and if any are not your cup of tea, simply unfollow. But for now, I will smile at my memories from BlogOn and look forward to next year.