Brit Mums Live 2016 The Verdict

Posted on July 10th, 2016

The One I nearly didn’t Attend.

This was my 4th Brit Mums Live and the one I almost didn’t attend. Why? I was feeling a bit of an old blogger in every sense of the word. After 5 years of blogging and 3 great Brit Mums Events, I felt my blog was perhaps a little ‘old hat’ and that actually so was I as one of the older Mummy Bloggers on the scene. In my mind it was perhaps time to leave things to the new wave of successful young Mums coming though this year. The early bird tickets came and went and I let it ride until:

  1. My Mum’s disappointment that I wouldn’t be going to stay with her in June as had become a tradition for my attending Brit Mums.
  2. I was shortlisted in an incredible 2 BIBs categories.

Both these factors played on my mind, I didn’t want to let my Mum down and my confidence in my blog bounced back. I bought a ticket.

The Fringe Party

New for 2016   

After a  girly 24 hour catch up with my Mum, I was excited to be heading into London to find the Fringe Party.

Yikes real London! Now to work out which way I’m supposed to walk! #BML16 #fringeparty

A photo posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

Hosted by Holiday Inn overlooking Camden Lock it made the perfect party venue. The  wine flowed and the chat rose. For me this was a wonderfully relaxed way to start Brit Mums .

 

#BML16 #fringeparty getting underway tonight thank you @britmums and @hicamden for a great evening

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

Meeting  newer bloggers I’ve come into contact with this year as well as catching up with old friends is what makes me feel part of the blogging community. I felt I had more time to start a good conversation here than at the main event. If you didn’t go this year I can thoroughly recommend it as part of future Brit Mums Live events.   

 

Brit Mums Live Fringe Party with fellow bloggers

Photo stars: Catching up with Mari of Maris World, Emily of A Mummy Too who I can’t believe I’ve not spoken too before now, Wayfair UK, Susanna of A Modern Mother who again I’ve never managed to catch up with during the main event as she is busy hosting BML, Cathy of Mummy Travels who I’ve shared a bottle of wine with putting the world to rights at Coombe Mill,  the bubbly Nadine from Juggle Mummy and stunning Jen from Jenography and co founder of Brit Mums, the wonderfully friendly Franca of A Moment With Franca, and a Clare from Tin box Traveller who shares some lovely adventures with me on #CountryKids. Another Claire I was delighted to finally meet was Claire Justine, and catch up with the lovely Gretta from Mums do Travel and Penny who blogs at Aresidence. I met Kirstie, one half of the Family Adventure Project, briefly touched base with Vic of Vevivos then embarrassed myself by not remembering I’d met the lovely welsh Mummy of 5 Claire from Dairy of the Evans Crittens who always joins Country  Kids with such fun family adventures from  and the ever friendly Steph of Steph’s Two Girls.  

Brit Mums Life: The Main Event  

I was back into London on the train bright and early Saturday for Brit Mums Live supporting my ‘School Uniform’; a clever branded dress from Bags of Love.  Never again do I need to worry about what to wear to a blogging event, only to remember to breath in as it is not very forgiving on my multiple mummy tummy!

 

Wearing a Coombe Mill Holidays Branded Dress at #BML16

 

The whole day seemed to disappear in a merry blur of meeting and greeting friends, enjoying cake and dashing between the breakout sessions. How could I ever have considered missing all of this?

 

Brit Mums Live 2016

 

Photo Stars above include the talented and vivacious Vicki from Honest Mum, uplifting Michelle From The Joy Chaser, comical cartoon illustrator Jo from Heir Raising who makes me laugh every time I visit her blog, super blogger Aby from You Baby Me Mummy. Absent from photos but I was delighted to meet: Emma from Island Living, Tim from Slouching towards Thatcham who amazed us all with his singing, and the delightful Jane from Maflingo Blog as well as catching up with old friends: Catherine from Cultural Wednesdays,  John from Dad Blog UK and long time blogging friend Joanne from The Boy and Me.

I know I spoke to so many more than I have photos for and mentions here, I must have just been wrapped up in the moment and left my camera languishing at my side. Huge apologies if you are not here, I genuinely loved meeting everyone at Brit Mums Live that I came into contact with and you all made my day special.  

My Brit Mums Live key learning

 

Brit Mums Live 16 Sessions and Speakers attended by Coombe Mill

Photo Stars: Jen and Suzanna the amazing Brit Mums founders introducing the day, Judith Lewis who is wonderful at explaining SEO in simple actionable language, Julie from The Fat Girls Gide to Running who I actually had a lovely chat to at the Fringe Party the night before, Emily of A Mummy Too talking Pinterest need to knows, Gori Yahaya explaining Google Analytics.

I have come away with 2 pages of scribbled notes from sessions I attended and have listed my key learning across the groups below. The one I beneffited from most from was SEO, I went last year too and found it so helpful. Please Brit Mums can this session go on longer next year. It generates so many questions and always overruns.

  • Don’t spam your photo alt tabs with key words, Google may penalise you. Alt tabs are designed to be photo descriptions for blind people. I had thought I was being very clever tagging “Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall” onto the end of all my descriptions. That stops today!
  • Get your follow and no follow balance right. Google likes to see a good mix. Do follow bloggers you are commending on a post link and no follow any paid for posts. Not to do so risks being penalised by Google – if you are reported. I have been inclined to ‘no follow’ all but the most relevant link in fear of the wroth of Google, but this isn’t the best plan.
  • Don’t republish an old post with changes to increase its SEO, just make the update and safe as it is unless you want it to rank head of your latest posts as the changes as so significant and relevant to the current time.
  • Only your Landing page is SEO ranked, not the extra elements in a ‘read more’ link so get your key message at the top.
  • Keep an eye on AMP (accelerated mobile pages) they’re going to become critical in the future as mobile searching overtakes lap and PC use.
  • In email marketing link via a hyperlink not a click through picture. It will have a greater response as not everyone will think to click a photo.
  • If you subscribe to the paid for version of mail chimp it will help you to identify the best times of day to send out your email marketing campaign, however the free version is surprisingly helpful  to get you started.
  • In Pinterest make sure you are on a business account and have your rich pins sorted ( I still need to add the coding to mine).
  • Make sure you register to be pinned by Pinterest 
  • Google will index your Pinterest account in board order so make sure your most important boards and current season boards are towards the top.
  • Pinterest searches are months in advance, so make sure you are thinking Halloween and Christmas now and ‘How to’ and ‘Round up’ posts are the most commonly repined.
  • for help understanding Google Analytics to measure your blog success check out Google Digital Garage.
  • Make sure your blog is mobile friendly. Check this at Google webmaster tools which will show you how many things on your site fail at mobile level.
There were plenty more tips from the day, these were just the ones that I needed to act on. 

The Brilliance in Blogging Awards

As if needed, this was another chance to catch up with friends over a drink.

 

BiBs Party 2016 at the Brewery London

Photo stars include: Long time blogging friends: Helen from Actually Mummy whose work I always admire, Charly from Podcast who always oozes confidence and success, Clare from Emmy’s Mummy, one of my first ever Blogging chums and always a friendly ear, Louise from Little Hearts Big Love with the prettiest dress on the night, Darren with the lovely photos at photalife and my Cornish blogging friend Stevie from A Cornish Mum.  

I was a finalist in Readers choice but never in my wildest dreams did I think I could win. Up against blogs I admire I was happy to watch and congratulate the overwhelmed and happy winners of each category as they  received their awards. Then suddenly it was me. Totally blown away I don’t remember too much after that but thankfully I was sat with photo loving Darren of photalife who took over my camera for me and Liska of New Mum on Line who videoed me and all the other winners going up on stage. Thank you both, you have captured a great moment for me.

 

Readers' Choice Awards at the BIBs for Coombe Mill

This was the icing on the cake of a thoroughly enjoyable Brit Mums live and I’m thrilled with my award and bubbly.

Readers' Choice Award for Coombe Mill in the BiBs

 

I won’t be dithering over purchasing my ticket for Brit Mums Live next year (#BML17) and already look forward to catching up with everyone again.

Outstanding Action

There is just one thing niggling at the back of my mind. I promised to jump from the bridge into the river if I won in the BiBs. Oh heck! My teens say it is OK for the triplets but I’m too big and could break a leg as it isn’t deep enough. I didn’t want to chicken out completely and let the kids have a giggle by taking my turn on a rather hair raising zip wire at a local attraction. It flies up so high at the end you loose your seat and it’s a struggle to cling on. Oh Brit Mums Live remind me not to make silly promises again!