Pro Blogging, Vlogging And Writing Tips

I have just got back from my second #blogcampuk hosted by the fabulous Tots100 team and their partners, Frank PR and Cow & Gate.  120 bloggers swarmed to The Studio in Birmingham for an awesome hangout  and bucket loads of coffee.  Just as well as my blogging bestie, Kaz from Ickle Pickle was up at 3am to get to the venue on time!  Now that’s dedication for you.

It was amazing to feel the energy of having so many creative folk hanging out in one place with an appetite for taking their blogging to the next level.  The day was packed with great speakers sharing their knowledge to support the blogging community. With pens, cameras and phones at the ready we were a social media sponge poised to soak up the gems that were being thrown our way.  

Top Blogging, Vlogging and Writing TipsAfter a fab opening from Flea and the awesome Sally Whittle we gathered our worldly possessions and headed of to our first session to arrive in the wrong room!  Whoops! About turn and back downstairs for Pro Blogging with the lovely Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard Hill.  What a cracking pair of ladies and here’s the low down of what they had to say.

Pro Blogging
  • A Professional blogger is just someone who earns money from blogging.
  • It’s hard work, takes way longer than you think and is even crap sometimes.
  • As your audience grows, expect negative comments.
  • Have faith in yourself, network and put yourself out there.
  • Learn how to sell and market yourself. If you need help with this, why not look into something like l.a seo experts (if you’re in the US) to help with the digital marketing side of your blog.
  • Be prepared to give up your privacy
  • Charity opportunities give positive exposure and create good blogging karma.
  • Time management is crucial to keeping on top of your workload.
  • Set yourself goals and make a plan to help achieve them.
  • Invest in your blog design to attract brands to work with you. Most people use WordPress when it comes to the design of their blog, and this requires a good wordpress hosting provider, which can be found at many sites on the internet.
  • Think about the other ways to add value to your blog and develop different income streams i.e. ebooks, speaking, videos etc
  • Have a professional, up to date media pack.
  • Collect testimonials about your work, screen grab tweets where people have bought products from your reviews etc.
  • Have a sliding payments scale and be flexible with clients.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about what opportunities others have, as it’s a big pond and things will come your way too.

There was also an awesome session from vlogging genius Helpful Mum.  Here’s the lowdown from her session to get you (and me) started on our vlogging journey.  Let’s nail this thing, right!

Vlogging
  • Vlogging is a way of sharing stories, reviews, days out etc on camera.
  • Vlogs get more interaction, creates more opportunities and generates more income than blogging alone.
  • Set up your YouTube channel with banners, thumbnails and branding.
  • Be relaxed on camera, if you’re not viewers will find it difficult to watch.
  • Vlogs reach out to viewers in a really personal way.
  • Don’t leave a pause at the beginning of a vlog, you need to hook people straight away.
  • To get started all you need is a phone or camera, a tripod and some editing software.  Know your editing software inside and out.
  • Always film with your phone the right way round to avoid the black bars at the side.
  • Use widescreen
  • Make sure you have good lighting and think about sound.
  • Look into the camera to help you connect with your audience.
  • Pretend to be someone else to help you get over your nerves.
  • Have a short welcome video to tell viewers what they can expect from your channel.
  • Always check the copyright situation when  using music on videos.
  • Tell a story with your videos, and stick to it. Edit out unnecessary shots, no matter how cute they are!
  • Keep transitions between clips simple.
  • Don’t forget to transition changes in music too.
  • When you publish a video the first 48 hours are crucial in terms of promotion.
  • Organise your channel with playlists and featured channels.
  • Use keywords first in your vlog titles.
  • Use end slates to guide your viewers to vlogs they might like to watch next.

Possibly my favourite session of the day was about writing tips from Fiona who worked as a journalist with the BBC for over 20 years and now runs courses on how to improve writing skills.  Her tips were awesome.

Writing For Your Blog
  • Great story telling is essential for an engaging blog.
  • Develop your characters who feature on your blog, including yourself.
  • Make reviews more interesting by featuring a character like the waiter at the restaurant.
  • Make the top line interesting to hook the reader.
  • Your structure doesn’t always have to be chronological, start your blog post with the most interesting thing you want to share with your readers.  Often it’s what you’d tell your friends in the pub about what you did that day.
  • Use simple, clear and easy to understand language.
  • Keep sentences short. Be concise.
  • Use the delayed drop to tease your readers to create suspense.  This is when you allude to what is going to happen or refer to it without giving the reader all the details.

Blog camp is an amazing resource for bloggers, and best of all it’s free.  It’s a fantastic learning and networking opportunity for new and established bloggers.  If you are at all nervous about attending, it really is one of the friendliest atmosphere’s I’ve experienced.  Connecting with bloggers attending before the day is a great way of settling those nerves.

If you  found this post helpful, please do share it with your followers.

Zenas Suitcase
Zena

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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20 Comments

  1. April 26, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Fantastic tips Zena!! Disappointed a missed this. I have never been to any blogger met ups or events yet, got my very first event this Tuesday with Evelyn & Crabtree.
    Natasha Mairs (Serenity You) recently posted…Weekend Reads – #1My Profile

  2. April 26, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    This is fantastic Zena – thankyou. I wanted to go to the vlogging session but also to a photography one, so I’ve just been scribbling down your vlogging notes in my book!

  3. April 26, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    Mummy says ‘It was SO good to see you! Thank you for the mention. Great post, capturing the highlights of a great day! See you soon x’

  4. April 27, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing your top tips from the day. From what I’ve seen across social media, it sounds like it was a really valuable day. Interested in the writing tips – they echo what I’ve said on my own blogging tips posts about keeping things concise, simple and working hard to really hook readers with your post titles and first lines. I think that’s so important, and while many bloggers don’t blog with the specific aim of improving their writing, remembering basic tips like this makes a bit difference, I think.
    Tim recently posted…Not often, just sometimesMy Profile

  5. April 27, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    It really was fantastic wasn’t it? It as my first TOTS 100 blogcamp and my second conference and I thought it was relaxed and informal. I too enjoyed the pro-blogging session. Great post xx

  6. April 28, 2015 / 7:26 am

    Blog Camp sounded like so much fun! Gutted I missed it, but thanks for sharing these tips. #myfavouritepost
    Emily recently posted…Family Tree Personalised PrintMy Profile

  7. April 28, 2015 / 7:45 am

    Some really useful tips; I’ve noted a few down, thanks for the valuable information. xx #MyfavouritePost

  8. April 28, 2015 / 11:33 am

    Your post has made me feel allot more at ease about attending a blog camp, I’ve been to nervous and thought I was out of my depth to even consider going before. Great post really helpful.
    #MyFavouritePost

  9. April 28, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    What a great write up. It was a fabulous day. I am glad you enjoyed the vlogging session and I’m looking forward to seeing your videos.
    HelpfulMum recently posted…Vlogging tips from Blog Camp 2015My Profile

  10. April 29, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Lots of really useful stuff there. Maybe next year I’ll go. #myfavouritepost

  11. April 30, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    Every BlogCamp post I read makes me feel more gutted that I missed out! Sounds like you had a great time hon, thanks for sharing what you learned 🙂 can’t wait to meet you at Brit Mums lovely xx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…My Journey to Liking MyselfMy Profile

  12. June 28, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing these tips. Blog Camp sounds like a great event to attend. I am really tempted by vlogging and your enthusiasm for it has been rubbing off on me. I think that I am going to start practicing doing it for a while before I actually publish anything, to build up my confidence and to think about what I want to focus on when vlogging. I’m glad to hear that this conference had such a friendly atmosphere. x
    Bek Dillydrops recently posted…#MySundayPhoto 28th June 2015My Profile

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Whether you are looking for travel tips to make the most of your next cruise holiday or you need UK travel ideas we’ve got you covered on Zena’s Suitcase UK travel blog.  We started sharing our holiday and travel reviews in 2013, so if you can’t find the travel, family or lifestyle blog above you are after make sure you head over to the search bar to find what you need.  Think of us as one of the best travel blogs brimming with ideas to get you out and about with and without the kids.