I’m an introvert at heart… and show business – even though I’ve loved it so much – has always been hard for me – Roy Rogers.
This time two weeks ago, I got the message to say that I was going to a charity dinner with Victoria, from In The Frow, for The BHF’s #WearItBeatIt campaign. The flurry of excitement was insane, as was the quick shopping trip to Oxford Street and back. In the midst of this, and weeks before, I had forgotten that I had been invited to attend an Ibiza style #BlogAtTheBeach at Lambert’s Yard in Leeds with Ice Lolly on Saturday 3rd June. To be honest, when I got the invite, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to afford the train ticket there as I had no job and not a lot of money. However, when your favourite travel blogger in the form of Jess from The Travelista is a speaker at said event, you just make it happen. Somehow. I booked the train ticket just three days before heading to Leeds from London at 8.45am, then heading back to Liverpool at 5.45pm after a night with The BHF. It was a whirlwind of a weekend.
We had three incredible speakers at the event: Rhianna, Jen and Jess. These are women who I have followed and been inspired by for quite a long time. Each talk was on something completely different to the other, leaving us with a rounded sphere of new blogging tips and tricks that each of us could take home to apply to our own blogs, social media and lives.
Rhianna Bowe: How To Absolutely Boss Instagram Organically
Jen Lowthrop: Fun Creativity Techniques For Busy Bloggers
Jess Gibson: How To Monetise Your Blog
Each talk was as informative and fascinating as the others, with real insight into what successful bloggers do in order to maintain their creativity, their social stats and their money. People don’t realise just how much work goes into blogging and the entire digital world around it. There are things that I learnt during these talks that I had no idea about before despite blogging daily, whilst trying to build an audience.
TOP TIPS I LEARNT
How To Absolutely Boss Instagram Organically
- The new algorithm (stupid, stupid Instagram) favours more posts and if they are posted regularly.
- There is a newsletter called Me & Orla which shares the top hashtags being used currently.
- It is only business accounts, or “premium” users, that can use the scroll up link on Insta Stories.
- Interacting with other accounts before and after you post will create more engagement on your own feed.
Fun Creativity Techniques For Busy Bloggers
- Don’t be embarrassed to write what you want to write.
- Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
- Don’t be afraid of your opinion.
- The ultimate scrapbook – write, draw, stick, paint anything over three or four pages daily; chapter it off using an elastic band; when finished, read through it and highlight inspirational stuff for future blog posts.
How To Monetise Your Blog
- Use canva.com to design a cool media kit.
- Keep hold of creative control with sponsored content.
- Be aware of follow and no follow links.
- Reach out and pitch to the marketing of a brand.
- Look at what other bloggers are currently promoting and see if you can help out too.
BEING AN INTROVERT AT AN EVENT
I would say that I am an introvert. I’m the kinda girl who enjoys to sit, on my own, in my room with my nose in a book, or watching a film on Netflix, or writing in solitude. I love my own company, and as much as I would love to be in a huge girl gang (that’s not online), it’s just not for me. I prefer to see one person at a time, and I love how close my best friends and I are. That is not to say I don’t love going out, or having a laugh with a lot of people. I do. Mum calls me a social butterfly; I believe I am an outgoing introvert to a degree: a person who loves to be social for a specific time frame but then also wants to curl up in a blanket, on my own, with the next book and a load of chocolate.
It can be hard to be the newbie at an event, even harder when you’re not as outgoing as people who have already formed their bonds with other people, bloggers or not. I went into that event not knowing a single person, really. I had spoken to Jess before on Twitter, but I hadn’t ever met her or anyone else in the room IRL (in real life). It was a little scary; walking into a room full of people on your own always is, but I ended up having a fab time, if a little regretful I didn’t speak to more people.
Here are five of my tips if you are an introvert heading to your first big event, even if you’re arriving alone:
1. Find a buddy. You know how in school you always had that one person to cling to if you needed anything at all. It’s kinda the same. If you are alone and they are alone, team up. Make conversation. Make a new friend. I did this twice last week: once at #BlogAtTheBeach and then at the #BSCxBloggers – it makes it so much easier to navigate the entire event; plus, you don’t look or feel like the odd one out.
2. Smile. I have the curse of the resting bitch face at times, and when I don’t wear glasses, I squint and people probably think I’m looking at them funny. If you smile, wholeheartedly, you look like a more approachable person which is better for everyone in the room. Nobody wants to be remembered as the miserable one who didn’t seem approachable.
3. Go up to people. It sounds daunting – and I need to take more of my own advice – but just do it. Introduce yourself, say hi! I read someone’s tweet the other day which said “I say I love their shoes” to break the ice. If you start with a compliment and a smile, there’s no way they can turn round and be rude to you. If they are, they are definitely not worth your time.
4. Take part in the activities. Again, I didn’t do this at #BlogAtTheBeach, when I really should have. Not should have, but it would have been better for my confidence and my blog to do so. I’ve always been the kind of person who hates taking part in group games, or discussions, or activities. I always have this notion in my head that I’m going to do or say something embarrassing, or wrong, when I more-than-likely won’t. Even now, aged 25, I’ll go bright red if I’m in a room full of people and even ask a simple question, thinking that it’s silly or stupid. I don’t have that kind of confidence. I’m much better one-on-one. In that comfort zone, I don’t care if the question or comment is stupid. However, if you do take part in those activities, it will only increase your confidence.
If you would like to see any more posts about being an introvert, or even being a shy person, let me know in the comments below, or tweet me @fayebelinexo !
When I first heard of Ice Lolly, I was seventeen. I was so sceptical of using it because I just couldn’t believe that you could buy an entire holiday through a website. Clearly, you can because look at how the world works now! We almost don’t need travel agent “shops” any more as we can do it all ourselves through a simple click. I can also vouch that there are people on the other end of the Ice Lolly website and they are extremely lovely.
Ice Lolly is a price comparison site, a hub for all-inclusive holidays and a place for current travel inspiration. They work in partnership with TV, charities and bloggers which gives a huge range of fresh ideas, competitions and much, much more.
If you’re looking for a holiday, go to their website. If you’re looking for inspiration, head to their Instagram page @icelollyholiday.
There were around eighty people at #BlogAtTheBeach and that is a whole lot of creative geniuses in one room. Despite not getting to see and speak to everyone there, I did speak to quite a few, and then found some more on Twitter! Every one of us bloggers in that room was different. Even if we all blog about travel, we all do it at a different angle. For example, Jess from The Travelista is primarily a luxury travel blogger with brands such as the Five Seasons wanting her to blog for them; I, on the other hand, write about backpacking and living in hostels. Another lady I met there doesn’t even write about travel; she is a Harry Potter fan and writes about being a carer for her mum. Another woman is married and shares her life; another couple of ladies I met run their own blog all about tea.
We can all use our voices and tell our stories in this saturated blogging world, because we’re all different. Events such as Ice Lolly’s #BlogAtTheBeach is a fantastic way to meet different bloggers who have so much to talk about. I can’t wait for the next one at the end of the year!
Who else went to #BlogAtTheBeach? Is anyone else intrigued to go to the next event?
Love, Faye xo