I’m sure any blogger out there will agree that the blogosphere/blogland/whatever you want to call it has felt kind of… rubbish at the moment. We’re all feeling a little jaded about blogging and social media, or less than enthused about it at the very least. There was the saga with fake followings and seeing people cheating the system… that Cosmo article saying there’s no room for anyone else… and of course endless irritation with the ever changing (and never helpful) algorithms making progress damn near impossible. The blogosphere doesn’t seem like the rosy and supportive place it used to be. (Sound like an old person going on about ‘the good old days’ now don’t I?).
Sitting behind our computer screens, with phones glued to our hands, and complaining about how crappy the situation is only makes us feel crappier. It does for me, anyway. Getting out and actually talking to other bloggers does the opposite – it makes you feel inspired, creative, and positive. Needless to say Saturday’s #BlogAtTheBeach event did exactly that! A bunch of bloggers, interesting talks, and lots of Sangria turned out to be a winning combo. This was the 4th Blog at the beach organised by IceLolly but the first I’ve been able to attend, and I’ll definitely be heading to Leeds for the next one too.
An afternoon of mingling and bouncing good ideas around was exactly what the blogosphere needed at the moment. It’s so easy to become caught up in your own little bloggy bubble so bouncing ideas off each other (like Jen had us doing in her talk) can be so helpful to open your eyes a little. With every social network and blog page having analytics features now it’s also easy to find yourself analysing things to the extreme too, which can be both the best and worst thing to do. In Rhianna‘s talk about growing Instagram organically, she mentioned how posting 10 minutes away from her usual schedule (derived from analytics showing when followers are most active) makes a huge difference to her Instagram engagement. There’s no denying that sometimes calculated measures are the way to go. However like Jen said in her talk on blogging creativity, sometimes we need to forget ‘perfect’ and just post. Analytics and trying to fit a mold can become suffocating; sometimes you just need to be yourself, take risks, and not be embarrassed.
I find that being around a group of people with something in common but all very different personalities is the best way to feel inspired. At events like this everybody ‘gets’ blogging but does so in their own unique way, which is the best part of it. And even if not everything you’re told is news to you, just hearing things in real life in that creative environment gives you a kick up the bum far more than reading another Pinterest article does. Great as the Internet is, it’s SO important to connect in real life too, because my god can searching a phone screen for inspiration be bad for the sanity sometimes. I’ve met some fabulous friends through blogging and want to continue to make more – both online and off!
Amongst the bloggy stuff, I also learnt some other things: A) it is possible to dress for an Ibiza theme in the UK when you factor in weak air con, and B) there is no dignified way to eat corn on the cob.
Big thanks to IceLolly for hosting a fab event!
Lily Kate x