Last Saturday, I got up absurdly early and hopped on the 7am train to take a little trip to Birmingham for the Blognix blogging conference.
Now in its second year, Blognix was established by Elizabeth Sellers who blogs over at Rosalilium, as well as running the Big Blogging Bootcamp and blogging challenges like Blog Every Day in May (yeah, that one I didn’t quite complete this year, shhh).
I’d never been to a blogging event before, so wasn’t sure what to expect. The introvert in me was a little bit anxious of being around lots of people, but it was so friendly, inclusive and welcoming that I needn’t have worried. And there was cake! Definitely my kind of event.
It was rather funny meeting people you ‘know’ on social media, only recognising people by their Twitter handle and, sadly, missing a few people because I don’t know what they look like ‘in real life’ (#socialmediaproblems, obvs).
The venue, The Custard Factory, a refurbished factory-cum-art and office space in Digbeth, was the perfect setting as well with so many interesting shops, and nooks and crannies to get lost in over lunch (I took so many photos I’m going to have to do another post).
The day kicked off with four talks in the morning, starting with a very interesting one from Elizabeth on branding your blog, followed by an inspiring session on freelancing from Emma Cossey of the site Freelance Lifestyle. It was great to hear from someone carving out a successful freelance career, and she introduced me to the word ‘multipotentialite’ (which one of my fellow delegates wrote a good post on here).
Next up was Hayley from Bonjour, Blogger talking about the infamously tricky subject of disclosure. And then the brilliantly name Ahmed Ahmed of Dine Birmingham showed us how running an offline event can be a worthwhile marketing exercise for your blog, rather than just a social event.
By lunch time my head was already buzzing with so many ideas, I wasn’t sure I could stuff anymore in. But the afternoon’s workshops soon saw to that. I learnt how to podcast with the ever hilarious Sam and Lea from The High Tea Cast, about working with brands from Hayley the London Beauty Queen, and finally, how to capture everyday moments with the gorgeous Capture by Lucy (who has an equally gorgeous blog).
There were three other workshops running concurrently which looked great too, I only wish I could have split myself in two and seen them all – even the one about tax!
The day was topped off with a talk by local girl Justice Williams MBE who shared her story of how she turned a passion for working with young people in Birmingham into an entrepreneurial career. A truly remarkable woman.
And with that it was time for me to run to the station and catch my train back up north. But not without snapping this picture which summed up my day in the Midlands perfectly.
It really was such an inspirational day, full of interesting and creative people. And it’s definitely made me want to come back and explore the city some more. Birmingham, I will be back!