36 brilliant blogging tips I learned at BritMums Live 2015

Blog School

Wow! What an incredible two days my first experience of Britmums Live was. I met so many amazing people, learned so much and have come back so inspired and raring to go.

I’ve only been blogging for 10 months or so, and while my career as a journalist has definitely helped me with the writing element, the technical side has been an incredible learning curve for me. I’ve had plenty of advice from more experienced bloggers, for which I am truly thankful – but BritMums Live, held at The Brewery in London, was like a crash course in all the things I feel I have been winging it in, with some of the country’s top bloggers and experts in social media sharing their expertise.

Here’s some of the best tips from the sessions I attended. You can see my photo round up of the weekend here.

Blogging tips BritMums Live


Key note speech by Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella

Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love Ella and her amazing blog and book. Her story of how healthy eating transformed her life is so inspiring – so I was thrilled when I found out she was going to at Britmums Live.

I got to her key note speech ridiculously early, sat right at the front, made pages and pages of notes – and when I saw her stood by herself, went over and introduced myself to her.

Someone who gets over a million hits a month, and has had a best-selling book on both sides of the Atlantic, is definitely worth listening to. Here’s a few snippets of what she said:

“Staying authentic is the most important thing. No one else can be you.”

“Respond to everything. It’s about knowing what people want. My blog has definitely been tailored to everyone’s questions and comments and what they want to learn.”

On selfies: “Becoming a person people can relate to is part of your blog becoming a brand. But there’s a thin line between that and ‘here’s my face again’.”

Be consistent. Share at the same time every week and be consistent in tone, visually, and timing. It’s great for growing your audience.


Key note speech by Victoria Wright, disability and disfigurement rights campaigner

Victoria’s beautiful and heartfelt speech had me in tears. She was diagnosed with cherubism as a child, which has caused disfigurement to her face, and openly shared her experiences of being horribly bullied at school. She now worries what will happen when her own daughter starts full-time school and classmates start to ask questions. Victoria’s incredible positivity was so inspiring.

She says that one day she suddenly realised, “It was not my face that made me unhappy; it was other people’s reactions to my face.” As that old adage goes, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

And on blogging:

“I am inspired every day by the blogs I read. During times in my life when I really needed it, their stories have been of enormous help to me.”

Something to remember when you get those days when you wonder what you are blogging for. Your words could be just the inspiration someone else needs to hear to help them through a difficult time.


Advanced Google+ with James Dearsley, Digital Marketing Bureau

I can do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and have just about got the hang of Pinterest. However, when it comes to Google+, I’m lagging behind. I’d like to understand it better and make the most of it and although this session was possibly a little too advanced for me, it really helped me understand its potential. James talked a lot about the different advantages of having a page or a profile, how to take apps out of GooglePlus to use on your blog, such as hangouts – which he has really inspired me to look into – so that you can divert traffic to your own site, and how different tools within Google+ can help make building a social network easier.

James shared this quote, which might be obvious, but is definitely worth remembering.

“Everyone starts out with nobody listening to them and nobody to listen to. How and who you add determines what will become for you.” @pistachio

Also, when sharing content, “Work on a 4 to 1 basis. For every one of your own posts, share four others.”


How successful bloggers do it – with Helen McGinn of The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club; Vicki Psarias of Honest Mum; and Becky Wiggins of English Mum.

Lots of great nuggets of information here, as three top bloggers revealed the secrets of their success. There was lots of talk about what success actually means – and it’s not just about the money.

“Be tenacious. Reach out to brands. Don’t ever feel your blog is too small. Believe in yourself.” – Honest Mum

“Look outside your genre, not just other parent bloggers, see what they are doing and how it can inspire your blog.” – Honest Mum

“Put a value on what you do. If people are using you as a channel for communication, you should charge them.” – Honest Mum

“A real mark of the success of your blog is comments – if someone has read it and wants to comment on it.” – Knackered Mother’s Wine Club

“It’s important to be you and not change yourself to fit someone else.” – English Mum

“It’s so important to have a positive voice on social media. When I did an advertising campaign with Sainsbury’s, they went through all my social media to see if I fitted.” English Mum


Define Your Design by Lucy Heath of Capture By Lucy

Blogging tips BritMums Live 2015

I’ve always been all about the words. I’m not so good with photography and design – although I am certainly learning a lot and I hope I’m starting to improve. The photos on Lucy’s blog and social media are truly beautiful. Her session really helped me tap into my creativity and understand more about the visual elements of my blog.

“You need a plan of action. It’s really good to set goals – weekly, three monthly, six monthly, and think about how your design can help you do that.” For example, if you want to increase subscribers, how can you make that more obvious on your page.

“Lots of big bloggers are losing their sidebars because most people read blogs on phones. It’s all in the footer – although it needs to be cohesive.”

“When it comes to typography, the most important thing is to make it as easy as possible for your readers to read it. Standard fonts are not boring. There’s a reason millions of successful newspapers use standard fonts. They are easy to read. Keep funky fonts for your header’ and stick to three fonts only.”

“You can see every image that’s been pinned from your blog on www.pinterest.com/source/yourblogurl – it’s good for knowing what readers like.”

“No photo is better than a bad photo – I’m talking blurred, out of focus photos. Go back and correct bad photos in the same way you would correct a spelling mistake or a typo.


Bloggers and Brands – Claire Candler, Hill &Knowlton agency; Nadine Hill, Juggle Mum; Jennifer Howze, BritMums and Jenography.net; Susanna Scott, BritMums and A Modern Mother; Marianne Weekes, Mari’s World.

Blogging advice  Britmums Live

“We understand the power and influence you have on your readers.” Claire Candler

“Most PRs I spoke to have bigger budgets to work with bloggers than a year ago. We know how as we know how powerful and influential you are – you have the power to influence people’s purchases. Claire Candler

“I could encourage proactivity. Come up with an idea. Take the time and trouble to say how you might be attractive to one of my clients.” Claire Candler

“Your voice is unique. That’s your unique selling point. Spend time fostering and harnessing that.’ Susanna

“Help PRs understand if they’re being unreasonable in their expectations as otherwise they’ll never know” Claire Candler

“Work on your comments. Brands don’t want to go to a blog that looks like no one is there.  Respond to comments; show you care about your audience. Susanna


Beginning SEO, Judith Lewis of the deCabbit Consultancy and Mostly About Chocolate

Search Engine Optimisation is about making sure search engines pick up your blog through lots of clever tips and techniques, but without breaking any rules.

“Put posts in one category as otherwise Google gets confused by more than one URL – duplicate content gets punished by Google”.

“Write naturally, optimise later.”

“Image text descriptions help partially sighted or blind people’ (I’m embarrassed I’ve never thought about this before).


How to market yourself and your writing by Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn

“Do you want to earn a six figure salary from your blog and books?” is what Joanna – who does exactly that – asked us at the start of this session. Hmmm, now let me think about that… This wa s a fascinating session – and here are some of Joanna’s tips.

“Share what you love and you will attract the right people.”

“Blogging was the thing that enabled me to write books because I learned to relax away from corporate writing.”

“It’s not traffic; it’s people. Who are the people behind the social media avatars?”

“Be consistent with when you post. Get people to have habits.”

“Social karma works. Share content from others without expecting it to be returned. But it will happen.”


How to be a social media manager with Chelle McCann, The Mummington Post; Carol Smith, Lipstick and Lace; Kate Sutton, Wit Wit Woo.

How to be a social media manager

If you’ve been blogging and successfully running your own social media profile, it makes sense that this could become a freelance career for you – and all three of these bloggers work as social media managers around their children, at times to suit them.

“Softwear such as Hootsuite and Buffer mean you can do an hour’s work for a client but spread the links out over a week.” Kate

“Schedule posts – but there is nothing like being online and having a conversation in real time.” – Chelle

“Your rates have to be flexible, depending on the company’s budgets.” Chelle

“Team up with other social media managers so that if you have a day when your children are ill, one of them can step in to help.”

Were you at BritMums Live? What was the best advice you heard? Do let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

You can see my photo round up of BritMums Live here.

You might also like this one – my BritMums Live introductory meme.


Super Busy Mum

22 Comments to 36 brilliant blogging tips I learned at BritMums Live 2015

  1. Thank you for the mention and I’m glad you feel like you got a lot from the event. It was great for me to read your post as you attended all the sessions I wanted to get to but missed apart from the one I spoke at! Hope to see you at the next one!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      I was such a brilliant weekend! I’ve only been blogging for 10 months or so, so it was amazing to be surrounded by people who truly understand what I do, to meet people in person whose blogs I have been reading, and to learn from the “experts”. Glad you enjoyed reading the post and it covered the sessions you wanted to attend. There were a few I missed as they clashed with some of the ones I went to, so I’m looking out for posts from people who went to them. And yes, I’m hoping I’ll be at the next one so see you there! x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It was such a brilliant weekend. It’s the first time I have been to a blogging conference and I’ve only been blogging for 10 months, so I loved being surrounded by people who truly understand what I do, and learning from the “experts”. Hope you make it next year. x

  2. Some great tips here, thank you. I’ve been blogging about 18 months but still feel like a newbie, especially with the tech side of things! I particularly like Honest Mum’s point on being tenacious. I’ll be doing that from now on! 🙂

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      The tech side has been a big learning curve for me too, definitely a lot to learn. Yes, great advice from Honest Mum. It’s obviously worked for her! x

  3. I so Wish I could have gone as these are all the things I needed to learn but thanks so much for the summary! Hopefully I’ll get up to speed this year and see you there next year! x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      I honestly learned so much – this post is just the tip of the iceberg. It was such a brilliant couple of days. And yes, hope to see you there next year. x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      It was such an amazing couple of days. I learned so much and have come home feeling so inspired. Definitely recommend it. x

  4. StephsTwoGirls

    What a great write up – so many good tips! Now, if you can just find me some extra time somehow, I’ll go and put them into practice… 😉

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Glad they are of use. It’s been really good for me to write them all down in one place so I don’t forget about them all. x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      Glad you found it useful. Hope you can make it next time. I learned so much, I felt so inspired after it. x

  5. Looks like a really good weekend and I love all the Seo tips. I’ve been blogging a few years and I’ve still learned some new things I should really do!

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      I think we are all constantly learning as it is such a new and evolving field. It’s great to hear from the experts though. x

    • Cardiff Mummy Says

      She’s amazing, isn’t she? Glad you found the post useful. It’s nice to have all the best tips together in one post so I don’t forget about them! x

Leave a Reply