Even though I have been blogging for more years than I care to remember, the travel side of blogging is still fairly new to me and it is my real focus of 2018 along with food. I adore travel and do so much of it, it seems only natural to share my adventures with you alongside my love for food and this great City I am lucky to call home, Manchester.
This weekend I had the pleasure of joining IceLolly.com for their Blog At The Beach event, where three top travel bloggers talked about their top tips for upping your blog game. The difference with this event is that the Ice Lolly Holiday peeps then discussed the tips from their point of view, as the brand. I chat to bloggers all the time, helping to run the Manchester Bloggers Facebook group means I’m regularly picking up great ideas for my blog, but it isn’t often that you get the brand’s perspective. With this in mind I thought I’d share some of their tips with you, sharing is caring after all.
The three bloggers delivering presentations were Queen Beady, Fordtography and Kirsty Leanne. Big bloggers I not only follow but admire, so I was really looking forward to seeing what they had to say.
Kirsty Leanne was up first to talk about how to pitch for travel collaborations. She inspired the newer bloggers by confirming it isn’t all about the numbers, a great pitch can still get amazing collaboration opportunities. She explained that the best way is to sell yourself, tell the brand what you can offer them and show them examples of your work. Wow them.
A really useful tip I picked up was around the pitch itself and making sure it was personal to that brand. Tell them what you love about them or specifically, why you want to work with them over someone else. She gave us a great list of things that you can offer a brand beyond exposure and a couple of social media shout outs. Things like professional photographs, a unique writing style and an ongoing relationship.
IceLolly.com backed this up confirming that they like working with bloggers for their ideas and personal touches, that it is not all about the numbers. They said to make sure your personality shines through when pitching to ensure you stand out from the crowd in their inbox. Did you know IceLolly.com is a search engine style site that finds the holidays you search for at the best prices. They are now working with lots of the large travel chains you will recognise and it’s not just about beach holidays. You can find great deals on city breaks, overnight stays and ski breaks too. This is a real change as I know when I have looked previously using their site, it has focused on beach holidays in the past.
Queen Beady’s presentation rang the most true with me as a full time worker as she talked about taking your blog to the next level without taking it full time. She talked about interacting on social media, utilising lunch breaks, where allowed, to get the most out of your day and to free up evening time for none blogging related activities. My favourite tip was to create a hub of similar bloggers and meet to share ideas, ask questions and get some great outfit shots. I rarely share photographs of myself on my blog and that is mainly because I don’t have anyone to take them, so this is a great tip for me. She talked about transferable skills and lots of people in the room realised they have learned skills they use in their 9-5 that can so easily be utilised in the bloggersphere, such as, proposal writing, graphic design and admin skills.
IceLolly.com enjoyed her tips and added that it is really important to consider your top three achievements within blogging as this can also really wow the brand you are hoping to work with.
Last, and definitely not least, was Kaye Ford AKA Fordtography, photographer extraordinaire! She shared her top travel photography tips including how to remove the blue look from snow, to include tourists in the background of your images to make them more authentic and changing things up to capture the essence of a place, rather than just a static picture such as a skyline. She advised on lenses to use (she travels with just a 50mm lens!) and accessories that are useful. She reminded me to invest in a tripod this year as I am constantly gutted not to get those cracking moving blurred shots that only a steady tripod can capture.
I kind of expected IceLolly.com to say they expected the most perfect shots of travel places and, in my mind, that would mean no tourists and a clean image of a particular sight. It seems I was totally wrong and photographing things in the moment is a top tip when travelling and writing about it. When you think about it, this is so true. Who wants to see the same picture of the same tourist spot over and over again?
You can catch up with the presentations in full here for more of the tips we heard on the day. For me, it wasn’t just about the tips we got from the guest talks, but also from the fabulous bloggers in the crowd. I met up with some fabulous bloggers who I have chatted to on Twitter and Instagram for ages. Just chatting to them reignited my passion for writing and getting back into the blogging world. So I’m sorry guys, but I am here to stay, I hope you stay around for the ride.