On Saturday I attended BlogSummit Birmingham. A blogger get together, I’m not going to call it a conference as it’s so much more than that, organised by the lovely people at Tots100. I’ve attended blog events big and small and this is by far my favourite. It’s just so relaxed. There’s no pressure to go to the sessions if you want to just hang out, though I did, I packed as much “learning” in as I could. Mainly because Tots100 program in enough “down time” to catch up with blogger friends old and new, and the ones who you only know from their Twitter avatar!
I was lucky enough to hit it off with Zoe from My Mummy’s World at the meet up at New Street and we choose the same sessions to attend throughout the day so I had a buddy. Yay!
Oh, and the bit I forgot, the bit which makes this “get together” THE best. It’s free. Yep, totally and utterly free. Due to the hard work of the Tots100 and their fabulous sponsors, this year Argos, any old blogger can attend so long as they can get there. Awesome!
In the morning I attended sessions on SEO, paid content and links. I came away from the first session, led by Dave Sottimano from Distilled.net feeling like I definitely understood a lot more about the what / where / why and when of the monster that is Google and the right hoops we need to jump through with them.
I then moved onto a much more in depth SEO session with Judith Lewis. At the beginning Judith made it clear that this was an advanced session. She wasn’t wrong! I have copious notes and long words and tech speak to Google over the next week and try to understand. Nevertheless it was really interesting and I have a much better understanding of analytics, the right keywords to use and how to find them and how to create an SEO strategy now.
As ever, the venue – The Studio, was fabulous and the catering was brilliant. Cookies, cake, little bags of fruit and nuts. They even had breakfast for those who had missed it, on arrival. We weren’t going to go hungry!
After lunch I attended a session by the effervescent Cathy from NurtureStore on Pinterest and how you can pin to your advantage. I’d attended a similar session run by Cathy at Blog Camp Manchester last year, but I was very new to Pinterest then and this session took it to the next level. I’m off to find a PinScheduler now
One of the roles of the Tots100 is to connect bloggers and brands, which they do really well. So after yet another coffee break I attended the Brand Panel, which was a great session to go to to hear about opportunities to work with lots of brands, including the event sponsors Argos. I’ve already pinged off a few emails since being home. Fingers crossed.
I thought the day couldn’t get any better, but then everyone came back together for an inspiring talk from author Andy Cope, a teacher and trainer in positive psychology. This man is AMAZING!
I have heard enough motivational speakers to last me a life time but Andy, well, I’ve actually never felt so inspired to be my better self before.
Very briefly, he talked about happiness…
“Everything you’ve learned about happiness is a con. Happiness is portrayed as a pot of gold at the end of the emotional rainbow. It’s an end game; something we have to work for or pursue. At school we’re told that if we work hard we’ll get great grades and then we’ll be happy. Or we’ll be happy when we find our perfect partner. Or that happiness will arrive when we get a new job or hit our sales target.
What if the happiness pot of gold isn’t at the far end of the rainbow? What if it’s at our end? Right here, right now. And what if it’s the key to everything else in your life? What if it’s the happiest kids that get the best grades? What if being happy now means you’re more likely to attract your perfect partner or that dream job? And what if it’s the happiest and most upbeat sales person that gets the most sales?” Direct quote from Andy Cope.
Talk about floored!
I know all of this.
I know that I should live for the moment.
I know that I can choose how my day is going to go when I wake up every morning.
But wow! Like I say floored.
If you want to know more you’ll have to buy Andy’s book The Art of Being Brilliant. I have. I downloaded the sample on iBooks for my train ride home and bought the full book yesterday. I’m already nearly half way through it. It truly is “a pep talk in your pocket” and is a stark reminder of how I should be living.
So thanks Tots100 for another fabulous event and thanks for introducing me to such a life affirming and life changing speaker in Andy.
Sally from Who’s the Mummy and the creator of Tots100 welcoming us all