Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kidspot's Voices of 2013 - Blogging Masterclass

Last Saturday I attended the Voices of 2013 - Blogging Masterclass.
The event was held at Megan Morton's place - THE SCHOOL in Sydney and oh my goodness, it couldn't have been a more perfect venue. Just being there was inspiring!  It's well worth a visit just to go to The School's funky neighbours - cafe Kitchen by Mike and the Koskela shop, but I will definitely treat myself to one of Ms Moreton's fab workshops and make a day of it, as soon as I get the chance! 

I was nervous going on my own (I don't get out of my comfort zone much), so after taking a deep breath, stepping through the door and making it as far as the name-badge table, I overheard a kind looking lady ask for directions to the loo, I immediately decided to follow (stalk) her there so I could make friends with her (read desperately cling to the first person who looked kindly!!). Luckily this weird-stalker-strategy worked out and Michelle and I became best buddies for the day!). The atmosphere was a lovely, friendly, gently buzzing, welcoming one anyway, so I needn't have worried! I was greeted by Pip Lincolne herself and she was very friendly and lovely just as she seems online! 

The bright white room was the perfect back-drop and each table had a lovely little floral centrepiece by Holly Hipwell of The Flower Drum. I think they were all different. My table had these beautiful roses (first photo below)

We were also each given a notebook and pen, tied with a white bias ribbon - such a fab touch!

It was a great opportunity to make new friends and meet some online-friends in the flesh, for me that meant of course the amazing Pip Lincolne, but also 
a long-time Etsy pal Tess Carrad, who makes colourful beaded jewellery and was just so lovely! 
{me at top with Pip, and bottom with Tess}

The masterclass itself was made up of three sections, which went like this…

1. An incredibly inspiring talk from the wonderful film-maker, photographer and all-round fab person Hailey Bartholomew! Hailey is also known for her 365 Grateful Project. I had been inspired by Hailey's project and made my own 365 Grateful photo album on Facebook when I was depressed and it was immensely helpful, the simplest thing can lift your day, if you look for something positive - a coffee with a friend, or holding hands with your child for instance. I don't post photos anymore but each day I still find myself thinking of what I am grateful for. 
{Sorry for the digression}...
 ‘It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen!’ Hailey Bartholomew
Hailey told of how her journey from feeling lost and in a rut, toward living the life she strived for, i.e. a creative, fulfilling one, (with lots of time spent travelling / with her family / both), began with entering an ABC TV competition to make a short film about her life. Hailey entitled it "Picket-fenced in", a perfectly suited name! It didn't win overall best film but won the 'viewers choice award'. 
On Saturday, Hailey was nervous and real and emotional and incredibly inspiring because her advice was practical and good and she made us feel our goals are attainable. She truly shared a part of her soul with us. {Thank you Hailey!}.

2. A 'Blogging 101' panel -  convened by Pip Lincolne, the panelists being successful bloggers Jen Bishop of Interiors Addict, Vivian Mansour of Ish & Chi and Rebecca Lowrey Boyd of Wee Birdy.
We learned much, including what makes a good blog or a "successful" one I guess, from good design ("an ugly-arse blog will not be read"!!!), to finding your own voice and being original, and even dealing with 'Trolls' (those people who write nasty unnecessary comments). This panel discussion was lots of fun to listen to!

3. A 'Blogs and Brands' panel - with  Stacey Roberts of Veggie Mama, Lexi Kentmann of Pottymouthmama, Brian Giesen of Social@Oglivy and Louisa Claire of the Brand Meets Blog agency; convened by Kerri Sackville of Life & Other Crises.
It was interesting to hear all about branding on blogs and how advertising campaigns are very likely going forward to increasingly use Social Media and blogs for  promotion. 

For those of you unable to attend I would say the key points of the day were:

* BE ORIGINAL and true to yourself

*INTEGRITY is paramount

*DISCLOSURE is vital and sponsored posts should be interesting to your readers not just advertising!

*KEEP LEARNING - don't let needing new skills hold you back

*GOOD DESIGN is very important, keep it simple and easily navigable!

* DON'T GIVE UP! But rest when you need to.

* CONCENTRATE on great CONTENT - DONT WORRY ABOUT SEO  (search engine optimisation), but do try making your titles easily searchable for readers)

*It IS possible to make money from your blog or it may lead on to great opportunities

In conclusion, it was a fantastic experience for me and I am motivated to carry onwards and hopefully upwards, not just with my blog but some of those creative endeavours I have scribbled in my various notebooks or the myriad scrappy bits of paper on my desk.

Did I mention that this event was FREE?!
A big THANK YOU to Kidspot, all the sponsors and all of those who gave their time to inspire us!

Sally x0x

{I wore my favourite shoes!}
The winner of the competition for 'best blog post'  about the event was Amanda from Cooker and a Looker - take a look at her great post .


  1. What a wonderful post Sally and you have fabulous photos.
    It was a fun afternoon wasn't it? I'm so glad I went - and of course it was lovely to finally meet you for real : )

  2. Would have been awesome to go, sounds like a great event! Were you at the Blog Society launch by the way... you possibly look familiar :)

  3. Hello Helen - yes I was indeed at the Blog Society Launch!
    Great wasn't it?