MY BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR
It’s now three months since I began my blogging journey and three weeks since I moved everything over to my own URL. When I decided to create The WILD Life, I read A LOT of articles describing how to get a blog up and running successfully. What began as a half-arsed attempt to get my travel journals online, turned in to a slight obsession! I have spent hours researching travel blogs, SEO techniques, web-hosting tips and more… In three months I have gone from knowing NOTHING to being somewhat of an I.T wizard (you kind of have to be!). It’s early days but I’m pretty happy with how everything is looking 🙂
I soon discovered many of these sites were recommending getting involved with blogging or travel-specific events. After three months of boring Gary half to death with technical terms and blogging jargon, I was desperate to be able to chat with people who shared my love of travel and blogging. It was through my Googling that I found Traverse and Travel Massive. Traverse provides blogging conferences for all styles, including a unique blogging festival Blogstock which is back for a second year following 2014’s success. I’ve got my ticket and I am SO excited; workshops and talks from top bloggers (in teepees… obviously), camping, lots of other blogging newbies and cocktails.. What more could you want?! Please comment below if you are also going – would be great to chat before September!
Travel Massive, as you can probably guess, is more travel-specific. Thanks to a huuuge following, they offer meet-ups all over the world, open to anyone within the travel industry – including bloggers. It was one of these meet-ups that became my first blogging event… and it was bloody awesome!
MY FIRST BLOGGING EVENT
There are currently no meet-ups in Norwich, so the closest option for me is London. The event took place a short walk from Kings Cross station, in a bar called Canal 125. As the name suggests, it overlooks the canal thanks to a cute terrace which is decked out with picnic benches. I left work halfway through the day around 1pm, giving myself waaayy too much time – the meet-up wasn’t until 6pm but I was panicking about being late as nearly every train I get is delayed/ cancelled! I ended up getting to the venue at 4.30pm… an HOUR AND HALF before the event was due to start. Yeah, nothing like being keen right?? I spent that time relaxing on the balcony with my book and an ice cold gin and tonic, so I can’t complain too much…
First to arrive after me were the guys from Travel Massive who needed to get everything set up. Introducing myself, I chatted briefly with Michael Ball who, alongside hosting Travel Massive meet-ups, also co-founded Traverse. He urged me to make the most of the bar tab and I was soon equipped with a free pint – great start!
The sponsor for the event was Cheapflights, so their representatives were also there early to set up a table of freebies. Whilst we were waiting, I found myself sat next to Alicia Drewnicki, co-organiser of the London meet-ups and the girl behind Alicia Explores. She was super lovely to chat to; it was great to hear all about her blog, and share my own upcoming plans for future travels.
After being engrossed in conversation for so long, I suddenly realised the place had filled up around us and there were now about 100 people! I spent the rest of the evening mingling through the crowds, chatting to a bunch of awesome bloggers, experts, app designers and company representatives.
Throughout the evening there were freebies, competitions and giveaways. Cheapflights provided some free notebooks and portable phone chargers (amazing!) and Simon Wong was the lucky winner of a Twitter competition, walking away with a brand new and amazing Osprey rucksack. Another giveaway was a free ticket to Blogstock, decided by pulling a business card out of a fishbowl. I hadn’t bought my ticket at this point so was even more gutted not to get that prize!
Alongside the bar tab, there were also a few nibbles up for grabs. I hadn’t eaten since midday and when food arrived at half nine, after three pints and a glass of vino (not recommended), I sure needed it! Sassy traveller Lisa and I managed to steer our conversation in the direction of food and scoffed down spring rolls, whilst talking all things travel and YouTube! Another lovely lady, Lisa is just about to start an exciting new adventure living in Thailand – I’m very jealous 🙂
The meet-up was a great opportunity to meet lots of new people and discover copious new blogs across a wide range of topics. It was especially great to meet people just like me who are starting out in the world of blogging. I must have spoken to around 20-25 people (quite a poor effort really considering the number of people there!) – including Hannah from That Adventurer, Emily from The Cosy Traveller, Katie from Chasing Scout, Jess from Love and London, the Diva herself from Diva with a Backpack… and many more! Everyone was extremely welcoming and seemed genuinely interested to hear about my plans. All in all, it was a fantastic night out and I look forward to the next one!