Gorgeous venue at Huckletree West – so great for Instagram pictures

The Mumsnet Micro-Influencers event was only my second blogging conference.

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been blogging for five months – it feels like much longer and I wish I had taken it up sooner.

It’s a fabulous hobby to have, not least because the community around blogging is so very supportive, welcoming and lovely. We are all mummies juggling kids and our passion for blogging.

Because I am a newbie I can’t offer comparisons to any previous Mumsnet events, as this was the first of a new format.

However what I can say is this was a brilliant, informative, positive and so very useful day. And what’s more, it was FREE! That’s right, we spoke to experts one-on-one, were given insider tips and I had three cocktails at the end of the day and I didn’t spend a thing. Happy days.

Cheers to my fellow bloggers

Also the cocktails were delicious. But enough about the booze, what did I learn? Loads. In case you weren’t there, here are my favourite tips and pieces of advice from the day:

Facebook – session with Cat Davies and Marie Evans from Our x Agency

You don’t have to know it all. Don’t think that because you’ve been out of the game for a while that you can’t catch up and learn. People who have been in the industry are still learning all of the time as updates are constant.

Remember a call to action. When posting to your Facebook page and groups, remember to tell people what to do. Tell them to click the link, share the post, make a comment.

Be responsive. Engage back with your community and add value with extra tips when discussing your posts with them.

Video should be vertical. Think of how people view video on their mobiles, this is the best format do Facebook.

The average user watches for 16.7 seconds. In video you need to capture the attention early as possible.

Subtitles are essential. Most users watch silently (probably while trying to get a baby to sleep). Subtitles makes the video more accessible for your user.

Facebook Watch is the future. It’s only in the US now, but it will be rolled out in the UK soon. It’s the Facebook equivalent of Netflix and you can have your own series right there. Start thinking about how you can use Facebook Watch for your blog now.

Instagram – Whitney Rosenthal from the Emerging Influencer Talent Team at Instagram

Whitney the Instagram guru – she advised us to worry less about follower numbers and more about engagement rate. Tell brands you have a small following but “my engagement rate is f***ing cray”, she’s my new hero

There are 800million+ people active on Instagram monthly.

There are 500million active people daily.

The time watching video is up 80 per cent year on year. This means you need to think about how video can work in your feed. Make it instantly engaging, as people have to be grabbed in the first three seconds.

Multi-post. There are 10 spots in a multi-post. Mix it up with video and photo.

Where to put your hashtags. It is better to put your hashtags in the caption. This one really interested me as many people advise to put them in your first comment. Apparently the algorithm will still pick them up in the first comment, but they have more power to be picked up in the caption as comments are calculated differently.

Taylor Swift vs Kanye changed Instagram. The feud between Taylor and Kanye led to thousands of people putting snake emojis in Taylor’s feed. This abuse led Instagram to create their blocking and filtering of comments feature. They didn’t want Taylor to be put off from using Insta in the future because she would just keep getting hate. Whitney said: “Now forever more no snake emoji will show up in her comments.”

Use live. You will see higher engagement and it is given priority in the bar at the top of people’s Instagram stories feed.

Go live with a friend. I love the sound of this new feature. When you’re live you can add a friend to join you on split screen, wherever they are. The scope for using this is amazing! Celebs are using it to randomly pick a fan to have an Instagram live with. They choose them at random from their comments.

Engage and promote kindness. Instagram wants to be the kindest place on the internet, so be nice!

Create a cast of characters. Collaborate with fellow bloggers often, with pictures and lives and tagging. This can help you to show up more in “related accounts” when people follow your Instagram blogging colleagues.

How to Build A Successful Freelance Business – with Hannah Martin from the Talented Ladies Club

Your blog is your business. Start treating it like a business so that you can be taken seriously by brands you want to work with.

Establish your terms and conditions. Decide how many days you expect to be paid within and stick to that.

Have a rate card. This sets out your costs right away. Create packages, with your ultimate package at the very top featuring bullet point of all that includes. This means when people look at your mid-range package, they see that as a bargain.

Ban the words just, little and only. You are not “just” a blogger.

Build a body of work to attract the right brands. If you want to work with Calvin Klein in the future, you shouldn’t say yes to Poundland today.

Elevator pitch. Always use the same copy when describing what you do. Have that 100 word elevator pitch describing who you are and what you do ready to go.

Don’t compare your truth to someone else’s marketing and PR. I adore this tip! Don’t believe the hype, you don’t l know what’s really going on behind the scenes of someone’s blog. Just keep doing what you do.

Be resilient. When you have a bad day, just pick yourself up and keep going. It’s the people who keep going and work hard who will make it.

Working with Mumsnet and brands – Amie Shearer

Check your spelling and grammar. So basic but so many people make this mistake.

Check your contact details are correct. Make it easy to find them on your blog as well.

Have links to your social channels somewhere very obvious on your blog.

Don’t talk about brand X when applying to work with brand Y. This means you won’t even get your application shortlisted to be shown to the client.

Have authentic content.

Make commercial content your own. Write it in your voice and present it as part of your world. It shouldn’t look out of place on your blog. Too much heavy advertising content is a bore.

The Mumsnet blogging team is rebranding to Mumsnet Influencers plus they’re overhauling their website so stay tuned for the changes.

Sara Tasker from Me and Orla

Sara took part in a powerful Q&A explaining her rise to becoming an influencer. What I found really reassuring was that Sara said she still suffers from self-doubt despite her overwhelming success. She still worries if her courses will sell out.

Sara also had really positive things to say about podcasting, and that it’s a brilliant new way to engage with your audience. This is definitely an area I would like to explore in the future.

Canon were also there on the day giving advice on the best kit for bloggers. I was already planning to ask for the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera for Christmas but now I’m totally sold. Their printers are absolutely fantastic too!

And last but not least I loved catching up with and meeting new bloggers. I had a fab time hanging out with Sarah from Surrey Mama, Kristie from Mamma Prada, Cecile from The Frenchie Mummy, Erin from Merin and Co, Sara from Me and Orla, and Jennie from the Uterus Monologues, to name a few.

So I would say if you get a chance to attend one of these events in the future, definitely take it. It’s well worth taking the time to go.

Did you attend the Mumsnet Influencers event? What did you think? What was the most valuable thing you learned?