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Know that things don't always go to plan


Taken in Attenborough village 

Taken in Attenborough village 

Know that attitudes and feelings and thoughts often change, and that what felt right one day can often not feel right the next. 

Know that no matter what you create, plan, or schedule, feeling happy about it all should always take precedence over that feeling of urgency to just get it out the way. 

Know that just because you've decided to put something off doesn't mean it's bad, or rubbish, or not good enough. It just means it wasn't for today. Tomorrow? Who knows. 

Know that YOU can do what you want, or don't want, to do. Because this is your life, your space, your work, your time, your effort. Don't let something or someone else dictate that for you. 

Know that sometimes you'll end up spouting words of nonsense and that, no matter how hard you try to change them, they'll always be nonsense. 

Know that, sometimes, nonsense works. 

5 things I learnt at Blogstock


Blogstock 2014, on Tori's Tales

Teepees and wellies 

Last weekend I attended Blogstock festival, as the guest of my lovely friend Megan from The Briar Rose Blog. I thought that, instead of summing up the weekend (as I normally would), I'd share with you a few thoughts I took away from my experience.

For a look at what we got up to during the weekend, including why we became the 'Blogstock Girl Band', head on over to Megan's post!

ReeRee and Megan, relaxing in the sunshine

ReeRee and Megan, relaxing in the sunshine

1. Advice that works well for one won’t necessarily work well for another

I’m not a fashion blogger (you don't say?!), so advice like ‘you should be posting up to 5 times a day for maximum impact’ just doesn't apply to my situation as a 'life' blogger (I just can’t take saying ‘lifestyle blogger’ seriously – I don’t have a lifestyle, I have a life). I'm far more of a 'write larger posts, less frequently' than a 'put multiple short posts out a day' kinda gal, and that's all because my blog focuses on my daily life.

Saying that, it was important for me to listen to all advice that came my way, especially from those who blog professionally, because...well...they blog professionally! One piece of advice that I found to be the most relevant for everyone was to just be ourselves when we write. I personally believe the connections we make with an audience will always come from a place of authenticity and naturalness, so forcing something that doesn't fit the way you work will come across exactly so. Thus, if popping up on your blog a couple of times a week works for you, and your readers, then go with your own flow

The Fashion Galleries tent, where many'a session was held

The Fashion Galleries tent, where many'a session was held

2. Never sell yourself short

If you’re looking to move from hobby-to-pro blogging (which was the name of the first talk I attended, held by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours), and are working with PR’s, it’s important to know your worth – as Helen said, if you’re doing something for free (something that they are more than likely paying other people to do) then you’re cementing your status as an amateur. Remember, folks - if you put time and effort into creating content for others, let yourself be recognised for that. You sure as heck deserve to be. 

The Generator Fair 

The Generator Fair 

3. Niche is key

Now, I don't know about you, but I've always thought of 'niche' as being a bit of a (ahem) dirty word, but after having met the rather fabulous ReeRee Rockette of Rockalily, and hearing what she had to say about the topic (Megan and I were treated to a one-on-two sesh because, unfortunately, we were unable to make Ree's ‘The Power of Niche’ talk), I've come away thinking that actually having a niche makes sense, especially if you are drawn to blogging for a living. Though I've still yet to work mine out, when I cast my mind across the many blogs and bloggers I have encountered over the past couple of years, those that stand out are those with a (even uninentional) niche and, in all honesty, in a rather saturated-sea of bloggers, being able to do so is key. If, again, you're looking to 'go pro', then being able to market yourself is an obvious necessity, and having a niche (from what I can tell) is more than likely to help you do so. 

Super-cute #genlove bunting! 

Super-cute #genlove bunting! 

4. There's a way to use Pinterest properly 

As it turns out, there is a wrong and a right way to use Pinterest (though I mean that in the sense of if you're using it for something other than personal reasons, i.e. for your blog or business). After attending the 'Pinterest Breakfast' held by half of the UK team (two rather fabulous ladies - Zoe, and Lizzie!), I’ve come to realise I wasn’t using Pinterest ‘properly’, at least in a 'business' sense (all the air quotes), to benefit Tori's Tales. Next week I’ll be sharing the handiest of hints and tips the gals provided, to help you win at pin(ning!).

The 'debate' from the last day, featuring ReeRee! 

The 'debate' from the last day, featuring ReeRee

5. It's all relative

The old adage runs true - comparison really is the thief of joy. Though it's hard to do, one must always remember that stats, and numbers (and all that malarkey), are all relative. Listening to friends chat about numbers of followers that are well into the thousands left me feeling a little disheartened, however, I was quick to remember that - of course - it's inevitable; many of those in attendance either have been blogging longer than I have, blog more regularly than I do (and so, put in a lot more effort, and hard work), or have their own niche they can easily communicate to others!

Though my own numbers don't really stand up against those others are packing, ultimately, that doesn't matter to me; as long as I'm progressing in a way that I feel comfortable with, then I'm happy. I've said it once, but I'll say it again (today, and probably every day after this one) - I'd rather have 10 people follow me who I communicate with regularly, than have thousands doing so who I never really talk to. 

Everyone has their own path.  

From inside our bell tent, supplied by the Hertz team!

From inside our bell tent, supplied by the Hertz team!

Before I forget 

A big thanks to Hertz (who invited Megan and I along to the event), Traverse (the creators of Blogstock), Expedia (who offered us our very own VIP area, and introduced us to this super-cool FB app!), all the speakers, and Contiki for shuttling us to and from the weekend. We all had a ruddy marvellous time!  

What do you think about what I learnt at Blogstock?