This statement by the founders of Meet the Blogger summerizes the motto of the conference perfectly. The group of blogger which came together on this rainy and grey day in Amsterdam are definitely lightening up the days of many readers.
The blogger itself brought some colour to the day. The room filled with a bunch of colourful bloggers – all dressed up like going to a party. We registered some great outfits ;-)
Monetization was – as it is at any blogger gathering at the moment – the overruling topic. You could speak of the awakening of the European blogger scene as stakeholders in the media and advertising world. But don’t assume there is unity in opinions. Far from it! There are huge differences in opinions and positions as became clear from the key note and the subsequent panel discussion.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement when Frida Ramstedt from Trendenser.se finally entered the stage. Her blog is the hugely sucessful and has given her the opportunity not only to monetize the blog itself with advertising but also to venture in other fields like TV presentation or her own iPad magazine.
Her key point was that business on blogs is more than banners. A blog can be the starting point for book deals, freelance work for magazines, TV, radio, production of web content or advertorials. Blogger can also consult companies with their expertise, hold speeches or create (e-)courses.
The three other bloggers in the subsequent panel discussion made it clear that they have different objectives with their blog. For Pippa Jameson, a UK stylist, the blog is more of a business card, showcasting her work and initiating more styling work. Yvonne from the highly acclaimed Dutch blog yvestown abstained from earning money for a long time, and even now only accepts carefully selected sponsors which fit her style.
Even though opinions vary considerably, it became clear that the scene is awakening and that blogs offer a way to make a living from in the future.
The next presentation was by one of the conference sponsors, Flexa Colour. In contrast to expectations it was a very interesting speech as the company follows a very creative route in developing their upcoming colours. They run a ColourLab, a kind of trend searching laboratory, which finds and condenses current and upcoming social trends.
Ideas included the living scrapbook as mean to be creative, Facebook as portfolio showcasting who you are or the internet movement and the following exhibitionism as reason why people want to show more of their homes.
The last two sessions were workshops about Blog Styling by Pippa Jameson and Product Photography by yvestown. Both speakers brought up some interesting insight into improving your blog itself and the photography:
- Search for junior photographers to help you, it’s good advertising for them
- Plan forward to have enough time for followers to re-produce the post
- “How to”-guides drive traffic
- Engage in chat forums like http://yahoo.com, also brings up your Google ranking
The sessions were less practical workshops, the two bloggers rather talked about their best practise and demonstrated their workflows.
Find the crazy pieces in the portfolio of a potential sponsor and make them your own
We met some old friends again like Deepa from Currystrumpet and Anki from Zilverblau, got to know new friends like I love Eco or Love Johnny. It was also great to see the people from vtwonen again. Unfortunately, the socializing time was too short to speak with all the people we wanted to meet.
Whereas I (Toni) was listening to the speech of Yvonne, Thea took her camera and strolled with two other bloggers and a hotel manager through the beautiful venue of our conference: The Conversatorium Hotel. The building used to be a bank, then it was Amsterdam’s conservatorium. The architect succeeded in maintaining many of the old details, it is very elegant and modern at the same time. But have a look yourself:
At the end we left exhausted but inspired the gorgeous Conversatorium Hotel and look forward to our next Blogger conference. We also want to thank Liselore & Janneke for organizing this lovely event. They succeeded in getting great (!) sponsors, which made the goodie bag one of the best ones we ever got: the newest issue of VT Wonen, a notebook from Loods 5, an apron from Quooker, the newest trend issue from Flexa (we loved it! Will show you more of this in the future) and salt and pepper shaker from Brabantia. And since we almost feel bad about getting all this lovely stuff, we’ll add the newest issue of VT Wonen to our giveaway basket! So don’t forget to answer the second question here.
Yours, Thea & Toni
(PHOTOS: sisterMAG and Meet The Blogger Official Pics – to see all of them visit the Flickr Stream)