EDIT: As of 16th March 2018, we still have not received any of the recordings from Blogtacular 2017. They were “nearly ready” back in November 2017. I asked on Twitter a few weeks back and was told, rather curtly, they would be ready when they’re ready. I don’t think that this is good service when the event was nine months ago. I have now decided not to attend Blogtacular 2018.
I can’t quite believe that 6 months have passed since I braved London, on my own, to attend Blogtacular 2017. I’ve had my struggles with anxiety over the past couple of years, so it was a really big deal for me to go and spend a couple of days in the company of total strangers. In London no less. The big question is, was it worth it?
If you remember back to June, I did write a blog post all about why you should go to Blogtacular. It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of an event when it’s just happened, so I promised that I’d revisit it here. Also when I was searching for what people thought of Blogtacular, I could only find the I’m-so-excited-because-I’ve-only-just-got-home kind of posts!
What did it cost?
Attending Blogtacular is an investment. The ticket is not cheap and once you’ve added on the related expenses of travel and accommodation you’re looking at a potentially expensive weekend. In the interests of transparency here’s what it cost me:
Blogtacular ticket: £158 (paid in two monthly instalments)
Hotel: £39.00 (shared with another attendee)
Train tickets: £13.75
Total (without Tube tickets, food, etc.): £210.75
I’ll be honest, I felt a lot of guilt for spending that money on something that was just for me.
Was it worth it?
So was spending over £200 to attend Blogtacular really worth it?
I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now, just kind of trundling along happily writing about my sewing projects. Towards the end of last year, I was getting bored of my blog and was barely posting anything. I still wanted to blog though, I just needed to mix things up a bit and gain a bit of confidence.
For me, Blogtacular was worth every penny (mummy-guilt aside). I have no regrets and, if we can afford it, I’ll be going again in 2018.
What did I gain from Blogtacular?
Finding my tribe
Blogtacular was a real turning point for me this year. I’d had quite a few months struggling with my confidence, self-worth and identity. Managing to go and spend a couple of days away from home really gave me a boost that I desperately needed. I met some wonderful, creative and inspiring people too; some of whom I’m still in touch with.
I realised at Blogtacular that finding your tribe is so important. Since coming home, I’ve found a couple of online communities that I really enjoy being a part of. They’ve also been invaluable for finding new readers, contributors and others to collaborate with.
The most important thing that Blogtacular gave back to me was my passion for writing. I felt excited about blogging again in a way that I hadn’t for a long time. I don’t feel embarrassed to tell people about my blog any more!
I’ve also discovered some new passions. Going to Blogtacular 2017 coincided with my reading of Overdressed to which I credit all of the changes in our family’s lifestyle since. What does this have to do Blogtacular? Well, the session I took the most away from was all about finding your niche and it gave me the confidence to make some changes around here. I realised that I didn’t want to just sew things and write about the process of sewing anymore. I wanted to write regularly about things that were more, dare I say it, authentic (such an overused word isn’t it?) and exciting.
It’s been working well too; here are some stats for the more mathematically-minded of you:
Blog traffic went up by 60% by the end of July 2017;
By the end of September 2017, traffic was up by 341%
One of the most interesting things to come from taking my blog more seriously is having the opportunity to collaborate with others. Whether it’s been guest posters, or working with brands, I’ve really enjoyed some of these highlights:
I’ve also turned down collaborations that I don’t think fit with my blog’s ethos.
I will be honest and say that my only disappointment about Blogtacular is that we haven’t yet received the recordings of all of the sessions. I’m not sure that a date for them was even specified, but it would have been useful to receive them earlier to build on what we took away from the weekend. Having said that, they’ll still be incredibly useful.
All in all, I would absolutely recommend booking a ticket for Blogtacular 2018 when they go on sale. I feel like I’ve achieved so much in the past six months that I would not have done otherwise!