Valuable thoughts and takeaways from key sessions at TBU Nantes

Valuable thoughts and takeaways from key sessions at TBU Nantes

TBU Nantes, our sixth (!) blogging and social media conference ended last week after three days of networking, learning and discovery.

I was particularly proud of the conference lineup this year, with sessions covering three tracks

  • Be Creative with Content
  • Be Better at Business
  • Be Different

Below are the thoughts and takeaways from six key topics at the conference.


Successful advertising and partnerships

Terry Lee @LiveShareTravel

A stalwart of every TBU conference since the beginning of time their inception in March 2011, Terry runs the very successful LiveShareTravel with wife Sarah. In recent years they have enjoyed a run of successful commercial partnerships with a variety of brands. Terry was in Nantes to share his thoughts in what proved to be the most popular talk by far at TBU Nantes:

  1. Blogging is a business and bloggers should get paid for their work.
  2. Bloggers should learn the value of saying no.
  3. Understanding ‘your value’ is key.
  4. Offer value by creating a portfolio offering.
  5. Sponsorships, campaigns, product reviews, competitions, promotional offers, newsletters, banner ads
  6. Get a mentor to offer advice, guidance and a different outlook on your business.
  7. Deliver for your clients!


Create a Winning Strategy with Pinterest

Nienke Krook @thetraveltester

I remember first meeting Nienke at TBU Rotterdam back in May 2013 for two reasons. It was her first (or close to 1st) travel blogger conference and it also took me a few attempts to pronounce her name somewhat accurately. Though I admit to still struggling at times.

Since then it became apparent that whilst Nienke may have been new to attending blogger conferences, she was an absolute expert at Pinterest. So we asked her to speak at TBU Nantes about it too.

  1. Pinterest is not a social network, it is a visual discovery tool!
  2. There are currently 30 billion pins and more are added daily, with 55 million active users.
  3. Pinterest users pin throughout the day on their mobile.
  4. 20% of pins are original and 80% are shared.
  5. Switch to a business account to gain access to analytics.
  6. Try sharing private Pinterest boards with partners / clients to aid collaboration.
  7. Add a pin it button so your content can be shared easily.
  8. Pin on collective boards in order to grow your influence


Blogging as a non native English Speaker

Simon Falvo @1step2theleft

At every conference we welcome bloggers from around the world, some of whom do not speak English as their first language. We asked expert blogger Simon Falvo, who is from Milan, to talk about her experience as a non native English speaker. Here are a few key take aways from her talk:

  1. Writing in English is a challenge, bloggers often feel out of the comfort zone and are afraid to make mistakes.
  2. Whilst being a good storyteller is crucial to being a good blogger, there is much more to being a good storyteller than just mastering a language as a native speaker might have done.
  3. Creativity is the key to producing engaging and quality content.
  4. If language isn’t a strength, focus on something that is, e.g. photography, videography or perhaps sketching.
  5. Where can your skills (regardless of language) add value to brands, destinations and even readers?


Telling stories that people want to read

Mark Richards  @BestDadICanBe

Mark is an award winning blogger, the 17th funniest Yorkshireman and an established story teller. The importance of storytelling has been at the forefront of TBU conferences for a while now and the following were key takeaways from Mark’s popular talk:

  1. People absorb more information if it is in story format, they allow people to make better sense of the world as we can identify with situations we’d never experience.
  2. The story is more important than the writing, with personal stories and gossip making up 66% of our conversation.
  3. A protagonist is key to a story and just like Harry Potter, this could be the blogger themselves, a local guide or local chef, a helicopter pilot or just somebody who stands out from a particular experience a blogger would want to write about.


Mark Richards  @BestDadICanBeHow to improve your blog by editing effectively

Whilst you may think Mark is swiftly becoming the protagonist in this conference writeup, fear not, his final session covered the rather important topic of editing. Whilst this session was for bloggers, the lessons learnt also absolutely apply to brands as well:

  1. Editing improves your writing quality by 3000%, helping you to maintain a consistent voice and ensuring readers are not distracted by bad quality.
  2. Read it out loud, if it doesn’t sound right, it’s not right and needs re-writing.

As Mark eloquently put it, “If you can’t be bothered to check your site, why should I think you’ve bothered to be accurate with your review, cook my breakfast properly or give a damn about whatever it is you are selling to me”.


The family business

Sally Whittle @swhittle / @tots100

Sally is the founder of the MadBlogAwards, Tots100, Foodies100 and Hibs100. We invited her along to TBU Nantes to share some of her experiences from family blogging and how they can apply to travel bloggers:

  1. 21% of UK women read blogs weekly, with 35% of mums spending more time online than others and a massive 85% research products online before buying.
  2. The majority of parents (90%) who blog want to earn money from their hobby and most (80%) do earn something from it.
  3. There are 100 parent bloggers who earn over £25,000 a year from their blog.
  4. Bloggers care more about their reputation and the trust of their readers than worrying about Google penalties.
  5. Parent bloggers make money from:
    1. paid content, (£20 – £200 per post)
    2. advertising (£10 to £70 per month)
    3. freelance writing (£100 to £200 per post)
    4. competitions (£60 – £150 per post)
    5. consulting (up to £500 a day)
    6. twitter parties (£100 – £400 a per hour)
    7. brand collaborations (£5000 and up).

What would you like to hear about at future conferences?

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