The Blogcademy World Tour 2014!

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I think I can safely speak for my fellow headmistresses when I say that this year has been a non-stop whirlwind of epic proportions! Since last October we’ve taught ten classes, with three still to come before the year is out. When we launched The Blogcademy in August last year we didn’t know if anyone would actually want to come, so the fact that today we’re announcing our SECOND world tour is pretty damn exciting indeed!

If you have no idea what I’m harping on about, here’s a little reminder. The Blogcademy is a two-day workshop for bloggers and small business owners that I host with the amazing Gala Darling and supremely talented Shauna Haider. Hop over to theblogcademy.com where you can find out all about our curriculum and what we teach, get answers to your frequently asked questions and read some testimonials.

THE TOUR

The wait is over and here we have it, our workshop locations and dates for the whole of 2014 are… (deep breath)

San Francisco
May 10th & 11th
Makeshift Society

Chicago
May 17th & 18th
We are the Barkers

Vancouver
June 7th & 8th
Soundhouse Studios

Calgary
Proudly presented by Calgary Fashion
June 14th & 15th
Hotel Le Germain

London
July 22nd & 23rd
Curtain Road Studios

Berlin
July 26th & 27th
Agora Collective

Amsterdam
August 2nd & 3rd
The Thinking Hut

New York
September 27th & 28th
Venue TBC

Miami
October 5th & 6th
Venue TBC

Sydney
November 29th & 30th
Studio 2204

Melbourne
December 3rd & 4th
The Establishment Studios

Auckland
December 6th & 7th
Venue TBC

OMG.

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Business Bites: Giving Up Guilt

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Cara Delevingne By Walter Pfeiffer for British Vogue, September 2013

It’s the same old song and dance. I got to Australia for our final leg of The Blogcademy 2013 tour in a little under two weeks (cue major freak out!) and so I’m spending most of my waking hours desperately trying to get as much blog content written and scheduled for while I’m away. This is no mean feat when you have at least two blog posts per day for three and a half weeks to do (not to mention the blog posts before I go as well!) ARGH.

So why, when I’m working so hard to get this done, do I still feel that stupid pang of guilt that I’m not doing more? There’s a big project that I really wanted to start on this month but I just haven’t had time… actually, that’s a lie, I could have found the time, I’ve watched plenty of crap TV in the evenings, but I haven’t had the mental capacity to do it!

I know I’m a crazy work obsessive and am always looking to push myself and Rock n Roll Bride to the next level but why can’t I just give myself a break already?

So I’ve decided that however much I really wanted to crack on with this project, it’s actually OK that I haven’t. The world will not end it it gets pushed back a little while!

However much you’re doing do you ever feel guilty that maybe it’s not quite enough? I think we all need to get over it.

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Three steps for giving up the guilt

“Decide here and now that feeling guilty about what you have/haven’t achieved is a waste of your mental and emotional energy… use your energy reserves more wisely.  Instead of acting from guilt or obligation, choose your actions and reactions from a place of authenticity, knowing what your biggest values are and what definition of happiness you’re striving for.”

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Announcing: The Barn – Online Resources for Wedding Photographers

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

Back in 2011, acclaimed wedding photographer Lisa Devlin started The Photography Farm. The idea was simple – a residential wedding photography workshop over three days. Included was a spectacular styled shoot, invaluable processing techniques and business school with special industry guest speakers. Since then, the farm has gone from strength to strength and with the edition of Farm Elements, a two-day class travelling the length and breath of the country, it is reaching and teaching more wedding photographers than ever.

This month sees an exciting new addition to The Farm family with the launch of The Barn, an online resource for wedding photographers. Alongside FXMedia, Lisa has been filming tutorials for over a year, pulling together an amazing tool for wedding photographers wanting to fill in any gaps in their knowledge. Easy to digest video tutorials show Lisa working with a real clients all the way through from their engagement shoot, the pre-wedding meeting and then at the actual wedding.

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Business Bites: Business Plans and Blogger Meets

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Photography: Chris Craymer for British Glamour

How am I going to Australia in three weeks?! But more to the point, where the hell is this year going?! So much to do, so little time… Ah sod it, I’m just gonna stop for a while and read some inspirational business articles instead. Who’s with me?

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♥ Sorry, “working on your novel” is not a business model

“‘Making books’ is not my primary source of income as a writer. And probably never will be. Some writers might find that depressing. I don’t. I think it’s liberating.” Alexandra Franzen

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The Five Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Blog

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I look at a lot of blogs. Not only am I a fanatical reader, but through running The Blogcademy I’ve now critiqued over 300 of them! In class, each attendee receives a report card where we give them some personal feedback on their sites. And after doing so many of them over the past 12 months, I’ve realised that most bloggers are making exactly the same mistakes.

To ensure that you’re not doing the same, here are the five main blunders I see being made over and over again.

1. You have a lacklustre About page (or no About page at all!)

Next to your homepage, your About page will be the most visited on your site. The likelihood is that if a brand new reader likes your content they’re next going to want to know about the person behind the blog. If your About page is lacklustre, boring or doesn’t entice them to want to know more about you, they are unlikely to stick around.

It’s no secret that writing about yourself is hard, but as Gala says, “It’s the best possible PR exercise! You have to be your own cheerleader, your own PR agent and your own pushy stage mother!” Remember, if you don’t tell people how awesome you are, no-one else is going to do it for you.

Online, we have the power to present ourselves however we want and to become the people we always thought we could be. While, of course, you shouldn’t be making things up, the way you talk about yourself can make or break how people perceive you.

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I was recently featured on the UK Wedding Academy site. Their article was loosely based on my About page (which I directed them to when they emailed to ask if they could feature me) and I was thrilled with how the piece came out. Why? Because they said all the things I wanted people to know about me! On my About page I’m not shy to big up the things that make me proud and to share the things I want to do more of. Therefore when they came to write their article, it basically contained all the things I’m most excited about.

If your About page is lacking some oomph, be sure to let go of your inherent shyness (a good tip is to imagine you’re writing about someone else), check out this advice post and crack on with bigging yourself up ASAP!

2. Your contact info is hard to find

It genuinely baffles me how difficult some people are to contact! Don’t make it hard for potential clients to get in touch with you, especially if you’re in a service based industry or if you’re trying to sell something. Your contact page should be clearly labelled and located in the top navigation bar of your blog (under your header). Failing that you could include it in your About page, but make sure you call it out very clearly.

Similarly, if you run a location-specific business, make sure you include where in the world you are based. If you’re a florist in London, for example, it’s unlikely that you’ll be wanting to work with people in The States. If you don’t include this vital info, how are potential clients supposed to know if you’re an option for them?

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Business Bites: Nerd Out!

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Photography: Feather and Stone

Oh I do love a good workshop. This week I spent most of my time at the Photography Farm where a bunch of wedding photographers and I spent the whole time getting to know each other and gassing about our favourite topics – weddings, photography and blogging! There really is nothing better than spending time with like-minded nerds. I always leave these kinds of environments feeling super inspired and invigorated push myself and my business to the next level.

So I have some homework for you this weekend. If it’s been a while since you hung out with some industry friends in real life (Twitter chats do not count!) and nerded out, then do it… do it now! I promise you’ll feel better for it afterwards and head home with a brain-full of new ideas or at least a big boost of motivation!

Be sure to let me know how you get on…

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“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.” Neil Gaiman

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