Who the Hell Goes to Austin in August? The Blogcademy of Course!

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When I suggested the idea of doing a Blogcademy in Austin in August Gala and Shauna looked at me like I’d gone totally mad. ” You know it will be utterly boiling down there then? It’s practically on the Equator!” they replied. “Ahh ya wimps, how hot can it really be?” I responded. Well more fool me because when we stepped off the plane last week and were greeted with 40°C+ temperatures, I’m finally understood what living on the sun must feel like.

OK, so I’m exaggerating… but give me a break, I define porcelain. I’m so pale my skin is practically see-through and I wear factor 50 when there’s even a hint of sunshine! The intense heat was totally worth it though, and I would have stayed all summer long to spend more time with the amazing girls (and token dude) who came to the workshop last weekend. Is it bad to have favourites? Maybe… but this class was totally up there as one of the most enjoyable so far. As our last US date for 2013 we certainly went out with a bang!

The workshop was held at VUKA, a giant co-working space near where we were staying. Although there was no natural light inside (something I wish we’d known before but oh well!) and the service from the staff was less than wonderful, the food trucks over the road and juice bar two blocks away made it the perfect spot for us. It was also huge and it was really great to have the option of using tables this time too – like a proper classroom!

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As usual, the custom city totes that each Blogcadette received were packed with useful and glittery things! We like to go from the sublime to the ridiculous with our goodie bag gifts, I mean who doesn’t need a glittery pineapple to wear in their hair? This also might be my favourite tote design so far. What do you think?

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Business Bites: New Ideas and Brand New Adventures

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You know that amazing feeling when you get a genius idea for a new project? That rush of excitement and the anticipation of getting really stuck in? Well I had that this week. I was sat in Austin airport about to catch my flight home and Shauna and I were gassing about the things we have coming up. It hit me like a bolt of adrenalin and we immediately started scribbling notes about how I can make it a reality…

And no of course I’m not going to share anything more just yet (blogger’s prerogative!) but I think those of you that love the Green Room will be particularly excited when you find out what it is (I hope!) That’s all I’m saying for now..!

Dreaming big! How I landed my dream job in a dream startup
♥ Here are some fantastic links if you want to give your blog a quick make over
We deserve the clients we get

“But the truth is, we deserve the clients we get. Bad clients aren’t the result of some cosmic force working against us, they’re more likely the result of our own actions.”

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Why I’m NOT Giving Up…..

crown and glory Kat Alexa Loy-47

Sheesh, I have recently seen sooooo many rants on the internet from photographers giving up because they find it too tough to cut it as a wedding photographer or they are sick of competing with the newbies who “under cut their prices/ don’t know what they’re doing/ use vintage processing/ are ruining the industry”. So here is my two pennies worth… first up a little history.

I started working as a photographer in the early 1990s first in music and then from 2000, the majority of my work has been in weddings. I am still as thrilled to earn my living in this way as I ever was, still as excited about each and every job, from the simple engagement shoot I did in the sunshine on Brighton Beach last night, to the look book that I shot for a collaboration between Rock n Roll Bride and Crown & Glory. I will NEVER tire of taking photographs or being in such a privileged position that people trust me to record their memories on one of the most important days of their lives. I will always be on a quest to take THE perfect photograph that sums up a wedding day.

crown and glory Kat Alexa Loy-99

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Business Bites: Eat All The Things!

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I didn’t mean for the intros to these business bites to always be about food, but I guess the series name lends it to be. It’s official, Texas has the most insane food! Since I arrived here on Wednesday we’ve eaten more delicious morsels than ever. It my be a work trip but vacation rules still apply right? I.e. sod the diet, I’m going to try everything! Weird cheese dips, frozen margaritas and wine, and more Mexican food than I even thought possible. The rumours are true by the way, Austinites are very proud of their food culture – we’ve had more eatery recommendations than ever. I kinda wish we were here a bit longer so we could actually try it all.

I guess we’ll just have to come back…

♥ Just shut up and blog
♥ How to deal with doubters, unbelievers and naysayers
♥ What your Twitter bio says about you
♥ Love the work your with
♥ How I stopped waiting to become a writer, quit my job & launched my dream

“There was power, I learned, in giving more than taking, being generous instead of greedy.”

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10 Ways To Make All Bloggers Want (To Work With) You

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I’m obviously pretty biased, but if you’re running your own business and not harnessing the power of working with bloggers then you’re missing a seriously big trick! With thousands (or for some of us hundreds of thousands) of loyal monthly readers, getting your product or service in front of all those eager eyeballs has got to be a no-brainer. But bloggers are overrun with submissions so just how do you go about getting them to not only notice your pitch but actually want to write about you too? 

1. Contact them correctly

The “Dear Blogger” email is probably the bane of every blogger’s life. Not addressing someone by name when you email them is not only lazy, it’s darn right rude. Why would someone then want to go on to promote or help you if you can’t even be bothered to find out their name or personalise your email?

It’s pretty easy to decipher what a working relationship might be like with a brand through that very first email. When you write to a blogger without using their name (or using someone else’s name – whoops!) what you’re really saying is “I want to work with a blogger… any blogger… I actually don’t really care who they are or what they do, I just want to get featured on some blogs”. First impressions are of the utmost importance, and if you’re sending out these kinds of emails, it will just appear that your strategy is nothing more than ‘spray and pray’… spray everyone you can and pray that someone is bored enough to want to write about you.

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2. Get to know them

It’s important to get to know the bloggers before you contact them. Follow their blogs, read what they publish and interact with them on social media. Reply to their tweets and leave (non spammy) comments on their blog. Get to know them and try and get them to know you. That way, when it comes to pitching something to them you’re not just hitting them with a cold call, they might recognise your name or feel like they already know who you are. If they do they’re much less likely to just delete your email.

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Business Bites: Making Your Dreams a Reality

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Image: Apron Strings

I’m not the best housewife but I made this for dinner on Monday night and it was flipping delicious and SO EASY. It look a whole ten minutes. I actually added some chopped up sausages to it after it was cooked too, Gareth is a hardcore carnivore and a veggie dish for dinner probably wouldn’t have gone down that well. Oh yeah, I’ll be winning that wife of the year award in no time!

But onto much more exciting things, lovely business learning clicky links:

How to make a good first impression
♥ 6 tips for managing multi-author blogs without losing your mind
♥ If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme for your blog or website, Shauna has laid out some of the best places to get ‘em.
♥ Stuck on what to blog about? Use these awesome prompts (88 of ‘em!)
 Darren Rowse of ProBlogger spoke at World Domination Summit all about dreams and how to make them your reality. It was great. Do yourself a favour and take a 40 minute break to check it out…

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