Category Archives: The Blogcademy

Ten Things I Learnt at The Blogcademy

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The Blogcademy has been a life changing new direction for me and my career. Making the decision to teach others was not an easy one and was something that the three of us knew would take some time to perfect. Going into something thinking you have nothing to learn yourself is a fast-track route to failure. In fact I haven’t learnt quite as much about myself, or the way to run a business successfully, in such a short space of time… er ever.

1. Build a strong team

When you go into any new venture, it’s vital to have co-workers that you can trust. Even if you’re going it alone, it’s unlikely that you will be able to do everything yourself. Be sure to hire or collaborate with people who have the same overall vision as you. You need to openly discuss your objectives early on to make sure you’re all on the same page and have the same ultimate goals.

Communication is key. Be sure to talk through any issues or concerns right away – as soon as you feel them arising. Being open and honest about these things with not only help to maintain a healthy working relationship, but will allow your team to help you work through any personal concerns along the way.

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2. Not all advice will be good advice

Asking for feedback from past customers or collaborators is a necessary evil. Sometimes it’s all to easy to bury our heads in the sand and aimlessly convince ourselves that we’ve done a perfect job. But perfection takes time (in reality it will never be met!) and although you may already be aware of areas that need improving in your business, asking for feedback from people who you know will give it to you honestly us a great way to grow. But it can be tough to hear – especially if you feel you’ve worked really hard and put your all into something. It can seem like people are picking holes in everything you’ve done, but they may have noticed things you didn’t and may offer you some really valuable advice about how to improve things next time.

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Announcements, Changes, Reminders & Shout Outs

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Just a little note to let you all know, I’ll be switching over the majority of my coverage of The Blogcademy to The Green Room from now on. The reason being that I anticipate that these posts will be of most interest to the people reading the business and personal updates on my blog rather than the weddings. So make sure you’re checking in here regularly if this kind of stuff floats your boat.

Portland & Los Angeles venues

Plenty has been going on behind the turquoise curtain since London. We did a soft launch of our next cities last month so the eager ones amongst you could plan ahead and now we’re able to finally share all the nitty gritty details, starting with the most important thing – the venues!

I’m thrilled to let you all know that the Portland event will be taking place at the uber cool The Cleaners at Ace Hotel (and there’s a photo booth in the lobby!) with the LA leg going down at Beachwood Studios slap bang in the middle of Hollywood. Oh yes, I can’t wait to get me some of that Californian sunshine!

I’m also super duper head over heels excited that the always epic Made U Look Photography will be joining us in Portland to shoot the workshop and generally hang out with us all weekend. Y’all have to meet these ladies, they are seriously inspiring. If you are interested in film and experimental photography they really are the best of the best. We love them.

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Curriculum changes

In other news, after some feedback from past Blogcadets, we’ve decided to switch up some parts of the curriculum for upcoming workshops. First off, we called upon Richard Wakefield of FX Films to shoot Lisa Devlin‘s photography talk in London so that we can offer it with your ticket purchase – you’ll receive the password and can watch the video as many times as you’d like. Lisa is an award-winning photographer and has a lot packed into her talks and this will benefit you since some of the technical info can take a few viewings to get down.

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Love & Reports From The Blogcademy, London

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I was more nervous than usual for The Blogcademy‘s London leg. Not only did we have two sold out classes to do (oh the added pressure!) but being on my own turf I really felt like it was little old me that had to make sure it delivered – like if it wasn’t as awesome as the New York event it would all be my fault. Oh and the weather decided to go all kinds of cray cray two days beforehand too. That’s always fun.

But I need not have worried. With my fellow headmistresses by my side and 60 eager bloggers waiting in the wings we had the best time ever! The English, Irish, Scottish & Welsh contingent all turned out in force and, yet again, we had many an international babe flying in especially for the occasion. Vienna, Estonia, Sweden, Canada and New York were all represented and they were eager to laugh and learn with us all weekend!

I could bang on and on about how amazing the two workshops were for an age, but honestly, our graduates did it so much better than I ever could. So instead, I’m handing the reigns over to them…

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“Well I have to say that it was officially the greatest weekend I’ve ever experienced! I have never in all my days, felt so inspired or excited in my life. My head is jam packed with ideas, my notebook is full and my head is now covered in sparkly bows and bunny-ears”. Emma Rose Black

“Something inside has clicked. I’ve done B-School, I’ve read numerous books & listened to countless voices, but the bringing together of like minded souls is something really special. So for now I just wanted to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the time, energy & love you put into The Blogcademy. It truly feels like a gift that will keep on giving and one that will enable me to grow and pass on the gifts I have for the benefit of others.” Jayne Rusby

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Snowdrifts & Sequins: London Blogcademy Video Insanity

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I’ve been playing with my Holga DSLR lens – so fun!

The London Blogcademys were nothing short of incredible. Like, seriously mind-blowing. I am forever in debt to the 60 (!) guys & gals who spent two whole days with us, each of them battling sleet, snow and precarious public transport to make it to the beautiful Curtain Road Studios in Shoreditch.

I am so immensely grateful to the ridiculously talented Richard Wakefield of FX Media for being there to capture the magic on film, to Lisa Devlin Emily Quinton for guest teaching and to Shell de Mar for snapping away mercilessly.

I’ll be sharing much more about what went on at both events over the coming weeks, but I couldn’t resist posting Richard’s amazing video today…

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A Blogcademy Brouhaha

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No sooner had we wrapped the first London Blogcademy, than Gala, Shauna & I were ferociously planning for the weekday instalment. We’re kicking off our second event today and we couldn’t be more excited! Reworking the presentation, tweaking our delivery and coming up with brand new ideas, we are adamant to make every session even better than the last. In fact we spent most of our ‘day off’ (i,e. day of shopping) stopping every five minutes to brainstorm. Gala scrawled musings on her Wagamama place mat and I sent Shauna more jam-packed emails full of notes than I think she really expected.

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The Blogcademy London is Here!

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Even though I’ve been to London a squillion times, there’s something very different about being in the city with some friends who are seeing it all for the first time. Freaking out over old fashioned phone boxes, fumbling with our colourful currency and taking a trip to the shoe shopping mecca that is Selfridges. I also think Shauna nearly died and went to heaven walking into the Liberty stationery section.

The snow may be falling but we are so bloomin’ excited for the first London Blogcademy this weekend. We have our woolly hats packed and our (semi) sensible shoes ready to go! But we couldn’t forget about you, dear blog reader. Gala shot this footage on her phone as we set up at the studios yesterday. Isn’t the space beautiful?

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New Dates for The Blogcademy: Portland & LA!

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I am SO EXCITED about 2013, like SO SERIOUSLY EXCITED (can’t you tell!?) and I’m starting 2013 as I mean to go on with new date announcements for The Blogcademy. Now I know we haven’t even done our London workshops yet but, basically, we just couldn’t wait any longer…

At the end of March we’re heading to Shauna’s home town (I think many of you will have guessed that one!) of Portland, Oregon and the week after we’re zipping down to LA. In fact we’ll be in LA for my birthday which I’m also rather enthused about. I’m going to demand the girls take me to In-N-Out Burger for it!

As usual, we have just 30 spaces available for each date – and yes, yet again we’re running an early bird special for the first 48 hours (after that it will be $750) and a scholarship for both. You can enter this as before – posting your creative links on our facebook page. You have one month from today and don’t forget to make a note in your post of which location you’d like to attend!

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The Blogcademy Updates & Scholarship Winner Announcement!

Why happy Sunday one and all. I trust you’ve had a fantastic weekend so far? I thought I’d just pop by this morning to give you a few Blogcademy updates because it’s all go go go over here!

After we wrapped NYC and got the photos, video and some pretty awesome testimonials from all of our lovely graduates (we love you!) Shauna felt that the website could do with a bit of an overhaul. I swear to God that woman doesn’t actually sleep. Ever. One morning I woke up to an email from the lady herself saying “So girls, I must be mad cos I completely redesigned the website over night!” Now, mad she may be, but oh so bloomin’ talented as well. We love you babe.

The new design isn’t a radical departure from the original but it’s been freshened, polished and new sections have been added. There’s new pages for testimonials, to announce new locations (seriously, watch this space eek!) and to invite sponsors to get on board. And talking of sponsors we’re still on the look out for goodie bag items for London so if you make something cute and you’d like to get it in front of 70 enthusiastic bloggers AND get it featured on all our blogs then get in touch!

Poor Gareth then had to code the whole thing in a weekend but needless to say he did an awesome job as ever. What a dream team!

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A Sunday Kind of Love: “We Were Able to Suck the Juice Out of Their Brains”

“Jeez, is she still banging on about The Blogcademy?” I hear you wail… Well yes actually because I. am. excited! It is by far one of the biggest and most rewarding projects I’ve been involved in and I just can’t stop smiling about the whole thing! And of course I don’t want you to miss it!

Tickets to our second (oh yes!) London date went on sale on Friday and are already selling quickly – we’re thrilled! But even more thrilling is hanging out in our secret graduate (and undergraduate) private forum – the excitement and anticipation in there in palpable. It’s so cute seeing all the newbies making friends with the New York gals, everyone asking and giving advice, people planning to meet up beforehand and others arranging to share hotel rooms. Now you know you wanna be a part of that!

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We’re SO Excited! The Blogcademy London – Second Date!

Oh my goodness. We’re so EXCITED!

Yes, that’s right, The Blogcademy in London sold out in just 24 hours and we couldn’t be more thrilled! In fact we’re so over the moon that we’ve decided to add a second London date! Waaaaah!

What utter nut jobs…

The third Blogcademy class will take place on Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th January 2013, again at the Curtain Road Studios, Shoreditch. The same rules apply so if you’d like to join us hop to it. No excuses for missing out now guys – hurry hurry!

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We’re Bringing The Blogcademy to… LONDON!!

Cor blimey guv’nor, it’s true! We’re off to London-town for the next instalment of The Blogcademy madness and we couldn’t be more excited!

It didn’t take much persuading, but I’ve coerced Gala & Shauna into hopping on a plane to do the next Blogcademy workshop on my turf. To say I’m excited is a HUGE understatement. Come on Britain, let’s show these international playgirls a good time! Shauna has never even been to the UK… I can’t wait to get that gal in a black cab, by a red phone box and eating fish n chips. Lisa & I managed to get her drinking tea in New York, it’s only a matter of time until she’s a fully fledged Anglophile!

Alongside 30 passionate bloggers, Gala, Shauna & I will spend the weekend covering anything and everything you could possibly want to know about blogging, social media, branding and running your own business. We promise learning, laughing, photo ops, sugary treats and homework assignments you’ll actually want to complete. As Blogcademy headmistresses we promise to be unshakably honest, to give away all our secrets and to be full of sparkle at all times (and, yes, probably wearing ridiculous headwear).

Whether you want to make blogging a full-time gig, you’re doing it to support another business or you’re just doing it for fun, this is the workshop for you. All we ask is that you have a basic understanding of social media and blogging (this is not a technical workshop – you can find that stuff out from a day of Googling) and if you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level – we’d love to help you!

Oh but that’s not all, for the second time I’m bringing wedding photographer of the year, Lisa Devlin, along for the ride. She’ll be there to teach you all some basic photography skills. I’ve even roped in my buddies Chris Barber & Richard Wakefield in to photograph and video the event for us. Basically this is going be one massive party so who wants to join us?!

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A Sunday Kind of Love: Lights! Camera! Action!

Don’t feel like you soaked up enough Blogcademy goodness already!? Well fret not my dear… we have some behind the scenes video action for you right now. Big love to Ben Vogel for following us around all weekend and making us feel all famous and stuff…

The next date & location will be announced on this here blog at 12pm (GMT) on Wednesday 14th November (that’s this Wednesday folks). Tickets will be on sale at a special discounted early bird price for the first 48 hours only. Now don’t say we haven’t warned you… set those alarms!

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Behind the Scenes at The Blogcademy

“I know this sounds crazy, but I really feel like The Blogcademy is going to be a massive game-changer for all three of us”, Gala said to Shauna & me the morning after the workshop, “and I really hate that phrase…”

But you know what, I think the girl might be onto something.

A heady mix of nerves, anticipation and excitement seeped through my trip to New York this month. Lisa & I had a few other things planned, but we knew our visit was concluding with the biggie. Organising this event was a labour of love and a project of passion – squillions of emails flew back and forth over the course of just a couple of short months while Gala, Shauna & I planned every last detail thousands of miles apart from each other.

A intensive weekend-long and strategy-based blogging workshop was something all three of us had dreamt about doing individually, but it was only when we realised we could do it together that the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place. We all have very different areas of interest and expertise surrounding the subject, and when we sat down and assessed what each of us could bring to an event like this it all just seemed to make sense.

 “It was hands down one of the best things I’ve done to move my ideas forward in a really long time. The BEST. I think I may have a choir of mojo about to sing hallelujah. It got me thinking about how we get our mojos to sing…” Maree Forbes

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