It’s going to be hard to describe the inspiration and overwhelming delight of Blogtacular (as sponsers of the event), but I’m going to try and explain anyway – from my side of the fence. I’m not an avid blogger, but I love to read blogs. Having worked on magazines for five years, I’d be lying if I said that bloggers hadn’t somewhat influenced our industry. Unlike before, we look to bloggers for project submissions, copy writing and often find ourselves relying on their expert craft skills to make sure we can cover a wide range of topics. Well, we can’t be experts at everything can we?
On Mollie Makes we feature, on average, at least three new contributors every issue. Often it’s much more. And there’s still hundreds of talented people out there we’ve yet to work with. The content bucket available to us is well and truly brimming and the turnout at Blogtacular certainly confirmed this for me. I didn’t even get a chance to meet 1/2 of the attendees, but the ones I did manage to chat to have truly inspired me this weekend. Kat Molesworth and Kat Goldin did a sterling job to organise this event, bringing likeminded creatives together for a conference of tips, advice and, of course, a stella line-up of speakers.
Here is Joy Cho (the keynote speaker) with our lovely team. And below that, the Secrets of the Editors panel – including our very own, Editor Lara Watson (far left) alongside Caroline Rowland of 91 magazine (Guest Editor of Mollie Makes Home – yay!), Guardian Life & Style Editor Kate Carter and Interiors Journalist Heather Young.
Money was certainly a hot topic for the weekend with some bloggers advising to avoid non-paid work at all costs (or at least ask for payment), whilst other were keen to share that they started life with a few freebie placements. I have worked for free, although I must add it wasn’t on anything I didn’t feel passionate about doing. In this line of work, the proof is in the pudding and sometimes that means giving someone a spoonful of dessert before they pay for the full gateaux. It’s certainly worth baring in mind however, that free work on a lengthy basis only harms the potential for paid work in the future – and in some way could undermine any experience or training you may have had. It’s definitely a topic worth keeping for another post, but it’s something I’m not afraid to say that we do struggle with it.
(Read: we’d pay everyone lots more money if there was more to spend!)
On a lighter note, there were plenty of colourful things to remind us that it’s our creative skills that have brought us all together. My favourite hour of the weekend has to be Xanthe Berkeley’s photo walk (with balloons!). It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that, but I absolutely fell in love with the idea.
So don’t worry if you spot me wandering around with a lonely balloon… I’m ok. I’m just using it to inspire me to open my eyes so I can rediscover (and photograph) all the beautiful things around me.