The Road to Victoria’s Blogging Land…

I was really, really looking forward to the #HSCLeeds Tweet Meet on 6th November, because we had our first “guest speaker”. Victoria Tomlinson was coming to talk about blogging. Victoria is CEO of Northern Lights PR (@nlightspr), so she has built a business in an area where networking and social media is vital.

Unfortunately for me, things didn’t quite go to plan. A busy day at work meant I didn’t get to leave early, or on time, for that matter. Which meant I didn’t check a map to find out where the venue, the White Cloth Gallery, was. Instead, I relied on conversations and a general sense that I thought I remembered walking past then venue down the Calls at some point. Ah. Memory. Such a fickle friend…. Pouring rain, cold, dark streets….But I’m stubborn, and eventually, I managed to work out where I was supposed to be going (map reading without reading glasses…) and I turned up, rather late…

I felt terribly guilty, and it was frustrating to have missed the first half of Victoria’s talk, although the second half was well worth turning up for! Between the talk, and the questions afterwards, there were some really interesting points. For a start off – what actually is blogging? Is it a diary? Is it chapters of a winding book? Is it teaching? Is it advertising? Victoria suggested that the key element was that blogging contained personal insight. I kind of liked that, and it fitted with her advice to include personal anecdotes. I guess its rather like that moment in a conversation when you tell your friend a story. They listen patiently (or mine do, anyway!), and then make comments at the end.

Like any conversation with a friend, you don’t want to make it too long. People have other things they need to do – so she recommended 600-800 words (unless the tale being told is utterly compelling!). She also suggested, like a good story, you need to grab attention to get people reading, so look out for “5 Steps to Build a Tweeting Community” in future!

But the best way to really pick up blogging, is to read others, and have a go.

So here are my recommendations for blogs:

Northern Lights PR

Sociable Organisation

Co-producing digital mental health

Vanessa Garrity’s blog

Tommy On Tour

Rob Webster – views of a trust Chief Executive

Anne Cooper – Thoughts of a nurse with Type 1 diabetes

Dr Kate Granger

Ninjabetic

Peter Cutting – ED Consultant

And lastly – mine!

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