Something that I get asked a lot by local bloggers and muggles (basically non bloggers, huh?) is how do I get invited to blogger events.
It certainly helps that I have been in the blogging game for the last 5 years. Whilst blogging has been on the surface for a little while now and has been noticed by brands/places in the likes of London and Manchester for quite a few years, I feel like the blogging scene in Plymouth is only just starting to evolve, and realise the value that bloggers can bring to the real world.
The first ever event I went to was a Lush Plymouth event – I basically saw they were looking for bloggers on Twitter, so I tweeted them, and the rest? Well, it’s history.
Since then, I know that a few other places have used the initial PR list that Lush Plymouth created, so I guess I was lucky enough to be on that from the start.
But just because you’ve only just started blogging or perhaps you’ve been blogging for a while and don’t know how to get invited to these events, blogging for the longest amount of time or having the most followers doesn’t necessarily = a gold pass to all blogger events that ever take place.
Sometimes I don’t get invited to events that everyone else does, but it does help to know how you can start getting invited to events too.
Getting Onto Existing PR Lists
Sometimes things do just fall into your lap, and when that does happen, amazing! But like everything, you can’t just sit back and think you should be invited to events. Girl, you gotta do a bit of groundwork too.
If you’re new to the area or are a new blogger, contact local shops/brands etc that you know already run regular blogger events and ask to be put onto their blogger list.
Lush Plymouth, I know are very active with this and always do ask to drop them an email or tweet them if you want to be added to the list. It takes 2 seconds to do and who knows, you might even get invited to the next event.
For Plymouth based bloggers, some places worth contacting if you’re not already on their list are;
-Onshore (PR company that looks after Drake Circus and many other local based brands)
-Theatre Royal Plymouth (they actually do a blogger scheme)
New Shop/Restaurant Openings
As well as asking to get onto existing PR lists, what about getting onto the scene for completely new events?
Like I said before, Plymouth is still relatively young to the blogging scene and when there are new restaurant openings etc, either 50% don’t even know what bloggers are and the other 50% are PRs based in London who are desperately scratching around for some local bloggers. DO the work for them.
When I see a new restaurant or shop is opening, I don’t wait around or hang back. I find the PR contact for them and I email them. I introduce myself, and enquire about the opening of ‘X’ shop/restaurant to see if they’re thinking of holding any events or need any bloggers to review their services etc.
Most of the time, they come back and say YES. But if not, what have you lost?
I always find it helps to build a good relationship with the PR from the get go as you don’t know what potential opportunities could open up in the future.
Contact Existing Local Brands/Shops/Restaurants
Okay, so don’t let the blogger hotel scandal that blew up a couple of weeks ago put you off from reaching out to someone new. An email never hurt anyone, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
When you think about it, there are 100s of local businesses out there that would probably love to hear from you and also need a hand with their marketing/advertising.
It’s not necessarily about getting a freebie either, I for one am not about that.
Like I mentioned in my when to say no to blogger collabs post, I will only accept or do something that I love, but it also needs to enrich me. Sometimes it is just about making some meaningful connections in the local community, because you never know when you may want to fall back on your network of connections.
It’s something that I will be doing more of this year too. Emailing local brands and proposing the idea of an event, asking if they would like a review or even just helping out with something.
I think we should all work together in the local community to help each other, and I really don’t see anything wrong with that. AND what I just keep coming across in my working life is ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’.
Localise Your Blog Content
Something that I believe has helped me to be found by PRs is how I rank for certain search terms, for example Plymouth bloggers, Plymouth fashion blogger – if you are a London based PR, this is the FIRST thing you are going to do. Its easy, doesn’t require much work and you are more than likely going to find a good handful of bloggers on page 1 results for this.
SEO is another lesson all together, and it is a long term game, improving your ranking is not something that happens overnight. But if you start to develop and write for SEO going forward, are consistent and use your keywords wisely, there’s no reason why you can’t start to move up the rankings.
I am a Plymouth based blogger and proud of it, I have a couple of posts such as 10 of the best independent coffee shops in Plymouth and 10 of the best places for breakfast in Plymouth that also rank on page 1.
I love writing Plymouth specific posts anyway as they provide long term value for my blog so its worth reconsidering your content strategy and whether you can drop in any local posts like this.
In terms of meta data, I always include that I am a Plymouth based blogger, this keeps it area specific and is much better than something vague like UK fashion blogger. You always need to think about what you want to be ranking for, not what everyone else is doing or wants to be seen as. That’s great that you’re a UK blogger but where in the UK, make it specific, and make it easy for your content and blog to be found.
Now the rest is up to you! Have you found any other ways that help you get invited to blogger events?