Aug 18, 2015

LITHW #10 : On Hosting Blog Events

Hi guys!

We all love blog events. Read a longs, challenges, twitter chats, giveaways, new friendships - the amount of fun things they bring our way is endless! And it might be a dream to host a super successful and fun blog event for many bloggers out there, so here is a post that might give you an insight on hosting blog events.

So everyone, welcome Alexa, of Alexa Loves Books who is the host one of my favourite blog events - Book Blogger Love-a-Thon. She's here to tell you everything you need to know about hosting a blog event!

When Jill & Mishma asked me to write about hosting blog events for Learnt It the Hard Way, I was flattered. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know that I absolutely adore hosting blog events! I have done few individual events (including this year’s Book Blogger Love-a-Thon), but I really like collaborating with friends (like last year’s Fall Into Fantasy event or this year’s edition of Mabuhay!).

Events are a fun way to be even more specific about my passions, and often result in some of my most creative, most unique posts! In keeping with their theme, I thought it’d be helpful to share a few of the things I’ve learned after hosting a number of blog events on my own blog.

1. WHAT – Identify the focal point of your event. Is it about a book? A series? An author? A hobby? A theme? There are so many different event ideas that can be brought to life, and for the most part, your perspective will ensure that it’s unique to you.

2. WHO – Immediately identify whether you are flying solo, lining up contributors or working together with collaborators. It depends on how much work you want to do yourself, or can potentially be swayed by knowing other people share your passion for the “what” in the category above.

3. HOW – Here’s where the nitty gritty stuff comes in. You have to identify when the event will be held and for how long. You also have to figure out the kind of posts you’re including, create an event graphic and an official schedule. This is the bit where it’s best if you are organized, with lists and dates down somewhere and easy for you to access. It might sound like it’s a lot of work, but if you have it all properly arranged, it’ll be easier for you (and your potential collaborators or contributors).

1. Make sure you’re doing the event for the right reasons, which to me, is because you’re driven by a deep love or passion for whatever your event is about. You’ll find yourself excited about it the whole process, instead of faltering and feeling forced to do it halfway through.

2. Scheduling posts ahead of time is your friend. Seriously. You will be cool as a cucumber when the time comes for the event to play out.

3. A giveaway is not necessary for your event, though it will help bring attention to it. If you can afford to host a giveaway, then go right ahead!

4. Promotion is important, so use what social media you can to do so. You can promote events in various ways – through Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, to name a few.

5. There is a difference between spamming and promotion though.

6. Play to your strengths. If you’re not good at graphics, for example, maybe ask help or advice from other bloggers who have that as their strength.

7. If you’re requesting contributions, make sure your email about it is concise, with clear instructions and deadlines. Also, make sure that you give them ample time to send in their stuff.

8. Be sure and email your contributors when their post goes up! It’s a nice way to kill two birds with one stone, since you’ll be able to thank them and give them direct access to their guest post.

9. If you’re working with other people, be willing to listen and consider their opinions. They might have ideas that you would never have come up with on your own.

10. If you’re working with other people, definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s the beauty of collaboration – you have other people who can help you out when you’re stuck or something happens.

It is my hope that these tips and tricks will help anyone planning to host a blog event of their own, whether it’s the first time or the thirty-third. I certainly look forward to many more blog events in my future; there are a couple in the works for me this year. In case you wanted to learn more about how I do my blog events, I wrote this other post outlining my process last year

Thanks again to Jill and Mishma for inviting me to be a part of Learnt It the Hard Way – you ladies have put together an incredible event!

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