Bloggers to share secrets

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 14:23 10/04/2013
bloggers landscape
David Hallett/The Press

CONFERENCE: Bloggers Juliet Van Der Heijden, Rachelle Crosbie, Miriam Fisher, rear, Deb Robertson and Trenna-Marie Aldridge.

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When Christchurch woman Deb Robertson wrote on her online blog that she sent her son to school with two-minute noodles for lunch, she never expected the backlash she got.

''I started getting anonymous hate mail about what a terrible mother I was,'' she said.

''You have to have a pretty thick skin to be a blogger.''

It is just one piece of advice that Robertson plans to share at a conference for bloggers this weekend in Christchurch. 

The Around the Table - Bloggers Connecting conference has been organised by a group of keen Christchurch bloggers.

About 64 New Zealand bloggers will attend.

The three-day event will cover ''key areas of interest'' for bloggers, including easy mistakes to make, how to cope when people stop following, privacy and blogging etiquette.

Christchurch blogger Miriam Fisher, 35, was part of the team behind the conference. 

''We have a really active group of bloggers in Christchurch who have met up before and we thought it would be a good idea to do this event,'' she said.

''All of our bloggers are woman and I would say 80 per cent are mothers. We are just going to meet and chat and hopefully have a great time.''

The conference will include a lesson on the technical elements of blogging in a customised computer suite, as well as a workshop session on how to get companies to advertise on blogs. 

''A lot of the people just want to meet each other, while others want to learn more about how to make their blogs successful,'' Fisher said.

''Some of our bloggers have been blogging for eight or nine years and have a lot of knowledge to pass on.''

Robertson, who has been blogging since 2005, was excited about speaking at the conference.

Her blog has about 1000 followers and gets more than 25,000 hits a month.

''I will mainly be talking about how to get a good balance between making your blog interesting so that people want to read it and accurately reflecting real life. It's also a hard balance sharing things about your family and respecting their privacy,'' she said.

Sophie Laughton-Mutu, 24, who blogs about her family, said one of the biggest mistakes to make when starting blogging was to expect too much.

''When you start out you might have wild dreams that you'll be a superstar in no time, and it's pretty easy to be disappointed when you've only got three followers,'' she said.

''Just stay true to who you are and your blog will reflect that, and people will come to your space and fall in love with the real you.''

Robertson encouraged others to try blogging.

''Just give it a go and start writing and you will soon find your own style and voice,'' she said.

''I think I wrote for about five years before anyone started reading what I was writing, but doing that constant writing gave me so much confidence.''

The conference costs $50 each and includes a dinner, a question and answer session, workshops, a goodie bag and spot prizes. 

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