10th September saw the second annual UK Money Bloggers conference, the Sho-mos (Show me the money) which consisted of a full day's conference followed by an awards ceremony that evening. The event took place at the Latest Free Stuff HQ just opposite Tower Bridge in London and was attended by lots of money bloggers from across the UK.
The event was a big deal for me – it was at the Shomos last year that I decided I wanted to leave my job to blog full time! I didn't know when I would leave my job, just that I would. Tony and I decided to make a weekend of it – mostly because we were in charge of the goody bags for the event and those things were HEAVY (55kg, I weighed them)! We eventually got to our hotel room and set to making the goody bags – which took a few hours! Finally we found ourselves lugging three massive suitcases to the Latest Free Stuff offices in Friday night's rush hour!
The day itself was absolutely amazing. There is something so inspiring about being in a room with like minded people, and I came away from the event buzzing! Throughout the day we had some awesome sessions which included:
- Building a community approach
- How to sell yourself to PRs and brands by Tom Church.
- Pitching to the press and maximising publicity by Faith Archer.
- Shhhhhhhhhh! SEO agency secrets by Karyn Fleeting.
- What you need to know to be awesome at Pinterest by Naomi Willis.
- The UK money bloggers community by Andy Webb.
- Fair pay for money bloggers by Emma Bradley, Amy Rowe and Steve James.
- Investing 101 by Rob Fisher.
- Dragon's Den secrets from Deepak Tailor.
- Getting more from affiliate marketing by myself, Deepak Tailor and Ian from Affiliate Window.
As you can tell, it was a jam packed day with so many useful talks! I absolutely loved the heated discussion happening in the fair pay for money bloggers panel and I am really keen to see how the UK Money Bloggers community proceed with this.
Speaking about affiliate marketing
You only need to take one look at my income reports to know that I love affiliate marketing. When I was asked to speak on a panel about affiliate marketing I knew that I had to do it! I was on the panel with Deepak from Latest Free Stuff and Ian from Affiliate Window. The panel lasted for 45 minutes where we were asked questions and we also welcomed a conversation with the audience.
Lunch has to get a special mention – we were all provided with an amazing packed lunch from Approved Food. Approved Food is the UK’s largest online retailer of clearance food and drink – meaning that you can get the yellow label cheap shelf bargains without even leaving your home! Their products for sale includes stuff nearing or past their best before date, surplus stock, or are in outdated packaging. This means that us customers can save up to a massive 70% on the RRP of products. If you haven't yet checked them out , giving their customers savings of up to 70% on the RRP. Registration takes a matter of minutes and is open to everyone, meaning thousands of great bargains are just a few clicks away!
The awards ceremony
To conclude the awesome conference, we had the Shomos. There were 12 categories and I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for 4 of them:
- People's Choice
- Money Blogger of the Year
- Best Money Making Blog
- Best Frugal and Thrifty Blog
I really, really wanted to win the Best Money Making Blog, and I was so happy to see that category for this year's awards. Whilst I love sharing deals with you and tips for a thrifty life, I am passionate about helping people to make extra money.
As you can see, I was lucky enough to win both Best Frugal and Thrift Blog AND Best Money Making Blog. I was also runner up for Money Blogger of the Year, which went to the wonderful Lotty Earns. I am completely blown away to have won these awards, they mean so much to me! Click here to see all the other winners.
What other bloggers had to say
“I got to meet some amazing and inspirational bloggers during the even, and can truly see and appreciate how diverse the money blog field is, with how many of us there was yet still retain our own uniqueness. The event was really fun, interesting and informative. This has really inspired me to work harder towards my own blog and as such expect some changes around here but most importantly more posts as the ideas have just been over-flowing out of my head.” Thrifty Husband
“I left the day feeling very energised, really happy about all I had learned, lots of ideas buzzing around my head and a feeling that I had made new friends that day, and got to finally meet some of the people I have been talking to online for ages!” The Frugal Cottage
“A day of learning, chat, networking, awards and drinking in London with the cream of my fellow personal finance community.” Mrs MummyPenny
“I got to meet so many lovely bloggers and chatted to various sponsors of the awards. I kept asking the question of the sponsors – is your product / service/ reward eco and ethical and hopefully I gave them some food for thought!” Eco Thrifty Living
“I kid you not, I was sat there minding my own business when the little turd found its way up my trouser leg and proceeded to sting the life out of me, forcing me to bust a series of Michael Jackson style moves to shake it out – Shamone!” Thinking Thrifty
“It was so much fun chatting to a bunch of other bloggers, and hearing from some excellent speakers. Everyone is passionate about their different fields, from extreme couponing to eco friendly living, money saving to hard-core investing, and keen to share ideas.” Much More With Less
“…it was about connecting with a new niche of bloggers, many that I had chatted to online but not met. There are too many to name individually as I don’t want to miss anyone out but with my hand on heart I can say that it was such a friendly group of people. I tried to speak to people and make new connections because the room was full of inspiring bloggers.” Mum's Savvy Savings
I absolutely loved attending the second annual SHOMOs and can't wait to see what the future holds for us money bloggers!