Lessons I’ve learnt at the 2017 #ECMeetup

Jun 2, 2017

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been writing about the ECMeetup like crazy. You’d have thought that I was one of the organisers. I’m not. I’m just super supportive and proud of Luchae and Eleanor on pulling off another great event. The event was over two weeks ago, but here I am, only writing about it now. I’ve been busy with exams, hence the lack of blog posts, but now that I’m done, it’s back to blogging as usual. The meet up was well attended, and it’s great to see online personalities in the area supporting the event.

On the morning of the event I had overslept and the venue is a 40-minute drive from where I stay. Also, I had to take an alternate route due to protest action in the city, and my GPS ended up taking me via the scenic route. Fortunately, I managed to get there on time. There were so many people to catch up with! I spotted some of my blogger friends at the Masterton’s stand across the porch and skipped going through the entrance to say hi and get some coffee.

The Plantation pulled out all of the stops, as they usually do. The venue was decorated in lanterns, roses, lush foliage and proteas, which gave it an elegant and proudly South African touch. They had a pancake table setup.  I didn’t take photos of my pancake because I threw nearly all of the toppings on and it looked like a hot mess. It was definitely not Instagramable like the table, but it tasted amazing.  That being said, I should have gone for seconds!

The pancake table at the #ECMeetup is divine 😍😍😍 #sharethebay

A post shared by OD (@osoinspired) on

The event started and we got down to business. First up was Ronel from Rain, she gave a beautiful backstory on the business, but more on this in another post. The main presenters Davene Prinsloo and Mandy-Lee Miller gave such great advice on the areas of their expertise. Davene spoke about the technical aspects of photography, which bloggers need to know and I learnt a lot from her. This post, however, is about branding my blog.

Here’s a little secret, I was planning to give OSI a huge overhaul. Split it up into two sites, give both new names, each with a completely new image. Let me tell you, I’m glad I waited for the #ECMeetup before I finalised anything. Mandy-Lee spoke about branding and blogging and most of the time I felt like she was speaking directly to me.

Keeping up with the…

Late last year I attended a blogger presentation (just to be clear, it’s not affiliated with the #ECMeetup), where the facilitator basically said everything I (and a lot of other people in the room) am doing, is wrong (well not exactly in those words, but she may as well have) and said that us PE bloggers are not the Kardashians. Yes, she did say we’re not the Kardashians. Not that I aspire to be one, but okay. I and a few others left that presentation feeling so despondent that some of us, including me, seriously considered giving up on blogging. So the changes I had been planning had been based on the information in that presentation. And by changes, I mean “fixing” my site and doing it the “proper” way. What I learnt from Mandy-Lee is, there’s no “proper” way to blog.

Mandy-Lee’s presentation at the meetup was the exact opposite of what was said at the other one I attended. She spoke a lot about branding, but one thing that stood out for me was that people read blogs for the blogger’s experience and personality. And when Mandy spoke, with every point she made, she could back up it up and she doesn’t do the opposite of the advice that she gives.

Thanks to you!

Well, one thing is for sure, I am not a Kardashian. Also, it would be insulting to you guys, my readers, to think that people won’t read my blog because I am not a celeb. You, a real person, are taking time out your busy day to read this post, to read my blog. I’m not a celeb, and yet you read it. So there must be something you like about it, right? You’re spending your time, reading my blog instead or Kylie Jenner’s or whatever celeb who has one. And that’s pretty awesome, so thank you!

That being said, Mandy-Lee’s presentation has inspired me to still rebrand OSI, but it won’t be drastic. OSI will still be OSI, but there’ll be a new look and a few other changes. Because I’ve been busy with exams I haven’t started with my plans but will be doing so soon. So keep an eye out. Her presentation also made me feel more confident in my blogging. I left the meetup feeling like I could go out and conquer the Internet, and not give up on my little space on the internet.

Thank you to everyone involved for making the #ECMeetup a great event, and see you guys at the next one.

One of The Plantation’s gorgeous guest rooms.

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  • Reply Mandy-Lee Miller Jun 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    You made me ugly cry. I am so so very glad you found value in what I had to say <3 I love you blog and your stories and your photos and I am so glad you aren't going to take it apart to make somebody else happy! MLMxx

    • Reply Odette Jun 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

      <3 Never doubt your value Mandy-Lee. You are amazing. Thank you for being so helpful.

  • Reply Melissa Javan Jun 2, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Love this post. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Odette Jun 4, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Thanks you Melissa.

  • Reply Vee Jun 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Totally agree with this – worded beautifully. I felt the same. Was lovely to meet you. xx

    • Reply Odette Jun 4, 2017 at 8:46 am

      It was so lovely meeting you too Venean!

  • Reply Zaahida @Journeywithmum Jun 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Girl!! This is so real! This resonated so much with me!! My Twitter Bio…it says “tired of fitting into boxes!” There is so much info out there, so many people claiming to be experts! You just do you and we love you!!

    • Reply Odette Jun 4, 2017 at 8:48 am

      I’m tired of those boxes as well Tash <3 <3 . We're in this blogging gig together.

  • Reply Mommabeartrax Jun 3, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Mandy is magic isn’t she!!! And she’s like that 100% of the time. Great decision and look forward to seeing your new look. X

    • Reply Odette Jun 4, 2017 at 8:49 am

      She’s is! Thanks for popping by

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