November Theatre Blogger Meetup
What better to do on a cold November night than have a few drinks with a bunch of like-minded writers who are vast becoming true industry friends? Nothing I tells ya! With the help of my event sponsors, SeatPlan, I invited a selection of the ever fabulous #LDNTheatreBloggers out for an evening of informative merriment at the wonderfully central, Soho Grind. Amongst some familiar faces, there were some shiny new ones too, all arriving with a smile on their face as I greeted them with a prosecco (and greeted myself with a few too, but SHH don’t tell anyone.) I of course had laid on some cheese platters too because, hello, we heart cheese (and the Soho Grind does it so well!) Before things got TOO serious, we ran a little cocktail making competition (led by the charismatic Adam of the Grind!) in which our guests stood to win a bloomin bottle of prosecco EACH as well as a bag of coffee and, y’know, eternal respect. The winners were STARLIGHT ESPRESSO aka Bloody Hell Brennan, Terri Paddock, Laura Peatman, Sammi O’Neill and West End Wilma! Great name, great cocktail.
As I mentioned, my great friends at SeatPlan helped me put on the event (cheers guys!) SeatPlan have made it their mission to review every single West End theatre seat in London…yep all 50,000+ of them! They are already 10% there and would like our help to reach their goal! The lovely Lead Developer James, gave us all the lowdown on their new website, which has gone live this week. Not only have they made it easier for users to add reviews, they have also instigated a point system allowing users to gain rewards for their seat reviews! Hurrah! Check out their website for further info.
Ideas On How To Grow Your Blog
As ever, we want to grow our own site as well as helping our friends to do so too. We are by no means the ultimate voice of advice, but below are a few things we recommend to help drive traffic to your site and increase your overall rankings
Sharing is Caring!
- Since we started promoting our Sharing is Caring ethic in June, we have noticed around an extra 200 site visitors a day – which isn’t to be sniffed at and every little helps really! Personally I don’t think there should be competition in the theatrical writing field, we are all sharing our own opinion really and our work often differs quite dramatically from our peers. I love sharing other critics reviews, informative blog posts, comedy blog posts and theatre news. It is relevant to our social followers too and that way our readers can engage with something on topic more regularly – I personally am not an article generating machine!
- If you are a theatre blogger/ critic/ whatever, or just having something to say on the topic, then use the hashtag #LDNTheatrebloggers and I vow to share your content on the Official Theatre twitter as and when I see it!
- ALSO the more we link to each other in posts, the stronger our sites become. #WinWin
- This point kind of follows on from the above, but I find being active on various forms of social media quite a help, if just for growing our company’s profile. Generally speaking the vast majority of our traffic comes through google, BUT sometimes things can get pretty big on twitter, with lots of people entering through a link to read a review/interview/blog.
- It also really helps to tweet other influential people in a similar field to you and encourage conversation and debate.
- Other than the twitisphere, getting social can mean REAL LIFE socialising (imagine!) I often hold networking events for those in the industry to meet one another. However if you recognise someone at the theatre, just go and say hello! You might ensnare a new reader or, better yet, make a new friend!
Have a Voice on Topical Issues/Debates
- – I often write in various theatrical forums (e.g Broadway World and What’s On Stage) and sometimes include a link if I have continued my thoughts in a more detail blog post. Obviously don’t be spammy, but this can really help get interested readers on to your site.
- Similarly, if you see something you have an opinion on trending on twitter, joining the debate can get you more followers/potential readers and customers. Joy.
Join Related Sites as Your Blog/Company Name
- So I signed up to SeatPlan as “Official Theatre,” which means my account is viewable as such to users. The more information I add to the site, the more “in the know” I seem in regards to theatregoing. ALSO creating an Official Theatre account here allowed me to add a link to my websites homepage, which also helps boost rankings. Hurrah! Similarly, we have an Official Theatre Pinterest on which we share theatrical images as the company. Pinterest also allows you to add a link to your website. Hurrah for brand building, hurrah for relevant links!
After a good ‘ol chat, we rounded off the night with some more cocktails and some fantastic music from the amazing acoustic artist Bity Booker. Bity’s music to me seemed like a fantastic cross between early Kate Bush and Bjork. It was both exciting and eccentric – we loved it!
Want to Join Us Next Time?
If you run a theatre blog or a blog/website on which you sometimes discuss theatre then come join our gang! I often take big groups to the theatre (for free) and we all review/discuss shows on our individual sites after. All you need to do is start using the #LDNTheatreBloggers hashtag and make yourself known to me by email me at Rebecca@officialtheatre.com. I look forward to hearing from you!