1st Blogging Workshop in Anguilla facilitated by My Anguilla Experience Team a Success
On March 8th, 2017, as International Women’s Day was celebrated around the world, Shellecia Brooks-Johnson and Sherise Brooks welcomed participants to Anguilla’s first ever blogging workshop. Blogging for the 21st Century was made possible through collaboration with COSME, a European Union (EU) funded programme. The workshop was organised and facilitated by the vibrant sisters who co-own, along with Nashaine Johnson, the popular destination and lifestyle blog, My Anguilla Experience (myanguillaexperience.com). Sherise also owns the blog, The Business of Chic (thebusinessofchic.com) where she shares information about her personal style, travel adventures, natural hair journey and quirky musings on life as a 20 something year old (@DearSelfie).
In her brief welcome remarks, Diana Hendrickson-Fleming, GOPA Key Expert/Team Leader for the 10th EDF Caribbean OCT SME (COSME) Programme, commended the facilitators for a great job and shared how proud she was that this workshop was fully organised and facilitated by Anguillians/Caribbean women who possessed the expertise in the area. She encouraged participants to take full advantage of the training.
Shellecia Brooks-Johnson also shared her gratitude for the opportunity. She said, “When I started My Anguilla Experience, four years ago, I did not know the impact it would have on the community. It is gratifying to hear teachers say we use your content in the classroom or to have an interaction with a local or visitor who share that our blog encouraged them to try something new. We look forward to continuing to grow My Anguilla Experience in 2017 and to capturing more of Anguilla’s unique stories. It is exciting that all 15 of you want to start or build blogs and we are grateful to be given the opportunity to help you do that.”
During the two-day workshop, the sisters of My Anguilla Experience shared their expertise and equipped the enthusiastic participants with knowledge gained from over four years blogging. Throughout the training participants learned about the importance of blogging for every type of bus iness, and were given practical guidance and step by step instructions and directions to help them set up their first blog. Sessions covered also included tips for creating great content, building a social media presence and making money online from blogging. During each session participants were excited about the practical assignments which included writing a catchy title and the first paragraph of their first blog post. By the end of the two-day workshop, most participants had active wordpress blogs and over a third of them had published and shared their first blog post online.
There were two guest presenters at the Workshop. Nori Evoy, veteran blogger of Anguilla Beaches (anguillabeaches.com), was thrilled to share her experiences with participants. Although off island, she sent a video presentation where she shared and inspired participants with lessons learned along her journey and tips about how she was able to convert a hobby into a business. The second guest presenter was the young and talented photographer Romaro Richardson who gave attendees an overview of photography equipment, and pointers on how to capture great photos even using your smart phone.
The participants came from a diverse range of professions and industries. They all had the same goals which were to learn as much as they could, and share their voice by starting their own blogs to promote their business or share their views on particular topics.
Most participants ranked the workshop overall as excellent and shared written feedback such as “It exceeded my expectations,” “overall great,” “hands on participation was invaluable,” “I attended a seminar given by Facebook but received more clearer information from the My Anguilla Experience Team,” “Excellent”, “overall a well presented programme and has a place in the innovative era of creating a New Anguilla.”
Sherise Brooks shared: “My Anguilla Experience is quite grateful to COSME for facilitating this opportunity. The conference was the first of its kind in Anguilla and, for both the facilitators and participants, it proved to be a great learning experience. It was really rewarding to witness the high engagement and excitement of the participants as they worked towards the creation of their blogs. Blogging is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide and is an essential tool that Anguillian organisations and entrepreneurs should be utilising to benefit their businesses. Blogs are an excellent method to share a company’s expertise, build additional web traffic, and connect with potential customers. As we look towards the future, it is essential that we continue to innovate and find creative avenues for doing business. We wish all the participants of the ‘Blogging for the 21st Century’ Conference great success and Happy Blogging!”
To learn more about My Anguilla Experience, and how you can support or partner with this dynamic team, do visit their website www.myanguillaexperience.com or contact Shellecia Brooks-Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The My Anguilla Experience team extends heartfelt thanks to all who made the workshop a success – including COSME, La Vue Boutique Inn for their service, and the wonderful participants.
To all of Anguilla’s new bloggers, “just keep writing and sharing – the world needs your voice.”