Previous winners of the UK Blog Awards typically have over 100,000 followers! So I think it’s pretty fair to say that I’m not going to win, but here’s why you should still vote for me.
The way I see it, participating in the UK Blog Awards is like running a marathon. Nobody really expects to win on their first go. But who cares if you don’t win, you’re still going to run! After all, you’ve spent a year in training, pushing yourself to run faster, further, breathe deeper. You’ve raised money from your friends, family and colleagues in support of your favourite charity. You didn’t give up, and you can’t wait to finally do it, to say you did it. That’s plenty to be proud of.
I’ve been blogging for one year, which is about the time it takes to set a foundation and figure out what your blog is all about. It’s understandable that brands won’t want to work with a blog that just got set up when there are so many amazing established bloggers out there. Ever since I started blogging I’ve come to realise how huge the blogging world really is and what a great source it is for information and inspiration.
Setting up and Growing a Blog
Blogging is hard work! To get started, you need to be savvy with setting up your website. Choose the right plug-ins and theme, learn about SEO, hosting and basic code. Pretty quickly you realise how inadequate your phone camera is for those drool-inducing food close-ups and low-lighting shots. So you buy a new camera, lenses, insurance, editing apps and software. You market yourself on social media platforms, learning their relative strengths and when to schedule posts. What time you hit post can make the difference between 10 or 100 clicks. You learn about social media algorithms and that they’re the reason your content only gets shown to about 10% of your followers. About your engagement rate, that your success is literally measured in likes, comments, and shares. You think about your strategy, your style. You think and you overthink.
As a blog grows and starts to pass the test of time, brands start to talk to you because they know that by now you will have acquired many of these skills. That you showed up to the race and ran your heart out. That you are tenacious and committed. You didn’t quit, you’re still there, and most importantly, still growing. Social media followings grow exponentially. From 100 to 1000 to 5000 to 10,000, that’s the magic number. Hit 10k and you’re a micro-influencer. It might sound silly but it’s a great word for it. I know that some of my readers will go and visit the restaurants I reviewed because I showed them photos of the best something I ever had and said if you’re anywhere near this place, go. You won’t regret it. That some people have read my posts on Barbados or Hawaii and decided – you know what, I wanna go there too – and then booked their flights.
Being a micro-influencer is something I’m still grappling with. All of a sudden my power as a consumer is increasing from single digits to the thousands. Even though my following is still tiny by comparison to other bloggers, I take this part seriously. I see it as an opportunity, as well as a responsibility. That’s why when I went to Delhi I wrote that Open Letter. I had to. And it made me really stop and think what else I could be doing. This is something I’m looking to work on more going forward. If you’re still reading this, you’re a star! Whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or just passing by, the point I want to make is that blogging is a journey, but it can also be a snowball. The key is harnessing the momentum.
I’m really excited to take part in this year’s UK Blog Awards. I’m so grateful for everyone’s support! This is my marathon. See you at the finish line!
Voting is quick and easy. I’m competing in the Travel + Lifestyle categories. Just tick the box, fill in your name and email address and you’re done! Thank you for your vote!