A year ago this month I decided I was going to revamp my photo website and turn it into an actual blog where I actually wrote stuff. It took me three weeks to fully redesign it, as I refused to pay someone ridiculous amounts to do what I could essentially do myself. I also took ‘The Blogger Course’ by The Travel Hack, which was a much more in depth course that really developed what I realised was actually a pretty basic knowledge of blogging. Fast forward a year and I’ve made the final 5 in the Northern Blog Awards.
It wasn’t until November last year that I really found my feet with all of this and had the confidence to take it seriously. I started to be offered opportunities within a few weeks, which really surprised me but also pushed me into sticking at it. You have to develop a thick skin when doing this type of thing, you’re essentially putting yourself out there online and sharing aspects of your life, and whether there’s 5 people or 5 million people who read what you have to say there’s always someone who might not like it or agree with it.
It took me a month to pluck up the courage to create a Facebook page for it, the platform that meant there would be no more hiding what I was doing from friends and family. Those people can be your biggest critics and no lies I was shitting myself. Once I got over myself and thought actually, I’m going to do it anyway even if I get laughed at or nobody reads it then it all became a lot easier. I say easy, but in reality it’s a lot of hard work. I easily put in an extra 30 hours minimum a week into all of this, which includes very early starts, and late nights to fit it in around my actual job. Every win, no matter how small is still a win. I was buzzing when I got my first ‘troll’ a few months ago for example – at least they’re reading!
My biggest worry I think was categorising myself within the travel category. I’m not a full time traveller, I work full time and I don’t have the luxury that many ‘travel bloggers’ do where they can just take off and accept every opportunity given to them. I’ve even turned down some of the opportunities offered to me because they just aren’t ‘me’, and I hope that however far this goes I always stay true to that. The photos in this post are some of the places I have been to in the past year, and I don’t think I’ve done too badly.
I always say to people I don’t travel I go on holiday, but so do the vast majority of people. The places I go and trips I take are pretty similar to what most normal lads and lasses do with their annual leave and holidays, so when people started to message me and ask for more details I basically found my niche. You’re not likely to see me swanning off on an all expenses paid for press trip to the Maldives any time soon, but for genuine recommendations and suggestions, as well as a million photos of the places I do go then I’m happy with that if you are too!
If you enjoy reading what I share, then I’d really appreciate your vote for a Northern Blog Award. I was nominated in the travel category and a couple of weeks ago found out I was shortlisted in the final 5. With so many amazing bloggers nominated, and four others in the final 5 who I follow and admire myself, I’m gobsmacked to have made the cut.
What I love about these awards are that they give Northerners a chance to shine. There are so many more blogging opportunities in London and the south, and that’s not a criticism it’s just like anything, of course there’s more scope in the capital. Some of the best blogs that I follow are born from London and they’re fabulous. I am jealous. But thanks to We Love MCR hard work in pulling the Northern Blog Awards together it gives the rest of us a chance too.
Specifically, the North East has some incredible bloggers, and I’ve never come across a bunch of people so happy for you and supportive when things like this happen. They really do root for their own, a trait so often associated with the North. I was totally overwhelmed by how many North East bloggers messaged me when I was shortlisted, some I’ve never even met, but on a daily basis in Facebook groups, twitter chats, network events and just in general they’re a fabulous bunch.
I’m nominated in the travel category, but you can vote in as many or as few categories as you like. There’s some amazing bloggers nominated so take a look and you might find some new ones to follow. Look out for
Beth Dean in the Beauty category with Polished Couture
Dawn McGuigan in the Arts and Literature category with Book & Brew
Dannielle Lily in the Instagram category with While Im Young
Naomi Winter in the Vloggers and Youtube category with Nomipalony
The vote counts for 40% of the award, a panel of judges make up the remaining 60%, but your vote is really very much appreciated. The final is in September, but voting closes at the very end of July.
Thank you xxx