I received a very lovely email last week telling me that ‘Stephanie Fox: Newcastle & Travel’ is in the running for a 2017 UK Blog Award! Shocked was a complete understatement and when filling in the compulsory ‘why vote for me’ section I found it really hard and just couldn’t deal. For a while all I could think of to say was ‘vote for me so I don’t look like a complete loser with no votes.’
It’s only this past year that I’ve really started to put proper time and effort into creating more than just photo galleries which is initially all I ever intended this to be. I kept having moments of ‘omg I can’t do this let the ground swallow me up right now and DIE’. Who would possibly give a shit about where I suggest for a Sunday Funday in the toon, or how to spend 3 days in Cologne? Plucking up the courage to create a Facebook page for it gave me sleepless nights and chest pain alone. It was only when I started receiving emails from brands and PR companies wanting to work with me that I thought Steph just get over it and crack on.
A complete blog makeover, that I did myself, sometimes spending hours on end tweaking code and figuring out photoshop techniques, and a few posts doing well through Pinterest and things started to change.
I joined the lovely people over at North East Network of bloggers created by Samantha Rickleton, and also the very lovely ladies at Ellefluence, and both have led to some fabulous opportunities especially the past month and a half. Laura’s weekly prosecco fuelled emails, help from both blogger groups, and the very lovely evening I spent with a lot of North East bloggers, only encouraged me to keep going and all have opened up a lot of doors for me in the blogging world. That’s not even mentioning the hours I’ve spent bleating on to family, friends and colleagues about it all.
Despite what people might think it’s really not just a case of taking some photos and writing about whatever you got up to at the weekend. I’m spending the equivalent hours of a part time job in addition to my full time job to keep this going, and I really do enjoy it. I’ve always been a photo fanatic and social media geek, I’ve just had to get over myself in order to do this seriously and not give a shit what people might say about it. That’s definitely been the biggest challenge for me. And more than ever now people look to blogs and genuine people for opinions, recommendations and ideas, rather than the constant churn out of advertising, businesses making ridiculous profits and the celebrity/Kardashian-esque fake persona of what life looks like.
I turned 30 this year and said to myself I’d do everything I wanted to do and go everywhere I wanted to go. This is just one of those things and it seemed a good year to start.
There’s some really amazing blogs out there, especially in the North East and over the next couple of weeks when the voting is going on for the UK blog awards I will be sharing some of my favourites. If you read mine regularly and enjoy my ramblings then I’d really appreciate your vote.
The public vote is open from Monday 5th December at 8:00am until Monday 19th December 8:00am, before the official judges get involved too. You just have to put your email in the once, no spam or duplicate votes etc. It’s mad for me to think I’m even nominated and I don’t for a second think I’ll get very far, but thank you anyway if you do vote it is very much appreciated.