The UK Blog Awards. And the winner is…
ME! WTAF! Are you sure???
As I sit here, writing this post, I am still buzzing at the news that I am a winner at the UK Blog Awards 2019.
Are. you. for. re-al?
I mean, I was shocked to have been shortlisted as a finalist in both the Lifestyle and Fashion Blog categories – that was good enough for a rookie blogger like me.
And while I loathe to sound like ‘methinks the lady doth protest too much’ truth be told, getting to the final eight – when competition was so fierce and 400 strong – was an honour alone.
None of this has come easy, you see.
Coming from a traditional press background, moving to the digital dark side has always been a reluctant choice.
Digital media has killed print – an industry I have worked in and loved for over 20 years.
It’s the reason I’ve been made redundant from a plethora of publications that have had to fold due to dwindling sales and low advertising revenue as the consumer market moved from print magazines to the interweb!
I wasn’t sure I wanted to explore this place where I’d be putting my content online, for all to see – and for FREE!
I don’t work for free.
My work has a value.
My experience as a Fashion & Beauty Editor counts; the creative process is not something that comes naturally – like most things, it requires fucking hard work.
It involves a brain that does not stop whirring with ideas, a self-hatred, a form of madness, a constant struggle between being commercially savvy alongside creating aspirational aesthetics and inspirational copy.
What blogging has taught me, is that value cannot only be measured in monetary terms.
If I did this purely for the money, it wouldn’t work.
I’d just end up looking like just another blogger – blagging luxury beauty gifts one minute and toilet bleach the next.
It’s not who I want to be. It’s not what blogging is about, IMHO.
Instead, I look at blogging as a way of attracting and networking with new opportunities.
Because of my blog, I’ve not only built a community of subscribers that find my content refreshing, inclusive and honest, I’ve also had screen tests for TV presenting roles, been a judge at a Graduate Fashion Show, MET MY HERO, CARYN FRANKLIN MBE and have started a style & self care consultancy business for modern women.
I’ve been paid to write a load of bull shit over the years working in print. I used to work on a tabloid paper and Bum Cleavage Winner of the Year wasn’t my finest moment, LOL!
So you see, my little corner on the digital landscape had to set the balance straight.
It had to be a true reflection of me; my thoughts and my honesty of where I am today. If I’m talking about a product or brand, it’s only because I really believe in it and it works – not just because I’m getting paid to say so or raking in the commission.
I mean, when did blogging & Insta become the new Avon? Ha!
The FT Times was a painful birth and but it was what I really wanted to do. I’m lucky to be able to even say this. I know.
And if it makes people think about things differently and challenge the ‘norm’ then that’s value.
If it means we talk more honestly about why we never seem to feel good enough – that’s value.
If it makes you want to be a more considered consumer – then that is value.
More than ever, I feel we should be focusing more on our core principles than always chasing profit.
Of course money matters. FFS, I need to earn just like everybody else, which is why I can’t blog as often as I’d like to.
I’m a full-time freelance writer and stylist. Mr Husband is a fire fighter and we both parent equally.
I’m not a full-time blogger – which is why you must subscribe to my blog. Just like Ariana, I drop content sometimes without any warning – subscribing means you’ll never miss one of my posts.
I’m going to sign off now with a massive THANK YOU to everyone that voted for me. (I’ll report back from the winners dinner and show you my trophy when I get it!)
Lastly, blogging has given me a little outlet to dump and re-channel my creative madness. I really enjoy it and I’m truly over joyed that you do too.
And that folks, is real value.
Love, FT xx