I’m not going to lie- before I created a blog I assumed it was pretty easy. Upload a few photos, write a few words, # a few photos and there you go. Only those who had hit the 20k+ mark on Instagram had really started to make it in my eyes, and at 100k+ you may as well quit your job and go on a permanent holiday.
I was quite literally clueless.
Because before you can even upload those photos, those photos need to be styled (yes- a food stylist is an actual full time job…. dreamy), all those recipes/looks created. The photo itself has all kind of ‘edits but not editing’ (rule of thumb- don’t edit yourself skinny, but bring the colours and details of a shot into focus). I won’t start on the camera vs. iPhone debate. Then you have to work out how to upload them without them being too big (because then your page will take ages to load and people lose interest in something like 2 seconds) … oh… and also tag them so they show up in Google Image searches (something I still haven’t bought myself to do). The writing of the blog at this point seems easy (until you start considering SEO) because you’ve then got to promote the post (organically) on a thousand social media avenues and try and promote engagement- all whilst looking Insta perfect and updating your sodding story.
Basically, I had no idea how much went into it.
But I also had no idea about the whole other side of it….
Because behind all the Insta perfect foodie shots and girls with abs I can never hope to achieve there is a whole community of these amazing bloggers working together and helping each other whilst also helping and inspiring their readers in so many ways. I have a whole new respect for those abs.
Another example of just what an amazing community it is, is the Liebster award– an award given from bloggers to bloggers. Thank you to Sara from Our Front Door Looking In for the nomination. Head over to her blog for some seriously tasty recipes (how cute are these for Halloween?!). I’m also excited to try out her Almond milk recipe ….I always drink it but I’ve never tried to make it before!
My favourite blog has to be Megan Rose Lane. I stumbled across this blog when I was actually just googling places to go in Bali (classic…). Megan is classically one of my Insta girl crushes (with some incredible make up tutorials too…) but this isn’t what makes it my favourite blog. What makes this blog amazing is the total utter honesty. Be it anxiety or acne, this blog always make me feel better…and you know… just a little more normal. Plus it’s a total insight into not falling into the Instagram trap (case and point I quote: There are thousands of clever little bastards and the world’s leading experts in psychology, working through the night to come up with cunning and manipulative ways to fuck with your mind and persuade you to buy a new pair of tits, the salad with the least calories, 30K fake followers, a shiny new eye shadow palette and a £600 handbag. And if you enjoy those things (I’m a sucker for an eyeshadow palette), then that’s absolutely great. You go enjoy them, live an abundant life filled with shiny things, relish in those robots liking your pics, but DO NOT RELY ON THEM TO BRING YOU TRUE, LASTING, DEEP HAPPINESS AND FULFILMENT.) I told you she was bullshit free- and bang on.
As part of the award I had to answer a few questions- but firstly….my nominations….
Warning: do not read this blog unless you want to go pack your bags and work from somewhere hot & sunny. The most amazing travel tips, combined with so many insider tips on Freelancing (trust me- they work, in fact… they are the reason I am sat writing this in Bali right now!)
Like so many people Steph was sick of feeling ill and had quite the journey working out what made her feel good (and not so good!). Going Gluten Free can seem daunting but Steph’s blog (and Insta) means you can skip to all the tasty alternatives, as she’s tried and tested the lot on your behalf.
This incredible brave blog gives an honest account of the realities of living with Epilepsy. Not only does this help raise awareness but Sara’s strength shines through as inspiring and we can all learn a thing or two from giving this blog a read- be it be about Epilepsy itself, or resilience in times we are being tested most.
Another blog (and amazing Instagram) that will make you want to do a 10k around Disney and pack your bags for a last minute weekend adventure. Unlike most travel blogs, who pretend it’s all roses, Georgie also inspires those going through the slightly darker moments in life due to mental health issues. WHAT a girl.
This gorgeous blog I discovered through WordPress and is all about studying abroad, fashion, travel and life hacks. Join her on her journey over at Hello 97.
Okay so as part of this I had to answer 10 questions from Sara( & give 10 random facts)….
How did you get started with blogging?
Honestly? I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with my life, I wanted to do something creative (I love cooking, writing and photography) & I thought it would look good on my CV! I had no idea how much I would enjoy it…
If you had to choose one post from your blog to showcase, which one would you choose and why?
Probably ‘I Quit My Job‘. It’s probably the most out of keeping with the food & travel posts but it’s the most honest thing I’ve ever written. I was really scared to publish it, but getting messages from people saying they’d felt exactly the same made it feel like maybe I’d done something positive.
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Greece as a second home… Then pretty much anywhere in Asia. Bali is my new favourite- I can tell I’m going to be spending a lot of time here.
What was your favorite class in high school or college?
Art. My blazer (and hair) was always covered in paint.
What is the last book you read?
I’m currently reading Light Is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell.
Do you have any funny hidden talents?
No! My only party trick is being exceptionally good at the cardboard box game (cheers yoga)
Are you binge watching any shows on Hulu or Netflix right now?
I’ve tried to stop binge watching box sets in a (vague) attempt to be more productive, but I have an unhealthy addiction to Grey’s Anatomy… I also have an addiction to ’90 Day Fiance’. Guilty.
Who inspires you the most?
Loads of people. I love Mel Wells, because not only has she managed to help thousands of women (go read The Goddess Revolution)… but she’s also created a fairly incredible life in Bali. Oh, and Moana- obvs.
What is something you want to accomplish in the next year?
I’m setting up a Chia Seed Fruit Spread company (www.eatcham.com) so I’m excited to see where that will go. I also want to start writing & creating more…. I have a few ideas up my sleeve.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl…although I’m working on liking the mornings…!
Okay… and 10 random facts:
1.I hate anything that involves questions like ‘Give an interesting fact about yourself’ so I actually tried to google ’10 Random fact questions’….
2. I think I can rap when I’m really drunk. Keep Drake off the playlist to avoid listening to my poor attempts…
3. I’m a qualified Yoga teacher
4. Most of my friends actually call me AzMaz. It started as my names shortened (AzMazDaz) but AzMaz seems to have stuck…!
5. I have a really weird phobia of lots of small things close together. Apparently it’s an actual thing called Trypophobia and it’s to do with the holes (see if you’ve got it here)
6. I considered changing the date we get married just so I could go to Burning Man. I then considered getting married at Burning Man. I kid you not.
7. I LOVE glitter. I think I was a unicorn in a previous life.
8. My life goal is to be the 6th member of the Spice Girls (the day Geri left it broke my heart…)
9. I spent 18 months living in Sydney when I was 22.
10. As soon as we can we want to get a dog…. and call it Bagel!
My questions for my nominees:
- What made you decide to start blogging?
- Where is your favourite place in the world?
- Where is your number 1 bucket list spot?
- What is the key thing you hope people get from your blog?
- What is your proudest achievement?
- If you could go back and live in any era when would it be?
- What did you want to be when you were a kid?
- What’s your party trick?
- What is your favourite phrase?
- What would rather have as a pet- a unicorn or a dragon?