What it Means to be Shortlisted for a #BiBs2016 Award

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Last June, with a new website and domain name under my belt; a big blogging plan, and a hunger for information and inspiration, I headed off to London to one of the biggest blogging conferences I had heard of – BritMums.

I didn’t know many people at all, and with a blog aged only a few months old, I was (and still am, actually) a total novice within the industry of pro blogging (yesterday I had to double check with someone what PW stood for. Its F***ing Password, Anna, you idiot!!)

See. I rest my case.

But anyway, not knowing how to do something is definitely not a reason to not do it, hence a conference filled with people who also happen to agree that writing a blog is a good plan, together with lots of seminars and workshops seemed just what this (any) rookie needs.

So off I went …

Now then, upon arrival, I quickly realised that (like most things in life) this event – whilst full of free-flowing vital information and opportunity, was actually very heavily based on one of my strongest skill-sets – something I am very experienced with: Gum flapping over copious amounts of wine. Yesss. I can do that. I can definitely do that. You see, ask me how the hell Pinterest integrates with a website, and I haven’t got a butchers, really – I’m not your girl for that, but ask me to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with some other likeminded males of the ‘Fe’ kind, and I’m all over it like a professional, room-working rash.

But my point to this post is not so much a detailed account of last years (brilliant) conference, but it’s more to highlight the fact that whilst sitting in the audience of the evenings BiB’s awards ceremony, watching creators and curators of some of my most favourite and most successful blogs and websites, collect their much deserved awards, I would never have imagined in a million years that just 11 months later, my brand spanking new site, with its shiny new logo and specially considered fonts and colour palette, would be shortlisted within the final 10 for an award itself. Seriously, I would never have dreamed that (…and I’m a very big dreamer…) In a few years? yes, maybe. But not the very next year.

I’m was chuffed when I found out that I couldn’t stop smiling about it for days!

… ooh, is now a good time to conveniently segue into some 11 month-on nuggets of wisdom? Yeah, I thought so too ..

If there is one thing I have learnt about the job of blogging so far, its this:

Blogging is a funny old game to get into. And its one that you seemingly have to justify and explain ALL THE TIME. People look at you as if to say “Huh, your a blogger?” … “What exactly is that?” and you know that in their mind they are probably thinking “wow, you must be a massive narcissistic, self-righteous loser with way too much time on their hands!” … (and that’s before I explain the one of my most popular posts features me showing off my clothes in a full-length mirror each Friday!) People just don’t understand blogging as a job, much less a viably valid business plan.

I guess in other words, its a venture that very few people will be able to support you in, simply because very few understand it. Therefore, you have to rely on your own drive and knowledge that your end goal can and will happen. You’ve got to keep going. Keep writing. Keep posting. Keep pimping. And in my case, keep taking outfit selfies on a Friday. Its not for the feint hearted, I can tell you!

Now obviously, self-validating your goal over and over, with lots of tilted heads from folks in the dark about blogging, can feel like an exhausting path at times. And I’ve learned that you need to dig-deep, remember your vision (even if its a bonkers one); your reasons, and keep coming back to the drawing board again and again using and relying upon your own solitary consistency. And this can be tricky, especially if like me: you’re a bit crap at solitary consistency! In the beginning, whilst you are coming up with the ideas; investing tons of your time (without pay), possibly a bit of monetary investment thrown in too, and A LOT of explanation to said people with said misconceptions, it IS super easy to lose faith in your plan; to call it a day; to ask yourself “Oh. My. God. why am I doing this again?”.

Well, for me, these award nominations have reminded me.

I’m doing it because I love it, and because I have a plan.

A really good plan!

And its a plan to create a big and bustling magazine style site filled to the brim with anything and everything current and Zeitgeisty … and contrary to those sneaky little doubts that creep into my mind when I’m feeling like a fool for doing all of this, those award shortlists and finalist-achieving moments of joy, tell me that I’m doing alright: so far, so good. (ish). (I think). Well mainly, anyway.

I’m on track. And I must keep going. And if you are in the same boat as me, then YOU must keep going too!

So, what IS m’plan?

Oooh… I’m so glad you asked 🙂 let me give you a little briefing on plan ZmG.

Firstly, if you are already a reader, you will know that I personally like to write about Fashion (FridayStylefinder posts feat. those selfies I mentioned earlier, wearing and suggesting current outfit ideas) Beauty – Man, I love the products! (I used to be a beauty therapist) and Motherhood (y’know, because I’ve got 4 children an’ all, I think I’ve kind of earned my opinion on all that stuff!)

But I want other writers involved too, lots of different voices and opinions represented, not just my own. And from the word go I felt it imperative to develop the site with a unisex vibe – And this is where my secret weapon has come into play.

I’ll explain …

About a month after the BritMums conference last year; in a bid to take the first step in expanding the websites repertoire and voice, I put a tweet out asking if there were any super cool blogging Gents interested in writing for ZmG on a monthly basis. To be honest, I didn’t expect to hear from anyone … But, not only did I hear back from a few, I heard back from my favourite. Enter, @adadcalledspen.

Bingo. Bonza. BOOM!

Spencer came on board the good train ZmG last summer and has turned out to be an absolute superstar. His hilarious contributions to the table (both on and off the website) have been truly invaluable. And as an experienced, published, and award winning blogger, I couldn’t have hoped to make a better friend/advisor/mentor in the bloggersphere.

He has encouraged, engaged, pushed, promoted, critiqued, and worked his cotton socks off for the site – and for that, I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you @adadcalledspen – Its been an absolute pleasure working with you, and long may it continue.

So, to surmise – Its all good. PW stands for password, Everyone needs a ‘@adadcalledspen’. The readership is increasing, and the little nod of appreciation from hugely respected industry experts (Britmums #BiB’s & Tots 100’s #MadBlogAwards) has spurred me on even more.

Yeah. Woo!

But what is perhaps most important here, is that this past year has also taught me what an incredibly inclusive industry parent blogging is. Everyone is so willing to help and welcome you with open arms, so if you yourself are thinking of going into this lark, would I recommend it? Absolutely I would. I would encourage anyone to try it. And if in doubt, book a ticket to this years Britmums conference… And who knows, maybe like me, you will be inspired enough to make it into the nomination process yourself next year.

Thank you so much for reading, but don’t go just yet. Please read the footnotes. The footnotes are important 😉

Anna xx


IMPORTANT FOOTNOTES:

Now then, I genuinely don’t expect ZmG to win (I know, everyone says that, but it’s tres true) I am more than delirious with placing this far in the #BiBs2016, but if you want to help ZmG make it into the final 5 shortlist (with the winner to be announced at this years awards ceremony) then please do consider voting using the button below.

All you have to do is select the ‘Zeit My Geist’ option within the Beauty & Fashion category, and press submit – its a 10 second job, I promise!

(Plus, I’d absolutely love to see my websites name up on the big board when the winner is announced – all of my friends and family hated the name ‘Zeit my Geist’ when I came up with it, so seeing it up in big letters would absolutely make my day!)

BritMums