Bloggers Blog Awards judging

I once thought I wanted to win a blogger award, or at least be nominated in a category. After helping with the judging of nominated blogs in the Bloggers Blog Awards I’ve changed my mind. There’s no way I could win an award for my lifestyle blog.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve read through hundreds of blogs and looked at various criteria, scoring accordingly from 1-5 with 5 being the top score. It’s not been easy and along the way, I’ve come across fantastic blogs, bookmarked delicious recipes to make myself and I’ve found inspiration on how I want to work on and improve my own blog. It’s been tough reading all these blogs, more so because I had to than from pure pleasure but I’ve found some really good ones, ones that I’ll keep coming back to after the event.

Bloggers Blog Awards logo

Along the way, I’ve also learnt that I’ll never win a blogger award. I don’t mind at all, I blog because I want to and I like it. I don’t think an award will change that and hopefully readers will find me despite not being a 5 star blogger. Still, I find awards fun and I think it’s a great idea that they’re about.

If your dream is still to be nominated and even win an award, I’ve listed a couple of criteria I’ve been looking at and things to improve in the hopes of being nominated. If you want to have a chance to win, make sure the following is your top priority, along with having fun!*

*Just because I’ve judged hundreds of blogs for one award doesn’t mean I’m an expert in any way. There are loads more awards out there but I have a feeling they’ll all look at similar criteria.

Be the best writer in the world?

No I don’t think you have to be but correct grammar is a good start.

I’m not good with words, I’m one of those people who only speak when I have to. I couldn’t go on and on forever so I’m quite sparse with the amount of words I use in my blog posts too (apart from in this one, ha!). I personally don’t like reading posts that go on and on forever but I do believe I could get better at showing more personality in my posts. I’ve mentioned this in my goal post for 2016 and in the post on how I’m getting on with my goals so far. I do try my best and I hope I’ve improved but only you can say if you think my posts are engaging and interesting enough to read.

Tip! The more you write and read other blogs, the easier it will be to find your own style. Everyone likes different types of writing but most will be put off by bad grammar. I make mistakes as well but I do take the time to read through my posts once or twice before publishing, to make sure it reads right. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

Post regularly

I work full time so it’s impossible for me to be able to write more posts than three each week. For me, this is perfectly fine and I hope in many eyes it’s regularly enough. I post on specific days each week: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday to make it easier for me to remember and keep up a consistency. It’s very rare I miss one day and if it is, it’s usually a weekly update on the Sunday as I can’t schedule these posts in advance.

Tip! Don’t post 20 posts in one month and 10 in the next to go down to three in the third. When you have lots to say on day or week, schedule these posts in advance instead of posting them at the same time.

Life Styled by Jennie on iPad

Take amazing photographs

A picture says more than a 1000 words and this is true. A blurry picture, out of focus, darkness in the wrong places do have an impact on if I like a blog or not. If I can’t look at the images with great pleasure, sadly I’m usually put off reading the blog.

I really enjoy taking pictures, Instagram is my favourite social media platform. On there, one image is enough and I’ve got loads of filters to help perfect them should I have to. For the blog, more time and effort is needed and it’s not always I have this so I’m sad to say, I could do loads better a lot of the time. My latest camera on the other hand has definitely improved my images of late and I feel like I have improved.

Tip! There are loads of bloggers out there who take amazing pictures and share their advice on quick and easy improvements in their blog posts. You don’t have to be a professional to up your photography game.

Strawberries

Be visible and interact in comments and on social media

I’m not great at this. I don’t get lots of comments on my blog but when I do, I make sure to reply to all. People who comments on my blog (excluding spammers) have taken the time to read my post and comment so I want to take the time to be nice back. What’s the point in comments otherwise, looking popular amongst other readers?

I’ve only connected my blog to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have time to be on snapchat as well, or Pinterest. I’m not a fan of either (I might get loads of gasps for saying that) so I don’t think it’s necessary to use them. I know so well I need to be online on all these platforms a lot more to attract more readers, which will generate more comments to reply to etc. I have told myself so often I’ll get my scheduling of tweets sorted but nope, it’s not happened so far and probably won’t later. This is the hardest part, finding time to interact on every social media platform, all the time. I admire everyone else who does – where do you find all the time?!

Tip! Find the social media platforms that work for you, where your readers are and perfect those rather than being all over the place and not having time for conversation. Being everywhere but not interaction with others is not a good combo, less platforms, more conversation.

Realising I’ll never win a blog award doesn’t bother me. I’m happy to only see blogging as a great hobby and a way of meeting and interacting with like minded. I’m really looking forward to the Bloggers Blog Awards event where I hope to see many of the bloggers behind the blogs I’ve had the pleasure of judging. I’m very intrigued to find out who us judges and organiser Hayley (Tea Party Beauty) think are this year’s winners. Personally, I think we all are one way or another!

Are you excited for the Bloggers Blog Awards? What do you think is the most important criteria to have as a winning blog?

Jennie xx