Last week, Joe and I went to Manchester because we were both nominated for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Northern Blog Awards. We dressed up all fancy, had a delicious meal, lots of wine and spent time with friends both new and old. It was such a fantastic evening, I can’t even tell you how much fun I had.
When I first found out about the awards, all I could feel was pride. FINALLY something recognising the talent we have up here. Something dedicated to US. Because, as much as I adore so many bloggers based in the South, it does sometimes feels like us Northerners are a little forgotten about.
When we arrived, the whole room was buzzing with excitement, pride, anticipation and what I can only describe as absolute and utter happiness. It really was something special. 200 people in one venue, celebrating what makes the Northern blogging community amazing. Celebrating our talent, and celebrating the community we’ve created.
I came away winning the award for Best Lifestyle Blog and the support I received was MIND BLOWING. People were cheering, I was totally barefoot, running up onto the stage, saying something fairly incomprehensible in the form of a speech, I said something about being barefoot I think? More cheering, more running barefoot, then I disappeared off to take a photo. I came back to the table to be absolutely inundated by tweets, Instagram DMs, Facebook comments and more, congratulating me and telling me how deserving I was of the win.
I’m still completely taken aback by it all, to be honest.
My head feels a little fuzzy just thinking about it. Although that could be all the prosecco and wine I drank…
I couldn’t have asked for a better award to be my first ever blog award win. The Northern Blog Awards’ Best Lifestyle Blog. REPRESENT.
There’s a lot of mixed opinions about what it’s like being a blogger in the North. And, I’m not gonna lie, I used to find it really difficult. When I started blogging, most bloggers I knew lived down South. I thought it was just the done thing – to move to London if you wanted to be anything of substance.
Being a Northern blogger can be hard, especially if you also have a full time job. But, the longer I do it the more I love it.
I mean, I don’t make how much I love the North a secret. I’m born and bred Leeds, my heart will always lie in Yorkshire. But as a blogger, it really is what you make it.
Most of the larger scale events are London based and I think this is where I struggle most. Having a full time job with very little annual leave means I can only get to London on a weekend. But, a lot of the events I kindly get invited to are on a weekday, either through the day or on an evening. With a 2.5/3 hour train journey being between me and the capital, and the literal minimum annual leave allowed, it’s virtually impossible.
That said, missing out on events is probably the only bad thing about being based in the North.
House prices are cheaper, so it’s more realistic for me to be able to take my blog full time and actually be able to afford to live. I love living in Leeds, 10 minutes on the train from the city yet 10 minutes from nothing but countryside. I love the blogging community up here, especially in Leeds – I’ve managed to find myself in the most fantastic group of ladies in Leeds and I love them oh so dearly. The food scene is incredible here, the event scene is incredible and growing by the year and I just really detest the idea of living in London. (Blasphemy, I know.)
I’m happy here. I’m happy with how blogging has changed over the past few years, allowing success for people across the country.
So, here’s to all you Northern bloggers. Keep representing, keep doing what you’re doing and know you don’t have to live in London to be successful. Look at me – I’m an award winner. *all the smug face emojis in the world*