I love blogging! I used to be a blog owner, and I guess I am still a blogger of sorts via the personal pieces of my own writing I publish as editor of this site.
When I began blogging in 2009, it was something of a grand experiment, and definitely more of a hobby-blog as opposed to a purposeful career propeller. I had just had my first daughter, and it was when I was at home with her that I started reading other people's blogs and thinking 'hey, I wanna do that too'.
Those were pre-Pinterest days, and what I mainly used my blog for was as a mood board for things I loved the look of, hence the name; Ellie Loves.
As it grew, it was a lovely, happy place for me to curate a collection of nice things and write my musings on most things - life, style, beauty, interiors and whatever took my fancy. It was quite the surprise when people started to interact with me there - I was gaining followers - I was a real blogger!
My blog went on to win Best Irish Blogger in the entertainment.ie awards and there was no-one more surprised than me. Ellie Loves didn't have a dedicated Facebook page, Twitter handle or other promotional platforms - it was just sitting there. In cyberspace. My first digital toe-dipping endeavour.
Now, in 2016, blogging has definitely grown up. Self-publishing via the myriad of platform options is commonplace and lots of talented creatives are finding their niche, their voice, and their audience. Bloggers, vloggers and social media superstars are flexing their commercial muscle too, and at last there is a real worth being applied to them and what they create. 'Digital Influencers' is standard parlance in marketing-land and this concept is derived almost entirely from the blogging sphere. Brands now know the importance of collaborating with key digital personalities and harnessing that key element they strive for - authenticity.
My blogging certainly took me on a whirlwind of a journey that led to me working on IMAGE magazine and then to setting up image.ie and taking it through two iterations to what you read here. The site won two lovely gongs for Best Digital Product at the Irish Magazine Awards in the past two years so that's been a bit of a thrill! And seeing as digital never stands still, we have plots, plans and ideas we're working on to keep it moving forward. It's an exciting role and one I am very thrilled to be talking about at this coming Saturday's Irish Bloggers Conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
The conference is a great way to celebrate, support and inspire content creators of all types. The panel of 23 speakers are experts in their fields and their tips, advice and strategies will form an invaluable resource to bloggers of all stages.
Read more about the day here, and then do come along!
Head over to cooleventsireland.com for more details.