The shortlists for the categories have been made from the public vote for the UK Blog Awards. Emails are being sent out to the short-listed candidates at midnight tomorrow.
On Monday morning all the hopefuls will know one way or the other.
The tickets are already on sale for the Awards Ceremony in London in April.
This blog was entered in the Education category and the Lifestyle category. A free e-book interviewing some of the entrants was on offer to voters. My contribution to it was included.
Both my blogs were entered in the education category, which was not a particularly bright thing for me to have done as only one vote per person was allowed in each category! In fact I am wondering whether it was a good idea to enter at all. My blogs do not have all that many views and followers.
However, there were some advantages to being an entrant.
- I have found some interesting blogs, which I might otherwise have missed.
- All the entrants were encouraged to do what they could to boost their traffic. This can take quite a lot of effort, so encouragement helps.
- I have learned new things and written about them in posts. (I wrote a post about taking part in Twitter chats.)
- I have investigated the effects of having a static front page for my blog. (I found it attracted spam and did little for traffic.)
- A question I asked was used in a Twitter #bloghour.
- I experimented with widgets in a way I might not have done otherwise and am now more satisfied with the appearance of my blogs.
What I have learned about the nature of blogging for money is the main reason I wonder whether I should have entered. I do not earn anything from blogging. It is a way of improving my writing skills and networking with other writers and creative people. If I review a book I am simply giving my own opinion.
One of the purposes of the blog award ceremony is for bloggers to be able to make potentially useful contacts. Attending it does not come cheap in terms of time or money particularly for people who do not live in or near London.
I am writing this today ahead of the publication of the shortlists for two reasons. The first is that neither of the prompts from WordPress, which I have been considering recently, inspired me today. The second is that, when the shortlists are announced and my blogs are not there, it could look like sour grapes to say I am probably not missing anything.
I am not saying that the UK Blog awards are a waste of time. For some bloggers, they have been and will continue to be very useful. Businesses with blogs have been able to use the local press for publicity. Bloggers in other categories may have made useful contacts – fashion and beauty bloggers, for example.
For me it has been interesting to see the emergence of a new event, but in future, I shall be looking to network more with writers (including writers who blog), illustrators and perhaps publishers, than with bloggers and brands.
Do you have any thoughts about the value of Award Ceremonies in general and Blog Awards in particular?