I was so lucky to be involved in the BUPA Health Influencer Awards again this year. The team at BUPA few last year's winners up to Sydney to present this year's winners their awards. I love these awards - they support diversity, good writing and social good.
It is wonderful to see a diverse range of blogs - showcasing diversity - win the awards. A blog about autism, a blog about caring for elderly parents and a blog about animal welfare were among the winners.
And I was SO pleased I got to present Julie from the blog Have Wheelchair Will Travel with the award for best travel blog. When Julie accepted the award, she said she wants to give hope to all parents of children with disabilities - because when her son was born, she was given very discouraging 'advice'. DISABILITY REPRESENT.
Here are the winners - congratulations everyone!
Every Cloud has a Silver Lining - winner of Family Time
Edgar's Mission - winner of Animal Lovers and People's Choice
Lifestyle Fifty - winner of Healthy Lifestyle
Have Wheelchair Will Travel - winner of Best Travel Blog
About a Bugg - winner of Social Good and Best Overall Blog (Renee will donate half her winnings to Autism Victoria!)
The Mummy and The Minx - winner of Babies and Parents-to-be
Scoop Nutrition (not pictured) - winner of Healthy Eating
I love seeing these new (and not so new) bloggers coming into the limelight for achieving great things. Do bookmark their blogs - I've read them all and they're fantastic!
Blogging (and being noticed, making money) takes time and super hard work, whether it's a full time job or on top of your day job (like me) or a hobby. So many new bloggers ask when they will make money. I can't tell them a definitive answer. I make a little money now but not enough to quit my day job. Maybe they will make money from their blogs, maybe they won't make a cent. But to me, the biggest success factor and the most important thing is to be making a difference.
But it is the best job ever. Keep at it.
One blogger I have been reading since before I started this blog is Cate from All Cats Are Grey At Night. We met on the Vogue Forums (a definite reason for me starting this blog was the bloggers I'd read from Vogue). It's been over five years that we've known each other and Friday was the first time we met. So exciting! She's just as lovely, just as kind and smart (AND STYLISH!) as on the screen. I told her that most of my blog traffic comes from her blog roll - let's bring back the blog roll hey?!
I also spent some time with Lee from Supercharged Food - last year's overall winner. That woman can rock a play suit! And she is going great guns with her blogging and publishing career! Her generous advice was to be 'anti-strategy'. She blogs when she feels like it, when she has something to say. "Be honest, be real", she said. "Sometimes it's nice to give people a break from you", she said. She also doesn't see other bloggers as competition - and her candid revelation of earnings AND offers to mentor bloggers to reach monetary success is testament to that. She said "it takes five years to build a brand. Blogging success doesn't happen overnight." Lee and I are pictured with Matt from BUPA.
And the very lovely Sally Obermeder (Channel Seven presenter and blogger) was the keynote, talking about weight loss her career path, struggles with IVF and diagnosis of stage three breast cancer the day before her little girl was born. The ribbon that tied all of the elements of her life together was her here determination. "If I just put my mind to something, chipped away, didn't quit, I would get there", she revealed. Sally chipped away at losing weight. She got out of a job she hated. She worked many unpaid hours to get into TV. And she's in remission from breast cancer. She would say to her cancer "game on mole", handling it with humour, treating it as a challenge. She wondered "how do you raise a child if you've only got weeks to live? How do you tell them everything?" She also reminded the room that even when you've reached a level of success, "you've always got a slog of some kind". The hard work doesn't stop. She told us to "use other peoples 'can't do attitudes' to fuel your success" and encouraged us to "be your own cheerleader". Her talk was fantastic.
Here's what we ate. Prawns and artichoke, roast chicken and chocolate lava cake with mandarin sorbet.
And the day (almost ended) with wine time at the airport. God I was tired when I got home. I was (and still am) feeling under the weather with a chest infection, I was sore, plus it was a hundred billion degrees in Sydney, so I really didn't fancy travel, but the awards were so worth it!