With the mark of the fourth UK Blog Awards, #UKBA17 going live for nominations this week, we wanted to catch up with some of the previous individual UKBA winners to gain insight into how the awards have helped platform their career and where they are now, as well as sharing their career highlights.
First up, we caught up with the uber gorgeous Faya from Fitness on Toast who won the 2015 individual Lifestyle category at the UK Blog Awards in 2015. Faya shares insight on who she thinks makes a true #BlogHero and details her experience with Adidas in Rio for the Olympics.
Tell our readers a bit about you and your Blog content..
Hi! I’m Faya, a personal trainer and founder of FitnessOnToast.com, a lifestyle blog I started over 3 years ago to help clients get a little more beyond the hour we spent training together. It’s since grown beyond my wildest expectations and covers topics as diverse as training ideas, healthy nutrition & recipe ideas, active travel destinations, wellbeing ethos and fitness fashion.
Since your big win, where are you now?
I was the thrilled winner of the 2015 Lifestyle Blog award at the UKBAs. Since then, I’ve taken on ambassadorial responsibilities for some of my favourite brands; adidas, Garnier, Westin Hotels and Helly Hansen. I’m also writing a book which is released at the start of next year, which you can find out more about HERE!
Do you think winning a UK Blog Award has helped progress your Blog career?
Absolutely. It’s a prestigious title, and although the institution is in its youth, it’s exceptionally well put together and clearly represents a very credible source of judgement. I would argue that it’s very much helped to turn what I do into a career, as it now takes up the majority of my working time, and is really my job!
So far, what has been the highlight of your Blog career?
One particularly awesome moment that’s fresh in the mind was travelling to the Olympics in Rio with adidas this year, getting the chance to experience the opening ceremony, to meet a host of athletes, to go behind the scenes at the adidas Creator Base, to play tennis with Steffi Graf and interview her, to play rugby with the All Blacks, to see the sites and soak up the Olympic atmosphere. All pretty outstanding!
If you were able to go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself about Blogging?
Even with the benefit of hindsight, I kind of wouldn’t give myself any advice, because I’ve learned that the fun is about navigating your way through this uncharted course that we’ve come to call ‘a career in blogging’. There’s so much discovering to be done, in the spheres of media creation, creative writing, communication, the social side, web development etc. Perhaps my advice would simply be to have thrown myself into it fully, earlier!
Would this be the same advice to a Blogger starting out?
Yes and no! I wrote a post specifically about my advice to someone starting out, as it consistently proves one of my most frequent inbox topics; you can read more about that HERE!
To those who are nominated or entering into the UK Blog Awards, what advice would you give?
I think that publicising your entry helps, both at regular intervals and at relevant moments – you’ll want your subscribers to know about your ambitions to seek this prestigious award, and if they appreciate your work and the way you tell your story, they shouldn’t mind helping you out on the journey J
Finally, this year’s UK Blog Awards 2017 theme is #BlogHero. How would you define a hero in the blogosphere?
Cheese alert: everyone who perseveres with a blog is a bit of a #BlogHero. It’s not an easy job; society thinks you indulgently drink lattes and jet off on holidays, when you’re working 15+ hours a day, 7 days a week, never fully winding down, always planning ahead, fighting fires, answering emails etc. If you’ve lasted beyond the 1-year stage, you have done incredibly well, as I estimate that 85% of bloggers throw in the towel before the first anniversary! Few traditional non-bloggers really appreciate the tireless devotion it requires, so it can often seem a little thankless, but sticking with it, and giving it your all is the best way to be really heroic – I’ve been there, but the results are just so worth all of your effort.