Steven from Urban Kultur, won his UK Blog Awards back in April 2016 and it looks like within a few months, his blog has gone from strength to strength. Steven has a wealth of knowledge, providing his reading with content focusing on Arts, Culture and Travel.
Expect to dive into the world of Urban Kultur during this interview post and find out Steven's tips on reaching the final phase of the UK Blog Awards. From its design to content, Urban Kultur is most certainly content that does inspire and will continue to do so.
Tell our readers a bit about you and your Blog content..
My name is Steven Blyth, I am the writer of Urban Kultur Blog.
I set up Urban Kultur in 2011 when during the Edinburgh Festival I wanted to write about some of the cool art and music I’d heard. I also had some ideas of my own about how to improve Edinburgh’s public spaces with art.
At the time I was really inspired by a visit to Berlin where I experienced its street art and music scene - at the time this was unlike any other I’d seen.
In terms of the content you can find on my blog, I like to focus on local art, music and alternative culture. But my passion for travel means that I also cover similar topics in places that I find myself throughout the year. That includes virtual street art tours, exhibition reviews, interviews, features (written and video) and music event reviews.
I also organise two podcasts. The UKB Guest Mix podcast invites DJs from around Europe to record an hour long mix demonstrating their talent and a specific genre of electronic music. The Kulturcast podcast is where I interview local, and not-so-local, artists and curators who have been helping move forward the scenes with which they are most heavily involved.
Since your big win, where are you now?
I’ve had a really busy year since my win, I’ve spent time in both Barcelona and Oslo exploring what those cities have to offer. It turns out they both have lots to offer to a street art fan!
I was also invited by the Edinburgh International Festival to check out some of their less mainstream shows that were more in line with my interests (and the interests of my audience). I loved the reimagining of Scottish folk/electronic artist Martyn Bennett’s final album Grit.
They also asked me to develop an ongoing partnership. This is something I was particularly proud of given the Festival was one of the inspirations for starting my blog.
I was also contacted by Sony to develop an ongoing partnership. They’ve asked me to give my impartial thoughts on their audio equipment in relation to the genre of music I cover, mainly electronic dance music.
I’m really looking forward to continuing these relationships. It’s been an exciting year, and one with many more opportunities to come hopefully.
Do you think winning a UK Blog Award has helped progress your Blog career?
As well as putting your blog and its content out there, to be seen by your peers and new audiences, it’s also a huge confidence boost. I really don’t know if I’d have been asked to develop these ongoing partnerships with organisations had it not been for my win.
Having “UK Blog Award Winner” on your site is something you feel really proud about. Professionally, outside of the blogging community, being recognised for your writing and content is something employers are very interested in.
So far, what has been the highlight of your Blog career?
It’s quite difficult to tie down one particular highlight as I’ve really enjoyed a number of things along the way. But, if I were to choose one, it would be winning the UK Blog Award for Best Individual Arts and Culture Blog.
I never thought I would actually win the category, having made the shortlist for a few years and come away with no award, albeit having had a great night after meeting some really cool bloggers. I was really overjoyed to have won last year, it’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of!
If you were able to go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself about Blogging?
Keep pushing yourself and never rest on the achievements of the past. It’s really key to always try to better yourself, your blog and your content. Also, and this is really important, keep an eye on the digital landscape. New technologies, social platforms, content and design trends are really important.
For example Instagram was only 9 months old when I started blogging, and is now one of the biggest platforms around. It’s unthinkable for me not to have an Instagram account to make the most of my blog content now.
Would this be the same advice to a Blogger starting out?
Yes, but I’d also add that you need to make sure that you are blogging for nobody but yourself.
If your aim is to drive as much traffic to your blog as a really popular website that’s been running for years, you might become easily disheartened when at first only a handful of people view your blog.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you do it for yourself. So long as you enjoy blogging, despite what your analytics say, you’ll never be disappointed and you’ll always be motivated.
To those who are nominated or entering into the UK Blog Awards, what advice would you give?
Think about how you will encourage your readers to vote, sometimes a quirky or unusual “call to action” can help draw attention to your blog. Use those digital marketing skills you’ve developed to get the message out there. Then cross your fingers!
It also helps to write the best, most succinct description of your blog that you can. Highlight the most important parts.
Oh, and make sure you keep the awards evening free. Just in case you make it to the final!
Finally, this year’s UK Blog Awards 2017 theme is #BlogHero. How would you define a hero in the blogosphere?
Someone whose content is always innovative and exciting. Someone who you admire or look up to and wish you could blog as well as them.
I can think of a few!
It’s always good to have a blog hero you really look up to as it keeps you thinking about new ways to cover your topic. In the end it helps you to improve, which is always one of the main objectives for me.